Today I will put out what will be one of many mock draft for the Miami Dolphins that I will do as well as looking at Miami possible needs at the RB position.
1) Dan Williams, NT, 6'2, 327 lbs, Tennessee. When a future Hall of Famer like Ray Lewis lobbies for a big NT in front of him like Haloti Ngata, you know the importance of the nose tackle position. Jason Ferguson has been remarkable at 35 years old and still be productive at the NT position, but he is coming off a serious muscle tear in his thigh and Paul Soliai has been to inconsistent to count on still. In a 3-4 defense, if you don't have a nose tackle, you don't have the guts of your defense. When Ferguson went down the Dolphins gave up 40 yard more rushing per game. Williams is stout and demands a double team, yet he is explosive enough to get push inside and cause havoc. He had 160 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 7 sacks in his 45 game career as a Vol. Other consideration are Rolando McClain, Brandon Graham & Dez Bryant for the pick at #12.
2) Demaryius Thomas, WR, 6'3, 224 lbs, Georgia Tech. Miami has a lot of nice #2 & #3 WR, but there is no dominant, big play, red zone wide receiver that teams have to consider a threat. Yes, we know Miami defense was not good last year, giving up 24.4 points a game last year, but the offense averaged 22.3 points a game last year. Point blank, when you have the 4th ranked rush attack in the league you have got to get more out of your passing attack. You have a promising young QB in Chad Henne, he needs more weapons outside. Thomas has the size and big play ability with career numbers of 120 catches for 2,339 yards at a 19.5 average and 15 career touchdowns. His junior year he put up 46 catches for 1,154 yards at a 25.1 yard average and 8 touchdowns. The concerns with Thomas is his route running, as Georgia Tech is an option offense with a QB in Josh Nesbitt that is not a very good passing QB. Needs to be more consistent catching the ball also.
3) Brandon Lang, DE/OLB, 6'4, 266 lbs, Troy. Joey Porter played his last game for Miami and Jason Taylor is a free agent and could have played his last game for Miami depending on his contract demands. We know he wants more money than he got last year and is coming off a decent year in which he had 7 sacks playing strongside OLB, not his natural position. Bill Parcells has had success with Troy kids as he drafted DeMarcus Ware out of Troy while with the Cowboys. Brandon has 157 career tackles, 23.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for lost for his career. He has the motor and hips to make the move to OLB position, and he has the size and pass rush ability that Parcells and the regime likes.
4) Jimmy Graham, TE, 6'6, 260 lbs, Miami. The Dolphins really missed David Martin and his ability to stretch the field and Anthony Fasano took a step back last year. I still like Fasano a lot and hope he has a bounce back year, as he has good hands and ability and is a very good inline blocker. Miami has stated they want to be able to stretch the field and Jimmy Graham has that type of ability. He is very raw, as he played basketball at Miami most of his career and this past season was his first with the Canes. He had 17 catches for 213 lbs at a 12.5 yard average and 5 touchdowns. He had an impressive combine as he did 20 reps at 225 lbs and ran a 4.56 40. He could go higher than the 4th round, but this would be a good spot to take a raw TE talent like Graham.
6) Micah Johnson, ILB, 6'2, 258 lbs, Kentucky. Miami has some age at the ILB position as well and Channing Crowder did himself no favor with his comments in regards to Joey Porter and the so called internal issues inside the Dolphins locker room. Crowder maturity level has always been a concern and he contines to show why. While his play improved in 2009, he still has a lot of room to improve and get better. Johnson is a thumper inside with the size the trifecta likes and has been a tackling machine for the Wildcats. He has 285 career tackles, 23.5 tackles for lost, 3.5 sacks and 9 pass break ups and 2 career interceptions. He at this point in the draft because he suffered a knee injury in the Music City Bowl against Clemson, but should be ready for camp.
6) Antonio Coleman, DE/OLB, 6'3, 261 lbs, Auburn. When the trifecta address positions, they usually go with multiple picks. Coleman is another DE that could possibly convert to an OLB, and while he does not have great speed, he fast enough and was highly productive at Auburn. 148 career tackles, 50.5 tackles for lost and 27.5 sacks, this is a guy that has a variety of moves as a pass rusher, he is active and aggressive with very good production in college.
6) Robert Johnson, FS, 6'2, 200 lbs, Utah. The Dolphins drafted Chris Clemons with a 5th round pick last year and Tyrone Culver is a solid player as well and it looks like the regime may bring back Gibril Wilson, which is a surprise if it does happen as Gibril really struggled last year and is really playing out of position as he is a SS. IF the Dolphins do bring in a FS, Johnson is from a school that the Dolphins went to last year to bring in Sean Smith. Johnson is a hitter that also has nice ball skills. He had 155 career tackles, 13 pass break ups and 13 career interceptions.
7) Clifton Geathers, DE, 6'8, 299 lbs, South Carolina. This is a position were the Dolphins have pretty good depth and talent, so they can possibly take a chance on a kid that is extremely raw, but has a very high upside. The brother of Robert Geathers, the DE from Cincinnati and part of the Geathers family and includes Jumpy Geathers of the Washington Redskins, Clifton has a world of talent but not a lot of tape or game time. He has 72 career tackles, 12 tackles for lost with 6 career sacks. Another year in school really would have helped him a good bit, but he has tremendous size right now and has very good quickness for a kid his size coming off the edge and if you look at the game in which he played against Florida, he was a force in that game.
7) Trindon Holliday, WR/RS, 5'5, 161 lbs, LSU. Special teams make up a thrid of the game and this is a kid that can flip the field any time he gets his hands on the ball. LSU lined him up in the slot, RB and WR and he led the nation in punt returns last year with an 18.1 yard average. Ran a 4.34 40 at the comibne and is a world class sprinter with a 10.0 100 meters. He a playmaker in the return game and can be used in the Wildcat if the Dolphins continue to use the formation, which they probably will, but on a more limited basis.
The Dolphins will probably land a 5th round conpensatory pick, but until that is determined, I did not include the additional pick.
Now, in regards to the running back position, for 2009 the Dolphins will be in pretty good shape. Ronnie Brown once agian will be coming off an injury, this time to his foot, but is expected to be back by time summer camps roll around. Ricky Williams is coming off of a 1,000 yard season and according to Ricky, this is his last season and will retire after the 2010 season. Patrick Cobbs will be coming off a knee injury, but the Dolphins do have Lex Hillard in the fold along with Kory Sheets.
The Dolphins could look at a RB because of Ronnie Brown's injury history and some backs to keep and eye on are LaGarette Blount, 6'2, 240 lbs, Oregon, Ben Tate, 5'11, 218 lbs, Auburn, Lonyae Miller, 5'10, 220 lbs, Fresno State, Pat Paschall, 6'0, 198 lbs, North Dakota State & Andre Dixon, 6'1, 202 lbs, UConn. A wildcard here could be Dexter McCluster, the RB out of Ole Miss. The Dolphins had a chance to work with Dexter as he was on the South team at the Senior Bowl and have interviewed him at the combine as well.
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