We have now completed the NFL Combine and are just a few weeks away from the beginning of the NFL Free Agency period to begin. There is still a lot of things that will change for all teams, the Dolphins included, with probably the biggest for the Dolphins being the status of OLT Jake Long.
Here are a couple of recent stories that I ran across on Rotoworld.com.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that free agent LT Jake Long is seeking $11 million per year on his next contract.
The Miami Herald reported late in January that Long was looking for upwards of $10 million annually, so this coincides with that. The Dolphins are reportedly only willing to give him around $6-7 million per year, so his chances of returning are looking slim if what Rapoport is hearing is true. Our own Evan Silva predicts a re-signing with the Dolphins for five years and $37.5 million. The Bears have also been mentioned as a landing spot.
Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter
The Miami Herald mentions free agent LT Sam Baker as an option for the Dolphins.
Baker is injury-prone and struggles in run-blocking, but the Herald suggests him as a short-term answer to replace Jake Long. The Dolphins are hoping to keep second-round pick Jonathan Martin at right tackle.
Source: Miami Herald
With these stories and a report on NFL.Com that the Dolphins will also look to address their tight end needs through free agency, this mock will not include a OLT or TE. But as I have said, things will change, especially when free agency takes off and teams start to acquire talent via free agency.
1) Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia, 5'9, 174 lbs - The Dolphins are looking to surround QB Ryan Tannehill with playmakers. I fully expect Miami to make a HUGE run at Pittsburgh free agent WR Mike Wallace. The Dolphins will come out of free agency with a #1 caliber wide receiver, and they made need to add 2 if they cannot resign WR Brian Hartline. Austin is a dynamic WR that can line in either the slot or out wide, and has also played RB for West Virginia. He ran a 4.34 unofficial time at the combine which officially came back at 4.41. You see his clips and you see that speed translate on the field. 288 career catches for 3,413 yards and 29 TD's, he has also 109 career rushing attempts for 1,031 yards and 6 TD's. He has been compared to Percy Harvin, and he is explosive like Harvin, but does not have the injury history of Harvin and has been very durable. His size has been bought up as a concern, and if there was an injury history there, I would have that concern. But it is not a history of that for Tavon. He has the ability to be a nightmare in the slot, and the deep speed to take the top off a defense, and the versatility to line up at RB on 3rd down if need be.
2) Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State, 5'11, 192 lbs - The Dolphins will let CB Sean Smith walk and after the trade of Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts before the 2012 season started, the Dolphins now have a need for cornerbacks. Taylor fits the mode of the bigger style cornerbacks that the Dolphins like. Taylor has 8 career interceptions and physical run defender, something Smith was not even with his size. Good in off man coverage and zone coverage, with nice backpedal and fluid hips.
2) Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor, 6'2, 208 lbs - Brian Hartline wants money that the Dolphins don't feel comfortable paying Hartline, which is being reported at 6 mill/per year. I don't believe Hartline to be that caliber of WR either, and if he does not resign, the Dolphins will need another WR. Williams is a big WR that can get vertical and has been extremely productive in his time at Baylor. 202 career catches for 3,334 yards and 27 career TD's with an average of 16.5 yards per catch tells you he is a big play wide receiver. Jeff Ireland should be able to get inside info on Williams as he is a Baylor grad.
3) Cornelius Carradine, DE, Florida State, 6'4, 276 lbs - The Dolphins may look to address this in free agency, but if not, they will look to add another pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake. Yes, the Dolphins drafted Vernon Olivier out of Miami last year, and while he showed flashes, he ended up the year with 2.5 sacks, and 2 of the sack total came against St. Louis. Carridine had 5.5 sacks in his junior year out of JUCO backing up starting DE Brandon Jenkins, and when Jenkins got hurt in the 1st game of the 2012 season, Carradine took over and had 11.0 sacks before he tore his ACL in the last regular season game of the year against Florida. I am a big Florida State fan as well as South Carolina fan, so I have seen Tank play a ton. From a physical talent standpoint, I would say he is more talented than Bjoern Werner. Even with Carridine coming off the knee injury, I am seeing him being mocked in the 2nd-3rd round. Pro Day for FSU will be big in regards to were Tank is, but he has the talent to be a force opposite Wake.
3) Bacarri Rambo, FS, Georgia, 6'1, 211 lbs - The Dolphins are working to resign FS Chris Clemons, but there is buzz that the Dolphins want to address the position, possibly even in free agency. One player that the Dolphins would have had interest in was Buffalo FS Jarius Byrd. The Bills slapped the Franchise Tag on him though, so he has been taken out of the equation. Rambo is a big, physical FS with very good ball skills, as his 16 career interceptions will attest, and Georgia has been good to Miami as SS Reshad Jones is a Georgia grad. Rambo is mocked at this point in the draft becasue of off the field issues. He failed drug test twice and was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2012 season for the last failed drug test.
4) Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas, 6'3, 312 lbs - The OG position for Miami continues to be a troublesome spot, and Bailey has played both left and right OG positions, so he has versatility. He also has the movement skills to play in the zone blocking scheme the Dolphins employ.
5) Kenyon Barner, RB, Oregon, 5'9, 196 lbs - Miami will likely lose Reggie Bush and will need to look to add a back to have some depth and give them play making ability. Barner is use to the up tempo that the Dolphins want to play and is better than most believe running between the tackles. Very good out of the backfield in pass patterns and has the speed and big play ability the Dolphins need.
6) Brandon McGee, CB, Miami, 5'11, 193 lbs - As stated earlier, the Dolphins have a need for cornerbacks and McGee is a talented kid that has under performed while with Miami. Reminds me of Sam Shields of Green Bay, in regards to having a very ordinary career in college, but blossomed in the NFL. McGee has nice size and nice speed as well. Nice hips and feet.
7) Vince Williams, ILB, Florida State, 6'1, 247 lbs - The Dolphins need to add depth at the ILB, and Williams would be a nice fit. Physical & aggressive, Williams helped himself out with a solid week at the Senior Bowl.
This is the last mock I will probably do for a few weeks, as I want to let free agency play out and see how things develop so I can get a better idea of what Maimi may need. At that point, I will do an entire 1st round mock and Dolphins mock draft as well.