The Miami Dolphins entered the 2013 NFL Draft with 11 picks. Through all the trades during the three day process, the team ended the Draft with nine new players. Here's a look at each of them.
The Draft had barely started before the Dolphins decided they wanted to throw a monkey wrench into every team's draft board. When the Dolphins jumped up from the 12th overall selection to the Oakland Raiders' 3rd spot, everyone assumed the Dolphins were going to keep the offensive tackle streak alive, taking Oklahoma's Lane Johnson behind Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, selected by the Kansas City Chiefs, and Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel (Jacksonville Jaguars). Instead, the Dolphins snagged Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan in a bold move that continued the momentum build by Miami during free agency.
Jordan will likely start the year as a situational pass rusher, behind Jared Odrick on the depth chart. The Dolphins will probably start his season slowly, looking to minimize the impact of the "rookie wall" last year, something that happened to Olivier Vernon last year.
Once again, the Dolphins were busy before their slated pick in the round. This time, Miami did not change their picking position within the round. Although several picks later in the draft would be swapped because of this trade, the headline was clearly Miami sending receiver Davone Bess to the Cleveland Browns. While Bess was still a highly productive member of the team, there were reports of friction between him and head coach Joe Philbin, as well as a deep depth chart that did not seem to have a spot for Bess any more.
Miami started the draft with two picks in the second round. All week leading up to the draft, and even during the selection process, rumors had been circulating that the Chiefs and Dolphins were working out a trade to send Miami the Chiefs' franchise tagged offensive tackle Branden Albert, who is expendable with the selection of Fisher in the first. The Chiefs were thought to be holding out for Miami's 42nd pick, while the Dolphins were only offering their 54th selection.
Miami ended any discussion of the 42nd pick when they shipped it to the Raiders in the first round. It also seemed to end any idea that the Dolphins, who have spent all offseason getting younger, would give away their one remaining pick in the second. And, sure enough, Miami made a selection with the 54th overall pick, taking Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor.
Taylor will be looked to come in an compete for a starting cornerback spot, pushing Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall for the playing time. He will likely end up starting the year as the third corner on the depth chart, and Miami could try to limit his playing time similar to what they will do with Jordan.
I'm a dolphin!!! Thank you Jesus— Jamar Taylor (@J_Tay5) April 27, 2013
In the third round, Miami came away with Dallas Thomas, an offensive lineman from Tennessee. He will be an interesting player to watch this preseason, as he finds a position along the line. He played left tackle for two years at Tennessee, before moving inside to left guard for his senior year. He flourished as a guard, but was selected by the Dolphins as a tackle. Miami could use him to push John Jerry and Lance Louis at right guard, use him at left guard and shift Pro Bowler Richie Incognito to right guard, or put him at one of the tackle spots and put Jonathan Martin at the other.
Miami then traded their second pick of the round to the New Orleans Saints, adding two top-ten fourth round picks. However, they would not stay out of the third round very long. Eleven picks later, Miami jumped back up, trading with the Green Bay Packers for the 93rd pick to double up on cornerback with the selection of Utah State's Will Davis.
Jeff Ireland described Davis during his press conference on Friday night. "Another prototypical left cornerback that can play inside and outside," Ireland said. "Very skilled athlete. Doesn't have a lot of experience. He's kind of been through the junior college route. Really came on the scene this year. Played at the Senior Bowl. Had a great look at him there and looking forward to him to developing fast."
Miami opened the third day of the Draft with two early picks in the fourth round. With the 104th pick, the Dolphins selected Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins. The Dolphins will use him as a special teams player primarily, and will give him the chance to compete for playing time as an outside linebacker, though he will be hard pressed to unseat the newly signed free agents Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
Two picks later, the Dolphins added tight end Dion Sims from Michigan State. Sims will likely become the second tight end on Miami's depth chart, and can serve as an inline blocker as well as a pass catcher. Sims presence on the roster will also press last year's third round pick, Michael Egnew, who saw limited playing time last year due to his inability to block, as well as various reports that he struggled with learning an NFL playbook.
So excited to be apart of the Miami organization ! #gofins— Jelani Jenkins (@jelanijenkins3) April 27, 2013
Fins up!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Dion Sims (@D_Sims80) April 27, 2013
God is good I can't even explain this feeling. I'm blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be a Dolphin now it's time to work!!!!!!!— Dion Sims (@D_Sims80) April 27, 2013
The fifth round was the first of two long breaks for the Dolphins. After two quick picks near the start of the fourth round, Miami did not pick again until the 164th pick, when they grabbed Florida running back Mike Gillislee. The Dolphins will look to Gillilslee to push incumbent second string running back Daniel Thomas. Gillislee can be an asset in pass protection, as well as an effective runner and could be used in the passing game as well.
Then, with the compensatory pick in the fifth round, Miami completed an all Florida Gators fifth round, when they snagged kicker Caleb Sturgis. The move meant the Dolphins had three Gators in four picks on the day. Sturgis was the top rated kicker in the draft, and will be brought in to provide competition for Dan Carpenter, who struggled last year. Sturgis has an incredibly strong leg, but is amazingly accurate as well.
Words can't describe this feeling man...god is good#dolphinnationstand up— mike gillislee (@mikescogilly) April 27, 2013
Mike Pouncey (@MikePouncey) April 27, 2013
One of the best days of my life! I am so excited to join the Miami Dolphins!!! I am truly blessed— Caleb Sturgis (@CalebSturgis1) April 27, 2013
Wow that's crazy I can't believe I just predicted that lol— Mike Pouncey (@MikePouncey) April 27, 2013
I will be handing out gator shirts to all my teammates this coming up week lol— Mike Pouncey (@MikePouncey) April 27, 2013
The sixth round was the second long break for the Dolphins during the draft. They had no picks in the round, and wouldn't be back on the clock until four picks before the conclusion of the draft.
With their final pick of the three day selection process, Miami took Arkansas State safety Don Jones. Jones was one of the Dolphins' 30 draft prospect visits this year, and the team liked what they saw. After playing a kind of hybrid cornerback-safety at Arkansas State, the Dolphins will move him to corner primarily at the NFL level, and see if he can develop.
Congratulations to stAte alum @don_jones5 on getting drafted by the Miami Dolphins— Arkansas St Football (@RedWolvesFBall) April 28, 2013
2013 Miami Dolphins Draft Class:
1 (3) Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
2 (54) Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
3 (77) Dallas Thomas, Tackle/Guard, Tennessee
3 (93) Will Davis, CB, Utah State
4 (104) Jelani Jenkins, LB, Florida
4 (106) Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
5 (164) Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
5 (166) Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida
7 (250) Don Jones, S, Arkansas State