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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The roster is as follows (minus some guys who won't realistically be on the 53)
QB - Ryan Tannehill, David Fales
RB - Kenyan Drake, Senorise Perry
WR - Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo, Isaiah Ford
TE - AJ Derby, Marquise Gray
OT - Laremy Tunsil, JaWuan James, Eric Smith, Sam Young (almost re-signed)
OG - Josh Sitton, Ted Larsen, Jesse Davis, Isaac Asiata
OC - Dan Kilgore, Jake Brendel
DT - Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux, Vincent Taylor
DE - Cam Wake, Robert Quinn, Andre Branch, William Hayes (DT as well), Charles Harris
LB - Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan, Stephone Anthony, Chase Allen, Mike Hull
CB - Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Tony Lippett, Torry McTyer, Taveze Calhoun
S - Reshad Jones, TJ McDonald, Walt Aikens, Maurice Smith
ST - John Denney, Matt Haak
The easiest holes to pinpoint are backup QB, RB depth, starting TE, DT depth, LB depth and K.
It is possible Miami re-signs Damien Williams not that they have some extra cash. As I mentioned in another thread, I still see JaWuan James as a trade candidate because Sam Young played well and Jesse Davis can kick out to RT. James won't sign a long term deal and his cap figure is very high at $9 million. If he is not dealth for a Day 2/3 pick by a team who misses out on an early OT then maybe he is flipped for a TE or DT on an expiring contract. I don't expect Miami to spend big money on LB or DT at this time.
The draft nugget I'm really starting to buy is a DT with the 11th pick. Zatrex mentioned Daron Payne from Alabama and he is as good as advertised. Another option could be Vita Vea from Washington. The Ryan Tannehill restructure solidifies him as a starter in 2018 and I think Miami pushed for it because they know they didn't have the ammo to trade ahead of teams looking at the top QB prospects. It is entirely possible they hope Roquan Smith falls to them but this looks like a good draft to get LBs on Day 3 who can be rotational players as rookies. Payne or Vea are guys who can soften the pain of losing Suh.
The surprise name at 11 - RB Derrius Guice. I know I know, why draft a RB in Round 1? When you look at how Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette have changed their respective offenses you realize that RB can be as dangerous a weapon as any WR in today's NFL. Its not the old ground and pound of 15 years ago, but rather multipurpose position that is your best bet of finding the end zone. Guice is not only a gifted runner but a very good receiver. A backfield of him and Kenyan Drake could give defensive coordinators fits in terms of zone read, play action and splitting out to bunch in receiver sets. Adam Gase is going to look for the player to fit his offense, not just a hole to plug. Credit Armando Salguero with tipping us off that Miami really, really like Guice.
Miami is going to draft a TE, or at least I'm 98.9% sure they will. The do-it-all guy I think they target is Ian Thomas from Indiana. Some draft gurus think he is going much higher than they early Day 3 grade he was given. Miami has also been linked to Hayden Hurst from South Carolina. For pure seam threats with limited blocking skills you Mike Gesicki from Penn State and Mark Andrews from Oklahoma. Both Day 2 options and very gifted receivers. A forgotten option is Troy Fumagili from Wisconsin. He is a very solid, do-it-all type who could be a nice Plan B if they can't get Thomas.
LB and S sort of go together here. Omar Kelly has mentioned TJ McDonald shifting down to coverage LB. At 6'2 223LBs here certainly fits the mold and we have video evidence of his ability to take on RBs. He'd also be a huge improvement over the LBs who need to cover TEs. If Miami makes this transition then keep an eye on Derwin James at pick 11. He could also play that role but seems to have the speed to play FS for Miami. Another FS option would be Jessie Bates of Wake Forest who will be a 2nd Rounder. If Miami keeps McDonald at S then see my previous comment about a Day 3 LB. Dorian O'Daniel from Clemson seems to be exactly the type of speedy, coverage LB that Miami needs. Another Option could be Jerome Baker from Ohio State who could rejoin old teammate Raekwon McMillan. Shaun Dion Hamilton from Alabama, Skai Moore from South Carolina, and Micah Kiser from Virgina are a few other Day 3 names.
Ok, now what you've all been waiting for = QB. Miami has not been shy about their love for Baker Mayfield. According to Ben Albirght (who's track record has been phenomenal this offseason), Mayfield will be gone in the top 5 picks. Denver seems to be hot for him as he's the perfect guy to take the reins from Case Keenum in a year or so. Josh Rosen is rumored to be a guy Miami likes as well, but his passing skill set as nearly as good as any QB we've seen drafted in the last decade. His attitude, durability and mobility leave a lot to be desired. Sam Darnold will probably be the 1st or 2nd pick, and Buffalo has accumulated the ammo to move up and draft their darling Josh Allen. So what is Miami to do?
They have met with Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State, Lamar Jackson from Louisville, Mike White from Western Kentucky, Luke Falk from Washington State and Kyle Lauletta from Richmond. All of these guys are predicted to be drafted in Rounds 2 through 4. I think Lamar Jackson could be a surprise pick for Miami if he is there in Round 2 but with the QB feeding frenzy I see teams trading into the late 1st Round for both Jackson and Rudolph. I personally think Miami's 3rd Round pick will be spent on either Mike White or Kyle Lauletta. Both are projected as good backups who can be groomed into starters. If not for his concussion history and Fales-like arm strength Falk could be a 1st Round pick. There is word that his arm is much stronger than it showed on tape (which he fixed with mechanics) and if true he will go Round 2. Otherwise I could see him as a last resort option for Miami in Round 4. Two other names to watch are Chase Litton from Marshall and Kyle Allen from Houston. Both are raw and have big arms. They could be 6th Round options as replacements for Brandon Doughty.
That's it for now. I'll have more as the rumors keep coming in.
Armando Salguero's article yesterday about upcoming moves to create cap relief are an ominous sign for the state of the team.
We all expect Julius Thomas, Lawrence Timmons and Ja'Wuan James to be released. Those moves will essentially erase the cap hit for Jarvis Landry and give Miami enough to sign rookies. But both Salguero and Jeff Darlington have hinted that Miami is shopping Landry to WR needy teams. And Salguero went as far as to say some foundational pieces may be part of the upcoming changes, namely $26 million Ndomakung Suh. This sounds more like a rebuild than a retool.
After Miami lost to Buffalo to close out the season we heard commentary from Steve Ross and Adam Gase about how the team missed good QB play from the 2016 season. We all just assumed they were banking on Ryan Tannehill returning to top 12ish form and plugging a few holes to become a playoff team once again. Now we are hearing rumors of Miami looking at QBs in the top 10 with possible trade ups to do so.
Mike Pouncey? Salguero wrote the other day that "as of today" he is part of the plans but even that could change. Pouncey, Suh, Timmons, James, Thomas, Landry...Tannehill? This doesn't sound like a team that believes its only a couple of players away from relevance. This could be a purge of epic proportions, and maybe the trifecta (Mike Tannenbaum, Adam Gase, Chris Grier) are doing so to buy themselves some more leash in their job security. There has been a lot of discussion about disagreement within the front office. Maybe a reboot is their solution to see if they can agree on personnel and play nice. Does Steve Ross have the patience for this?
Overthecap.com currently has Miami at $7.5 million over the projected cap for 2018. If Miami cut or traded all the names previously mentioned they would be roughly $62 million under the cap. Then again you wouldn't have a QB, an anchor on the DL, and additional holes at LB, C, OT, and WR.
I have a hard time believing Miami will move on from Suh when they just brought in his DL coach from Detroit. I also don't think they will quickly move on from Tannehill when one major point of hiring Gase was the commitment to seeing Tannehill's game grow. But Salguero is more plugged in than me and I don't think he's writing these things just to kill time. We could be on the verge of seeing Miami purge their vets and let the youth battle it out similar to what the New York Jets did last year.