Miami has definitely made all the headlines this off-season thus far. Some will say it is a bad thing, but I think Miami did what was necessary to make this a winning football team and to beat the Patriots. The best part is Miami is not done making moves and adding pieces. There are still plenty of good solid free agents left. Believe it or not Miami still has around $17 million left in cap space, and will get another $7 million on June 1st due to the releasing of Dansby and Burnett. Miami will need $7 million to sign all their rookies, but because of the top 51 rule they really only need $3-5 million. Miami may also want to save $5 million like they did last year so they can roll it over to the ’14 cap, and have some flexibility during the season. So Miami has $24 million in cap space minus the $5 million for rookies and another $5 million for extra. Miami still has $14 million left to spend.
With Jake Long leaving, Martin slides over to LT and Winston or Vollmer will fill the RT spot. Vollmer is arguably the top RT in football. He does have back issues but getting Vollmer would weaken the Patriots. Winston has played in a zone blocking scheme his whole career. Both players are 29.
Any of these 3 players can come in and play across Wake, and hopefully add more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They are also all on the downside of their careers but may have something left. Umenyiora is 31, Freeny 33, and Abraham is 34.
Lance Louis, Brandon Moore – RG
Miami wants to add more competition at RG and possibly even replace Jerry as the starter. Jerry is athletic at 340 pounds, but Miami wants him to drop to around 310. Moore had a pro bowl caliber season last year even at 33. Louis is 28. Either player would make a solid addition to the offensive line.
Winfield, Grimes, Woodson, Pacman, Biggers – CB
Any of these cornerbacks would make a great addition to Miami’s secondary. Winfield and Woodson are old but still play at a high level. Pacman is a nickel corner, and has played under Coyle’s scheme. Miami has expressed interest in Grimes and Biggers.
Let’s say Miami gets Winston, Umenyiora, Louis, and Grimes.
Round 1 – Xavier Rhodes CB FSU
My favorite 3 prospects that Miami should consider at 12 are Tavon Austin, Xavier Rhodes, and Lane Johnson. Johnson is not expected to fall to 12, so Miami can use one of their mid-round picks to move up. Miami has 11 picks so Miami can move around the draft if needed. Austin is hands down the most intriguing prospect this year. Maybe 5 teams in the league have a defense that can cover Wallace and Austin. Right now however it looks like Rhodes is the favorite to be picked. He has excellent size and can go against the big receivers. He can also play in a zone scheme which Miami will play more of.
Round 2a – Blidi-Wreh Wilson CB Connecticut
Round 2b – Alex Okafor DE Texas
Originally I wanted Jonathan Cyprien at 2a, however I don’t think he will be available at 42. Wilson and Rhodes are both good in a zone scheme, and I think they will make a good tandem for the future. Okafor adds more competition and depth across from Wake. Okafor could split time with Umenyiora, Vernon, Odrick, and Misi while he develops.
Round 3a – Gavin Escobar TE San Diego State
Round 3b – David Quessenberry OL San Jose State
Miami is reportedly very interested in Escobar. Keller is 29 and only signed a 1-year deal. Escobar makes a solid #2 TE and eventually #1. Quessenberry fits in nicely and can play anywhere on the line in a zone scheme. He will add competition and depth at guard, and potentially replace Incognito at LG.
Round 4 – Omeregie Uzzi OL Georgia Tech
Uzzi, like Quessenberry fits in nicely in the zone scheme and has versatility as well. Uzzi and Quessenberry could be the guards of the future.
Round 5a – Rex Burkhead RB Nebraska
Round 5b (Compensatory Pick) – Dustin Hopkins K FSU
Miami may want to add a big back in the later rounds to compete with Thomas. Some other names are Marcus Lattimore, Zac Stacy, and Dennis Johnson. Hopkins would compete with Carpenter and could replace him.
Round 7a – Brandon Hepburn MLB Florida A&M
Round 7B – Stacy McGee Oklahoma DT
Round 7c (Compensatory Pick) – Kayvon Webster S South Florida
These picks would be to add depth.
Miami’s Depth Chart
QB – Tannehill, Moore, Devlin
HB – Miller, Thomas, Gray, Burkhead, Thigpen
FB – Lane
WR – Wallace, Hartline, Bess, Gibson, Binns, Matthews, Fuller, Tyms
TE – Keller, Escobar, Clay, Egnew, Miller
T – Martin, Winston, Garner, Yeatman, Adams, McDonald
G – Incognito, Jerry, Louis, Quessenberry, Uzzi, Burden
C – Pouncey, Samuda
(36 Offensive Players)
DE – Wake, Umenyiora, Vernon, Okafor, Shelby
DT – Soliai, Starks, Odrick, Randall, McGee
OLB – Wheeler, Misi, Trusnik, Kaddu, Freeny, Robinson
MLB – Ellerbe, Spitler, Hepburn
CB – Grimes, Rhodes, Marshall, Patterson, Wreh-Wilson, Carroll, Stanford, Posey, Presley
S – Jones, Clemons, Wilson, McCray, Webster
(33 Defensive Players)
K – Carpenter, Hopkins
LS – Denney
That is a total of 73 players, so obviously not all of them are going to make the team. Overall I think this is a good combination of talent, youth, and depth. This team has the potential to defeat the Patriots twice a year, as well as win the division. The bottom line though, is this team only goes as far as Tannehill takes us. If he butt fumbles once, then we are in trouble. Cap space isn’t a problem because Miami can cut some players to save money (Bess, Incognito, Patterson, Marshall, and Carpenter). However I think all of those players are safe for now.