When I wrote that Miami needs to focus on defense with its first pick of the draft, I concluded the Phins could really do with a talismanic leader on D, especially with JT and Vonnie Holliday gone and Joey Porter not getting any younger.
One defensive player who really seems to have some of that X-factor in this year’s draft is USC ILB Rey Maualuga, so imagine my joy when we read that he’s been working out for the Dolphins.
In looks and playing style he reminds me a bit of a cross between Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu. While his temperament seems to be a bit fierier than either, if he even gets close to their level he would be someone to base a whole defense around.
Everyone knows we have greater needs than ILB, most notably CB, but you just need to look at the Ravens with Ray Lewis to see what effect a dominant ILB can have on the whole team. If there’s any possibility of us drafting him, we should go for it.
But therein lies the catch. He’s generally considered to be the second best linebacker in the draft behind Aaron Curry and, even with things like a dodgy hamstring and the odd off the field incident or two (see below) he’s very unlikely to make it down to the 25th pick.
However, would Bill Parcells and co be bothering to have a look at the player if they didn’t think there was the possibility of them getting hold of him somehow, presumably through trading up some pick? Not long to go until we find out.