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2015 Free Agency
There have been a lot of rumors as of late concerning the Miami Dolphins and Todd Gurley at pick #14. Is this really a consideration for the Dolphins as they have serious needs at WR, CB, and MLB?
While a big back such as Todd Gurley would be a nice 1-2 punch at the RB position, our current starter, Lamar Miller, ran for 1099 yards at 5.1 ypc, and found the end zone 8 times last year. What the Dolphins do need is a big back in the red zone and Gurley would be a serious red zone threat. However, the pass happy offense that Bill Lazor runs would probably waste two good backs. Keep in mind that Lamar Miller was less effective later in games when the Dolphins needed a back to run out the clock. Gurley would be that 4th quarter back. Is he intriguing? You bet.
But, look at the WR position. Tannehill will need some real help there, and DaVonte Parker would be be a very nice add to our roster after losing all of our 2014 starters except for rookie Jarvis Landry in the off season. The WR position is our biggest area of need. Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, and Brandon Gibson are no longer with us, and let's not forget about TE Charles Clay.
I see a huge need at CB. We have the outstanding Brent Grimes starting on one side, but he is 31 years old and becomes a free agent after this season. Will the Dolphins renew his contract? It is possible, but it is not a certainty. On the other side is Jamar Taylor, and he was impressive coming out of college. He should be good enough to start but he has been slow to "get it" and does get burned at times. He also has had issues getting on the field the past two years due to medical and injury problems. I do like him though, and I feel he can possibly look like the CB that we drafted him to be. The Dolphins signed Zachary Bowman to push Jamar Taylor for the starting position. As far as the nickel CB, the Dolphins upgraded the position by adding Brice McCain and letting Jimmy Wilson go.
The Dolphins do not have a MLB even though Koa Misi made a decent adjustment from the OLB position last year. Can he stay healthy or will we get another in-and-out season as we had last year from him? I would like to see him move back to OLB and have the Dolphins draft a player to start this year at MLB, but the Dolphins would over-draft to sign one this year in the first round. There are some good players to choose from later in the first round and in the second round.
And, yes, the Dolphins are weak at the guard position, but if we invest in another offensive lineman in the first round I'll need to be taken to the nearest rubber room. Use our #14 position to draft a real playmaker. I like who Tony Simmons, our Phinfever NFL Draft Analysist, chose with our 2nd round pick in his MOCK 2.0:
2) Ali Marpet, OT/OG, Hobart, 6'4, 307 lbs - This D-III kid has come from nowhere to having a stellar Senior Bowl and Combine to see his stock take off in the NFL. He has the quickness and lateral movement to play in the Dolphins scheme and a mean streak you like. Can anchor and stays square and understands leverage and blocking angles. Smart, tough, physical kid. The concern is he has not played much at the OG position, which is where he will play in the NFL along with the level of competition he played against. His versatility of playing OT is a plus as well, and he is at a position I believe the Dolphins have to address and address early. This is a kid that a couple of board members, Tristan (Finster) and Mark (swerve) really like, and the more I read on him the more I liked him as well.
So, back to Todd Gurley. I would not be disappointed in drafting Gurley. As far as coming off of a knee injury, from what I hear he'll be a good back this year, but it won't be until his second year that he shows all of his outstanding skills. The main reason that I am intrigued with him is that he is one of the most outstanding backs to come out of college in a good while.
On a personal note, I think the Dolphins are amping up interest to either get someone to trade up with us, or have another team draft him ahead of us so a talent that we really want falls down to us. I would be happy with the pick, but I do agree that CB and WR are bigger needs for us. MLB is a big need, but we' have to trade down to get value as we would be overdrafting at #14 for those in the draft that can play the MLB position.
With Tannenbaum working with Hickey, drafting a big name player in Gurley would not be a surprise pick, so, if you are really against it, you'd better get over the teeth-gnashing now because it is a possibility. I do seriously doubt it though. I think the rumors about the Dolphins interest in Gurley is to push push his draft status up in order to push good talent down to us. If everyone that we want is taken and we would rather try to get a 3rd round pick back then, another team that "has to have" Gurley may be interested in trading up with us.
From RotoWorld ...
The Dolphins have been doing "a lot of research" on Georgia RB Todd Gurley, reports the Miami Herald. The Fins are "unquestionably intrigued" by Gurley, writes beat reporter Barry Jackson. This is where things get interesting. The Dolphins own the No. 14 overall pick and there's roughly a 50-50 shot that Gurley will be available when they get on the clock. If he is, will Miami eschew bigger needs elsewhere to tab a big name and a force of a running back talent? Or will they hold off until Day 2 or 3 to grab one of this class' many talented backs available at a discounted price?
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah says it's more likely that Georgia RB Todd Gurley goes in the top 10 than that he goes at the end of Round 1. "I think he's more likely to go in the top 10 than he is to go in the bottom 10 of the first round," Jeremiah said. "More likely he's going to go in that 10 to pick 22. I have very little doubt he's going to be a first-round pick, it's just a matter of how high he'll go." Gurley (No. 13 on Jeremiah's board) and Melvin Gordon (No. 14) have both been invited to Chicago for the draft, as strong an indication as any that a player is first-round bound. "He's a special player," Jeremiah said of Gurley.
A couple weeks ago I bought Ian Wharton's 2015 Draft Guide , and I feel that it is worth every penny of the $5 that I paid for it ... and more. His positional rankings differ a little from ESPN Insider's "draft gurus", but if you think that all the NFL teams draft boards all look the same then you are mislead with that. Below is his analysis on Todd Gurley.
The Miami Dolphins extended a vital cog to their offensive line when they signed OC Mike Pouncey to a 5 year, 52.15 milllion dollars deal, with 22 milllion of that guaranteed. The Dolphins made a sound move by re-signing one of their own, as the 26 year old Pouncey was a 2011 1st round draft pick for the Dolphins, and is considered one of the very best OC in the NFL. I know some on the boards are not happy with the money Pouncey got, but it is the market now for a top flight, Pro Bowl, young OC. He may not be the top OC, which he is being paid like, but you are not naming many before you get to Pouncey. He will be totally healthy in 2015, back to his natural position of OC, and very motivated to prove he is worth the money he got.
Pouncey makes up 3/5th of an offensive line that made strides in 2014, but still has holes to plug and have their OLT Branden Albert coming off of a torn ACL an MCL. The main concern with this offensive line is the play and personnel at the OG spot, which was by far the worst unit on this offensive line in 2014. Right NOW, 2nd year player Billy Turner is slated to be the starter at ORG, while Dallas Thomas is PENCILED in at the OLG spot. Anyone that saw Thomas play in 2014 cringes at the thought of Thomas being a starter. He has been given every chance to prove himself as a starter and has failed miserbly. He is no more than a backup and depth on the roster.
There are also questions about the young OG Turner, as he did not play much at all in 2014, but did play well towards to the end of the year when he got a chance to play. He will be given every chance to man the ORG spot, and the Dolphins need to hope that their 3rd round pick from the 2014 Draft is ready to step up to the task of being a starter in the NFL.
The question for some Dolphin fans are how soon and how many offensive guards will be bought in. I still do believe there is a chance of Philadelphia cutting OG Evan Mathis, the Pro Bowl OLG. Some have expressed concerns about Mathis age, as he will turn 34 during the 2015 NFL season. While that is a concern, Mathis has performed extremely well the last 3 years, as he has been either 1 or 2 in the ProFootball Focus rankings. He would be an INSTANT upgrade for the Dolphins. The other possibility in free agency is New England OG Dan Connolly, who is not coming off one of his better years, but still would be an upgrade for the Dolphins.
And then we have the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, now less that 3 weeks away. The Dolphins have been very active with OL personnel through out this process, showing interest in 1st round possibilities Ereck Flowers of Miami, D.J Humphries of Florida. While Miami has not had LSU OLT/OLG La'el Collins in for a visit, there certainly does not mean there is not interest, and he has to be on the radar in the 1st round as well. 2nd-3rd round target Ali Marpet of Hobart was in last week and Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel tweeted out that there was a contingent of Dolphins personnel that visited Tallahassee last week to work out the OL personnel from FSU in the draft, OC Cameron Erving, OG's Tre Jackson and Josue Matias and ORT/OG Bobby Hart. There is also an article posted from the Sun-Sentinel as well on the visit.
My thoughts are the Dolphins could address the OL as early as the 1st round, especially if they trade down. I don't believe they will go past the 2nd round before the look to address the OL, with Ali Mopart and Tre Jackson being prime candidates in my mind. I also believe we could be looking at multiple players bought in to address the OL/OG spots via the draft and or free agency.
It is a MUST for the Dolphins to FINALLY get the offensive line addressed. It is essential to the Dolphins making a playoff run in 2015.