What to do at #8.
I'm doing a mock that incorporates all our current picks, and doesn't account for trading down. I don't think Tannehill is a great selection for #8, and his inflated draft value is something we need to stay away from. Brandon Weeden is the next logical choice at QB, but at age 28, that's enough to reason to eliminate him from 1st round consideration. Brock Osweiller's stock seems to be going up, and personally, I see a team swiping him in the bottom of the 2nd. I don't see too much in terms of value selections at QB this year, as were getting into a scenario of QB's who are potentially 5th or 6th ranked being selected in the 2nd round as need over value picks. My hope is Brandon Weeden falls to us in the 3rd, where we can take spend a 3rd rounder on a player who can compete at QB from day 1.
1. Quinton Coples, North Carolina - Miami locks up a beast on the edge with their top 10 pick. He's a risky selection, with questions surrounding his dedication and work ethic, but the fact of the matter is he is a physical specimen with a very high ceiling. He can hold down the edge opposite Cameron Wake in the run game, and can also collapse the pocket and add pressure in the pass game. He recorded 10 sacks in 2010, and comes from a program that seems to breed elite defensive linemen. Standing at 6'6 and 284 lbs, he can move, recording a 4.78 40 yard dash, and 7.57 3 cone drill at the combine. I think the FO also considers Melvin Ingram and Malcolm Floyd if they're available at #8.
2. Bobby Massie, Mississippi - Reggie Bush is jumping for joy at this selection. Miami is ecstatic to see their guy fall to them at no. 42. In selecting Massie, they lock up another physical freak to man the trenches. He's 6'6, 316 lbs, and is in consideration as the top RT in the draft. He's a drive blocker that can pave the way at RT, and has the flexibility to play inside as well. He can lock up linebacker's in the second level, and is a excellent fit for the Dolphins new scheme, which has switched from zone blocking, and will thus use more athletic lineman oppose to "The bigger the better approach" Sparano has used in past drafts. He's very athletic, but will most likely need some time to develop. Having said that, he has the tools that make him worthy of 2nd round consideration, and he fills a roster hole early on in the draft. in 2011, Ole Miss allowed the least amount of sacks in the SEC, and was 3rd in the run, thanks in large part to their O-Line. Stealing its key piece, Massie, is a good way to go in the 2nd round. The Dolphins need to consider a number of possibilities here depending on who is left. SS Harrison Smith, OT Zebrie Sanders, and OLB Bruce Irvin will draw consideration from the FO here as well.
3A. A.J. Jenkins, Illinois - Personally, I can't see how this guy is being overlooked like he is. He ran a sub 4.4 40 at the combine, not to mention tore up the agility testing and displayed exceptional footwork in doing so. His Pro Day was nothing short of impressive to boot. At 6'0, 190 lbs, he has the size to line up outside and play in space to the field. He catches the ball well outside of his frame and brings it in to his body, along with displaying excellent body control on the sidelines. He makes acrobatic catches, and can go up in traffic from the slot with some nice leaping ability. I posted about him earlier, and am seriously sold on his ability. He's a bit of a reach here, but is a good player that someone will undoubtedly take a shot on around the 3rd.
3B. Orson Charles, Georgia - Once again, great athlete at a position that fills a need for the Dolphins. Charles drops to #73 here, and thats as far as he goes. Charles is in ranking contention with a number of other players at TE, and along with his questionable blocking, and mediocre 6'2/6'3 height, he falls to us early in the 3rd. Philbin already has one of the game's best blocking TE's in Fasano, and adding Charles gives them a more legitimate threat in the pass game from TE. Charles has a high motor, natural hands, and good speed. He will need to refine his route running a little more, but could make for an intriguing duo once paired with Charles Clay, whose beginning to show promise in the passing game. Joe Philbin used tight end's extensively in Green Bay, and adds to his depth in Miami with this value selection. He's another player that needs some development, especially in his intermediate route running, blocking, and seperation (goes hand in hand with route running). He weighed in over 250 lbs at the combine, and is best considered a mid 4.7 speed guy. I think Charles is a player whose stock is being over valued, and as a result, he will fall on draft day. Having said that, its a good value pick in the 3rd on a guy whose work ethic and football ability are sound, and has a lot of upside as a hybrid TE to take over for Fasano. Keep in mind, he's a big man who put up 35 reps on the bench press and is an aggressive blocker, whose more of a natural receiver than Anthony Fasano. We have Fasano for another year, so working on a guy like Charles, and giving him some PT along the lines of what Charles Clay produced this year is a solid addition to the roster. Chris Givens and Marvin Jones draw heavy consideration to double down on receivers here if available.
4. Brandon Taylor, LSU - Miami is forced into a reach position again here in the fourth. They need to add safety depth direly, and Taylor is a great tackler with good instincts and food speed. His tackling fell off a little in 2011, but he was considered one of the top tackling safeties in 2010. Playing in a division against Gronk and Hernandez means we need sure tacklers in the secondary. Taylor is in instinctive against the run, consistently coming into the box to fill holes. He is a CB turned safety, and as such possesses some natural coverage ability. He isn't a big hitter, but can be used as a SS or nickel/slot DB on the roster. He is very athletic and was a 3 year starter at LSU, taking on the top competition of the SEC for the past few years. He understands the game, and can be a competitor and contributor from day 1. ASU QB Brock Osweiller will draw interest around here, as will TE Ladarius Green and WR Marvin McNutt.
5. Marvin McNutt, Iowa - My favourite receiver in the upcoming draft. He stands at 6'3 and 215 lbs, with 4.5 speed. He can stretch the field and beat defenders with his size and quickness. The downside, he has what some consider inconsistent hands, and isn't overly explosive out of his cuts, not to mention has a tendency to run too high in his stems. These route issues can be attributed to him being a larger receiver, and are things that can be developed. That being said, he provided a lot of plays for a mediocre Iowa pass offence this season, and did it in all levels of the defence. He broke away from defenders routinely after the catch and flashed the ability to be a truly dominant threat in the passing game when he was hot. Miami's new WR coach was McNutt's OC at Iowa, so there's a connection there. I think its a long shot that McNutt is still on the board here, and Miami looks at OG Brandon Brooks from Miami (Ohio) or a receiver like Ryan Broyles or Devon Wylie, a couple game breakers who could be accommodated in Philbin's new offence. This is the draft selection I had the biggest issue with filling, because there is a number of different projects they can gamble on. They would have to strongly look at Nick Foles if he's available here as well.
6. Olivier Vernon, Miami - A local talent falls to Miami in the 6th, and they add a project defender to the roster. Vernon is a big prospect at 6'2 and 261 lbs, who can play either end or standing LB in a hybrid scheme. He shows a lot of promise against the run especially, consistently displaying the strength and hand speed to shed blockers and make moves inside and at the POA. He has ideal measurable's and good length at 6'2, which he uses to his advantage. Despite his size, he has deceiving burst off the line in pass rush. He's a solid selection in the 6th, and one that should be a crowd pleaser, as Vernon is a former 'Cane.
7. Rishaw Johnson, California(PA) - The Phins close out their draft class with a risky selection. Johnson, another former OL from Mississippi who was dismissed for violating team rules. He finished his collegiate career at California (PA), and these character concerns, along with obvious flaws in pass protection and development, will lead to him dropping this far in the draft. He needs to work on upper body strength, and dedicate a lot of work to his technique and holding defenders at the line. He gives up too many QB pressure's in pass protection, and doesn't have NFL ready strength for the line, something you can attribute to an alleged poor work ethic. In terms of 7th round picks, Johnson could develop into a nice interior lineman in the run game, and has the athleticism that OC Mike Sherman values in his OL.