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Friday, April 1, 2011
Analysts spotlight Henne, Fins QB situation

By Tim Graham

Total coincidence that we reached the Miami Dolphins' turn in the AFC East reader mock draft the same day ESPN's "On the Clock" roundtable series takes a look at the aqua and orange.

Most of the panel's conversation deals with the Dolphins' quarterback situation. Draft expert Mel Kiper once again noted the Dolphins might have erred by taking left tackle Jake Long first overall in 2008 rather than a quarterback.

"The left tackle is not going to get you where you want to go," Kiper said. "The quarterback does. It's nice to have that great left tackle, but you've got to have the quarterback."

The Dolphins drafted Chad Henne with their second second-round pick that year.

"Chad Henne was wildly inconsistent at Michigan," Kiper said. "That's why I had some questions about him, coming out. We see that in Miami. There are games where he looks like he could be the guy and other games you scratch your head, saying 'Why did that throw go where it did?'

"The inaccuracy of Chad Henne and the inconsistency of Chad Henne is the reason right now they don't know where they're going at quarterback."

Henne completed 61.4 percent of his throws for 3,301 yards and 15 touchdowns with 19 interceptions. His 75.4 passer rating was 15th in the league.

Henne lost his starting job to Chad Pennington in Week 10 and might have remained on the sidelines had Pennington not suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer still believes Henne can be salvageable as a starter.

"When I study him on tape, there is improvement," Dilfer said. "You see improvement in his ability to change speeds on the ball, make some throws he hasn't been able to make earlier in his career.

"And I think after 27 starts, it's not a big enough body of work to come up with a definitive judgment on Chad Henne. I think the franchise would take a giant step backwards if they started over and went and got another rookie. Unless it's an established, veteran, free-agent quarterback, I think Chad Henne is the answer for the Dolphins this year."

Also discussed in the segment were the fractured front-office relationships stemming from owner Stephen Ross' pursuit of Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland flew cross country to woo Harbaugh, leaving Sparano to twist.

"That broke a trust right there," ESPN's Chris Mortensen said. "Even though this is trending down a little bit, it has not been a collapse. ... That trust is tough to repair, but somehow Ireland and Sparano have got to do that, because it's not a disaster."