The Miami Dolphins entered the day with tremendous flexibility after filling their biggest need in the first round of the NFL Draft with the selection of Ja'Wuan James, and it showed. Dolphins' GM Dennis Hickey put an end to any rumbling that he was either too intimidated or too inexperienced as a first year GM to make trades.
Hickey traded twice in the second round, once in a move that sent him from the 50th pick to the 57th which also yielded a fourth round pick (125th overall). Hickey's trade down was bold as it occurred during a run on wide receivers and his guy, LSU's Jarvis Landry, could have been swooped up.
But then Hickey traded down again to 63, garnered an extra fifth round pick, and was still about to steal Landry with the second-to-last pick in the second round.
Let's get back to Landry though. Landry, dubbed "Mini Megatron" is a 5'11" receiver who plays like he is 6'5". Landry is supremely tough, has excellent hands and will never back down from a jump ball situation. Landry is great at plucking the ball out of the air at it's highest point, an extremely underrated skill in a receiver's arsenal. Not only is he tough, but Landry also has the route running skills to make up for his lack of speed.
That lack of speed is the number one knock on Landry. Landry ran over 4.7 in the 40 yard dash at the combine, but then again so did Jerry Rice..... Just joking around with that comparison, but I do really like the Landry pick and what he brings to the receiving corps. Dolphins' OC Bill Lazor is now tasked with finding a way to supply all of his weapons with ample touches, but this is a good dilemma to have.
The Landry pick may also be criticized by some fans who would have preferred a taller receiver who is more of a redzone threat. For those I say this; Landry is one of the best WRs in this class at catching the contested ball and caught ten touchdowns in 13 games in 2013 for the Tigers. Landry will become one of Ryan Tannehill's best friends and has a knack for making big catches at big times.
The Dolphins didn't wait long to select again after choosing Landry. The Dolphins traded up to the third pick in the third round (67th overall) to select North Dakota State offensive lineman Billy Turner. Turner is considered a reach by some, but Hickey obviously saw something that he couldn't risk letting slip through his fingers in Turner. Hickey gave up his original fourth round pick to move up to the 67th spot.
Turner presumably puts the finishing touches on a tenuous offensive line rebuild that has been taking place since March when the Dolphins signed Branden Albert. As I've stated multiple times in the past, the offensive line was the most damning unit to the Dolphins' 2013 season and playoff hopes, and Hickey's first task as GM, circled and underlined on the chalkboard, was to fix the wretched offensive line.
Turner is very athletic for his size and comes from a family of athletes. Turner said in a conference call that playing basketball with his family members (he has a half-brother who plays LB and another who plays WR) is what developed his quick feet. Turner's athleticism leads many to believe he will easily make the switch to guard, where he will likely slide since both of Miami's tackle spots are now being manned by first round picks.
Turner is known for having a "mean streak" and an attitude and toughness about him that the Dolphins covet. Turner's versatility also plays largely into this selection, because, as Turner stated himself, he can play all three positions on the offensive line. The selections of Turner and the aforementioned James provide the Dolphins with (presumably) two new starting offensive linemen, but that is not where the value to justify both picks comes in.
Both James and Turner could be groomed to eventually man the left tackle spot, providing not only insurance at the LT position barring an unforeseen injury to Albert, but a possible replacement as well. It is called a continuity plan, and I love the way they approach it. Both guys will contribute while being groomed into whatever Joe Philbin's future vision for the players may be.