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T-Rock's Phinfever FFL 2014

Barry Jackson

Dave Hyde

ESPN's James Walker

DRAFT GRADES

Bleacher Report Ty Schalter

This is what desperation to win looks like.

Moving around to stock up on talent that can help them immediately, the Dolphins replaced their dismissed wideouts with the last of the three top receivers (Parker), a sliding big body who can replace Randy Starks (Phillips) and a guard who can continue the rebuilding effort on the offensive line (Douglas).

McCain and Ajayi are swings for the fences: a cornerback with a lot of upside and a clearly talented tailback with a scary knee issue. Lippett was a two-way player in college with the size and hands to be a solid depth option at receiver or corner.

The Dolphins knew what they needed and got it. This "shopping list" draft could get them into the playoffs this year or inspire eye rolls in three years.

Grade: B

 
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco

Best Pick: I love second-round defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. He will be a better NFL player than he showed at Oklahoma. Playing next to Ndamukong Suh will really help his game.

Questionable move: Waiting until the fourth round to pick an offensive lineman on a team that needs help up front.

Third-day gem: Fourth-round pick Jamil Douglas was a tackle at Arizona State last year, but I think he can be a dominant guard, his original position.

Analysis: The Dolphins had a nice draft. Whoever was making the picks -- Dennis Hickey or Mike Tannenbaum -- deserves a lot of credit. First-round pick DeVante Parker will be a nice target for Ryan Tannehill. The first two picks were outstanding.

Grade: A

 
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr

Grade: B

Top needs: WR, G, CB, LB

Analysis: The Dolphins had one of my favorite picks of Round 1, and they didn't have to move to get their guy. DeVante Parker has the chance to be special and fills a clear need for them. I could have seen him going with any of the four picks ahead of Miami -- St. Louis, Minnesota, Cleveland and New Orleans -- so getting him at No. 14 was a good value. Jordan Phillips has first-round physical ability and third-round tape, so landing in Round 2 just about averages things out. The addition of Ndamukong Suh was impactful, but Miami can use the depth behind him or put Phillips and Suh on the field at the same time. If Phillips plays at Suh's effort level on every snap, there's a potential stud here. Jamil Douglas could play right away, given the need at guard, and though I thought Bobby McCain was a bit of a reach given some other cornerbacks available when he was taken, that's splitting hairs again. Jay Ajayi is a tough runner who fell on injury and ball security concerns, but if he's healthy, he can be really good. Tony Lippett is a player I expected to go earlier. If there's a question, it's the lack of a linebacker earlier on. The Parker pick really elevates this draft for me, and they can hope the coin flip on Phillips' becoming really good works out. But ultimately, I see one certainty here, and injury risk in a number of places.

 

NFL.COM's Bryan Fischer

Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B

The skinny: Parker was some folks' top wideout in the draft and might have been a consensus top player at the position if he weren't injured his final season. The Dolphins liked Parker throughout the draft process and got their guy without giving anything up. That's a win. Phillips might not represent a need for the Dolphins, who signed Ndamukong Suh as a free agent, but he shows flashes of first-round talent, and the team moved back in the draft to get him to boot. There are concerns over Ajayi's knee, but he's a steal in the fifth round as a versatile back who can run between the tackles.

Bottom line: The Dolphins' draft started out well landing a target like Parker, and they grabbed some very solid players

 

RotoWorld's Evan Silva

Overview: Almost all of the players selected here -- particularly Phillips and Ajayi -- brought great value to Miami. I thought Phillips had a realistic shot to be taken on day one, and defensive tackle depth was a definite need behind Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell. I'm not quite as high on Parker as many are, and would've preferred Miami address its glaring cornerback need at No. 14 with either Kevin Johnson or Marcus Peters. I do believe Parker will be a good player, but envision him more as a rich man's Brandon LaFell than A.J. Green. Douglas has all the tools to become a starting left guard in the NFL and fits Miami's zone-run game. McCain is a feisty, playmaking slot corner. Thompson is a tools-based projection who will open his career on special teams, while Lippett is a receiver-to-cornerback project the Fins presumably hope can become their version of Richard Sherman. I thought this draft was solid, but was very surprised Miami didn't place a higher priority on its suspect secondary.

Grade: C+

 

SI's Chris Burke

Grade: A-

Analysis: Picking at Nos. 14 and 52, the Dolphins essentially wound up landing two first-round talents in wide receiver DeVante Parker and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Hard to believe either guy was available at the spot he was picked. Parker was but a hair (if that) behind Amari Cooper and Kevin White at receiver—both those players were gone by No. 7, with multiple teams in need of a playmaker between No. 8 and Miami's spot. Likewise, Phillips had suitors toward the tail end of round 1 (Indianapolis would have been a match).

Guard Jamil Douglas, cornerback Bobby McCain and in particular running back Jay Ajayi all were welcome finds on Day 3. Concerns over a knee issue lowered Ajayi's stock, but he was well worth a round 5 play.

 

WalterFootball.com

Grade: B

Goals Entering the 2015 NFL Draft: The Vikings and Dolphins have very similar goals. They both need a receiver and a cornerback, but instead of a left tackle and a running back, Miami has to find a guard and a safety.

2015 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Dolphins came away from the draft with a solid class. Its two best picks will help the offense. DeVante Parker was a mini-steal at No. 14, as he was being discussed as a possibility for the Rams (10th), Vikings (11th) and Browns (12th). He can't possibly have worse chemistry with Ryan Tannehill than Mike Wallace did as the team's No. 1 receiver. The other top selection was Jay Ajayi in the fifth round. Ajayi would have gone in the second frame if his knee wasn't "bone on bone," as Mike Mayock described it. If he can get over that issue, he has the ability to emerge as Miami's starting running back.

One area in which the Dolphins disappointed was their inability to find help in the secondary. They waited until the fifth round to take their initial defensive back. I would have gone with a corner or a safety in the second frame instead of the overhyped Jordan Phillips.

Miami had what seemed like a thousand fifth-round choices, and it may have hit on most of them. After Ajayi, the best of the bunch seems like Tony Lippett, who can play both receiver and cornerback. I imagine the Dolphins will be using him at the latter position, given their huge need there.

 

Washington Post Mark Maske

Analysis: The Dolphins did well to get another dangerous receiving option for QB Ryan Tannehill. DeVante Parker was the third wide receiver taken in this draft, after Amari Cooper and Kevin White, and was the right choice for Miami at 14th overall. DT Jordan Phillips, taken in the second round, could be effective if given a chance to play alongside Ndamukong Suh. RB Jay Ajayi might emerge as a superb fifth-round find.

Grade: B

Miami completed their run of picks in the 5th round and their final pick for this draft with CB Tony Lippett of Michigan State.  The 6'2, 194 lbs Lippett was the Big 10 WR of the year, as he had 65 catches for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014 for the Spartans.  But Lippett also played at CB for the Spartans and was targeted 8 times for 13 yards with 3 passes defended.  Fits the mode of a Big CB, ala Richard Sherman, with tremendous ball skills, very good feet and he has shown he will come up and hit you.  Just pull up the Cotton Bowl against Baylor and see him BLOW UP the punter.  Team player and a very intriguing pick for the Dolphins.

 

 

Tony Lippett, WR
School: Michigan State | Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior | Hometown: Detroit, MI
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 192 lbs.

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

Draft Analysis

What he brings: Lippett primarily lined up at receiver at Michigan State, but the fact that he started five games at corner in 2011 and two in 2014 makes him an intriguing Day 3 prospect. There's a lot to like about his height, length and ball skills, but he's on the leaner side so he gets pushed around at times regardless of the position. He doesn't project as a vertical threat as a receiver despite averaging 18.4 yards per catch last season, and he will need help over the top at times if he lines up at corner. While he ran better at his pro day than he did at the combine, he has only average top-end speed.

Draft Results

Overall Football Traits

Production 3 2010 Redshirted2011 (14/5): 4-44-11.0-0 2012 (13/5): 36-392-10.9-2 2013 (14/10): 44-613-13.9-22014 (13/13): 65-1,198-18.4-11
Height-Weight-Speed 3 On the slightly taller side with thick lower half, longer arms and bigger hands but lean with an undeveloped upper body. Ran better at Pro Day than did at Combine but top-end speed is just average.
Durability 2 Missed part of 2012 spring with an injury.
Intangibles 2 Pronounced LIP-it. Son of Selina Stafford and Tony Lippett. Played both receiver and corner in 2011. All five starts at corner that year. Also started two games at corner in 2014 and went through corner drills at the Combine. 23 tackles and nine pass deflections in career.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Wide Receiver Specific Traits

Separation Skills 4 Sets up his breaks and changes tempo fairly well for size but tighter hips and struggles making crisp in and out cuts. Chops feet and wastes too much motion at top of stem. Lacks explosive burst to run away from corners and doesn't negotiate traffic well running shallow crosses. Adequate hand fighter that flashes ability to create separation with upper body but would do well to get stronger and gets pushed around at times. Locates and exploits seams in zone looks.
Ball Skills 2 Flashes ability to make difficult highlight reel catches. Tracks deep ball well and above average body control. Average leaping ability and above average catching radius. Doesn't drop many passes. Second lowest drop percentage (1.8%) out of the 21 receivers we tracked in 2014. However, inconsistent catching away from frame and traps far too many passes. Struggles to sink and catch passes thrown below waist. Takes too long to get head snapped around and locate ball.
Big play ability 4 Gets off the line well, tracks the deep ball well and has enough speed to make occasional play downfield but he doesn't show an elite second and not as much of a threat after the catch. Sporadically makes first defender miss on occasion but average elusiveness, power and burst after the catch.
Competi-tiveness 3 Edge to his game and doesn't back down when defenders try to intimidate him. Doesn't take eyes off ball to locate safety on deep sideline routes but not as comfortable working the deep middle. Flashes strong punch as blocker though can clean up angles and improve ability to sustain.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal
NFL DRAFT SCOUT

NFL DRAFT SCOUT DRAFT ANALYSIS **

STRENGTHS: Good height and length for the position with large, soft hands...plucks and uses his full extension to expand his catching radius, utilizing every inch of his frame to attack the ball...tracks very well with an excellent feel on back shoulder throws...makes natural adjustments on the ball, staying focused in contested situations to finish...terrific blend of patience and aggressiveness in his routes, using his field awareness to find vulnerable spots in zones...catches the ball well in stride without losing momentum...strong plant foot out of his breaks and works well along the sideline.

Physical after the catch with a strong stiff-arm...experienced on defense with nine career pass break-ups at cornerback (seven starts)...impressive toughness, both physical and mental, and considered a 110-percenter by the MSU coaching staff...impactful receiving target with 85% of his catches (55-of-65) in 2014 producing either a touchdown or first down...productive career and finished ranked second in catches (149) and fifth in receiving yards (2,247) in the Michigan State record books.

WEAKNESSES: Narrow shoulders and lanky limbs with unimpressive bulk...below average strength and too easily overpowered by defenders as both a blocker and receiver, allowing smaller cornerbacks to force him out of bounds...doesn't consistently play up to his measureables and needs to be more reliable on 50/50 chances...lacks ideal top-end speed for the position with only one gear and minimal separation due to athleticism...doesn't play with suddenness in his routes, lacking burst off the line and at the top of his patterns - struggles to stack defenders at the stem...needs to better sink his hips in his breaks to hold defenders and create spacing out of his routes...only one year of above average production.

IN OUR VIEW: Due to hard work and improved chemistry with quarterback Connor Cook, Lippett had a breakout senior season and became Michigan State's first two-way starter in the same game since 1968, starting at both wide receiver and cornerback in the final two games of 2014. He uses his length and catching radius to catch the ball well in stride with a natural feel on over the shoulder throws. Despite his height and long arms, Lippett doesn't have an impressive-looking frame and his pedestrian speed will make it tough to create separation at the next level. Nonetheless, he plays confident and tough-minded to be a reliable possession target and projects in a similar role at the next level or as a conversion player at cornerback - mid-round option who lacks ideal physical traits, but will be a tough player to keep off the field.

--Dane Brugler

Player Overview

A three-star wide receiver/cornerback recruit, Lippett played quarterback in high school and also starred as a defensive back on defense, but was recruited mostly as a receiver, committing to Michigan State.

After redshirting in 2010, he played offense and defense in 2011 and started five games at cornerback, recording 18 tackles and five passes defended. Lippett moved full-time to wide receiver in 2012 as a sophomore and started five games, finishing with 36 catches for 392 yards and two touchdowns. He started 10 games at wide receiver in 2013 as a junior, recording a team-best 44 catches for 613 yards and two touchdowns. Lippett had his most productive season in 2014 as a senior, starting all 13 games at wide receiver, including a pair of starts at cornerback, recording four pass break-ups.

On offense, he led the team in receiving with 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors and the Richter-Howard Big Ten receiver of the year. Lippett was invited and participated in the 2015 Senior Bowl.

 

NFL.COM ANALYSIS **

Draft Analysis:

Lippett is an intriguing football player who started at both corner and wide receiver for Michigan State last season. He projects better at receiver where he uses his length and ball skills to make plays downfield. Don't count him out as a depth defensive back, either. --Mark Dulgerian

Overview

2014: First-team All-Big Ten. Started all 13 games. Played offense, defense and special teams in Cotton Bowl win over Baylor, including leveling the kicker on a block following a blocked field goal. 2013: Played all 14 games with 10 starts. 2012: Played in all 13 games with five starts. 2011: Played in all 14 games at WR and CB, making five starts at CB. 2010: Redshirted.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.59 and 4.57 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Was the team MVP and finished the 2014 season as both starting wide receiver and starting cornerback. Tall with good feet. Sits down and opens quickly vs. zones. Will adjust to pressure as the window constricts. Creative, varied release off the line of scrimmage. If he catches on the move, he can eat up turf and YAC with his long legs. Hands-catcher who can outjump and outreach most corners. Confident and accepted the challenge to be great in 2014. As cornerback, targeted eight times for just 13 receiving yards with three passes defensed. Adjusts routes when needed near goal line. Dominated smaller cornerbacks in the red zone. Saw 86.7 percent of his catches go for a first down.

Weaknesses

Struggles with out-cuts. Too much wasted motion at top of his routes when getting to boundaries -- allows cornerbacks a chance to jump route. Play strength is below average as a blocker and downfield receiver. Average shake within routes to get free in small spaces -- needs runway. Does not possess strong hands and will drop passes with heavy contact.

Draft Projection

Round 5

NFL Comparison

Nick Toon

Bottom Line

The eyeball test doesn't seem to show Lippett as a dangerous wideout, but he consistently beat Big Ten coverage. Long-strider who excels with slants, posts and in-cuts, he needs work to be more well-rounded with his routes. Lippett's production skyrocketed thanks to hard work, confidence and competitive fire. His willingness to accept the challenge at cornerback and play both ways is an example of why Lippett should succeed as a starter in the league.

 

 

 

 


 
 

 

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