- RB Moreno Injured Expected to be out at least a month. Fins resign RB Daniel Thomas
- Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Miami scored 23 unanswered points in the 2nd half to beat Pats
- Fins finish preseason with a win The Fins scored two TDs in the 4th quarter to beat the Rams 14-13
- Marino to join front office Miami has hired Marino as a special adviser to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel
Dolphins Draft Board Top 10: 10-6
1) NOT INCLUDED in this list are: All QB’s (Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr), DE Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr, OT’s Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson, WR Sammy Watkins, and LB Khalil Mack. The Dolphins are not going to draft a QB at #19, and the odds of one of these non-QB’s slipping to #19 is between slim-none and unworthy of the conversation.
2) I am assuming 2 things happen in Free Agency:the Dolphins retain CB Brent Grimes and sign at least 1 OT among a deep FA class (Branden Albert, Eugene Monroe, Jared Veldheer, Rodger Saffold, Anthony Collins, Jordan Gross, Michael Oher.).
3) Trust me.. I know where each player is projected to go as of January 14th. Don’t waste your time with comments like “Mike Evans won’t fall to #19!!”, because I’ll probably agree with you.
4) This board will change between now and May 8th. Dramatically. Case in point: WR Keenan Allen, DE Damontre Moore, and DT Johnathan Hankins were 1st Round “locks” at this point last season,and all went in the late 2nd round or later.
The following players are ranked #10-#6 for the Dolphins for the #19 draft selection (with these rules):
10) DE Kony Ealy, Missouri* (6-5, 275)
NFL Comparison: Ziggy Ansah, Lions
Ealy might be #1 on this list if not for the Dion Jordan selection last season. If you don’t think Ealy can get on the field for the Dolphins in 2014, remind yourself that Derrick Shelby played 39% of Defensive snaps in 2013 according to Phinsider.com. Look for him to be a Top-10 pick in May. Ealy would be a Jason Pierre-Paul type of value pick if he fell to the #19 spot. Ealy is a raw size/speed-type prospect who could’ve used another year at Mizzou to hone his pass-rushing skills after recording only 9.5 sacks in his career as a Tiger. At #19, he would be the best available athlete at his position and would form a dynamic 4-man rotation with Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Dion Jordan. He would add years onto Wake’s career and allow the team to use Vernon and Jordan more creatively.
9) DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6-5, 300)
NFL Comparison: Jason Hatcher, Cowboys
Think former Dolphins DT Daryl Gardener. Hageman is a late 1st/early 2nd round prospect who I expect to shoot up in pre-draft workouts. He’s a tall, long athlete who isn’t quite a finished product. His best fit is as a 3-technique in a 3-4 Defene, but is more than capable of using his size and speed to make plays in the 4-3. The appeal of Hageman is that he would team with Jared Odrick to give the Dolphins a young pair of DT’s both over 6’5 and 300 pounds, with the versatility to play DE’s in a 3-4 Defense if the Dolphins decided to switch in the future.
8) DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame* (6-2, 345)
NFL Comparison: Dontari Poe, Chiefs
Disclaimer: Nix won’t be on this Top 10 list if Paul Soliai is re-signed. Nix is best suited as a NT in the 3-4, but played alongside Stephon Tuitt in a 4-3 scheme at Notre Dame. Nix and Jared Odrick would give the team an impressive pair of young 4-3 DT’s with scheme flexibility to adapt to a 3-4 in the future. The last 4 giant NT types drafted in the Top-20 were all Pro Bowlers: Vince Wilfork (2004), Haloti Ngata (2006), B.J. Raji (2009) and Dontari Poe (2012).
7) WR Marqise Lee, USC* (6-0, 195)
NFL Comparison: Randall Cobb, Packers
Omar Kelly would call me a “ball-watcher” for this, but I assure you that I’m not. Marqise Lee likely would be battling Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans for right to be the first WR taken if not for an early season knee injury. When Lee was healthy and playing with Matt Barkley in 2012, he won the Biletnikoff Award as the country’s best WR with 118 catches for 1721 yards and 14 TD’s. Despite his so-so height and weight combination, Lee’s separation and route-running skills are rare. Has a little bit of Marvin Harrison in him.
6) G Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6-4, 340)
NFL Comparison: Mike Iupati, 49ers
Most Dolphins fans would probably be unhappy with a LG in the first round. Not me. Take a look at the last 10 pure interior OL’man drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft since 2005, and you’ll see 10 players who either made the Pro Bowl or are darn close to doing so. Cyril Richardson is a plug-and-play LG capable of engulfing DL’men at the point of attack and reaching LB’s on draw plays and screen passes. He is an interior dominator with the size and consistency to nestle in perfectly between Pro Bowl C Mike Pouncey and a Free Agent LT (see above).
Although Richardson might appear to be a poor fit in the ZBS because of his size, he can get the second level more often than Richie Incognito or Nate Garner could. His immediate impact could resemble that of Mke Iupati (49ers) or Logan Mankins (Patriots). Needing to fill 4 OL spots this off-season, it imperative that the Dolphins NAIL at least 2 of them, Branden Albert at LT and Cyril Richardson and LG would accomplish that.
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