It's only been a month since the NFL Draft, and experts are already chiming in on the Dolphins' chances in 2010.
A local reporter wrote on his blog that he felt the Fins were the 10th-best team in the NFL right now, which I frankly did not understand.
But then Peter King, in his weekly MMQB on CNNSI.com, listed the Dolphins as the sixth-best team in the league right now.
I can see the reason for optimism: The Dolphins significantly upgraded their receiving corps with the Brandom Marshall trade, upgraded their linebackers with the signing of Karlos Dansby and the drafting of Koa Misi, and improved their secondary by selecting safety Reshad Jones and jettisoning Gibril Wilson.
The problem is, all of these parts have to mesh into a coherent unit, which probably won't happen until the middle of the season.
Then there's the Chad Henne factor. King is very high on him, but I wonder about his accuracy, and his tendency to throw bad interceptions (14 in 2009).
And Ronnie Brown is returning from yet another injury. How long will it take him to get going? Last time he was hurt, when he missed the 2006 campaign after tearing his ACL, local writers were questioning whether Brown was a bust, because he did not have a good start to 2007.
Of course, he bounced back to rush for 1,000 yards in 2008, and last year was on the way to another thousand-yard season when he hurt his foot.
The problems in the secondary, where Miami ranked 24th against the pass, still need to be cleared up. And without Jason Taylor and Joey Porter, there's the question of where the pass rush will come from. Also, first round pick Jared Odrick must play well immediately, since the Dolphins won't have Jason Ferguson back until Week 9.
The schedule is also difficult, though it's not the minefield last year's was.
I would say I'm cautiously optimistic so far. Yes, the Dolphins have the pieces in place to have a good season, but they may struggle early as those parts coalesce.
It's still a long way to Dallas.