The Sports Daily > Phins Phocus
Dolphins Buffet: Talking Hasselbeck, Misi, and Mallett

Dolphins interested in Matt Hasselbeck?
John Clayton speculated to 710 ESPN Seattle that the Seahawks will likely let quarterback Matt Hasselbeck test the open market. “And now it’s put the Seahawks in a position where I think what’ll happen is, if free agency would start — and we all don’t know when — I think they’ll let him test the market,” Clayton said. “And that could be dangerous because he could go someplace else.”

Where exactly is that someplace else, you might ask? Well, Clayton goes on to mention three teams that may be interested in signing the 35-year old veteran signal caller; the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Miami Dolphins.

This isn’t the first time this offseason that the Dolphins have been thrown out there as a possible destination for Hasselbeck if he indeed becomes a free agent whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. But it does serve as a reminder that the draft prospects we have been discussing for the past several weeks aren’t the only options out there for the Dolphins.

It all depends on what the front office’s mindset is. Some say they are in a situation where they feel they have to win this season, and won’t be patient enough for a rookie quarterback to develop. If that is the case, a veteran like Hasselbeck that would provide competition and insurance to Chad Henne would make sense.

I happen to believe that the Dolphins should do whatever it takes to find a franchise quarterback because they will never be a Super Bowl contender in today’s pass happy game without one, but that’s just me. The Dolphins do have themselves a playoff caliber defense, though, so maybe a veteran quarterback that could step in and provide a little bit of consistency would be enough to get them over the hump and into the tournament in 2011.

But is just becoming a playoff caliber team enough, or should the focus of this regime be doing whatever it takes to get the Dolphins to that elite level? If you feel that they should pursue the latter, it may be time to step away from the conservative route and invest a first-round pick in a quarterback.

Should Dolphins consider moving Koa Misi inside?
Armandon Salguero of the Miami Herland stirred up some discussion yesterday when he suggested that the Dolphins should move their 2010 second-round pick, Koa Misi, from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. Misi had a decent rookie campaign on the strong side opposite Cameron Wake, but many feel that he will never be anything more than an average player and will never be much of a force as a pass rusher.

Salguero suggest this is why the Dolphins should move him inside and consider using a high draft choice on a superior pass rusher. Is it something to think about? Yes. But the Dolphins are set at inside linebacker in 2011 with Karlos Dansby, the playmaker, and Channing Crowder, the run stuffer, and who knows how much Misi will improve in his second season.

Maybe this is a move the Dolphins should consider after 2011, as Channing Crowder’s contract will expire and could be allowed to sign elsewhere because of inconsistency in production and a lack of game changing plays. But the Dolphins just have too many needs that must be addressed early on in the draft to select a pass rusher. They could always pursue a pass rushing specialist in free agency or in the later rounds of the draft, but Misi projects to be solid enough against the run to remain the Dolphins’ early down option.

Ryan Mallett remains a polarizing figure
The Sun-Sentinel’s new Dolphins’ beat writer, Andrew Carter, wrote an interesting piece this morning. Carter suggest that the Dolphins don’t have a very good chance at drafting a quality quarterback outside of the top five picks of the draft and that odds definitely aren’t in their favor if they wait to draft a new QB in round two.

He makes some interesting points and the article is definitely worth a read, but when listing the Dolphins’ options beyond Gabbert and Newton, who certainly will be long gone when they are on the clock, Carter intentionally leaves out Ryan Mallet.

When confronted about the Mallett snub in the comments section, Carter explains his reasoning. “Leaving Mallett off wasn’t a mistake. I don’t understand how anyone who’s been paying attention would want this guy leading an NFL team. If he’s in the Pro Bowl in three or four years feel free to bring this back up and rub it in. Just don’t think he has the mental make-up to be a successful pro QB. The recent comparisons to Ryan Leaf make a lot of sense to me.”

Carter isn’t the only South Florida media member that feels this way about Mallett. Omar Kelly, also of the Sun-Sentinel, has been critical of Mallett and opposed to the idea of drafting him all offseason. Just today, Kelly tweeted “my concern about Mr. Mallett is whether he can endure and thrive with everything the NFL will throw at him. Is he mentally tough enough?”

As you are probably well aware of by now if you’ve stopped by before, I would love to see the Dolphins draft Mallett in the first round. He’s got great size, a great arm, and just has the tools you look for in a franchise quarterback. But will the Dolphins be scared away by what’s between Mallett’s ears?