Monday, April 08, 2013

Commentary: Offense or Defense for Draft? You Decide...

From April 25-27, 2013, the Miami Dolphins have some tough choices to make. They currently have the 12, 42, 54, 77, 82, 111, 146, 166, 217, 224, and 250 overall picks (11 overall for right now). The most important picks being 12 (first round), 42 and 54 (second round). Now the question is, what direction should the Miami Dolphins go? Should they go defensively, considering that they went heavy on the offensive side of the ball (Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller, Brandon Gibson, and Lance Louis) during Free Agency this year, or do they go offensively continuing that trend of this 2013 off-season? Well obviously these decisions are up to Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin, and Company, but here are a couple directions they could possibly go in the first two rounds:

Offensively (mainly):

Pick #12: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, 6'6" 251lbs

Tyler Eifert would be a definite upgrade in TE from previous years. His catching radius is fantastic(33 1/8 in arms and 9 1/8 in hands), athletic enough to jump over CB's and S (35.5 in vertical) powerful enough to run would-be tacklers over (22 reps in bench press), and fast enough to run by LB's (4.68 40 yd dash)! He has great hands and can make the difficult catch in traffic ( He is also a good route runner who can get open against one-on-one man coverage. Now it has been said that is not the best blocker, but Eifert is capable of learning and getting better at it. TE's coming into the NFL usually have a transition in learning blocking, and Eifert has all the physical tools to do it- he just needs good coaching (which Dan Campbell can give him, considering he was a great blocking TE during his NFL days). Overall, Tyler Eifert would be a good, explosive option here at #12 and would immediately give Ryan Tannehill another viable option in the already improved pass game!

Pick #32 (trade pick #77 and #146): S John Cyprien, Florida International, 6'0" 217lbs

Now you may be asking yourself, "Why would the Dolphins draft a safety after signing Chris Clemons and already having a (some what) proven Reshad Jones?" Easy, the more playmakers on defense, the better! In today's NFL, you need playmakers on both sides of the ball. Now that the Dolphins have Offensive playmakers (Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller, Lamar Miller, Brian Hartline) it is time for the defense to catch up. Last year, the only real defensive playmakers the Dolphins had to work with was Cameron Wake and Reshad Jones. With Cyprien being a local kid, the Dolphins have the most inside information about him, and with him being a playmaker in college, he is a very good fit in a Kevin Coyle defense. puts it best when they said, "Cyprien offers enough range to be reliable in box coverage while displaying an aggressive mentality against ball carriers and receivers. He plays smart, and that might be the most important trait when looking at safeties." Here is a video of him at the Senior Bowl (

Pick #54: OT Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6'5" 306lb

Terron Armstead is a super athletic OT from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and from everything that is coming out of the Dolphins camp, they really like him. He really impressed at the NFL Combine running a 4.71 40 yd dash, jumping 34.5 in in the vertical, and getting 112 in in the broad jump. He is very light on his feet in pass protection and very agile and moves well in space. His weaknesses would be that he is not as strong as he needs to be to be a starting LT in the NFL, and also, even though he gets to the second level, he struggles to locate his next block. Both of these issues can definitely be worked on with good coaching, Tim Turner being a good OL coach, and NFL strength and conditioning program. Armstead is being compared to Duane Brown from the Houston Texans, and if he can play up to that level, the Dolphins will be set at both Tackle positions for years to come! Here is a video of him at the senior bowl (

Suggestions for Rounds 3-7: OG, CB, DE, and RB?


Pick #12: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, 6'1" 210lbs

Xavier Rhodes is a great blend of size,speed (4.43 40 yd dash), and explosiveness (40.5 in vertical and 132 in Broad Jump). He is the prototypical Jeff Ireland CB and would fit in great with Kevin Coyle's defense. He is fast and big enough to play man to man coverage against the big WR's in the NFL and he is explosive enough to drive on balls in zone coverage. Many say he is a strict man-to-man corner, but he has more than enough athletic ability and would have the perfect defensive coordinator to teach him how to be a great zone corner. Overall, this upgrades the secondary and gives the Dolphins a possible future stud in the secondary to go along with Reshad Jones.

Pick #32 (trade pick #77 and #146): S John Cyprien, Florida International, 6'0" 217lbs

See Above

Pick #54: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, 6'4" 250lbs

Damontre Moore would be a great pairing with Cameron Wake. With Moore and Wake (both similar size), opposite of each other, along with the already developing Olivier Vernon, the Dolphins could have a lethal pass rush in the coming years. Moore is an explosive and versatile pass rusher with room to add even more muscle to his frame. He anticipates the snap very well getting a good jump on Tackles, and then slants inside get to the QB. His weaknesses are that he is still not as strong as he could be, he is not very good at holding the POA (point of attack) on runs to his side, and is very inconsistent getting to the QB off the edge (rather than slanting inside). With the kind of athlete Moore is, and with one of the best DL coaches, Kacy Rodgers, in the NFL, it should be no problem being able to develop him and Vernon into two pass rushing studs! 

Suggestions for Rounds 3-7: OG, CB, DE, and RB?

So with both possibilities laid out, which one would you choose? Either way would improve the team, making it move explosive on the offensive side of the ball or defensive side. Which ever you prefer, these two sides add playmakers to the team, and that should be the key in this 2013 NFL Draft for Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin. and the Miami Dolphins!

Be looking for my next article where I discuss possible trade partners for the Dolphins draft... See you NEXT time guys!
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Eifert is absolutely the right choice at #12. He can be a dual threat -- explosive receiver & effective trench player. He's a better blocker than usually given credit for. No other player available at that spot can provide that sort of impact! There is a reason his initials are TE.