The experts are all over the place, from an A to a ridiculous D+. I'd give the draft a solid B, but it really is impossible to know how good this draft is until 3 years down the road.
|In the days leading up to the draft, there was a lot of buzz that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland might continue his aggressive offseason. He certainly did so, moving up to nab Jordan, a dynamic athlete to complement Cameron Wake. But shouldn't the No. 3 overall have more big plays? While I'm not nearly as high on Jordan, I did like the Dolphins' second- and third-day picks. Cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis are more athletic than given credit for, and each plays with the physicality needed to be successful in the NFL. Dallas Thomas is quite possibly the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft and, ironically enough, considering he was the No. 77 overall pick, could take over for Jake Long (who wore No. 77) at left tackle. Of their third-day selections, I like Michigan State's Dion Sims and Florida's Mike Gillislee to surprise with key roles early in their respective careers. |
DE, OT, CB, WR, FB
The Dolphins didn't give up a ton when they moved from No. 12 to No. 3. They sent a second-rounder to Oakland, and they had an extra one to give. They took the player they really wanted, which was Dion Jordan. I certainly can't call it a reach because Jordan is one of the top five players on my Big Board. He's a gifted athlete that can help their pass rush. But I can't totally disagree with Jon Gruden, who was critical of the move during our broadcast. I'm not sure you cast him in a 4-3 DE role, because he could be a physical liability against the run. But I don't think Miami will. They'll use plenty of sub packages and use Jordan opposite Cameron Wake, and try to make life hard for opposing quarterbacks. Jamar Taylor at No. 54 is a pretty good value for a player that can probably start. Dallas Thomas at No. 77 is a player Miami might actually think can start at left tackle. If so, good value. But I think he's likely more of a versatile backup. If he starts as a rookie, the Dolphins could have a tough time in pass protection. I'm a fan of Jelani Jenkins, who can cover really well for a linebacker. Dion Sims can't separate very well, but he's good depth at tight end. Caleb Sturgis being drafted could mean Dan Carpenter is out. They could get three good players from those first three picks, but they did give up value for Jordan, so the onus is on them to make that pick become a success.
|Check out the big lower guts on Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland. Let others rip into what came next, moving up to No. 3 to get pass-rusher Dion Jordan makes this a winner for me. |
|By moving up nine spots to No. 3 in the first round via a trade with Oakland, Miami secured a player they hope is the second coming of Jason Taylor in Oregon outside linebacker/defensive end Jordan. Although there are still questions surrounding the left tackle position after the Dolphins chose Jordan instead of Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson, Miami boosted its thin secondary by drafting cornerbacks Jamar Taylor (second round) and Utah State’s Will Davis (third). |
|I didn’t like the trade for Jordan very much, viewing that as a desperate move from Ireland to make a splash. Well, he got his man. I think they reached on Dallas Thomas, the tackle out of Tennessee, and think he’s actually more of a guard than tackle. |
|ROTOWORLD || |
GM Jeff Ireland was pick-rich after unloading Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis -- two premier NFL starters -- for pennies on the dollar. Those bad trades are factored into Miami's grade. After more trades, the Fins wound up turning the two Marshall third-rounders into Michael Egnew, B.J. Cunningham, blocking tight end Sims, and part of the deal that brought underwhelming corner prospect Davis. For Vontae, they got Taylor straight up. Jordan has a chance to be the best player in this draft class. I like Taylor. Gillislee could be a year-one upgrade on Daniel Thomas if he demonstrates consistency in pass protection. Jones has starter measurables and offered value at the tail end of day three. But Ireland can't be let off the hook for his past talent-shaving trades just because he snuck them into last offseason. The Fins are still paying the piper, and after nauseatingly producing four consecutive losing seasons Ireland has cost himself all possible benefit of the doubt.
|I’m very much on the Dion Jordan bandwagon, but he told me himself that he fit better on a 3-4 defense than at 4-3 end. So, either Miami needs to adjust or Jordan has to prove himself wrong to avoid the Dolphins busting out on their big Round 1 trade. Elsewhere, there might be four or five legitimate starters here, including T/G Dallas Thomas. CB Jamar Taylor was a favorite of mine at that position. |
|They didn't find their left tackle, either, whether drafting him or trading for Kansas City's Branden Albert. But the Dolphins get a break for how much they upgraded their pass defense. Moving up for Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan got them a daunting edge pass rusher to play off Cameron Wake. Speedy Boise State second-round corner Jamar Taylor can make big plays on the ball. Tennessee third-rounder Dallas Thomas can compete to start on the offensive line. Michigan State tight end Dion Sims and Florida running back Mike Gillislee are good complementary skill players. |
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft:
iami is out of range for an offensive tackle. Barring a trade, the Dolphins need to add the top player on their board and then attack the offensive line and cornerback positions in Rounds 2-4.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
No one was surprised when the Dolphins moved up to No. 3, given that they had so many picks at their disposal. What shocked everyone was whom they drafted. Dion Jordan came out of left field, considering that he's not an ideal fit for most 4-3 defenses, including Miami's. It's unclear if the Dolphins plan on moving to a 3-4, but it makes sense because they have all the personnel for it. Having Jordan and Cameron Wake rush from the outside with Randy Starks causing havoc on the interior will give opposing offensive coordinators many sleepless nights.
Miami complemented its upgraded pass rush rather well with a couple of solid secondary acquisitions. Jamar Taylor was a steal at No. 54, considering that he could have easily gone at the end of the first round. Will Davis didn't provide as much value at the end of the third, but he should be a solid depth player.
I liked some of the Dolphins' other picks, but the issue with their draft class is that they didn't come away with an option at left tackle. Dallas Thomas is a guard, or at best, a right tackle. What is Miami going to do across from Jonathan Martin? Why couldn't a trade for Branden Albert come through?
DE Dion Jordan, CB Jamar Taylor, OT Dallas Thomas, CB Will Davis, OLB Jelani Jenkins, TE Dion Sims, RB Mike Gillislee, K Caleb Sturgis, SS Don Jones.
GM Jeff Ireland takes a lot of heat from Miami fans and some of it is deserved. But his past two drafts have been strong despite being very different. Last year, Ireland was in a much more desperate situation to get a quarterback, but stayed put at No. 8 and still got Ryan Tannehill. This year, Ireland wasn't as desperate, but was aggressive in getting Jordan, the consensus pick as the top pass rusher in the draft. The price to move up was cheap (only a second-rounder) and Ireland still came up with a couple of young cornerbacks to help his depleted secondary. Between this draft and free agency (WR Mike Wallace, CB Brent Grimes), the Dolphins have brought in a serious amount of talent, particularly on defense.
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