^Back To Top
Joomla gallery extension by joomlashine.com
2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Many Miami Dolphin fans, myself included anticipated the Dolphins coming out firing, contending for big ticket free agents like OG/OT Kelechi Osemele of Baltimore, St. Louis CB's Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins just to name a few. Even with the fact that Miami had limited cap space at the time Free Agency was to begin, Miami had the ability to create more than enough cap space to be a player, and this is something which they did do. By releasing WR Greg Jennings, OT Jason Fox, DE Quinton Coples, CB Brice McCain and restructuring DT Ndamankung Suh's contract, the Dolphins created well over 20 million dollars of salary cap space. Restructuring TE Jordan Cameron and LB Koa Misi contract's help create more space.
But something happened along the way as Free Agency approaced and began. Miami, known for winning the off season championship during free agency the last few years, did something that smart teams like New England, Baltimore, Green Bay and Cincinnati do. The Dolphins took the time to place values on players they had interest in and they stuck with that dollar figure. Miami decided not to over spend for GOOD FOOTBALL PLAYERS. Miami got slammed last year for making Suh, a 4 time All Pro, 4 time Pro Bowl player the highest paid defensive player in football. There are no players in this year free agent crop that is close to having Suh's resume.
Miami signed DE Mario Williams before the beginning of free agency and stuck by the value number they had assigned for Mario, coming off a down year for him playing in a system that was not a good fit for him, but also coming with a lot of question from people saying he quit on Buffalo. But prior to this past season, in his prior 3 years with Buffalo, Williams had 10.5, 13.0 and in 2014 he had 14.5 sacks in a 4-3 defense, the same defense Miami plays. He signed a 2 year deal with Miami for 17 million, or 8.5 million/per year with incentives that can get him to 20 million for the 2 year length of the contract. Williams came to Miami anticipating he could be 10 milllion/per year from Miami, which he did not get. He was suppose to have meet with the New York Giants as well, but when it became apparent that they were not going to give him that amount of money. he came back to Miami and the deal was done.
So far in Free Agency, Miami has completed a trade with Philadelphia which bought CB Byron Maxwell and LB Kiko Alonso to Miami. They exhanged spots in the 1st round of the upcoming NFL Draft, Philadelphia moving up to the #8 spot, Miami moving down to 13. The Dolphins signed Detroit FS Isa Abdul-Quaddas to a 3 year/12.75 milllion dollar deal and have signed Denver RB C.J Anderson to a 4 year/18 million dollar offer sheet. The Broncos have until Tuesday to decide if they will match that offer. Miami also signed Chicago OT Jermon Bushrod, who Adam Gase is familar with from his time in Chicago. Bushrod is being bought in to compete at the troublesome OG spot for Miami.
WalterFootball.com has been very critical of Miami in the past and were critical of the Dolphins in the trade with Philadelphia, but they had positive things to say about the signing of Quaddas and the possible signing of Anderson. Here are there quotes on these two players.
I know there is a lot of vitriol towards these moves, but I actually like what the Dolphins have done, though I do have some criticism.
1. Mario Williams and Olivier Vernon - When you see what Vernon signed for, you sort of understand why the Dolphins did what they did. First of all, the Giants have grossly overpaid for a player that hasn't demonstrated he can be a 15+ sack guy. If that was the starting point for Vernon, then he was always going to be gone. I agree with the Dolphins for not overpaying him. I thought they should not have tendered. That seemed like a waste of time. Either let him walk and get a compensatory pick or franchise him and work out a trade.
The second part of this deal is Mario Williams. He can be a dominant player. I would almost dismiss his lack of production in Rex Ryan's system. Williams is a 4-3 end, period. I do have concerns with what he will add to the locker room, but on the field, I think he can be better than what Vernon has been. Williams can be a dominant pass rusher and good run stopper throughout his career. Vernon was good against the run and got pressure on the QB, but his sack numbers have usually been lacking. His propensity for personal foul penalties was also a concern. It would have been nice to keep Vernon, but I think some on the forum overstated the quality of his play. He is NOT a $17 million a year player. He is not a $15 million a year player. Quite frankly, I don't think he was even a $12 million a year player.
The other positive in this deal is the cap space avoided by signing Vernon to a tag or tender.
2. Kiko Alonso - I am going to look at this separately from Byron Maxwell first. I get it, this is a huge risk from the perspective of the player being a one year wonder and having injury issues. But based on what we saw in 2013, he is superior to any other middle linebacker we had on the team, if he can stay healthy. The MLB position has been upgraded and that was a huge hole in this defense. So if the comparison is Kiko versus what we had last year, the Dolphins are in better shape.
3. Byron MaxWell - Probably a downgrade from Brent Grimes. Maxwell looked good his last two seasons in Seattle, but flopped in Philly. Here's hoping the Dolphins are looking at him as a #2 corner because he hasn't proven he can be a #1 corner. His salary is a concern, but the Dolphins aren't tied to the signing bonus. I wonder how much of a factor his system fit was in Philly. He was certainly a system fit in Seattle for a couple of seasons. One area where he would be an upgrade is his size. He should match up better against big receivers than Grimes. Let's not forget Grimes got lit up a few times in 2015 by big receivers.
4. Miami - Philly trade - Looking at the trade chart, there is a 250 point difference between the 8th pick and the 13th pick. Therefore, for Miami to trade down, fair value would have been a 3rd and a 4rd round pick. The way to look at this trade is that Miami traded down 5 spots for Kiko Alonso in the 3rd round and Byron Maxwell in the 4th round. If you got a good starting MLB in the 3rd and a potentially boundary corner in the 4th, that's not a bad haul IF you get a good player in the first round and at least Kiko or Maxwell pans out.
5. CJ Anderson and Lamar Miller - I love Miller and I hate to see him go. But the running back position is what it is. The Dolphins (and quite frankly the Phinfever forums), set a price on Miller and the Texans offered more. I hope the CJ Anderson move pans out as he is another player that is productive when used, but underused. I believe the Dolphins avoid an additional $2 million a year in expense by going with this option. And with Ajayi already in the fold, the Dolphins will have depth at the position. Let's see if Denver matches.
6. Offensive line - One area of huge concern is still offensive line. The Dolphins signed Jermon Bushrod, who has always been a tackle, and is coming off a shoulder injury. If healthy, he has to be an upgrade at guard over what we currently have. But I would still hope the Dolphins look at this position in the draft as well.