Parcells' defensive history may reveal Dolphins' pick

Miami's grand football poobah Bill Parcells provides no hints about what he will do with this year's top overall pick. But his history does.

Dating back to his days with Dallas and the New York Jets, Parcells has picked a defensive player with his top pick in five straight drafts.

Even more, on each of the past six first-round picks that Parcells has had, he has selected a defensive player, including defensive ends DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears in 2005.

The last two offensive players Parcells picked in the first round were quarterback Chad Pennington and tight end Anthony Becht -– and that happened only after the New York Jets selected defensive ends Shaun Ellis and John Abraham with their top two first-round picks.

Even dating to his days with the New England Patriots, Parcells used two of his three first-round picks on defensive players -– defensive end Willie McGinest in 1994 and cornerback Ty Law in 1995.

The one offensive player picked in the first round in New England under Parcells' watch was wide receiver Terry Glenn in 1996. Parcells actually preferred Texas defensive end Tony Brackens, who wound up going on the 33rd overall selection in the second round to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he got overruled on the pick.

So through his time in New England, New York and Dallas, Parcells has used his past 12 first-round picks on nine defensive players. And of those nine, seven have been voted to 15 Pro Bowls -– Law to five, Abraham to three, McGinest to two, Ware to two, Terence Newman to one, Shaun Ellis to one and James Farrior to one.

Parcells' Patriots did draft offense with the top overall pick in 1993, when New England selected quarterback Drew Bledsoe. But in the same draft, the top three defensive players picked were linebacker Marvin Jones, and Alabama defensive ends John Copeland and Eric Curry -– none of whom was worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.

Now this hardly means that Virginia defensive end Chris Long or Ohio State linebacker Vernon Gholston is a lock to be the first overall pick. But it proves that Parcells has valued drafting premier defensive players over offensive ones.

It is one more reason that when mock drafts begin to get filled out, it might be wise to pencil in Chris Long over Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long.

Here is the player Pat Kirwan has Miami picking in his mock draft:

1. Miami Dolphins -- Chris Long: The Dolphins could select either Chris or Jake Long and not be wrong. ... Long would be my choice because of the versatility he possesses as a defensive end or linebacker and his production.

Dorsey and the Dolphins

NFL coaches and scouts did not get to see LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey work out at last month's scouting combine. But they get their chance Wednesday.

Dorsey is planning to go through a battery of drills for NFL coaches and scouts during his pro day in Baton Rouge, La. With speculation swirling about the condition of his knee, Dorsey will be under as much scrutiny as any player at any pro day. But Dorsey has claimed he is fully ready for it.

Before the pro day, the Dolphins planned on spending some extra quality time with Dorsey, taking the LSU defensive tackle to dinner Tuesday night.

Dorsey would not be a logical fit for Miami's 3-4 defense. But some believe he could be the most talented defensive player in this draft. Should Miami pass on Dorsey the way most expect, he could go anywhere in the top five picks -- to St. Louis at No. 2, Atlanta at No. 3, Oakland at No. 4 or Kansas City at No. 5.

Run to Champaign

Arkansas' Darren McFadden is hardly the only running back being closely scrutinized this week. Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall also is.

The Carolina Panthers are scheduled to send some team officials to Champaign, Ill., on Thursday to privately work out Mendenhall.

The Panthers hold the draft's 13th overall pick, right in the area in which Mendenall is projected to go. Mendenhall, whom NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has graded as the top back in the draft, could go anywhere between Cincinnati's turn at No. 9 and Detroit's at No. 15.

In fact, Mendenhall is scheduled to visit the Bengals, Jets and Cowboys within the next month. But the Panthers, who have a major need at running back, get the next look at Mendenhall. The question is whether they will get the chance to draft him.

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