From now until the draft, which is just over 4 weeks away, I plan on posting a handful of these kinds of posts. In them, I will touch on a few players who will likely be day two draft picks and who I would personally like to see drafted by the Dolphins. Some may fill a need. Some may not. But we know that with this regime, they aren't afraid to take the best player remaining on their draft board regardless of draft needs.
WR Ramsas Barden, Cal Poly
Barden certainly isn't an unknown anymore. He's generating as much buzz as I can ever remember a small-school prospect generating. And it's not just his immense size that has scouts buzzing. At the Combine, Barden ran a 4.61 40 yard dash - a solid run in its own right for a player of Barden's size. But then at his pro day, Barden ran 40s of 4.51 and 4.55 - which is ridiculous for a 6'6 receiver. He had the longest arms (34.5") and largest hands (10.75") of all the receivers at the Combine. He also showed tremendous hands in his workouts at the Combine and his pro day. Perhaps the most persuasive scouting report on Barden, though, comes from an NFL.com article, that says the consensus scouting report on Barden is the following:
"Big, great hands, athletic and can dominate. Great target. A certain No. 2 receiver with upside. Can take over a game. Tremendous body control. The best blocker of all receivers in the draft. Reminiscent of San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson but projected to become the better player. You need or want a big receiver, this player cannot be ignored."
Now Barden might not even be considered a "day two prospect" anymore, but I still listed him here because I just wanted a chance to talk about him. If he's still on the board at pick #56, you have to imagine the "trifecta" will at least be discussing him in the war room.
ILB Darry Beckwith, LSU
6'0 1/4", 242
Many people believe that the only two inside linebackers who will be drafted on day one are Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis. If that's the case, then some team is going to be getting a steal in round three when they select Darry Beckwith. When you watch this kid, you see that he has amazing football instincts - which is the most important attribute an ILB has to have (in my humble opinion). At his pro day, Beckwith ran the 40 in 4.7 and 4.63 seconds - which was an improvement from his Combine time of 4.77. But no matter what his "timed" speed is, he plays fast on the field. He can go sideline to sideline with ease and is quick in reacting to the play as it unfolds. He may be shorter than some would like, but he's every bit as tough as any linebacker in the draft and excels against the run. If you ask me, he'd look really good playing next to Channing Crowder in Miami's 3-4.
DE/OLB Lawrence Sidbury Jr., Richmond
6'2 3/8", 266
The Dolphins want pass-rushers. This is something we all know. Well Sidbury is exactly what the Dolphins ordered. He's got the size this regime wants and has the speed to rush off the edge from the OLB posiiton - having run a 4.64 40 yard dash at the Combine. He also benched 225 pounds 28 times - showing off that strength he possesses as well. And he has freakishly long arms - at over 35 inches. As a senior at Richmond, Sidbury tallied 11.5 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss - including a 4 sack performance to close out his career in the National Championship Game against Montana. He's also one of those "high motor" players that this regime would love to get their hands on. With his huge upside, though, Sidbury probably won't last past round three.
NT Terrance Knighton, Temple
The Dolphins need to find their long-term solution behind the aging Jason Ferguson at nose tackle. There are a handful of potential day two guys who could fill that void. Terrance Knighton is ome of them. He's a big, strong guy who possesses long arms (34.5") and a strong upfield push. He had 2 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2008 as well as 3 blocked kicks - which emphasis the kind of push Terrance gets up the middle. He's even a player who causes disruption in the passing game when he doesn't get to the QB thanks to his long arms. He had 3 pass deflections last year. Various reports claim that he doesn't play as strong as his size would lead you to believe. However, that's something that is correctable with good coaching - teaching him things like leveraging and hand placement.
CB Bradley Fletcher, Iowa
6'0 3/8", 196
Now here's a player who will likely be a 6th or 7th round pick - but has some serious upside. He's got good size and really ran well at his pro day (running 4.44 and 4.45 in the 40). He also put up a 40 inch vertical leap at his workout. He's strong and can really get at the receiver and jam him at the line, while possessing the fluid hips needed to then turn and run after the initial bump. However, he only has one full year as a starter and he had an off the field "hiccup" back in July of 2007 - when he was cited for drunk driving after running a red light (he pled guilty). His athleticism, though, really makes him somebody who could be a solid late-round investment if you're willing to put in the time - as he is more of a project than anything else.