Hello guys. I haven't posted my full mock offseason yet, only posting bits and pieces in comments. However, here is my post-combine, pre-free agency look at what the Dolphins are going to do with their $50M of cap space and multiple draft picks. I tried to look for a balance between the likelihood and the pipe dream aspects for this, trying to make it both likely and awesome. I only looked at players that fit the Dolphins scheme, along with players free of many character or attitude issues. Here is my mock, I hope you guys will agree with it. However, If you disagree, no worries, just post in the comments section what you disagree on and what you would change. So, let's go
Heading to free agency, we have $50M of cap space available. I am going to assume $5M of that is going to be used on rookie deals, so that will bring our total spending money to $45M. This is a very high amount and will allow us to make quite a few big moves.
FS Chris Clemons (3 year, $8M) - Clemons was our starting FS alongside stud Reshad Jones.Clemons is a very solid safety who rarely gives up the big play and is a good tackler, but doesn't take risks that could potentially lead to high rewards. However, we have Jones as our risk-taking safety, so a safe player like Clemons should be just what we need next to him.
TE Anthony Fasano (2 year, $7M) - Fasano had a good season last year as a red zone target, catching a team high 5 TDs. Fasano was also a very good blocker, paving the way for our RBs. Fasano is not, however a seam threat TE, and should not be the starter, but I will address that later.
OL Nate Garner (1 year, $1M) - Garner has a lot of value as our O-line's 6th man. He is capable of backing up all 5 positions, which makes him a valuable asset that we should try to retain.
WR Brian Hartline (3 year, $14M) - Hartline had a breakout year last year, going for over 1,000 yards. However, this was mostly the product of improved QB play and more opportunities. However, Hartline is a talented number 2 WR who is a good fit for our system, has familiarity with our system and Tannehill, and moves the chains at will. Critics will point to his lack of big play ability, but that will be addressed later.
DT Tony McDaniel (2 year, $5M) - McDaniel had a poor year last year after struggling with injuries, but is a very talented rotational DT. With Randy Starks most likely departing via FA, and Jared Odrick moving inside, bringing McDaniel back provides some continuity along with a rotational man that has a penchant for swatting passes down at the line.
WR Marlon Moore (1 year, $500k) - Moore was a solid special teams player and was able to step up at times when he was needed as a WR. Not a stud on offense by any means, but his special teams value helps him return.
MLB Austin Spitler (1 year, $500k) - Like Moore, Spitler was a solid special teams player. Spitler also performed well as a backup to Karlos Dansby, and should be be brought back to compete for a backup role
QB Pat Devlin (2 year, $1M) - The coaching staff is very high on Devlin's ability to take over for Matt Moore at the backup spot. he should be retained for this purpose.
Remaining Salary cap room after re-signings: $32M
Free Agent Additions
WR Mike Wallace (5 year, $45M)
The Dolphins need a dominant, number 1, big play WR. There are many of them available in the draft, but none of them have the proven ability of Wallace. Wallace is one of the fastest WRs in the NFL, and, while he has had some drop issues, can take over a game at any time and change everything. Wallace should be worth his price, and will be an exciting addition for Tannehill to work with.
TE Dustin Keller (4 year, $25M)
The Dolphins need a seam threat WR who can stretch the LBs and draw safety help. Keller gives us that. Keller is an experienced, yet young, TE who has great hands, good speed and can run great routes. he should take over the starting job from Fasano, and will give Tannehill a legitimate target down the middle of the field.
RT Andre Smith (3 year, $23M)
Andre Smith emerged over the past few seasons as one of the top 5 RTs in the league. He is a very good run blocker and a good pass blocker as well. His talent, along with the movement of Jonathon Martin to the RT spot, should definitely help improve the O-line. he is a good, young blocker that should form a bookend duo with Martin.
CB Keenan Lewis (3 year, $17M)
The Dolphins add another former Steeler to the fold with CB Keenan Lewis. Lewis had a breakout year last year, his first season as a starter. This is a bit discouraging, as he has only started 17 games over 4 seasons. However, Lewis had an excellent year last year, showing shutdown potential. while many Dolphins fans may shy away due to his lack of INTs, he was primarily a cover corner, not a ballhawk. Opposing QBs had a 52.7% completion percentage and just 3 TDs when throwing the ball in his direction. He was rarely out of position, has decent size and good speed, and should be a good signing.
QB Matt Cassel (1 year, $2M (no guaranteed money))
This is a pickup that may not settle well with some fans who will look at his performance last season and decide he is a bad QB. However, the only QB besides Tannehill on our roster is Devlin, who is unproven. While I hope Devlin turns into a solid backup, we still need to get some competition for him. For that purpose, there is no one available that I would take over Cassel. Cassel has proven he can be an effective game manager and win some games, compiling a career 29-34 record as a starter. He also knows Patriots' Josh McDaniel's playbook better than anyone except Brady and McDaniels himself. He has playoff experience and was a pro bowler just a few years ago. I'd give him a shot to compete with Devlin, and then cut the loser (If Devlin can not win a backup job after 3 years, there is no reason to expect him to continue to improve, in which case we drop him and start working on our new developmental guy).
Cap space remaining after re-signings and new free agents: around $2M. This money should be kept in case we need to make any emergency signings during the season, otherwise it will be rolled over to next year's cap.
With Free Agency over, the Dolphins added some very talented players. In the draft, they will look towards filling the rest of their needs.
TRADE!!! The Dolphins trade their 1st round pick (12th overall pick), 2nd round pick (56th overall - from Colts) and 5th rd pick (13th pick of the 5th round) to the Philadelphia Eagles for their 1st round pick (4th overall pick) and 6th rd pick (28th pick of 6th round - from Broncos)
1st round (from Eagles) - CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
With Milliner's tremendous showing at the combine, his stock rose tremendously, to the point where there is no chance he slips by the Detroit Lions, who are sitting there with the 5th overall pick. As many of you guys know, Milliner is my favorite prospect in this year's draft. I love his physicality, speed, coverage ability and ability to make the big play. He should be perfect starting across from lewis, and I am sure he will be a stud.
2nd round - DE Alex Okafor
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Alex Okafor, the most underrated DE in this year's class. It is only in a class featuring studs such as Bjeorn Werner, Dion Jordan, Damontre Moore, Barkevious Mingo and Ezekiel Ansah does a player as consistently dominant as Okafor slip to the 2nd round. Okafor was able to consistently get pressure on the QB, amassing 12.5 sacks through the season. He should be able to come in and start immediately opposite Cam Wake, and should become a dominant edge rusher.
3rd round - WR Marcus Wheaton
Marcus Wheaton looks to become a prototypical west coast style WR. He has great speed, running a 4.4 40-time, solid hands, good route running ability and good size, at 6'1", 183 lbs. He should develop this year as a number 4 WR, and should take over for Bess in the slot next year. My first choice here, however, would be WVU WR Stedman Bailey, but he will almost certainly be gone by the time we pick, but Wheaton is a very nice consolation prize.
3rd round (from Bears) - OG David Quessenberry
While Richie Incognito enjoyed a pro bowl year at the LG spot, he is a much better fit at the RG spot, where his lack of athleticism wouldn't be as harmful. John Jerry, however, was mediocre, and looks to be better off as a backup. In his stead, the Dolphins draft sleeper guard David Quessenberry (who will hereafter be referred to as "Q"). Q had a very good senior bowl performance which boosted his stock into the late-3rd ound range, which is where this pick is. Q has great athleticism and looks to be a great fit at LG in a zone-blocking scheme. He's not too heavy, weighing in at 295 lbs, but his athleticism makes up for it.
4th - S Duke Williams
The Dolphins have a solid starting duo at safety in Reshad Jones and the re-signed Chris Clemons, but they have little depth behind them. The backup safeties are Kelcie McCray, who was put on IR after being signed as a UDFA last year, and Jonathon Amaya, who is solid on special teams, but offers little other value. Williams can be a talented backup safety, and can even push Clemons for the starting job as soon as next year. This is a high-upside pick for the future.
TRADE!!! The Dolphins trade their 6th round pick (from Eagles) and their 7th round pick (from Dallas) to the Atlanta Falcons for their 5th round pick
5th round (from Falcons) - RB Theo Riddick
With Reggie leaving via free agency, the Dolphins have a hole at the RB position. Lamar Miller is expected to take over the starting spot, and Daniel Thomas should continue in his role as the backup/rotational back. After those two, however, it is a mystery. There is RB Jonas Gray, who spent last season on IR after being signed as a priority UDFA. There is Marcus Thigpen, whose only time on offense came as a slot WR, and whose value as a kick returner prevents him from playing much of a role on offense. In order to shore up the depth at this position, the Phins should add Riddick, who, despite not being a burner, still has good 4.5 speed and is a very good reciever out of the backfield.
7. QB Jordan Rodgers
With this pick, the Dolphins pick up a developmental backup that should fit well in the scheme. If Rodgers is even half as good as his brother, he should be well worth the pick. He has great speed and mobility, and has an accurate arm, though it is not a cannon. He is very raw however, and will need a few years of development before he is even good enough to be a backup. Because of this, I think he will spend his first year or two on the practice squad before he competes for a spot on the 53. However, his upside makes him worth the pick here.
53-man depth chart projection
Offense (player/player means the two players are competing for that spot)
|Position||1st string||2nd string||3rd string|
|Quarterback||Ryan Tannehill||Pat Devlin/Matt Cassel|
|Runningback||Lamar Miller||Daniel Thomas||Jonas Grey, Theo Riddick (4th)|
|Wide Reciever 1||Mike Wallace||Davone Bess||Rishard Mathews|
|Wide Reciever 2||Brian Hartline||Marcus Wheaton||Marcus Thigpen (KR)|
|Tight End||Dustin Keller||Anthony Fasano||Charles Clay/Micheal Egnew|
|Left Tackle||Jonathon Martin||Will Yeatman|
|Left Guard||David Quessenberry||Nate Garner|
|Center||Mike Pouncey||Josh Samuda|
|Right Guard||Richie Incognito||John Jerry|
|Right Tackle||Andre Smith|
Defense (player/player means the two players are competing for that spot)
|Position||1st string||2nd string||3rd string|
|Defensive End 1||Cameron Wake||Derrick Shelby|
|Defensive Tackle 1||Paul Soliai||Tony McDaniel|
|Defensive Tackle 2||Jared Odrick||Kheeston Randall|
|Defensive End 2||Alex Okafor||Olivier Vernon|
|Outside Linebacker 1||Kevin Burnett||Jason Trusnik|
|Inside Linebacker||Karlos Dansby||Austin Spitler|
|Outside Linebacker 2||Koa Misi||Josh Kaddu|
|Cornerback 1||Dee Milliner||Nolan Carroll|
|Cornerback 2||Keenan Lewis||Dimitri Patterson|
|Nickel Cornerback||Richard Marshall||Jimmy Wilson|
|Strong Safety||Reshad Jones||Kelcie McCray|
|Free Safety||Chris Clemons||Duke Williams||Jonathon Amaya|
Kicker - Dan Carpenter
Punter - Brandon Fields
Long Snapper - John Denney