- QB Ryan Tannehill signs extension Tannehill signs 6 year $96 mil extension!
- Welcome to Miami Mr. Parker Fins select WR DeVante Parker with the 1st pick of the 2015 draft
- Dion Jordan suspended 2015 season Media reports a third failed drug test, resulting in a year long suspension for Jordan
- WR Greg Jennings a Fin Jennings deal is reportedly a 2 year deal worth $8 million
At the end of last season, the Dolphins continued their playoff drought. Having not made the playoffs since 2008 of course leads to some questions about the team’s problems. Questions that fans wanted addressed in the off-season.
Some of those questions include:
Are the problems with the receivers/tight ends resolved?
Last year Mike Wallace was not a happy camper, and was benched in the final loss to the Jets. Although he had 10 TDs in 2014, he never had a season with Miami where he reached 1000 receiving yards. He certainly was not worthy of his high price tag.
Brian Hartline, who had consecutive 1000 yard seasons before 2014 and had signed a contract extension in 2013, seemed to be the odd man out in OC Bill Lazor’s offense last year. Could he find his niche? What about Brandon Gibson?
Charles Clay, a former 6th round draft pick out of Tulsa, was making a name for himself in the league, and was on the final year of his rookie contract. How would the Fins approach that?
Answer – It appears so
On paper, the Fins appeared to have improved. Miami traded away Dannell Ellerbe and a 3rd round pick for Kenny Stills. The speedy Stills has had 95 receptions for 1572 yards and 8 TDs in his two year career. Stills could be on the verge of a breakout season.
Statically, Stills’ numbers (63 receptions for 931 yards) were almost identical to Wallace’s (67 receptions for 862 yards) last season, other than TD receptions. Each is credited with 4 dropped passes, though Stills reception per target percentage is over 75% while Wallace’s is less than 60%.
The biggest difference between the two is salary. Kenny Stills has two years remaining on a rookie minimum deal while Wallace was the highest paid receiver in the NFL.
With that out of the way, I’ll give you an opinion based on the information readily available, and where applicable give an opinion or two as to what the team may have been thinking.
Round one. WR DeVante Parker
We lost Wallace, Hartline, and Gibson. We signed Stills, and Greg Jennings.
This pick screams of sound logic. Jennings is the ultimate pro. But, clearly he is in decline. That said, think of the things he can teach DeVante. Think of how he can help him to understand how to be a pro.
Speaking of being a pro, there is some risk with Stills. He was feuding with Payton, and Brees at various points last year, and has to learn as well what it takes to be a pro. But, back to Parker…
He gives us a legit all around receiver. Maybe the best we’ve had since the Marks brothers, and I believe his ceiling can potentially be higher. He’s excelled with a number of quarterbacks in college and you know that has to be something that struck Hickey’s interest.
This kid, by every indication is the real deal. Love the pick, and he was 2nd on my wish list behind Todd Gurley who would have been a bigger risk.
My grade A
Before I list the players, and others add their favorites to the list, here are a few “conditions/caveats” I considered when parring down the list:
(1) Does the player have a reasonable chance to be there when Miami picks? (ex. No Winston, Leonard Williams, Fowler, etc)
(2) Would Miami choose the player OR would selecting him make Philbin “queasy”? (No DGB, Marcus Peters, Dawson, etc)
(3) Does he play a “position of need” for the Dolphins?
(4) Would they be an upgrade/challenge for time on the 53 man roster? (Coyle HATES playing rookies so defensive rookies definitely have to be a BPA at the time.)
Okay folks! With that said, here are the Top 18 players I would be happy to see in a Dolphins uniform by the end of the draft:
(19) Ben Koyack (TE) — Is TE a “position of need”? Maybe/maybe not. Would want him in 5th/6th but wouldn’t take him earlier than 4th round. In a Miami offense that uses frequent 2-TE sets, I am not happy with the depth behind Cameron and Sims ESPECIALLY with Cameron’s concussion history. From what I hear, Koyack is a better blocker than Clay but not the caliber of receiver (inconsistent hands). However, at 6-5, I like his potential in the red zone.
(18) Stefon Diggs (WR) — Rising up draft boards. Tough/gritty WR with return skill/experience. Not the most gifted or athletic WR in the class but if he’s there in the 4th/5th round, I want him.
(17) Stephen Nelson CB) — A potential starting Cornerback that is 18th because he may need to be drafted higher than he deserves. Can be good if he learns how to cover without grabbing. Right now, he’s a walking PI Penalty.
(16) Clive Walford (TE)– All around great TE but #17, and barely makes the list, because TE isn’t considered a big area of need. Would challenge Sims as #2 TE once he acclimates to speed of the NFL game. Probably goes in the second and Miami has more pressing needs.
(15) Ipo Ekpre-Olomu (CB) — He’s short AND injured (sounds like a Dolphins pick to me!) but the guy was a total playmaker at Oregon. Before his injury, he was once considered the top DB coming out in the draft.
(14) Malcolm Brown (RB) — He is actually higher on my “man crush” list but listed him lower because he shouldn’t be drafted before Round 5 or 6. HARD runner that Nolan Nawrocki specifically states “can close out games and be effective in 4-minute offensive situations. Strong work habits.”
(13) Tre Jackson (G) — One of only two offensive lineman on my list that is considered purely a Guard. Doesn’t really fit Miami’s “finesse” blocking scheme but I want the next “Richie Incognito” WITHOUT the off-field ‘meathead’ attitude.
(12) Quentin Rollins (CB/S) — REALLY like Rollins because he finds the ball BUT he has only played football for 1 year and Coyle probably wouldn’t trust him.
(11) Ali Marpet (G/C) — The “small school DARLING” of the Combine. Comes in this high because he plays, arguably, the biggest position of need on the team. He is also the athletic guard that Philbin/Lazor covet. Comes in this low because he went to Hobart College and Miami doesn’t have a good history with small school OL.
(10) Byron Jones (CB) — The other “workout warrior” on his list. He has the size, fluidity and skills to be our #2 corner. Lower on the list because, if he was THAT special, you would have heard about him before the Combine.
(9) Denzel Perryman (ILB) — A local favorite that has most of the “intangible” traits you are looking for in a MLB but much better at the run than coverage.
(8) Ereck Flowers (OT/OG) — Doesn’t have the physical tools of my Top 2 OLineman but he has the “dog” you look for in a player. Listed in draft guides as LT but limited athleticism probably makes Guard his best position. Only worth a 1st rounder if we trade back.
(7) Melvin Gordon (RB) — Great back that had the single game rushing record for a week. Vision is considered great and well built. This low because I am leery of Nebraska RBs (see Ron Dayne), would require a 1st round pick and RB isn’t even in our Top 3 needs.
(6) Nelson Agholor (WR) — Wide catch radius that would help make Tannehill look better. Concerned about his durability.
(5) Todd Gurley (RB) — Just like in my mock draft, I wanted to put him higher because he is considered a special athlete and once-in-a-decade RB BUT injury history and higher priorities push him to #5.
(4) Devante Parker (WR) — Has all the tools you look for in a WR. After Miami’s past experience with WRs with “attitude”, reading that Parker is a “bit of a prima dona” soured me on his stock. His talent makes him a Top 3 player on my board but maturity issues push him to 4.
(3) La’el Collins (OT/OG) — Beginning to trend as a popular pick in Dolphins circles. To me, best position appears to be Right Tackle (so not an area of need) BUT probably can kick into Guard. This high because of uncertainty with Albert.
(2) Eric Kendricks (ILB) — Best ILB in the draft. Has the instincts to play the run and the athleticism to cover. Probably would be #1 but ILB isn’t the biggest need (and Philbin/Coyle have a ‘hard on’ for Misi).
(1) Andrus Peat (OT/OG) — Peat is the best LT in the class and I believe he can also kick into the Guard spot in the NFL. I want Peat because I believe he improves our Guard play for a couple years and then becomes our LT of the future.
Less than 24 days till the 2015 NFL Draft and I have been asked to create my mock draft for you here. I compiled my picks based on what I have heard/read in regards to each of the 30 teams. (Seattle and Buffalo don’t have 1st round picks this year.) Several players slid much lower than they actually will go BUT I took each pick individually and it just turned out that way.
[This edition does not allow any draft day trades.]
So, without further fanfare, here is Mock Draft 1.0:
1. Tampa Bay — Jameis Winston (QB)
No surprise here! I am personally not a big fan of Winston but he is generally considered the best QB in this year’s draft and Tampa’s pick.
2. Tennessee — Leonard Williams (DE/DT)
I believe that the staff talking up Mariota is an attempt to create interest at #2. Ultimately, though, Titans take Williams and plug him into the 3-4 at DE.
3. Jacksonville — Dante Fowler Jr (OLB)
Not very original but this pick just makes too much sense here. Local kid and a pass rushing machine.
4. Oakland — Kevin White (WR)
My ‘gut’ told me to choose Vic Beasley here (even had his name and erased it) since the Raiders only had 22 sacks last year. BUT the Raiders have a young QB and NO real weapons to throw too. I believe the Davis family’s love of SPEED makes White the pick over Cooper.
5. Washington — Vic Beasley (DE/OLB)
Pretty much more ‘chalk’ through five picks. Washington likes Beasley.
6. New Jersey Jets — Bud Dupree (OLB)
I REALLY hated making this pick! While Mariota is a ‘trendy’ pick here, Bowles will continue to build the Jets defense and Dupree makes this a NASTY front seven.
7. Chicago — Danny Shelton (NT)
Here is where things got fun because I felt comfortable deviating from the ‘experts’ mock drafts. While Cooper would make sense here, Chicago needs a NT and Shelton is considered the best of the bunch.
8. Atlanta — Shane Ray (DE/OLB)
Wanted to go OL here but the way the board fell, and a need for a pass rusher, has Ray falling into the Falcons lap. I am leery of Missouri defenders but he is highly regarded.
9. New Jersey Giants — Arik Armstead (DE/DT)
Tempted to put Randy Gregory here but, like a few other teams in the Top 10, his drug history scares away the Giants. Armstead is a ‘force’ on a DLine that needs it.
10. St Louis — Amari Cooper (WR)
If Cooper didn’t fall, Brandon Scherff would have been the pick here. The OL is dreadful and Scherff would be the SMARTER pick but Cooper is the better value.
11. Minnesota — D.J. Humphries (OT)
Minnesota needs OLine help and Humphries is the best LT in the draft. Trae Waynes was also a consideration but I think Humphries is a bigger need.
12. Cleveland — Devante Parker (WR)
I would like Parker to come to Miami so it pained me to give him to Cleveland. I KNOW that Marcus Mariota is still on the board; I just don’t think Cleveland will go QB in the first round twice in a row. Also, only Oakland needs WR help MORE than Cleveland.
13. New Orleans — Brandon Scherff (OT/OG)
Again, I had a name slotted here and erased it. Randy Gregory would be a big help for New Orleans but a 36 yr old Brees needs to be kept as clean as possible so I chose the top rated OG in the draft.
14. Miami — Benardrick McKinney (ILB)
VERY tough choice! I wanted to pick Todd Gurley BAD but I think McKinney is the best combo of BPA/Need at 14.
15. San Francisco — Randy Gregory (DE/OLB)
You’re welcome SF! Gregory is BPA and it’s not even CLOSE! With the slew of retirements on D this offseason, Gregory gives a much needed boost.
16. Houston — Marcus Mariota (QB)
Mariota will not fall to 16 but, if he DID, Houston would be CRAZY not to select him.
17. San Diego — Todd Gurley (RB)
Not really out-of-the-box. The pick here MAY be Gordon (if SD is ‘gun shy’ from the Ryan Mathews days) but Gurley’s knee appears to be fine so RB is selected in the 1st round for the first time since 2012.
18. Kansas City — La’el Collins (OT)
I can find NOBODY that doesn’t think that KC’s primary need isn’t OL. Collins and Fisher will battle it out for the two tackle positions.
19. Cleveland — Malcolm Brown (DT)
Cleveland addressed WR with their first pick so they address their next biggest need here. Nobody in the NFL allowed more yards per game rushing than Cleveland so they address that issue with a big Longhorn.
20. Philadelphia — Trae Waynes (CB)
Even with the addition of Maxwell, Philly needs a corner and Waynes is considered the best in this draft.
21. Cinncinati — Andrus Peat (OT)
With Bengals needing OL help, I will trust the “experts” out there that think Cincy would choose Peat over T.J. Clemmings. Erick Flowers is also a consideration here but too much of a project to take here.
22. Pittsburgh — Landon Collins (SS)
Steelers need Polamalu’s replacement and happen to land the top/only first round Safety in the draft.
23. Detroit — Eddie Goldman (DT)
Maybe a little bit of a reach but Detroit lost both DTs this offseason and Ngata isn’t a long-term solution. Goldman is big and can help fill the void in the middle.
24. Arizona — Melvin Gordon (RB)
With Bowles moving on, I don’t know what will happen with Arizona’s D but I believe the addition of Gordon could help take pressure off Palmer as he returns from injury (and he isn’t getting any younger.)
25. Carolina — T.J. Clemmings (OT)
With only one OT remaining with a REAL first round grade, Carolina is happy that Clemmings falls to them here. Newton will appreciate this pick as well.
26. Baltimore — Jalen Collins (CB)
The ‘in vogue’ pick is to put a WR here but WR is a deep group this year and Collins would help the most.
27. Dallas — Michael Bennett (DT)
Dallas has a history of going “off the board” with their first round pick so Cowboys fans brace themselves for the selection of Bennett. Not the highest rated DT left on the board but he is just what Dallas needs on the DLine.
28. Denver — Erick Flowers (OT/OG)
Sorry Broncos fans (although not many are going to read this)! Denver needs help to protect Manning BADLY so they reach for Flowers, who sneaks into the first round based on need instead of talent. He will be a Guard at the NFL level.
29. Indianapolis — Cameron Erving (C)
This late in the first round I decided to pick with my head and not with the ‘experts’. Most mocks have Indy looking defense and I almost put Eric Kendericks here but the Colts currently have an UDFA hiking the ball to Luck and Erving would make this a much better line.
30. Green Bay — Marcus Peters (CB)
Tempted to go with Jordan Phillips here but GB could use help at DB and has the right culture/veteran leadership to put Peters in his place. On the field, Peters is an tremendously talented Corner.
31. New Orleans — Eli Harold (OLB)
While this is another place Phillips could fall, Harold is a great fit for 3-4 Saints defense.
32. New England — Jaelen Strong (WR)
The rich get richer! B&B have never been big believers in the need for a speedy WR so I eliminated Breshard Perriman and Phillip Dorsett and went with the red zone nightmare that is the 6’2″ Strong.
There it is folks! I will prepare overnight for all the critics who think I royally screwed this up… LOL
For all the sh..tuff that us Dolphins fans have had to complain about during/after the season (and it’s an impressive amount of stuff) I think I can try and get behind this Tannebaum thing after all.
I know that I was one of the first to blast Ross for this signing BUT, if you get past the way it was originally presented, this just MIGHT be a good move long term.
Ross has made him VP of Football Operations and, regardless of your personal thoughts about his GM tenure, Tannebaum IS a football ‘lifer’. Hasn’t our biggest gripe about Ross is that he was making football decisions without (a) being here half the time and (b) not knowing anything about football? Well here is Tannebaum who will NOT be making personnel decisions (which experts and even HE admits is not his forte). His responsibility is to oversee the team’s objectives, strategies and goals while Ross is off doing what he likes/knows best.
I KNOW that we don’t think much of Tannebaum.
I KNOW that this organizational structure is REALLY STUPID!
BUT, what if a year from now, WHEN the Dolphins fail in 2015 (and with Philbin coaching don’t most of us think this WILL happen?) maybe Tannebaum is FINALLY given control over hiring the new GM and HC? Wouldn’t that makes us a more ‘stable’ organization?
For as poorly as this was presented, this just MIGHT be the first positive thing that happens this offseason….wouldn’t that be a start?