Sunday, May 05, 2013

Analyzing Dolphins Draft Pick by Pick: Part 1

With the Dolphins Draft finally done and with some time to gain some perspective on the Dolphins picks, it is a good time to analyze each pick individually AND as whole. With that being said, lets begin!

Dion Jordan DE/LB Oregon 6'6" 246lbs. 

Before the draft started, Dion Jordan was number one on the Dolphins draft board. There was no denying that fact when on day one of the NFL Draft, the Dolphins traded to the 3rd overall selection to select this freakish athlete. Jordan was one of the most coveted defenders in the draft this year, none the less pass rushers. Dion is a freak of an athlete, running a 4.60 40 yard dash at 6'6" 246lbs and jumping 32.5 inches in the vertical! With that being said, many people are comparing him to the Miami Dolphin's greatest pass rusher ever, Jason Taylor. Both are 6'6" and 245 to 255 lbs. Both have long arms and are explosive off the edge. Dion Jordan can provide that much needed pressure from the other side of Pro Bowler Cameron Wake. Now you might be asking yourself, isn't number three overall in the NFL Draft a little high for a guy who just rushes the passer and has a shoulder injury that might not let him be available until training camp? Well, first, saying Dion Jordan is just a guy who rushes the passer is very inaccurate and wrong. Dion is one of, if not the most, versatile Defenders in the NFL Draft this year. At Oregon, Jordan was asked to not only rush the passer, but also cover TE's and slot WR's, and he did a pretty dang good job of it too. Another question that arises is if he is selected 3rd overall to be an elite pass rusher, why did he only produce 5.5 sacks last year? As said before, Dion Jordan was asked to do to multiple things at Oregon, many of which did not involve rushing the passer. He dropped back in coverage a lot, which led to lesser opportunities Dto produce sacks. Overall, Dion Jordan has tremendous talent and could become elite in this league. Mike Mayock said this about Dion, ""This young man, I think he's got the potential to be the player that I compare him to, which is Jason Taylor, who ironically played for the Miami Dolphins. I also think he looks like an Aldon Smith, and if he puts on 20 pounds on that 6-foot-7 frame, one day he might be as good as a DeMarcus Ware." That is quite a comparison. IF Dion turned out to be any of those guys, the Dolphins will have a formidable pass rush for years to come! With the NFL becoming more and more of a passing league, rushing the passer and guarding WR's are becoming ever more important. TE's are also becoming more and more involved in the passing game with guys like Rob Gronkowski, and Jimmy Graham being elite at their positions. Dion Jordan has the potential to be an elite pass rusher and capability to guard big TE's like Gronkowski and Graham, who the Dolphins both play this year. 

Jamar Taylor CB Boise State 5'11" 192 lbs

With the 54th overall selection, the Dolphins selected Jamar Taylor. This is a great pick because the talented Taylor, infuses youth and athleticism into a older secondary (Richard Marshall 28 Dimitri Patterson 29 Brent Grimes 30) with some injury problems (Marshall with a back and Grimes with a Achilles). Taylor is a very physical CB that plays really well in press and bail coverage. He also has the ability make plays on the football in a congested area and is not afraid to stick his nose in the run game and set the edge. With a physical CB like Taylor, he provides a CB who can press a WR on the goal and prevent jump ball passes with his 35 in. vertical. Look for him to be the nickle CB this season but contend for a starting position this year in training camp. Also look for him to have an immediate impact guarding boundary WR's with his good straight-line speed (4.39 40 yd. dash) and physical demeanor at the line of scrimmage. Jamar Taylor shohiuld add youth and depth to a secondary that was in need of some athleticism. 

Dallas Thomas LT/LG Tennessee 6'5" 300lbs. 

Dallas Thomas was the Dolphins first of two 3rd round picks and first offensive player the Dolphins chose in the 2013 NFL Draft. At Tennessee, Dallas Thomas played LT his sophomore and junior and then moved inside to LG his senior year. So he has the versatility to play multiple positions on the OL, but early reports are the Dolphins want him on the left side, presumably as the back up LT this year and eventually taking over for Richie Incognito at LG in later years. Dallas Thomas  can sit down and anchor his blocks and plays with great bend in his knees and is really agile, which means he is more than capable of getting to second level blocks and being a good pulling guard which the Dolphins were in desperate need of last year with their zone blocking scheme. With his versatility, he will be a much needed upgrade in depth for the OL this year and a probable starter in years to come. This is a very good value pick for the Dolphins and could pay dividends this year, but most likely in future years being a starter on the OL.

Will Davis CB Utah St. 5'11" 186lbs

With the Dolphins trading their second 3rd rounder for two 4th rounders, it looked like the Dolphins were done in the 3rd round after Dallas Thomas, but the Dolphins traded back up into the 3rd to select Will Davis. Davis is a physical CB with great ball skills to make a play on the ball. Although he is not a blazing fast CB (4.51 40 yd dash), he has very quick feet and great change of direction, which means he is good at covering WR's in and out of their routes. He is a gambler who will make plays on the ball, but can also be burned because of his over aggressiveness sometimes. With his decent speed and great change of direction, he sounds like a great candidate to be the slot WR cover corner, which is needed position in the NFL now. He is also likely to be a key special teams contributor if he looks to get on the the field immediately

After the first  two days of the NFL draft, the Dolphins added to three positions of need on the team, but most notably decided to ignore OT, TE. What this said  was that 1) the Dolphins have faith in Jonathan Martin to be the LT and blindside protector of Franchise QB Ryan Tannehill, and 2) They either have confidence in Dustin Keller to do the job, or they liked a TE in later rounds they thought can provide help (which we know they did in Dion Sims). Overall, the Dolphins addressed needs, mainly on the defense, and added athleticism and youth to a already young team. The future looks bright in sunny South Beach, and if the Dolphins keep it up, could be very explosive for years to come!


Look for my next article as I finish part 2 of this article!

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