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  Dolphins Would be Wise to Draft Rolle
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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I don't know what round Florida State safety Myron Rolle will be drafted in, nor which team will take him. Neither does anyone else. What I do know is that the team that picks him will be getting a terrific all-around player.


It's not very often that superior physical and mental skills come together in one person. When that happens, you might get a Rhodes scholar or an All-American. Or, in Rolle’s case, both.


Rare stuff indeed.


A highly regarded college and pro prospect, Rolle very wisely decided to bypass the 2009 NFL Draft in order to accept an invitation to study for a year at Oxford. His post-football ambition is to one day become a neurosurgeon. But now that he is back from his year of matriculation in England, he is focused on pursuing a long and successful NFL career.


The Miami Dolphins crave players like Rolle, guys who have what they call "the make-up" (toughness, discipline, intelligence). They also happen to like players with prototypical size (Rolle is 6-2, 215) and skills for their position.


All of this is great stuff, but only when it translates into on-field productivity. During his three years at FSU (he actually graduated in two and a half years), Rolle turned in performances that left legendary defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews gushing. Understand, Andrews wasn’t effusive in praising his players publicly. So it’s quite a compliment to Rolle when, in 2008, Andrews lauded him for turning in “the best and most complete game he has ever seen a safety play at Florida State University in his 25 years of coaching”.


The opponent? The University of Miami.


That’s some heady stuff when you consider the procession of safeties that played for Andrews; guys like Leroy Butler, Chris Hope, and Dexter Jackson.


I normally don't gush about college prospects because there's a zillion ways for them to go bust. But if ever there was a rookie who could grasp a pro defense quickly, earn a starting job, and make an impact from the start, it's got to be Rolle.


Naturally, there are doubters. Many worry that he is not fully committed to becoming an outstanding football player given his post-football goals. This, in my opinion, is a big reason why many draft gurus do not regard him more highly, together with their concerns about his deep speed.


"I think my pursuits academically have helped me in football,” Rolle said to reporters at the Scouting Combine. "I think you learn discipline, you learn time management, you learn structure, you learn organization and as a football player. Those are obviously valuable assets and traits that you can use to be great, whether at film study or on the field.”


The Dolphins have interviewed Rolle. At the Senior Bowl, DB coach Todd Bowles worked closely with him one-on-one. So we know the Dolphins have the goods on him. Most telling was Bowles’ interest; he wouldn’t have spent precious time with Rolle if the Dolphins weren’t intrigued.


This is why I have to believe that Rolle has earned a high spot on the Dolphin draft board. Good thing, because it’s always a blessing when need and talent can come together on draft day. And the Dolphins are in desperate need of an upgrade at safety, regardless of GM Jeff Ireland's recent and alleged support for free agent bust Gibril Wilson. Ireland knows Rolle could be the answer to this very pressing need, a player with the ability to guard and tackle physical tight ends in the open field, be a force in the run game, and stay over the top of the plethora of talented wide receivers in the AFC East.


The trick, of course, is to pull the trigger at the right time. This is not an easy thing to determine, especially as the draft draws out.


Again, no one has a clue right now where Rolle will actually be drafted. We can safely say that it probably won’t be in Round One, certainly not as far as the Dolphins are concerned, not with their current needs at defensive tackle, linebacker, and wide receiver crying out for attention, and not with so many appealing prospects weighing down the top of the draft board.


But the Dolphins under Bill Parcells have shown a propensity for making unexpected moves in rounds two through four, moves that contradict what the draft gurus were expecting. So it wouldn’t surprise me if Rolle enters the conversation anytime from the second round onwards.


This I know: Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, and Ireland don’t miss much. It all depends on the grade they and other teams have assigned to Rolle, and how determined the Dolphins are to have the Bahamian native.


So will they be calling Rolle in a about a month and a half with a job offer?


It says here they would be wise to do so.

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