Saturday, May 10, 2014

Miami Dolphins Draft Picks Rounds 1-3

Ja’Wuan James  -   My first impulse on this selection was bit of reach, a plug and play need pick. However, after I looked more into him I see he was four year starter against top level college teams. He has the physical size and athletic movement to play tackle in the NFL.  I watched his interview and he comes off as a smart, humble, and hard working kid.  As I looked over the Dolphin options I have come around  to think this was a good choice considering their need at tackle.  Let’s review the Dolphins options

1.)    Trade up for the 3 tackles clearly ranked higher than James who were all gone long before Miami picked.  Using Buffalo’s trade as a bar it would have cost a lot to get up there. I don’t like giving up first round picks in the new era of rookie contracts and salary cap. Not only are 1st round picks loaded with talent they are cap friendly so you can address other areas.  If I was Hickey I would not pay a huge price to move up in deep draft like this.

2.)    Trade up for Zack Martin. – I am sure Martin is a solid lineman and he would have upgraded the Dolphins. However, the fact is he has short arms.  At the NFL level you have people like Cam Wake that are crazy fast off the ball and short arms are a liability at the tackle position. It is my opinion Martin will be a good guard in the NFL, I just don’t think he has the frame to be a tackle.  Miami needed to lock down the tackle spot first, there just are not as many guys with the physical frame and quickness to do it. I don’t think I would have given up picks to move up to get a guard.

3.)    Take a different tackle. Kouandijo is monster but an arthritic knee is no joke. This is not like a shoulder injury or broken leg etc. It is a chronic condition and there is a strong possibility he will get more limited in time.  No way would I put my 1st round pick on that kind of risk.  Morgan Moses? Lazor would have been beating the table for him if he was a stud. He fell down a ways which tells me scouts had reservations on him.

4.)    Trade down then draft James later – I personally think Miami could have pulled this off but if you look at the teams after them there was some risk they would take James.  As covered in 3 there really was not another suitable tackle that you feel like you could start on opening day.  If Miami had some fall back options in case James was drafted I could see taking the risk but let’s face it, Miami could not afford to roll dice and not get a tackle. If they missed James that means they had to reach further or get a free agent.  I am tired of the Clabo’s and Columbos.  Don’t screw around and get your starter. That is what they did.

Jarvis Landry – This guy is bad ass when it comes to fighting for the ball. Look at his highlights. He has elite body control and hands. He is not however very fast. Think Cris Carter type of WR. (No I am saying he is  Cris Carter just saying he is that type of WR)   I don’t see him being able to step in for Wallace or Hartline on the outside. He does look like and ideal fit for the slot.  Miami does not have a full back or 2nd tight right now. They are going to be running the 3 WR set again as their base offense. Gibson’s health is going to be unknown going into camp.  They had to have a tough reliable guy that would be able to play the slot as a rookie. Landry gives us a safety net in case Gibson can’t go. Miami wisely traded down based on the WR depth in the draft and added some picks before grabbing Landry.  I like the pick but I will say though it would have been very very hard for me to not grab Carlos Hyde at that spot in the draft.

Billy Turner - Something spooked the Dolphins because they jumped up to get him. I watched some highlights of him and listened to his interview. This kid has a major nasty streak and is very athletic. I think very good chance he will start at guard. What I also like is he capable of playing tackle.  We will have to see if Miami should have went pure guard vs Turner but I like his attitude.

Summary – The change is apparent in the new management of Phillbin and Hickey.  Ireland was big on talent measures  like 40 times and was always looking to develop those players.  He had a tendency to accept injured players base on their talent. Dion Jordon, Jamar Taylor, and Lamar Miller were all players that really needed a year to get healthy.  These three picks this year all appear like players meant to come and play NOW. Not players to develop and play in a year or two.
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Could've had Hyde instead of Landry and still moved up to grab Turner but wouldn't have the extra 5th rounder that we got from the 49ers who wound up grabbing Hyde in our spot. My jury is still out until I see who we get with that 5th round pick or if we wind up using it to move up in 4th round.

I thought we could still get Towson St RB Terrance West in the 4th but he disappeared in the 3rd so there really isn't any running backs left who have size with quick feet. That type of back would have been good for short yardage or running out the clock.

Amazing in this draft how the top running backs fell and then, because there was a run in the late second round, West gets picked in the early 3rd as he was the last best option for a big and quick back.

Value in the draft is not immune to supply and demand economics. Need increases a players value as the supply depletes.

So grabbing James in first had to be done so we could solve the RT issue. I have no problem there.

Landry in second bothers me for now until I see how we utilize the extra pick in the 5th. I am not sure Landry is going to work out. At LSU, Odell Beckham drew the best corner. Landry faced the #2 corner so getting 77 receptions and 10 TDs against the competitions' #2 corner doesn't necessarily justify a 2nd round selection as Landry is going to face corners and nickels in the NFL who were their college team's #1 corners. This pick may be another 2nd round waste in Dolphins lore. I doubt very much it turns into a steal. Tough or not, can he actually get open against man coverage in the NFL. He may only be able to beat a zone defense.

Before we took Turner, I was thinking a lot about Gabe Jackson at guard. He may be too big and not as athletic as Philbin would've liked in a zone blocking scheme but he was a solid 3rd round pick. I see were Philbin and Hickey are headed with Turner. He will compete for a guard position but I think he will sit this year.

I have no problem with building depth in rounds 3 through 7. Can you pick a starter in the mid to late rounds. Of course you can but it is not common. Most of the players selected on Saturday won't break their starting lineups their rookie year unless its on special teams.

Keep in mind that all these players in the draft are only 20-22 years old and their bodies still haven't matured yet. They will get bigger and stronger and unless they were studs picked early they usually need to put on more muscle and refine their technique to be able to compete against veterans who know the tricks of their trade and have the muscle to back it up.

This is why I see Turner sitting for a year or two. The talent level and strength of the DTs in the pros are leaps and bounds above the talent level and strength Turner faced at North Dakota State.

Can he surprise me? Yes, because the guards he will be competing against in camp aren't all that great anyway. If he is as nasty as thought to be and if he can handle Starks and Odrick in camp then he will be able to start. But if he needs some seasoning and muscle growth then I have no problem with that.


Funny you should mention Carlos Hyde. We could've had him instead of Landry and I think he would've brought a lot more to the team. Even with Moreno I think our backs are somewhat suspect and Hyde would've changed that. There are plenty of other receivers we could've gotten later. So I view that pick as a mistake. When we see what Hyde does in the NFL I think we are going to regret this one.


I disagree. First, the past few seasons have demonstrated that good RBs can be found in the lower rounds or even as UDFAs. Second, with Hartline, Gibson and Binns all coming off injuries, the 'Fins WR corps at the moment is far less healthy than the RBs and thus more likely to be a greater need.