Scouting Report: Ted Ginn is no bust!
When ex-Buckeye Ted Ginn Jr. was selected by the Dolphins with the 9th pick in the 07 NFL draft, the Miami fans screamed. They wanted QB Brady Quinn to solve the teams problems at QB. Ginn suffered from bad passing from a plethora of very average quarterbacks and caught just 34 passes in 07. Usually, a WR, no matter how well prepared he is, doesn't blossom until his 3rd year.
By Bill Smith
But the 08 Dolphins new administration picked up Chad Pennington from the Jets and the team's O exploded. Pennington to Ginn became a staple of the O. Ginn caught 54 passes for 740 yards and 2 TDs. Now Ginn is in his 3rd year and look for him to become one of the most productive WRs in the league. He is a good prospect for your Fantasy Football Draft in a limited WR crop this year.
Based on what we saw in the first preseason game, Ginn has improved his mechanics and looks very much better in some areas he had struggled with in the past. He still needs work in some other aspects of his game.
The primary thing that held Ginn back in his first two years was route running. He is making sharper cuts which is critical for getting open on short routes. In a limited space, a WR needs to make the DB take at least 1 wrong step. Sharp cuts and fakes do that best.
His improved mechanics also make his speed more dangerous on deep patterns. He makes better 1st and 2nd moves on deep routes. Again, this helps him get open. I wrote a year ago that Pennington has the head of a coach, the heart of lion but the arm of a chicken. That limitation puts WRs in a difficult position on long passes. Without a rifle arm, deep passes have a lot of air under them and often come up short. The more distance a WR can put between him and the DB, the better his chances of catching the lofted pass.
He also looks quicker at picking up the ball when it is thrown. The Dolphin passing game is based on timing. That requires a WR to be at the right spot when the ball gets there and be ready to catch the ball. The ball is often thrown before the WR makes his break. On one of Ginn's catches the ball was thrown early because of pressure on the QB. The ball got there just as Ginn turned his head. He caught the ball and made a few yards after the catch.
Another aspect Ginn needed to focus on was catching the ball against tight coverage. Any time he goes deep he will get double or even triple coverage. He is starting to use his body to shield the DB from the ball. He is also getting better at jumping or leaning into the DB to draw the flag. He set up the Dolphins first score by drawing a penalty on a deep pass.
The more passes he catches the more help he will be to his fellow Fin WRs. He needs to draw double coverage regularly and more catches with a lot of yards after catch will do that. Right now his running mates will be starter Greg Camarillo and bench strength of last year surprise URFA Davone Bess along with 3rd round 09 pick Patrick Turner and 4th round pick ex-Buckeye Brian Hartline.
OVERALL: 09 should be a really good year for Ginn. He has to continue to work including film study to see how the CBs cover top receivers. If he puts in the work, he should emerge as a top 10 WR in 09. Given his physical gifts, Ginn can be as good as he wants to be. We will all be watching to see if he takes the next step toward the top of the leagues best WRs.
That's what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://NFLDraftDog.com and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library/Contemporary/Author.cfm?AuthorID=1003 and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com.