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.
With that said, here is what I think the Dolphins should do in the remainder of the draft.
Round 2: Austin Seferian-Jenkins - TE
The Dolphins need help at the linebacker position but I'm not sold on Chris Borland, who will likely be around when the Dolphins pick. While they could pick a player at offensive guard, I think they should go with another offensive player and grab a dynamic player, which is why I'm going with Seferian-Jenkins in round two. He is just about 6'6 and would be a nightmare for opposing teams to cover. He played in 37 games at the University of Washington and started in 35 of them.
He is a well-rounded tight end who is a great run blocker but also a huge mismatch in the passing game. He has long arms and makes catches that you wouldn't expect him to make. His ability to separate himself from defenders in traffic allows him to be dynamic. While he doesn't have a ton of speed, he will catch just about everything that is thrown his way and would immediately become one of Ryan Tannehill's favorite targets.
Round 3: 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.
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 4: Robert Herron - WR
The Dolphins have been bringing in a lot of wide receivers in for visits so their interest in one is real. In addition, if Mike Wallace doesn't perform well this season, they can get out of his contract going into the next offseason without much of a penalty. While they may not need immediate wide receiver help this year, it may be worth drafting one to develop to slide in to a starting role in 2015.
Herron is 5'9 and is known for his speed and big play ability. He is an efficient route-runner and has great toughness who isn't afraid to go over the middle and catch the tough passes. Unfortunately, he isn't the tallest but that shouldn't be a huge issue. If he can play bigger than he is like Brent Grimes does, he won't have a problem running across the field and making the tough catches.
Round 5: Anthony Steen - OG
The Dolphins have several players on their roster that will compete for one of the guard spots but that shouldn't stop them from drafting another one to add to the mix.
Steen is from Alabama and is 6'3. He played in 53 games and started 48 of them. He had shoulder surgery in 2013 so that is something to keep an eye on. However, if it wasn't for that injury, he would probably be ranked in the third round. Steen is a great run blocker but needs a lot of support from those around him. Having Pouncey and Moses on either side of him will definitely help him with that. Steen isn't the most athletic but he is very smart and his technique and fundamentals make up for what he lacks.
Round 6: 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: 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