Saturday, May 02, 2015

So Close Yet So Far Yet So Huge

Let me borrow Ryan Tannehill's favorite phrase in order to describe our second round pick in tonight's NFL Draft: "Its huge".

And if you think I am kidding, try to describe a 6-6, 330 lb DT with any other words.

As I followed the second round of the draft, I was hoping, almost praying, that either Mississippi State's Bednardrick McKinney or UCLA's Eric Kendricks, both LBs, would fall into our laps at pick #47.

Both would fill a need. Both would also be good value picks. Both would be upgrades to our defense and its ability to stuff the run.

But at pick #43, the Texans traded up with the Browns and selected McKinney.

"Shit!"

Ok. Still hope for Kendricks. Now I am praying.

Then at pick #45, the devilish Vikings broke my spiritual meditation and selected Kendricks.

"Why Lord? Did I do something wrong? Am I not deserving?"

Wait! Denzel Perryman, out of Miami, is still on the board.

 Ok. He can fit the bill. There is still hope.

Nope. Trade back.

WTF!

Now I gotta sweat out 5 more picks.

WTF!

Then they announce we get Philly's two 5th round picks.

WTF!

We just traded our 2nd round and 6th round picks for two 5th round picks?

Did they let Ireland back in the war room?

WTF!

Nope. They correctly state we also get pick #52. And that was after a good two minutes, even on the ticker.

Finally, we are on the clock and behold Dwight Stephenson:  "With the 52nd pick, the Miami Dolphins select Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma".

You have got to be kidding me.

And when Perryman goes with the next pick....WTF!

But after I calm down and thought it through: We needed a LB to help stuff the run. With Phillips and Ndamukong Suh at DT, we may not even need a ILB.

HMMMM...

Good call Hickey!

It won't matter who is at ILB. They just got better.

 And so did we.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, April 30, 2015

With the 14th pick the Miami Dolphins select...

John Bazemore/ Associated Press
Todd Gurley. About a month ago I didn't see the Dolphins selecting Gurley, there were still questions about his health and it was uncertain when exactly he would be healthy after tearing his ACL. Now however there are reports that could be good to go for the season opener. Before I saw the Dolphins selecting a receiver, but with Jennings signing we can afford to wait and just pick the best player available. This is why I believe Gurley will be the pick later tonight. There are numerous people who believe that if he did not get injured last season he would have been a top 5 pick and some say he is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.

Running back isn't a big need for us but if the Dolphin's medical staff believe he will be healthy and back to his normal self, I think you have to make the pick. Gurley play style is more of a physical back who can wear defenses down. With Miller sharing part of the load, it should give us a good one-two combo. It should help Tannehill relieve some of the pressure and keep defenses guessing. I believe the game is changing a little bit now where running backs are becoming more valuable as teams are trying to stop the increased passing.

Now the arguments against this pick is that running backs do not last long in this league and by their late 20s they start to decline, however Gurley is still only 20 years old. Many also believe that a quality running back can be found in later rounds, which is something I don't disagree with. That along with Gurley's risk with his injury make me second guess this pick. However Gurley has really high potential and could be a top 5 running back in the league in a few years. If not Gurley, I would think the Dolphins stay with offense with either a receiver or a not so sexy pick such as an offensive guard. However this is just speculation, there is only a few more hours until we know the truth.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dion Jordan Suspended....Whatever

File this under the "so, what else is new?" column.

I thought he was suspended anyway!

Was he even on the field last year? Was he expected to be this year?

Well, at the very least, he can get together with his buddy Jeff Ireland a lot more now.

A couple things bother me about this situation.

#1...Who did or didn't do the due diligence to vet this guy when he was drafted?

#2...What is it that makes these suddenly rich kids to decide to just blow their careers completely up?

I don't get either one. I am sorry.

He had plenty of talent but he either didn't get it or his coaches didn't get him to get it.

Something got lost in the translation.

Yeah, we could have drafted different players who would have been much more productive.

Every team can say that.

Well, thank God he wasn't a super productive kid that, given his talent, this situation would have just driven us all nuts.

No. Unfortunately for both us and Jordan, he never lived up to his billing.

And as such...whatever.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

7 Round Mock Draft For Miami Dolphins 2015 Picks ( 9th and Final Edition: Leone Is On The Clock )

When I began this mock draft series back on January 4th, my first pick was La'el Collins the OT from LSU and that started quite a stir.

Many Dolfans didn't believe picking another O Lineman, let alone someone who would need to shift positions and play Guard would be a prudent pick.  Most Dolfans responded that they wanted Danny Shelton, DT out of Washington.

Of course, that was before we signed Ndamukong Suh. Who could blame them?

Its funny how things change. Throughout the last 4 months the word on the street was, and still is, that the Dolphins are looking for WR help early if one of the top 3 ( Alabama's Amari Cooper, West Virginia's Kevin White or Louisville's DeVante Parker ) were to fall to pick 14. 

Or possibly help in the secondary if one of the top CBs ( Michigan State's Trae Waynes or Washington's Marcus Peters ) were available to be picked. Also lauded was Landon Collins, the SS out of Alabama.

Even the RB out of Georgia, Todd Gurley, has been mentioned as our top pick in this draft.

But things do change. Free agents get signed and prospects get busted for pot. Needs get fulfilled and then they change.

Now, just 2 days before the real 2015 NFL Draft, the Dolphins still have 2 big needs not quite addressed. DT and WR were filled by Free Agent signings of DT Suh and WR Greg Jennings plus we traded for WR Kenny Stills.

Could we add depth at those 2 positions? Sure, but the absolute urgency with our 1st Round Pick is no longer there.

That leaves the OL and LB positions with an urgent need and CB as a better get somebody decent need.

With this final mock draft, I am still utilizing a Computer App to select for the 31 other teams. There are opportunities to trade up or down. 

Round 1, Pick 14: The top WRs were gone. Waynes was gone. Gurley was gone. Guess what? Shelton was still there and Detroit wanted him bad enough to offer their 1st (#23) and 2nd Round (#54) picks to get him. I thought about who might be there at 23 and loved the idea of having 3 picks in the first 54, so I took the trade. Detroit did pick Shelton.

Round 1, Pick 23 from Detroit: We have come full circle. I caught hell in January. But this week many draft pundits have suddenly started to predict we would be selecting this player at 14. But I get him at 23. Hell, we are due for some good vibes and good luck. Welcome La'el Collins, OT from LSU. Say goodbye to OL issues as he can play LG in a heartbeat and if Brandon Albert isn't ready to start the season then Collins can start at LT.  Collins, at 6-4, 306 lbs, started 13 games at Guard as a sophomore and then 26 games at LT his last 2 seasons. He is a mauler in the running and quick enough to pull in our Zone Blocking scheme. Collins is the 18th ranked player and eliminates our greatest need the past 2 years, the OL.
   
Round 2, Pick 15: With the 47th pick, I was very pleased to find the 41st Ranked player who adds tremendous depth to our receiving corps in WR Jalen Strong out of Arizona State.  At 6-2, 217 lbs, Strong was a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. He runs the 40 in 4.44 and has a verticle leap of 42 inches.  He best assest is his  combination of height, weight and arm length making him a tremendous Red Zone target. He doesn't possess top notch speed and takes some long strides to get going which is why he is still available in the 2nd round. He is still a work in progress with his route running but we don't need him to start right away. Strong is compared to Dwayne Bowe.

Round 2, Pick 22 from Detroit: Since adding DT Suh to the roster, Cam Wake and Olivier Vernon have been salivating with the opportunity to rush the passer. But what about our run defense? Yes Suh helps stuff the run. But I liked this next guy to add some pop to the LB corp. So with the 54th pick I selected the 51st Ranked player in the LB from Mississippi State, Bednardrick McKinney.
At 6-4, 246 lbs, McKinney is a beast of a tackler. He is tall and proportionately built to play inside and has the speed to move outside as well. McKinney led his team in tackles the past 2 years and was selected First Team All-SEC and Second Team All-American in 2014. In the NFL he will have an above average career but will be a steady beast in a very tough defense for the next four years.

Round 4, Pick 15: Time to help out the secondary and find a decent corner to play in our Zone scheme and possibly man up. There are plenty of mid-round CBs in this draft but one stood out to me because of his size. So I selected CB Alex Carter out of Stanford due to his 6-0, 196 lbs frame.  Carter runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds and can play man but excels in Zone coverages. He is a very willing tackler and can play Safety if he adds some bulk. He is the 102nd Ranked player which I used the 111th pick on. Carter's father played at Notre Dame and was the 17th selection by the Redskins in the 1993 draft.

Round 5, Pick 13: If you have been following my Mock Drafts, you know who I am grabbing here. I just like this kid and maybe because he played college ball just down the road from me. With the 141st pick I, once again, selected the 134th Ranked player in Tyler Kroft, the TE from Rutgers.  At 6-5, 246 lbs, Kroft has the quickness to get off the line and get up the seam and the ability to pay inline and block. Even though we added Free Agent TE Jordan Cameron to replace Charles Clay, he is susceptible to concussions so we will need some added depth here with another seam threat and Kroft brings that attribute to his game with his 4.75 time in the 40.

Round 5, Pick 14: Lets face it, we couldn't by One Yard if we wanted to since we lost Losake Polite. How many times have we been stuffed trying to get one measly yard and gain another 1st down let alone a Touch Down. Here comes the calvary in Florida RB Matt Jones. At 6-2, 234 lbs Jones is a pile mover and that's all we need him to do. Will he be an every down back? No. But he will become our short yardage specialist and can pass block too. Jones is a muscled bull dozer that will have us yelling "First Down" right after we hear "That's another Miami Dolphins'". He is the 154th Ranked player that I used the 142nd pick on because I didn't want to risk losing him by waiting for the 6th round.

Round 6, Pick 15: Finally, my last pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. All good things must come to an end so join me in welcoming the 177th Ranked player with the 175th pick, SS Anthony Jefferson from UCLA. At 6-1, 198 lbs, Jefferson started his Collegiate career at corner before moving over to safety to take advantage of his downhill tackling ability. In 25 starts the last 2 seasons he registered 161 tackles and 17 passes defensed with 3 INTs. Can he start in the NFL? Probably not. Can he play Special Teams and push some guys already on the roster. Yes he can.

That concludes my mock drafts this year. I hope you enjoyed reading them. Hopefully, we will all be excited come Saturday night when the real NFL Draft concludes.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Monday, April 27, 2015

"T'was The Night Before The Draft"

Thursday night at 8 PM the NFL Draft begins.

Since this event is just like Christmas to many football fans, why not continue a tradition that started 3 years ago and grab a cold one, sit down with your favorite football fans and recite the following on NFL Draft Eve.


'Twas The Night Before The Draft
                                         By Carl Leone

‘Twas the night before the draft and all through the league,
Not a GM had rested, all feeling fatigue.
Their draft boards assembled, each scout had his say,
From highest to lowest,  “Oh, that one can play”.
The prospects were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of great riches danced in their heads.

Since end of last season, teams knew were they’d pick,
From the worst to the first, their spot was affixed.
To trade up or trade down or snag that one guy,
Decisions, decisions, which one do they try.
From Kiper and Davis and even Mayock,
All threw in their two cents with many a mock.

They run a spread offense and defense, a zone.
Make sure he fits in or this choice they’d have blown.
When free agents sign, when picks they are traded,
Each mock is redone ‘fore they’d even faded.
We’ve seen and we’ve heard from all who attest,
They love this one player, now that one is best.

Agents are bragging, their client’s a stud,
But rumors can circle, now he’s just a dud. 
They pimp them, now primp them so all are impressed,
From Armani to Brioni, to the T’s they are dressed.                                     
Come ‘morrow at night, the invitees will shine,
For GMs and coaches, their jobs on the line.


They’ll wait in the green room, some are brought to tear.
To fall like Brady Quinn, is their greatest fear.
The NFL Network and SportsCenter tell
All of their stories ‘tween hugs from Goodell.
The owners get checks out and practice with smile,
“He’s who we wanted. Look! He’s on my speed dial.”

Some fans will be happy, some fans will be sick,
As the winning contestant announces a pick.
Who knows whats the answer, no future is clear,
Will they bring them Lombardi or even a cheer?
There’s no proven science nor certain gimmick,
Just all fervent prayers to Dear Ole Saint Pick!



Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Craziest Miami Dolphins Schedule I Have Ever Seen!

Just when I thought I had seen everything in 57 years of life.

Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water.

The NFL scheduling shark swam up and took a good chunk of my butt with him.

For starters, no home game at 1 PM until October 25th. That's week 7!

There goes our heat advantage.

I understand that we wanted to start on the road because we wanted to make sure we had time to have the stadium renovations in place.

BUUUTTT...In the first 10 weeks of the schedule we have only 2 games in SunLife Stadium. Part of that is due to hosting the Jets in London in week 4 and then the Bye in week 5.

Hello! What does the NFL have against us? Please just come out and tell us so we can apologize and then we can all move on from there.

A 7 week stretch from week 6 through week 12 with a total of 5 road games. Those road games are at the Titans, Patriots, Bills, Eagles and Jets. With the middle 3 in a row! In 18 Days!

Its tough enough to win in this league with an alternating schedule but we may have to come out of camp as the greatest road warrior team ever just to stay in the hunt this season.

We do get 2 night games: Thursday October 29th at the Pats and Monday December 14th hosting the Giants.

We do get Breakfast at Wimbledon on October 4th at 9:30 AM with our home game against the Jets in London. That should be fun to watch at church with the choir singing "Be not afraid".

On the positive side, we should actually be able to open up with 2 road wins at the Skins on September 13th and then at the Jags on September 20th.

We have no cold weather games in December as San Diego is our only away game in the last 5 games.

And in November, we have 3 games on the road in the Northeast with all starting at 1 PM. So we may not need any parkas this season.

But we finish home against the 2 AFC Championship teams from last year, the Colts on December 27th and the Pats in the New Year on January 3rd.

The Colts, we can beat. The Pats, we will have to beat.

We do get 4 home games out of the last 5: Baltimore, Giants, at San Diego, Colts and Pats.  On second look, that's not that great a consolation.

Oh well, we knew going in that this was going to be a tough schedule with the division cross over games with the NFC East and AFC South.  But those divisions are saying the same thing.

So here it is in case you haven't read it elsewhere (all times EST):

Week 1: 9/13 at Skins 1 PM
Week 2: 9/20 at Jags 4:05 PM
Week 3: 9/27 Bills 4:25 PM
Week 4: 10/4 Jets in London 9:30 AM
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: 10/18 at Titans 1 PM
Week 7: 10/25 Texans 1 PM
Week 8: 10/29 at Pats Thursday Night 8:15 PM
Week 9: 11/8 at Bills 1 PM
Week 10: 11/15 at Eagles 1 PM
Week 11: 11/22 Cowboys 1 PM
Week 12: 11/29 at Jets 1 PM
Week 13: 12/6 Ravens 1 PM
Week 14: 12/14 Giants on Monday Night at 8:30 PM
Week 15: 12/20 at Chargers 4:25 PM
Week 16: 12/27 Colts 1 PM
Week 17: 1/3 Pats 1 PM

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Monday, April 20, 2015

7 Round Mock Draft For Dolphins' 2015 Picks ( 8th Edition WHAT IF MEL KIPER IS RIGHT )

A couple weeks ago, I read that ESPN's NFL Draft Guru, Mel Kiper, had the Dolphins utilizing their First Round pick on Danny Shelton out of Washington, the number 2 Rated DT.  At 6-2, 339 lbs, Shelton is projected to go high in the draft as he has all the intangibles you look for in a DT with strength and athleticism.

Shelton can step in and play immediately. Kiper's reasoning is that this pick would not only make our starting Defensive Line the best in the NFL with Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon on the ends along with Ndamukong Suh at DT.  Shelton would also protect the major investment in signing Suh and not allow him to wind up being an overpriced possession on our Roster but make Suh even more effective and then certainly worth the investment.

I may not agree entirely with this philosophy but if the Dolphins' brain trust feel Shelton would be the Best Available Player at 14, then who am I to second guess this possible pick.

With this in mind, I decided to utilize the same NFL Draft App and see how drafting Shelton at 14 might effect the rest of our draft. The App made all the other picks for the 31 other teams and I made all our selections for the Dolphins.

Here is what I came up with:

Round 1 Pick 14: "A plague on all 31 of their houses!"  About time we got around to Pick 14, Shelton was gone. I kid you not. But I want to keep the same philosophy of protecting the investment in Suh going. So rather than pick a DT at 14 and over paying for who was still available at DT, I decided to accept a trade from Philadelphia. The Eagles offered their 20th Pick in Rounds 1, 2, and 3.

Round 1 Pick 20 (From Phila.): There was still 3 DTs left with First Round Grades, all Juniors no less: Arik Armstead from Oregon, Malcom Brown from Texas and Eddie Goldman from Florida State.

Armstead, at 6-7, 292 lbs, hasn't fully developed physically yet and would be better suited for the DE position in a 3-4 Defense so he is eliminated. Brown at 6-2, 319 lbs, is set to become a penetrating DT in a 4-3 Defense. And Goldman at 6-4, 339 lbs is best suited as a true NT in a 3-4 Defense. Goldman can tie up two blockers and free up Suh to one on ones which in theory is what we would be trying to do here but I like the idea of having another sack specialist in this passing friendly league that the NFL has become.

So at Pick 20, I selected Malcom Brown.  Brown is quick, very quick, off the ball and will make plays behind the LOS. He is very active in chasing down the ball along the LOS and also batted down 6 passes so he is pretty darn athletic. Brown, the 24th Ranked player, finished 2014 with 14 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks allowing him to not only be an All-American but also a Bronko Nagurski Award finalist for the best defensive player in the country as well as a finalist for the Outland trophy for the best interior lineman in the country. I know Philbin will like the fact that Brown is already married with 2 kids and has been volunteering for Adams Angels who support kids with cancer. Lets hope he isn't another Ted Ginn Jr.

Round 2 Pick 15: Time to solve a few of our true needs so lets start at WR with Jaelen Strong, another Junior out of Arizona State.  Strong, the 39th Ranked player, brings a 6-2, 217 lbs, frame along with 4.44 speed to the roster. He doesn't have top line speed which is why he will be drafted in the 2nd round but he does have the ability to play big on 50-50 balls and does a nice job in traffic. Strong is the 7th rated WR, who compares to Marques Colston of the Saints. He finished 2014 with 82 receptions for 1165 yards and 10 TDs, earning First Team Pac 10 honors.

Round 2 Pick 20 (from Phila.): Still had some good choices here in OG, RB, ILB, FS, SS and OLB. But I really like this next pick. With the 52nd Pick, I selected the 46nd Rated Player in ILB Bednardrick McKinney of Mississippi State. At 6-4, 246 lbs, this Junior has the hard nose for the football you look for in an ILB and runs the 40 in 4.66 seconds as well as having a vertical of 40.5 inches. Starting behind Suh and Brown he can become a taller version of Zach Thomas. McKinney has long arms and is very agile laterally but he did lift only 16 reps at the combine so he will need to beef up a bit. There are those who question his instincts in reacting well to the ball and stacking blockers prior to shedding them, but quite frankly, he may not have to shed too many blockers anyway. McKinney was an All-American LB in 2014 and finished his career with 244 tackles in 39 games.

Round 3 Pick 20 (from Phila.): Time for the secondary to get some help. There isn't a whole lot of quality players at the Safety position in this draft so I decided to overpay a bit here by selecting Derron Smith from Fresno State.  At 5-10, 200 lbs, he may not have the height but he certainly has the instincts to play in the NFL. He had 14 Interceptions heading into 2014. Smith possesses exceptional ball skills and can contort his body mid-air to come down with the ball. He has excellent leaping ability and great hands. I used the 84th pick on the 104th Rated player.

Round 4 Pick 15: Staying in the secondary, lets sure up the CB position with Steve Nelson out of Oregon State. Nelson is a tough kid who plays larger than his 5-10, 197 lbs frame. He uses his size and hands well to tie up WRs at the line when asked to. At the Senior Bowl, Nelson broke up 4 passes in one practice by consistently under cutting routes so he has the instincts too. He does get a bit grabby going down the field but could be a very good nickel for us. Nelson is the 109th Rated player I used the 111th pick on.

Round 5 Pick 13: How much do I like this kid? I picked him in almost all my drafts. For redzone and seam insurance at TE, welcome, once again, Tyler Kroft from Rutgers. At 6-5, 246 lbs, Kroft runs the 40 in 4.75 seconds and has played TE since High School. Why? He has incredible hands with deceptive speed. Kroft, a Junior, can play all over the LOS and can block adequately too. Combined with Jordan Cameron, he can give Bill Lazor two big receiving weapons in the Red Zone and a matchup nightmare. With the 141st pick, I selected the 132 Rated player.

Round 5 Pick 14: Staying on the Offense and the LOS as well, welcome the C/OG out of Georgia Tech, Shaquille Mason. At 6-2, 309 lbs, one might think that due to his lack of height, Mason couldn't handle the NFL. But this kid is a mauler in the run game and uses his lack of height to consistently gain leverage on DTs. At the Senior Bowl, Mason played Center but can slide to OG if needed. Could become a good interior swingman as a backup. He is the 173rd Ranked player, I used the 142nd pick on.

Round 6 Pick 15: I wasn't thrilled with who was still available. I was planning on using this pick to grab Matt Jones the RB out of Florida but the word got out on Jones so I accepted a trade from GB for the 20th Pick in Round 6 that they acquired from Phila. and GB's Pick 30 in the 7th Round.

Round 6 Pick 20 ( from Phila. via GB ): Still looking for a big RB to help out in short yardage and in the Red Zone, I selected Mississippi State RB Josh Robinson. At 5-8, 217 lbs, Robinson is considered a poor man's Ray Rice. The runner, not the wife beater. He is a short yardage specialist who runs low to the ground with good forward leverage. This Junior is nicknamed "Bowling Ball". Sound familiar?? Don Nottingham?? Robinson does need some work with his blocking and may not be a starter in the NFL but he could be another Lousaka Polite. Robinson is the 186th Rated player I used the 190th pick on.

Round 7 Pick 30: Tough break for this kid as he was only 2 picks away from a week in Southern California and a Parade in his honor. Oh well, back to the secondary and in the 7th Round, its best to look for a Special Teamer so that's why only 2 picks from Stardom, we added the tackling machine in SS Kyshoen Jarrett from Virginia Tech. At 5-10, 200 lbs, Jarrett is fast, explosive and physical. He runs the 40 in 4.57 and did 21 reps at 225 lbs. He totaled 88 tackles last year and 242 in 3 years as a starter. His skill set is more in tune with the nickel position but he can certainly earn a living as a very good gunner for us.

I will admit that this wasn't one of my better drafts as players didn't fall as I would have liked this time around. So we can blame Kiper and look forward to tomorrow's Schedule Release and see who we are playing each week as well as at what time.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, March 26, 2015

7 Round Mock Draft For Dolphins' 2015 Picks ( 7th Edition RED ZONE )

Since the Miami Dolphins have signed some new Free Agents and brought back a few of their own, our needs have changed quite a bit since I started doing these mock drafts a couple months ago. We still need help at WR, CB, OLB/ILB, FS and depth across the OL.

But in this edition I want to focus on drafting a few guys to help us in the Red Zone.  Last year, we wound up ranked 2nd in the NFL for Red Zone Possessions at 4.2 per game. New England ranked ahead of us at 4.3 per game.

So clearly, getting into the Red Zone last year has not been a problem. In 2013 we ranked 23rd at 2.9 possessions per game and in 2012 we ranked 28th at 2.4 possessions per game. That's wonderful progress in 2014.

However, scoring TDs once we get there could be better. The top dog last year was New England again at 2.7 TDs per game from the Red Zone.  We were 23% lower at 2.2 TDs per game from the Red Zone which placed us tied for 4th. Not bad but that extra TD every other game could've been a big difference in making the playoffs and what seed we could have.

Consider that in 2013 we were ranked 19th at only 1.6 Red Zone TDs per game and in 2012 we were ranked 25th at 1.3 Red Zone TDs per game.  We almost doubled our output in 2 years. Again, wonderful progress.

Lets see if we can get a few guys who can help us in the Red Zone offensively and were we may find them.

I am utilizing a Computer App which is making the picks for the 31 other teams in the draft. There are opportunities to offer and accept trades with other teams. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to list all the picks nor all the available players who were available when I picked for us.

The First Round leading up to our pick in this edition went as follows:
1) Bucs: Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
2) Vikings (trade with Tenn): Brandon Scherff OT Iowa
3) Jags: Leonard Williams DT USC
4) Raiders: Randy Gregory DE Nebraska
5) Redskins: Dante Fowler Jr. OLB Fla
6) Saints (trade with Dirtbag Jets): Shane Ray DE Missouri
7) Rams (trade with Chicago): Cameron Erving OT FSU
8) Texans (trade with Falcons): Danny Shelton DT Washington
9) Giants: Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
10) Bears (trade with Rams): Alvin Dupree DE Kentucky
11) Titans (trade with Vikings) La'el Collins OT LSU

Two Picks to sweat out for one of two players I like!!!

12) 49ers (trade with Browns) SHOCKER Jameis Winston QB FSU

Haha Jets!! One pick to sweat out, so we are getting at least one of the two guys I like.

13) Scumbag Jets (trade with Saints): Don't tell me the Saints may grab one now. NO! Trae Waynes CB Michigan State

Now we actually have a dilemma which would need to be solved by who we actually already have on the roster at WR.

Yes, as this particular draft has unfolded, I now can chose between 3 WRs.  Either 4th Rated Amari Cooper, 6th Rated Kevin White, or 13th Rated DeVante Parker. Now White and Parker are both 6-3 and Cooper is only 6-1. So lets clump White and Parker into one body and Cooper into the other.

Lets look at our current corps of WRs:
Jarvis Landry 5' 11" 202 lbs
Kenny Stills 6' 0" 194 lbs
Rishard Mathews 6' 0" 202 lbs
Matt Hazel 6' 1" 205 lbs
Tyler McDonald 6" 1" 192 lbs
Michael Preston 6" 5" 213 lbs

If Michael Preston is ready to play and contribute, he makes a pretty darn good Red Zone target along with TE Jordan Cameron 6' 5" 249 lbs.

So if Preston is a go, we can grab the higher rated athletic Cooper with his diminutive -2 inch stature but if Preston isn't ready to go then we need to grab either White or Parker for helping in the Red Zone.

First Round: Wow what a huge break to be able to grab the top dog at a position of need, the WR from Alabama, Amari Cooper!  Wow! The 4th rated player somehow falls to us. I know there are surprises in many NFL drafts and sometimes the needs of a team dictate their pick more than an available player's value. This is what happened in this draft as the Cooper, all 6'1", 211 lbs of him fell into our laps. Don't we deserve a break once in a while! And we took this break by skipping over Amari Cooper and taking 6' 3", 215 lbs, Kevin White out of West Virginia.  While both White and Parker have the size we will need in the Red Zone, White has a bigger frame and I think that will be an advantage as both players mature physically.  So, I am not counting on Michael Preston at this point.

Second Round: Time to handle the OLB issue with a pretty good one out of Virginia.  6'3", 247 lbs, Eli Harold fills the bill to fill a need in our LB corp. Harold is an early entry and a very athletic man similar to our DE Olivier Vernon.  Does anyone have a problems drafting another Vernon? I don't.
Harold is a high motor guy that played in a 3-4 defense so you may wonder why the hell am I grabbing this guy here. Because the LB depth isn't that great this year and the drop off is significant. He needs to add some bulk and I hope we didn't blow this pick because he needs work on pass coverage. I used the 47th pick on the 36th Rated Player.

Fourth Round: I accepted a trade from Pitt for their 4th Round #22 and a 5th Round #7 they acquired from Denver. There were quite a few decent CBs sitting there so I figured I could get one of them moving down 7 picks.  With the 118th pick I selected the 127th Rated Player, CB out of Ole Miss, Senquez Golson. At 5' 9", 176 lbs, Senquez can be overmatched by big receivers 1 on 1.  One would think. But what I like about him is his athleticism and production in the SEC which he led with 10 INTs, 18 passes defended, 43 tackles with 3 for a loss.  They say he throws his body around and get this, reminds people of Brent Grimes. Yeah baby!

Fifth Round (from Den via Pitt): With the first of our three 5th Round picks I knew I was headed back to the offense in this Round.  There were a few players I liked but there was one I really didn't want to miss out on. Even though we have a 6' 5", 249 lbs TE in Jordan Cameron, he is susceptible to concussions and even though the 6' 4", 240 lbs Dion Sims has played well last year, I like this next pick very much. He is 6' 5", 240 lbs and has a frame able to add a few more pounds. From Rutgers, just a few miles down the road from me, comes the 130th Rated Player with the 135th pick, Tyler Kroft. Unfortunately for Kroft, he played with some very inconsistent QB play last season so his numbers don't reflect the potential. Two season ago, he posted 573 yards on 43 receptions and 5 TDs which led the AAC. He can line up outside and has very good hands and quickness to get up the seam. He does need to work on his inline blocking but he is a Red Zone threat.

Fifth Round:  With the 13th and 14th Picks of this Round, I decided to start working on the OL depth.  I targeted two versatile guys with the next two consecutive picks. One can play either C or OG and the other either OT or OG.  With the 141st Pick I grabbed the 173rd Rated Player in Shaquille Mason from Georgia Tech to compete at OG/C. Mason at 6' 2", 310 lbs, is a stalky, powerfully built dude with a mean streak. He's extremely quick off the ball and has 40 starts under his belt.  Mason is a short mauler in a phone booth and great in the run game. His shorter arms handicap him slightly in the passing game but he can add some cheap depth and work on his technique in the passing game.

Fifth Round: With our 3rd Pick in the 5th, I added the second OL guy with Alabama's Austin Sheperd.  At 6' 5", 315 lbs, Sheperd is ideally suited for a Zone Blocking scheme.  He started 2 years at Bama at RT but he can easily move inside to play OG in a heartbeat. I like that he is a very hard worker and is very coachable so he could very easily find a home as a swing lineman making the game day roster as the 7th Lineman. Sheperd is the 154th Rated Player I took with the 142nd Pick.

Sixth Round: Back to the Red Zone. We have 4 RBs on the roster and we all know Lamar Miller at 224 lbs, Damien Williams at 221 lbs,Mike Gillislee at 216 lbs and LaMichael James at 195 lbs have had enough troubles trying to get 1 yard let alone fighting through some bigger DLs at the goal line.
I really want to find the biggest possible dude here as there were still about 5 draftable RBs available.
So welcome with our final selection of the 2015 Draft at Pick # 175, the 186th Rated Player, Matt Jones from Florida. Jones comes in at 6' 1", 231 lbs and he can still put on more pounds. He already runs hard and when he stays low he is a beast to bring down. Scouts see him as a back who can improve his blocking and move over to Full Back in the NFL. I see him as a guy we hand the ball to in order to push the pile and get those tough yards inside the 3 Yard Line and turn 3 points into 6.

That's my Red Zone Edition. Offensively we added 6' 3" Kevin White, 6' 5" Tyler Kroft and 6' 1" Matt Jones to bring some size down in the Red Zone and hopefully get us into the Playoffs by converting more TDs than FGs.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971