Friday, March 31, 2017

Dion Jordan

Sad but true.

That's what my Dad would say when you hope against all odds that the inevitable ending would somehow turn out different.

Yes it is sad but true.

Sad we had Jeff Ireland making picks.

Sad we over evaluated Dion Jordan.

Sad he never panned out.

Sad we burned an additional draft pick trading up to get him.

Sad the talent never caught up to the promise.

Sad. Just plain sad.

And that's all I got to say about that.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

7 Round Miami Dolphins Mock Draft with Trades 2nd Edition

With my last mock draft, I didn't accept any trade offers and drafted straight up. I wound up selecting Forest Lamp in the first round and unfortunately the way the chips fell, I didn't pick a DE until the 5th round. We are primarily looking for help at OG, DE, OLB and CB with possible help at FS, SS, DT and TE

This draft will include trades as I feel we would be better served to trade down and grab a couple extra picks. I will be utilizing an app to make all the other teams picks and trade offers. Lets see how this shakes out.

Round 1 Pick 22:
The following players are still available at 22: DE/OLB Charles Harris, TE Dave Njoku, OG Forest Lamp, CB Gareon Conley, SS Jamal Adams, DT/DE Malik McDowell, CB Quincy Wilson, OLB/DE Takkarist McKinley, OLB/DE Tim Williams, CB TreDavious White and OLB/ILB Zach Cunningham

I am offered the following two trades:
For our Round 1 # 22 Green Bay offers Round 1 # 29 and Round 2 # 29 (61)
For our Round 1 # 22 and Round 2 # 22 (54)  New Orleans offers their Round 1 # 32, Round 2 # 10 (42), Round 3 # 12 (76) and Round 3 # 39 (103)

Part of me says take Green Bay and see what else hits for # 29 but I like the deal New Orleans offers and I take it.

Still available are Njoku, Lamp, McKinley, White and Cunningham

Round 1 Pick 32:
I receive 5 trade offers as well but with our first pick I take our good old buddy, the OG out of Western Kentucky, Forest Lamp, knowing I have another pick in 10 spots and can help the defense there.

Round 2 Pick 10 (42):
Our next pick has been falling into the 2nd round of a lot of mock drafts of late and, sure enough, there he be. I grab the OLB/ILB out of Vanderbilt, Zach Cunningham. At 6'3", 234 LBS, Cunningham brings a wealth of experience having started since the end of his freshman year. He is very athletic and plays with a downhill tilt. Always looking to draw first blood, Cunningham would be perfect for blitzing and as a 3 down run and chase OLB.

Round 3 Pick 12 (76):
Quite a few good players left in CBs Cameron Sutton and Sidney Jones, DE Trey Hendrickson, FS Marcus Maye, SSs Josh Jones and Justin Evans, Cs Pat Elfein and Tyler Orlosky, TEs Adam Shaheen, Bucky Hodges, Gerald Everett and Jake Butt. I could have accepted any one of 4 trade offers but the earliest pick offer would have been 15 spots down and I didn't want to lose a chance to grab another decent pick. If we could wait a year and gamble that our pick can come back from injury, I would grab Sidney Jones, who tore his Achilles tendon at his pro day. I instead will go with the highest rated player still available. Sorry but I am skipping on Hendrickson because he is more of a right side DE and will never have the quickness replace Wake on the left side. For this reason I am grabbing as insurance for our OL, the highest rated remaining player in the Center out of Ohio State, Pat Elflein. This guy can just flat out play at Center or Guard if needed and frankly who knows how long before Pouncey goes down again. Lets secure our running game and pass protection and lock down the OL for the next 3-4 years.

Round 3 Pick 33 (97):
Well, luck is a lady and shining down on the Dolphins as DE Trey Hendrickson fell 21 picks. Didn't need to wait or consider any trades. I immediately put in his name. He is 6'4", 266 LBS who runs a 4.65 40. We won't ask him to run that far. Hendrickson is a hard working, 2 time All-Confernece USA First Team selection. He has some developing to do but could spell Branch on the right side.

Round 3 Pick 39 (103):
Now I am looking for guys who fell and can help us as much as possible. No trade offers so I grab a run stuffer from Alabama, DT Dalvin Tomlinson. At 6'3", 310 LBS, he is built in the mold of most Alabama DTs, ready and willing to stuff the run and also stay on the field for passing downs. Now get this about Tomlinson: 3 time high school heavyweight state wrestling champ AND played goalie on the varsity soccer team. He is big, strong and athletic. Should've gone sooner but we grab him here.

Round 5 Pick 22 (166):
Lets add some depth at the CB position and welcome Shaquill Griffin out of Central Florida. At 6'0", 194 LBS, he offers good size with a 4.39 time in the 40. He has very good ball skills but will need attention to detail on his technique. You can teach technique but you cannot teach size and speed.

Round 5 Pick 34 (178):
KC offers me their Round 5 Pick 36 and their Round 6 Pick 36. There is no one here I am in love with so I accept.

Round 5 Pick 36 (180): 
There are a couple decent wide receivers starring at me but I grab a good back up ILB in Ben Gedeon out of Michigan. Nothing flashy at 6'2", 244 LBS, runs the 40 in 4.75 and benches 27 reps. He will play special teams and fill in as needed at ILB. He will never be a full time starter since he lacks short area quickness and speed to cover TE or RB but he will get you through a game if need be.

Round 5 Pick 40 (184):
We got some trade offers but I like this kid in the last draft and may have reached a bit here but there really wasn't much more that I liked so I grabbed the SS out of Clemson in Jadar Johnson. Size, speed, ball skills, all there. Run support, not there. So we keep in out of the box and he plays in passing situations or we move him to FS and special teams.

Round 6 Pick 34 (218):
I like the TEs we got but one could always use a Matchup Nightmare so with no trade offers I grabbed Darrell Daniels out of Washington. At 6'3", 247 LBS, he is a converted WR who runs a 4.55 40 and has 34.5" arm length with 10.5" hands. He catches everything thrown his way but he won't give you much in the way of inline blocking. With his speed and catching ability he could cause havoc running up the seam for opposing defenses.

Round 7 Pick 5 (223):
Of course in the 7th round, its special teamer time so here comes another kid whose ceiling is low for a starter but can possibly make the team on special teams. Welcome FS out of Oklahoma State, Jordan Sterns. Nothing special at 5'11", 196 LBS. He has adequate size and average speed but he does have a knack for making plays and that certainly counts for something. He is also a good character guy who you would want in the locker room and on the sideline. The type of guy who knows his place and won't cause any problems

So we wind up with 10 picks and look at our first 3 rounds with me trading back. We wind up with OG Forest Lamp, OLB Zach Cunningham, C Pat Elflein, DE Trey Hendrickson and DT Dalvin Tomlinson.  Not a bad start to building depth and filling a couple big holes. I feel very good about this draft.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

7 Round Miami Dolphins Mock Draft 1st Edition

The purpose of this mock draft is to get a feel for whom may be available when we pick. I am utilizing a computer app to draft for the other teams. I will not utilize any trades in this edition.

We should be looking to draft a OLB, DE, OG, CB and possibly an ILB, FS, TE and QB. The first four positions are a priority to address, however sometimes the best player available will prevail over a glaring need.

As of today, we have the following 7 picks:
Round 1 Pick 22
Round 2 Pick 22
Round 3 Pick 33 (compensatory)
Round 5 Pick 22
Round 5 Pick 34 (compensatory)
Round 5 Pick 40 (compensatory)
Round 7 Pick 5

Round 1 Pick 22: We have 4 trade opportunities but as mentioned above, this edition will be straight up. The following players are still available DE/OLB Carl Lawson, DE/OLB Charles Harris, TE David Njoko, OG/OT Forrest Lamp, CB Gareon Conley, DT/DE Malik McDowell, DE/OLB Taco Charlton, OLB/DE Takkarist McKinley, CBs Teez Tabor and TreDavious White.  This draft is very deep in DE and CBs so I will pass on any of them with this first pick.  That leaves OLB and OG as our best bet and still get a good DE and CB later.  Charlton and McKinley would be better served on the edge or a 3-4 OLB not a 4-3 OLB. I like Charlton a lot to play on the edge and if I was accepting trades, I would move back 4-5 picks still possibly get him as well as pick up an additional Second Round pick. OGs are deeper in the second and third rounds with only Lamp showing 1st Round potential.
I could still grab a good CB in the Third Round so I won't draft one here. Since I am not accepting a trade, this pick has to produce a starter and of all the guys mentioned above, my pick can and will start immediately and also has some flexibility as to positioning. He doesn't grade out as high as most of the above but he can play 2 different positions.  The safe pick for an immediate starter is Forrest Lamp out of Western Kentucky who can start at LG. Lamp played LT in all but his first three games as a redshirt freshman when he played guard in 2013. He was an all conference (USA) selection the past two seasons and a third team AP All American in 2016. His tape against Alabama's defensive front has many sold that he can play well in the NFL as an interior lineman for a decade. He reminds many of Dallas' Zack Martin. Lamp has a good frame and moves well but he has short arms which will move him to LG in the NFL. Guess what??? That's exactly what we need. Problem solved.

Round 2 Pick 22:  4 more trade opportunities, how about that? So we need either a DE or a OLB here. All the top DEs are gone leaving DeMarcus Walker and Ryan Anderson who would be reaches at this point. At OLB, we can choose between Tyrus Bowser, Vince Biegel and Derek Rivers. Biegel is under sized and will be a special teamer. Rivers would be a good edge rusher on passing downs. Bowser can play in the NFL and had I accepted a trade in Round 1, we could've solved both needs in Round 2.  I love FSs Budda Baker and Marcus Williams, who would be great choices here. But as it is, the best DE or LB still available is our pick. He played ILB in college and loves to thump but due to his athleticism, he will be better served to play OLB in the NFL.  Grading just a bit higher than the FSs is LB Jared Davis out of Florida. This kid is simply a very good football player who has absolutely no character issues. He can start at OLB if he can simply be trained to avoid blockers rather than attempting to run threw everyone while on his way to crushing the ball carrier. LBs are getting lighter and quicker and this kid fits the mold for a good OLB in a 4-3 system that keeps blockers off the LBs.

Round 3 Pick 33:  The phones are ringing again, 4 times. I feel like the only kid with money for the ice cream truck. Of course the computer doesn't recognize that you cannot trade compensatory picks. We have a choice, a tough choice here between CB Ahkello Witherspoon, CB Kevin King and DE Trey Hendrickson. Witherspoon is the better choice for CB. Both are 6-3 but Witherspoon has quicker feet from his younger days playing soccer so he can adjust better with any change of direction than King.  Hendrickson would be good against the run as a 4-3 DE but his sacks come more as a second effort rushing and not from any stellar quickness. Imagine if you would, that Tony Lippet had 4 years of experience playing CB in college and then brought his ball skills and size to our defense. That's what Witherspoon brings. He is the 2018 version of Lippet. I know we are pretty deep at CB. I know we need a DE to get ready to replace Wake but Hendrickson will never be quick enough to rush from the left side, he will never be able to replace Wake. He could give Branch some breathers so if I am drafting a DE, he has to have potential to replace Wake in another year or two. You guessed it, I like Witherspoon here. Had I traded down in Round 1, I would absolutely love Witherspoon here near the end of the 3rd Round after grabbing a DE, OLB and OG. He is not known for his tackling. Its not great but he is a pass defense specialist with his gangly frame of all arms and legs. He possesses a rare combination of speed and size for a CB. He is one of 3 Colorado DBs to be named to the 2nd Team All-Pac-12.  He tied teammate Tedric Thompsn with a nation leading 23 passes defensed.  So he has been well coached.

Round 5 Pick 22: Slim pickings are left for a DE. So we might as well grab a guy who has experience in a tough league and has produced. I grabbed Garrett Sickels out of Penn St who lead the Big10 in QB hurries while collecting 6 sacks. He played his absolute best against Ohio State's talented OL with 2.5 sacks. He plays with the same intensity throughout the game. Typical for a fellow guy from Jersey.

Round 5 Pick 34: When in doubt double down. If you cannot find a good DE, maybe we can grab a quicker OLB who has a frame to put on some muscle and grow into a DE on the practice squad. Enter South Carolina's Darius English. At 6'6" and only 245 LBS he has some room and time to muscle up a bit and train under Cam Wake.  Can he put on 30 LBS and learn to be a DE? Worth a shot.

Round 5 Pick 40: Time for some depth at the back end of our Defense so enter Jadar Johnson of Clemson. As an All-ACC Safety, he led national champs with 5 INTs. At 6'0", 206 LBS, he possesses explosive speed and terrific ball skills. Why did he fall so far? Not that great in run support so keep him out of the box and let him play some FS on passing downs while we work on his tackling.

Round 7 Pick 5 You gotta love this guy's name for the Dolphins, Kansas Safety Fish Smithson He is a bit undersized at 5'11", 190 LBS but he makes up for it with his instincts and field awareness. He can cover in the slot and loves to stick his nose in and tackle. He would be a decent backup and could play special teams.

All in all, I am not in love with this draft. Grabbing the sure starter at OG in the 1st Round really limited our opportunities later at DE. I believe we will trade back and pick up an additional 2nd Round pick. I would even trade back again. I think we could wind up with 3 solid 2nd Round Picks and 2 Good 3rd Round Picks by trading back twice in the 1st Round. Look for that in my next edition.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971