General Manager Dennis Hickey completed the first round of the NFL Draft and picked Ja'Wuan James with the 19th pick in the draft. The reaction was quite mixed as many wanted him to trade down while others wanted him to fix one of the biggest holes on the roster.
James is a team captain from Tennessee and played in 49 games, starting all of them. Although his feet are heavy and doesn't have the athletic ability to get to the second level and maul blockers, he does have a solid base that allows him to be strong at the point of attack, much like Branden Albert on the other side of the line. He is going to be extremely tough to move in the passing game. James has no injury concerns throughout his college career so that obviously is a good thing.
While I also have mixed reactions on it, James is a player that can start from the very first day and I do believe that he can play for the next decade. As Andy Cohen of the Dolphins website put it - this was a must pick, not a need pick. The Dolphins had to fix the offensive line and picking James was a huge step in doing so.
In the second round, Hickey traded down twice before selecting Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry, which surprised quite a few people. Landry is 5'11 and is from LSU and was a team captain. He played in 40 games but only started 12 of them. Landry is your typical possession receiver and won't blow anyone away with his speed. However, he plays very big and catches just about everything thrown his way. He isn't afraid to run routes over the middle and take the big hit and he is the true definition of someone who is going to give it their all every day. I expect Landry to beat out Rishard Matthews for the third wide receiver position.
Minutes after the Dolphins picked Landry, they traded up to select Offensive Lineman Billy Turner. Like the other two players the Dolphins drafted, Turner was a captain in college. He played in 57 games at North Dakota State University and started 56 of them. He is projected to start at one of the guard positions on the line and could even eventually replace Branden Albert in a few years. Turner is extremely violent on the line and will bring a fighting attitude to every game and practice. He is explosive, gets on his guys quickly, and his punch is amazing. He's going to be an awesome player for the Dolphins.
We now turn our attention to day three and here's what I think the Dolphins will do.
Round 4 - Pick 25: Shayne Skov - ILB
The Dolphins get the inside linebacker help they need by selecting Shayne Skov, which will allow them to move Dannell Ellerbe to the outside. Although many project him to play in a 3-4 in the NFL, I think he's good enough to make the transition to a 4-3 defense.
Skov, a team captain, comes from Stanford and played in 54 games, starting 48 of them. He did tear his ACL in 2011 but since then, he hasn't had any injuries to be concerned about. Skov has great ability to plug the gaps when running downhill and can easily take on blockers, allowing others around him to make the play. He is extremely powerful and aggressive, which will help him at the point of attack.
Round 5 - Pick 15: Dion Bailey - Safety
The Dolphins are looking for some depth at the safety position. Louis Delmas is on a one-year contract and Jimmy Wilson seems to have hit his plateau. Therefore, Dion Bailey would be a great addition to the team in the fifth round.
He is from USC and played in 39 games, starting 38 of them. He has a very high ceiling and is great in zone coverage. He does tend to think too much when out on the field but with experience, that should fade with time. The thing that's most intriguing about bailey is that he can line up at either safety position and also at the outside linebacker position.
Round 5 - Pick 31: Chris Davis - Cornerback
The Dolphins can use a little depth at cornerback due to injury concerns dating back to last season and if EJ Gaines is around, they should draft him here. Chris Davis is from Auburn and was a team captain. He played in 44 games and started 30 of them.
While Davis isn't known for his ability in coverage and defending receivers, he is an absolute monster on special teams. He is best known for the dramatic finish when they played Alabama last season and returned a missed field goal for 109 yards as time expired. Davis will be the kick returner, punt returner and gunner.
Round 6 - Pick 14: De'Anthony Thomas - RB
After seeing how they are looking to add even more competition at the running back spot in addition to Knowshon Moreno, I'm predicting the Dolphins will select a running back in the sixth round. Right now, it looks like the odd man out will be Daniel Thomas. If the Dolphins draft a running back, the next one out could be Marcus Thigpen.
If it is in fact Thigpen, De'Anthony Thomas would make a ton of sense. He is from Oregon and played in 37 games while starting 11 of them. When Thomas is in open space, he is the most dangerous man on the field. His ability to avoid defenders while maintaining his speed is something that not everyone can do. His ability as a kickoff returner is off the charts as well. Thomas won't be a featured back but he's a great change of pace back who can catch balls out of the backfield while also being thrown in the slot to run slants across the middle. He won't run anyone over but he will juke the hell out of them.
If the Dolphins truly are unhappy with Thigpen's development, Thomas would be a good replacement and can do everything Thigpen can and then some.
Round 7 - Pick 19: Mitchell Van Dyk - OT
Doubling down on a position is never a bad idea as it creates competition and you never know which player will turn out to be the better pick. The Dolphins should do with the right tackle position in this draft and select another prospect in round seven.
Van Dyk is projected to go undrafted by some draft pundits, including me. However, I've received credible information that the Dolphins have shown serious interest in him, including the fact that John Benton, the offensive line coach, personally called him to find out more information about him.
Van Dyk is a monster at 6'9 and obviously, as a seventh round pick, he would have a lot of work to do. He started all three years and is athletic for his size. Of course, anyone selected in the seventh round is a project so he would be for depth and development purposes. The interesting thing about him is that he can develop into a player on both sides of the line due to the fact that he has pretty good footwork.
Matthew Cannata is a columnist for The Phinsider. Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs