Post FA Draft Ruminations

Draft Notes

  • I would be very surprised if Miami drafts a DT at all. Currently, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Kheeston Randall, and Vaughn Martin (Signed for 2 yr / $4 million) are signed as DTs. Usually, only 8-9 Defensive Linemen are kept on the roster for the season, and 5 of those are usually DEs/Passrushers. DT is not an 'expensive' position, as Jeff Ireland refers to them, and therefore will likely not see a player taken in the first 5 rounds for the Dolphins unless there is an unbelievable value. Also, DTs are playing less and less a percentage of snaps because of the passing offenses around the NFL. On 3rd downs last year you usually saw Jared Odrick switch to DT and Vernon come in at DE to rush the passer. Why add a DT who will be a rotational player for a shrinking minority of the snaps?
  • Miami will not draft a CB in the first round. While it is a key 'expensive' position, it has little value once Milliner is gone. I think it much more likely Miami targets Wreh-Wilson, Hayden, Darius Slay, Jamar Taylor, or Robert Alford in the 2nd round rather than reach 10+ picks for Rhodes or Trufant. Reportedly, many draft boards have DJ Milliner as the only 1st round CB. it is against Jeff Ireland's nature to reach.
  • Consider the fact that Miami is targeting the addition of a veteran CB in free agency. They already have Marshall and Patterson. If they are going to draft at least 2 CBs, why also add a veteran? I think it is because Ireland realizes the mistake he made with Sean Smith and Vontae Davis. Making them starters their first year with no mentors prevented their growth and made the secondary a team weakness until they had a couple years of development. I think Ireland wants to add a couple corners in the draft who can develop for a year or two under Patterson, Marshall, and a steady veteran, and grow into the position. I think it likely that Ireland targets players with ideal height, speed, and agility, but who need experience to become potential #1 CBs. There are quite a few of those in the draft, including Tharold Simon, Dwayne Gratz, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, DJ Hayden, Robert Alford, and Josh Johnson.
  • Jeff Ireland believes you win by creating mismatches, and how you do that is to have better talent at the 5 primary positions: QB, LT, CB, WR, and passrusher (DE/OLB).
      • Miami has their QB.
      • The value for CB is not their at #12. Also, since 3 CBs are usually played on the field at one time now, it is more important to have 3 good CBs rather than a shutdown #1 CB and 2 alright CBs.
      • The value at passrusher for #12 is not likely to be an improvement over Odrick or Vernon. Even Bjoern Werner or Ezekial Ansah, while it is likely they will be good 3 down DEs, are not likely to offer great passrush abilities.
      • The top 3 LTs are likely to be gone by pick #12, so the value isn't there for that position either.
      • At WR, Miami is likely to target strengthening the position through developmental players in the 3rd/4th (Aaron Dobson, Stedman Bailey, etc.) than a 1st or 2nd round pick who will sit on the bench a lot.
  • So, what do you do when you are in this no man's land of value that Miami is in?
    • Option 1: You take the best player you can. Miami's draft board would likely look like this for their position on who has a chance to be available:
        • 1: Lane Johnson (LT)
        • 2: Bjoern Werner (DE)
        • 3: Ezekial Ansah (DE)
        • 4: Tyler Eifort (TE)
    • Option 2: You trade up. My gut feeling is that Miami feels like the best way to improve their OL is to trade up for one of the top LTs, if available. It is likely either Fisher or Joeckel will be available at pick #5. Trading up for Miami's late 2nd, or Miami's 3rd and 5th round picks would likely be worth it to have a line consisting of, say:
        • LT: Fisher
        • LG: Incognito
        • C: Pouncey
        • RG: Louis
        • RT: Martin
    • Option 3: You trade back. Miami could likely trade down 5-8 spots for a 3rd round pick to a team who wants to trade up for a player Miami doesn't consider a player or position of need, say: Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotuleilei, or Tavon Austin.

Another reason to strongly consider that Miami will try and move up for a top LT is the offense they would like to run. Philbin wants to have such a good offensive line, and so many mismatches at WR and TE that Miami can primarily run a single back system, removing the fullback on most plays. If Miami plays with a single back, 3 WR set, and seam TE threat on most plays, they are going to need a top offensive line to protect Tannehill. The type of offense Miami is aiming for will rarely have 2 TEs on the field, and rarely have a fullback either. Last year they didn't have the personnel to run it. This year Ireland is furiously trying to assemble the necessary pieces that Philbin has requested.

Sample Mock Draft based upon these thoughts:

1 (Trade up to #5 for Miami's late 2nd round pick): Eric Fisher (LT)

2: DJ Hayden (CB)

3a: Gavin Escobar (TE) or Travis Kelce (TE)

3b: Tharold Simon (CB)

4: Christine Michael (RB)

5a: Aaron Mellette (WR)

5b: Zavier Gooden (OLB)

7a: Caleb Sturgis (K)

7b: Kapron Lewis-Moore (DE)

7c: Top OL

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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