Around the NFL
Dolphins moving away from Jake Long?
Posted Apr. 17 at 10:39 AM
In terms of fantasy impact, the most important player in the upcoming NFL draft isn’t Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones or Rashard Mendenhall. Or Matt Ryan. Or any other skill-position guy.
It’s Jake Long. He’s the best offensive lineman, and there are a lot of teams that could sure use him. Steven Jackson, Michael Turner and Larry Johnson, for example, would sure be helped by the addition of Long.
So it was perhaps a significant slip of the tongue Thursday when Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland said at a press conference, "This is the first pick in the draft. This guy is going to be -- you hope that he's a pillar of your defense for a long time."
Ireland, as quoted in the Associated Press article, tried to back track and clarify his remarks. But the implication looks clear. The Dolphins, who’ve been negotiating with Long, appear to have given up on those negotiations, and instead are targeting a defensive player, such as Vernon Gholston, Glenn Dorsey or Chris Long. Or maybe Miami never wanted Jake Long in the first place.
Regardless, if they’re not taking him, then Jake Long will probably be headed to one of those other teams in the top five – St. Louis, Atlanta, Oakland or Kansas City. And that’s going tremendously help some running back on one of those teams (which all have big offensive line issues).
Long isn’t considered a sure-fire can’t-miss stud like some of the other tackles who’ve been top-5 picks, but he’s going to greatly help some team’s offensive line. His impact might be similar to what Joe Thomas gave Cleveland last year (though Thomas grades out slightly higher than Long).
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