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In a draft that has been heavy on the offensive side of the ball and certainly has Coach Adam Gase stamp all over it, the Dolphins take UCLA TE Thomas Duarte with the 2nd 7th round pick and last pick for the Dolphins.  Thomas is a tweener that played some wide receiver and has been compared to Jordan Reed, the talented TE with the Washington Redskins.  He will certainly be used in a simlar manner to former Dolphin TE Charles Clay, although he is not close to being the blocker Clay turned into.  Will certainly help create mismatches for Miami.

 

Here is the summary from NFL.Com.

 

Overview

NFL scouts don't care one bit about the ethnicity of college football prospects; it's the ultimate color-blind evaluation because either guys can play, have the potential to become players in time, or just don’t have the necessary skill set. Duarte's growing up in a household with Mexican and Japanese influences give him a unique background, but scouting his outstanding skill set as a playmaking receiver is what interests general managers across the league. The four-star wide receiver recruit from successful Mater Dei High School (where his number was retired) jumped into the fray as a true freshman, playing in 13 games with four starts and garnering honorable mention All-Pac-12 (16-214, four TD). Duarte was picked as honorable mention all-conference selection again in 2014, leading the conference with an average 19.3 yards per reception from the tight end position (28-540, four TD). Joining forces with freshman phenom quarterback Josh Rosen last season, Duarte became a second-team all-conference pick by catching 10 touchdowns among his 53 catches that covered 872 yards (16.5 per).

Analysis

Strengths

Glider. Able to create early defender leans with his route work. Has hips to swerve into change of direction creating separation inside red area and can sink into breaks and make razor­-sharp cuts inside his routes. Has burst out of break points to uncover against safeties and slot corners. Able and willing to work the middle. Doesn’t scare easily.

Weaknesses

'Tweener size. Scouts worry he can’t get big enough to become matchup/move tight end. Routes can be disrupted by contact in space. Production bolstered by unguarded looks and catches on air. Didn't have to face dedicated coverage he'll see in pros. Needs to catch over corral. Disinterested as blocker.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6 or 7

NFL Comparison

Jordan Reed

Bottom Line

Duarte is an interesting study as his draft value and overall grade could be tied directly to whether or not a team believes they can make him work as move tight end. Duarte has the athleticism, size and play speed to make a roster as a wide receiver, but his draft value may not be as high if teams see him as a receiver only. Matchup tight ends are all the rage and Duarte can play with more weight and a little more willingness as a run blocker, he’s got a shot to become a productive NFL player.

 


 

 

 


 

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

There was talk that Miami wanted to take a late developmental quarterback, and they pull the trigger on Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty with their 1st 7th round pick.  Doughty has nice size at 6'3, 213 lbs, and was Conference USA MVP in both 2014 & 2015.  Passed for 5,055 yards with an incredible 48 touchdowns while completing 71.9 percent of his passes his senior year.

 

Here is the summary from NFL.Com.

 

Overview

Doughty put up one of the most productive back-to-back season passing performances in college football history the past two seasons. He was the Conference USA MVP in both 2014 and 2015, and won the 2014 Sammy Baugh Award winner as the nation's top quarterback while finishing as a finalist for the Manning Award for his senior season. He passed for 4,830 yards and 49 touchdowns as a junior while only throwing 10 picks in 552 attempts. Doughty followed that by leading the Hilltoppers to a C-USA crown and leading the FBS in passing yards (5,055) and touchdowns (48) for the second straight year. He also led the nation in completion percentage, finding his target 71.9 percent of the time. Doughty was in uniform at WKU for six seasons, receiving a sixth year from the NCAA due to losing most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons due to injury.

Analysis

Strengths

When he feels protected, can play a confident and intelligent brand of football. Strong understanding of the system and his options against every coverage. Reads safeties well and is willing to attack the deep middle. Comes in with a pre­-snap plan. Throws catchable ball with good touch. Able to play pitch and catch when he's in rhythm. Can drop a deep ball in the bucket with good air under it. Works through progressions and isn't a "Checkdown Charlie." Hits receivers in stride on vertical throws.

Weaknesses

Lacking NFL-­caliber arm strength. Doesn't have enough zip to challenge cornerbacks on field side throws. Will have to learn to live off of timing throws to compensate for lack of velocity. Can be rattled in the pocket and will throw without feet being set rather than sliding around in the pocket. LSU game got too big for him. Appeared to lose confidence and began rushing throws and footwork fell apart. Doesn't have athleticism to escape the rush or make plays with his legs.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6 or 7

Sources Tell Us

"I liked him a lot better this year and he really knows how to run that offense but there was a play against North Texas where he scrambled out of the pocket and had a chance to dive in for a touchdown but slid at the 1-yard line rather than take the hit and make the play. That's not good enough." -- NFC Southeast area consultant

Bottom Line

There are several games where Doughty plays with confidence, great accuracy and a winning understanding of his offense. However, when the heat is on he shows a lack of poise that can affect his footwork and touch. Doughty is missing an NFL arm or plus athleticism, but his production and ability to get through his progressions will get him a shot to prove the "system quarterback" label wrong.

 


 

 

 


 

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

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