Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Analyzing Dolphins Draft Pick by Pick: Part 2

With Jeff Ireland improving the defense, both pass rush and defending the pass, the Dolphins went into day three (rounds 4-7) with the mindset of adding depth, and that is exactly what the Dolphins did. With that said, lets look at what the Dolphins did with the other half of their draft. 

Jelani Jenkins OLB Florida 6'0" 243lbs

Jenkins in the fourth round was about where he was projected to go. Jenkins was one of the key leaders in that Florida Gators defense his senior year! Jelani coming out of high school was a highly sought-after 5 star recruit, bit did not live fully up to expectations in college. Jenkins has great range for a LB and can run side line to sideline to make plays. He is a very fast and quick athlete for a LB. His downfall is that is a not a strong and tall as you would want a starter in the NFL to be. Jenkins future in the NFL is a Special Teams ace and a solid backup when needed. With his good speed, he should excel quickly on Special Teams for Coach Darren Rizzi and possibly earn some playing time on 3rd down obvious passing situations. Overall, Jenkins adds depth to an already good LB core. The better quality depth you have, the better team you are.

Dion Sims TE Michigan St. 6'5" 262 lbs

With questions at the TE position this offseason (the signing of Dustin Keller, maturation process of Egnew and Clay), the pick of Dion Sims makes a lot of sense. Dion Sims is one of the best blockers in the NFL Draft, and with TE Dan Campbell, he should only improve. Being as big as he his, he will also make a great target and safety net for Ryan Tannehill, even though he is not the most athletic TE in the NFL. Coming out of high school, he was a highly recruited basketball, and with TE's in the NFL playing basketball before, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham, and Antonio Gates, he is in good company. With the combination of Sims being a good blocker and being a big target with soft hands, Sims should see some playing time early on in his career. 

Mike Gillislee RB Florida 5'11" 208lbs  

Starting his career at Florida, his first three years there he stuck behind Tim Tebow, Chris Rainey, and Jeff Demps, which limited his initial productivity. Starting his senior year, he finally got his chance to start and took advantage of it, amassing nearly 1,200 yds and 10 TD's. He is a very versatile back, who can carry the ball, catch the ball out of the backfield, and pass protect, which the Dolphins had trouble doing at the RB position last year. Gillislee has very good vision for a RB, and that is key when you run a zone blocking scheme. He locates the hole very well and hits it very had. He also has the ability to make the cutback when holes close up. Overall, Gillislee should add depth and competition to this already full backfield, which should only make thing better

Caleb Sturgis K Florida 5'10" 188 lbs

With Dan Carpenter missing filed goals to win games twice in a row last year (Jets and Cardinals), apparently the Dolphins thought it was a good time to bring in solid competition for his job, and in many people's minds, they are right in doing so. Caleb is the best K in this draft and the Dolphins pulled the trigger on him in the 5th round. Many are expecting him to beat Carpenter out for the job, while saving $3 million in cap space in the process. Sturgis was a very accurate K at the University of Florida, so do not expect that to change in the NFL. The only question for him is his kickoffs. They were not as long as you would like, but with added strength that comes with an NFL offseason, that should help with that problem. 

Don Jones CB/S Arkansas St. 5'11 191lbs

With Don Jones going to a smaller school in Arkansas St., there will be questions about whether he can play against real NFL competition, but one thing you cannot argue is his athleticism. Running 4.40 in the 40 yd dash, and jumping 42 inches in his vertical jump, there is no denying he has NFL athleticism. Jones, played both FS and CB at Arkansas St., which makes him very versatile, which Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin like very much. When arriving at Arkansas St., he was a RB, but converted to S/CB his last two years, making him very raw at his position. Look for Jones to be slot WR cover corner and key Special Teams contributor for the Miami Dolphins. 

The overall theme of this draft was adding speed and athleticism, and the Dolphins certainly got a lot of it. With the Dolphins going heavily offensive in Free Agency, Jeff Ireland stuck to what he is good at, drafting defense. Building a solid secondary behind an improving pass rush will make the Dolphins Defense a nightmare to prepare for. And with Ryan Tannehill only getting better and adding him more weapons through the draft now in Dion Sims and Mike Gillislee, the Dolphins Offense looks to be much improved as well! The  third day (rounds 4-7), added depth and Special Teams contributors, which is important. Overall, the Dolphins, in my opinion, had a good draft, not a great one, filling needs and adding speed and athleticism that they were in desperate need of in 2012. This coming season is looking very promising for the Dolphins, but do not look for this rookie draft class to knock you off your feet. They should be solid contributors, with 2-3 starters (Jamar Taylor, Caleb Strugis, and maybe Dion Jordan). This is a very exciting time in Miami Dolphins football, and many are looking forward to the product they put on the field this season! 

G.G.G.

Look for my next article as I analyze each position of the whole team, starting with the offense.

Have questions or suggestions? Email me at sethAfisher07@gmail.com or tweet at me @PhinsBlogger13 


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