Sunday, February 11, 2018

Miami Dolphins 7 Round Mock Draft

Back again for the 3rd year, bringing you my 7 Round Mock Draft, I am still utilizing a computer app to make picks for the other 31 teams. This year, we currently have 8 picks, with none in the 5th round, but 2 in the 4th and 7th rounds.

I say currently, since we may wind up with another pick or two as compensatory picks for losing free agents vs signing free agents. Landry comes to mind, as he would be worth a late 3rd round compensatory pick if he walks.

As everyone knows by now, we are looking for 2 possible starters at OLB and OG. Plus depth at RB, DE, TE and OL. Our first pick must be a homerun. We cannot afford to wiff on this pick.

I see us taking one of these 3 players: Quentin Nelson, OG from Notre Dame who would be an immediate starter or Roquan Smith, LB out of Georgia, also an immediate starter or Tremaine Edmunds, LB out of Virginia Tech if he happens to fall if there is a 4 or 5 time QB run and Nelson, Smith and Barkley go as well.

Round 1, Pick 11: Odds are Roquan Smith, 6'1", 225 lbs, will be our guy here and would set up our second round pick as well. Smith, an elite athlete, would start immediately on the outside as he can run sideline to sideline and cover TEs, which has been a glaring sore spot this past season. Teamed with a returning healthy Raekwon McMillan, our LB Corps gets an immediate boost of youth and athleticism.

Round 2, Pick 10: Since we got the LB in the first round, we now address the LG spot and pick Will Hernandez, OG out of Texas-El Paso. This, I believe, will be our game plan since there is a much better chance for us to grab a starting OG in the second round than a starting LB in the second round. Unless someone falls, the drop off in depth of this year's draft is pretty severe at LB from the first round. Hernandez is tough as nails but lacks height, he is only 6'2", and length some teams would want so he can be had in the 2nd round. At 348 lbs, he started all 4 years at LG and possesses the power, balance and athletic ability but in a smaller package. He is reminiscent of Richie Incognito.

Round 3, Pick 9: I will admit that this is a bit of a reach here by grabbing Duke Ejiofor, DE out of Wake Forest. Many see him going in the 4th round, but at this point in the draft, he is highest on our board for a position of need. Ejiofor comes in at 6'4", 270 pounds and plays to his strengths by utilizing his arm length to keep tackles away from his body. He needs quite a bit of seasoning before he will start, but his frame is compelling enough to get reps at DT in passing situations.

Round 4, Pick 11:  Whether we resign Damien Williams or not, I like Royce Freeman, RB out of Oregon. Now how does the NCAA career leading rusher fall to the 4th round?? This is a very deep draft for running backs and there are plenty with talent and a lot less miles on their tires than this 4 year starter. At 6'0", 234 lbs, good vision and outstanding size, he would be an excellent relief runner for Drake. 

Round 4, Pick 30: Lets face it, Julius Thomas is a bust. Good bye and good riddens. He has got to get cut. With that said, we need to resign Fasano and then draft Mike Gesicki, TE out of Penn State. Even at 6'6", 252 lbs, he is very athletic and would be the seam route runner that Thomas was supposed to be. He could be a matchup nightmare but he is available here because he is not much of a in line blocker. That's why resigning Fasano is very important.

Round 6, Pick 9:  Our special teams are actually pretty good. We do very well in covering kicks as we are ranked in the top 10 of the league in return yards. However, Matt Haack was at the bottom of the league in net yards and had a few very bad punts. With that in mind, I like J.K. Scott, the Punter out of Alabama in this spot. As a 4 year starter, he has consistently performed well under pressure and can kick for distance, hang time and direction as needed with a big leg. He also has soft hands. His 25% inside the 10 and 51% inside the 20 are impressive stats. He also would be above average with his 4.55 hang time.

Round 7, Pick 5:  We have reached the point in the draft for special teamers or practice squad guys. Since our special teams are pretty good, lets grab a guy who could develop into a solid backup and eventual starter at Center, Austin Corbett, OT out of Nevada. Even though he has only played LT in college, Corbett would be better suited to move inside and learn the Center position while building some strength. Lest we forget, these college prospects are still kids in comparison to professional veterans who are in their physical peak at age 26-30. There is no shame in being a few years off and Pouncey shouldn't be around longer than that. At 6'4", 305 lbs, he has the potential to be a solid starter at Center.

Round 7, Pick 11: Here is our Rocky Balboa pick. Humboldt State has barely been heard of, let alone had a player drafted by an NFL team. Here is a kid with the size, 6'7", 305 lbs, plus the toughness and movement skills you look for on the OL. However, playing at Humboldt makes you wonder if he played against tough enough competition. Camp will surely tell if Alex Cappa can make the leap. He played OT and could earn a spot as a swing tackle or move inside. The practice squad or Uber may be in his future.

With my next mock draft, we will entertain trades and look to grab as many top 100 picks as possible.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dol-Fan since 12/25/1971

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Oh snap; ajayi comments on gase

Monday, February 05, 2018

Two more things

Thing one: with about 1,200 yards offense and nearly 75 points, I think we’re seeing college footballs up tempo offense reaching the nfl. I’m thinking teams are going to be more wide open next year. It’s exciting, but there will be some teams who won’t adjust quickly enough. The dolphins have to decide  if dunk and dunk and 20ish points is good enough.

And thing two: DJ nana!

That was an entertaining game

I have long since come to terms with the patriots being the it team.  They win super bowls. Doesn’t matter what I think about them, they are good and always seem to be there at the end.  So while I was kinda, sorta rooting for the eagles, I just wanted to see some decent football.

And that was an entertaining game.  The refs didn’t call much, and as it happens, that didn’t affect the outcome.  A couple of times, I thought they might try and influence the game, but they didn’t.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Brady drop a pass that probably would have been a game changer.

And Chris collinsworth suggested the 4th down play by the eagles where Foles caught it might be a game deciding play was spot on.  In effect it was.

In the end, Doug Pederson coached brilliantly.  He did everything right, and had no major meltdowns.   There was the sequence at the end where they stripped Brady and had just over 2 mins left. They ran the ball a couple of times, and it looked like it might be a mistake.  But he was playing a smart game; the clock was what mattered so he ran the ball and took 3 points to make it an 8 point game, leaving Brady very little time.

Nick Foles has a terrific game. He deserved the mvp; he becomes the 3rd backup qb in history to win a Super Bowl mvp.  His story was compelling too.  He was going to retire but Pederson went and met with him and suggested he come back to philly and be the backup.  It was a coach evaluating a player and understanding what this guy brings to the table and knowing you have to have a capable backup on your bench.  He believed that Foles was a capable player and actually told him he knew if Wentz got injured Foles could play.  Unlike the dolphins he had a plan for his team if the starter got injured.

He also integrated Blount, clements, and dolphins castoff Ajayi brilliantly.

It makes you wonder why he wasn’t in bigger demand as a coach...

Anyway, hubris may have been a factor for the pats.  They talked about how it was old hat for them.  They started a “not done”slogan.  And there was weirdness with their coaches and players, and they didn’t look like their usual composed selves.

Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for the team, or maybe not.  So long as Brady and bellichick are there, they are still a force to be reckoned with.

As for the ads, tide “cleaned up” imho.  Their campaign was funny.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Dave's SuperBowl take

First off, I have to give my props to the Patriots.  We may love to hate on them, but IMHO they will go down as the greatest franchise in NFL history, and will always be known as having had the greatest coach and greatest QB - ever.

However they did it, whether by cheating or having some secret sauce, no other team has ever accomplished more, or been more productive.  I think this is their 21st SuperBowl, isn't it?  And yes, I'm tired of hearing about them.  

This year, they aren't quite as good as years past.  The saying better lucky than good certainly applies.  But their fundamentals are really good, and that's why they win.

And in many games this year, especially in the playoffs, Bellichick essentially outcoached his opponent.  And I don't mean on the whole - I mean on the little things.  If you take the Jags game as an example, the Jags had a nice lead and we were heading into the half.

The Jags got the ball deep and I said to a friend that this would be the deciding drive; the Jags had to hold onto the ball, maybe score, and use the clock. They met part of that, but wound up giving the ball back to the Patriots with just over 2 minutes left on a dumb sequence that didn't let the clock run and the Patriots scored.  And then they took a knee to end the half.

Those kinds of moments decide games.

And so now they face the Eagles.  The one thing they do REALLY well are those fundamentals.  Deciding how to use the clock and when to punt are among the things that go into the decision making.  I thought this article summed it up well:

And that's because Doug Pederson gets it.  You may recall he was the starting QB (a 3rd stringer to boot!) when Shula got win #325 to have the all-time wins record.  He learned from Shula, Marino, Andy Reid, and many others.  I've met him and thought he was a pretty smart and savvy guy.

And the thing is that he spent several seasons as the “quality control” person with the Eagles.  That role is more or less of a data analyst.  He watched a lot of game film and charted success and failure. I have to imagine that helped him to form some opinions of when to go for it, when to use timeouts, and understanding some of the same kinds of things that Bellichick does.....and that has mostly paid off, and I have to imagine he has some ideas of what could work in certain situations.   And may rival Bellichick in that critical moment in a game.

So my thought is that he'll manage to pull it out - just because of this.  He has what probably is a slightly more talented team, and so long as he doesn't have a brain fart the Eagles will win.

Photo from

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A generation gap? Or lack of interest?

My sons high school marching band participated in the Dan Marino walk about autism (a great event; you can donate here>

They were told they were going to get a special surprise today. It was....a visit by dan Marino!  He stopped by to say hi and take pictures.

Only problem was that many of the kids didn’t know who Marino was. Some thought he was a contestant on one of the singing shows. Others asked who the old guy was and why he was taking pictures. Keep in mind they were at joe Robbie stadium.

It’s amusing on the surface, but realizing he retired before many of these kids were born - and the dolphins are largely forgotten these days - it’s not totally surprising.

As I’ve said before, the dolphins need to capture the hearts of this generation. But they aren’’s weird.... But to be fair, it is much harder to get them to engage in much these days. And attitudes towards sports are changing. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A few comments and observations about the championships

Ahhh the patriots. Was there every really a doubt they would win? The only question was whether they win it honestly or win it with a minor assist from the refs (I’d argue the series before the half the two big penalties was somewhat of a turning point)...after all,  their win was a given. But props to the jags for putting up a fight.

And would you look at that? Blake Bortles has himself another good game. To the doubters. Phhhhhbbbbt.

I was wondering when I saw all the confetti at the end...what would they have done with it if the pats lost?

And, What’s up with all the horn blasts? Is there that much ship traffic entering the famous foxboro harbor?

I was torn about the second game. Both backup qbs. With the win, the Vikings would be playing at home, which has never happened. But the eagles have Doug Pedersen, a former dolphin and a guy who maybe shoulda been their coach, though he was never seriously considered....

It’s kinda sorta hard to believe that the eagles totally blew out the Vikings. But the eagles did have the best record, so there’s that.  It was no fluke, in spite of changing qbs.

The eagles go into the Super Bowl with Jay Ajayi.  It’d be amusing if he someohow won the mvp, or had a monster game wouldn’t it?

Of course, you also have Chris Long making his second straight appearance; this time against the patriots.  You may recall that he was taken second overall when the dolphins got Jake long, so there’s that.

And what’s not to love about Blount facing his former team?

And as for the backup qb who won, you can simply insert an obligatory comment about how much better he is than tannehill. Because my computer automatically inserts a negative tannehill comments on every post.  That’s just the way it goes.

Predictions: As far as the pats go, I have no doubt at all they’ll win it all again.

...Brady surely still has some years left in him. So the dolphins still have to wait for a chance to be relevant.  Yes the dolphins can still confound Brady in Miami. But they ain’t winning anything playoff-wise until he retires. But this isn’t just about Miami.  Realistically, no one is doing anything until he hangs up his cleats ....Maybe by then, there’ll be a new owner in Miami, and he (or she) will get things right.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

in case you missed it - Heisman edition

yes. that is the heisman winner sending a message to kenny stills about his desire to play in miami. which mans that....he ain’t coming to miami.