I don't think I remember a draft where so much misinformation was thrown out there last minute. Regarding the Dolphins, you have Mike Florio and Peter King saying that Ross is pushing for Tannehill. You have Armando Salguero saying this report is false and that their sources were NOT Dolphins sources. But then you have Ben Volin saying that team officials are concerned about Ross' increased involvement, but does not deny or confirm either report. In response to all this, Miami not only denied the report by King and Florio but went way over the top in their defense, issuing formal written and verbal denials.
Jacksonville's director of player personnel came out yesterday on the radio and said that "everybody knows" Miami is taking Tannehill at number 8, thus trying to entice teams to trade for the Jaguars' 7th overall selection.
What does all this mean? I have no idea. My personal feeling, based on everything that has gone on the past two-or-so weeks, is that Miami will pass on Tannehill. The strong rumors now are that Mark Barron will not be there at 14 for the Cowboys and they will likely look to move up with Miami to secure the Alabama Safety. If Minnesota takes Claiborne as is rumored, you would then have Kalil likely fall to St. Louis. That would probably force Fletcher Cox down to 8. At that point, Miami will have PLENTY of phone calls to move down. It would also mean they likely have their choice of Tannehill, Blackmon and Cox.
Regardless, I am not going to try and put together a mock predicting this madness. Instead I'll just give you names to look out for tonight that I think are most likely to be drafted by Miami. (Keep in mind, it's who I THINK they'll take based on need, Ireland's history, Philbin/Sherman/Coyle's scheme, and who Miami has met with this off season..This is NOT who I want them to take).
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - No duh, right? While the consensus around the national media seems to be that we'll take Tannehill, I am not as certain. I've flip-flopped on mocking him to Miami. I will today, but I'm not confident about it.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. - If Miami takes somebody other than Tannehill at number 8, I think it will be (and should be) Justin Blackmon. This WR class might be deep, but Blackmon is a man-child and will be a dominant WR at the next level. I think he's the best WR to come out since Calvin Johnson. Miami has done a ton of work with Blackmon this off season and I think he fits the mold of what both Philbin and Ireland want in a WR.
I just can't see Miami taking anybody other than those two names if they stay at #8. If neither are available, than Fletcher Cox has fallen to #8. In that scenario, I would be shocked if they didn't get an offer enticing enough to move down. In fact, I think it's very possible they pass up Tannehill and Blackmon to move down. If they do trade down, I see Dallas and Philly as possibilities (14th and 15th respectively). If they stay there, here are the names to look out for...
Quinton Coples, DE/DT, UNC - Not many picks could come close to upsetting me as much as Coples would. That said, he does have the talent to be a solid 43 DL, and has the versatility to play DE on run downs, and slide inside to create pressure from up the middle on passing downs. They've done a lot of work with Coples this Off Season. Some mocks have Coples gone in the top 10, and others not in the first round. Because of his motor and passion for football questions, I would steer clear of Coples. But he is a possibility.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - I don't buy into Floyd, especially in this offense. He runs choppy routes and doesn't produce after the catch. That said, many smart people have connected Floyd with Miami and many think Floyd is a better WR than Blackmon. He might not be there this late though.
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse - This might be a reach, but Jones fits the mold of a LDE perfectly. Long arms, naturally strong, high motor. Problem is I don't see an impact playmaker. But Miami has done plenty of work with him and the number one priority here would be pass rusher.
David DeCastro, OG, Stanford - I know, I know...But DeCastro is an elite prospect. He's going to be a perennial Pro Bowler, and many believe he can be a stud at RT as well. I don't think Miami will prioritize OL early, but he might be too good a talent to pass up.
Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise St. - He was viewed as a Day 2 or 3 pick a couple of months ago, and now Mike Mayock is saying he's a potential top 15 player. He's one of the better pass rushers in the draft and is scheme diverse. Both huge for Miami.
Personally I don't like this list, nor would Miami, in my opinion. I think if they have the opportunity to move down again, they would. I don't see it coming to that, but if it did here is a quick list of names:
Kendall Wright, Coby Fleener, Brandon Weeden, Nick Perry.
At the end of the day, I think Miami comes out of the draft with this:
1. Ryan Tannehill
2. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
3a. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
3b. Ryan Steed, CB, Furman
4. Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno St. *(steal of the draft)*
5. Tom Crompton, OT, South Dakota
6. Ryan Davis, DE, Bethune Cookman
7. Desmond Wynn, OG, Rutgers
Tonight will certainly be interesting, if nothing else.
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