The first day of the 2014 NFL Draft is officially in the books. The Dolphins' yielded their new starting right tackle on the first day of this historically anticipated draft, and now that GM Dennis Hickey has filled his team's biggest need he doesn't have to focus on any one area and can attack his board in any way he chooses.
Possible picks for the Dolphins and Dennis Hickey with their two selections on the second night of the draft are:
SECOND ROUND PROSPECTS:
Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
Su'a-Filo would put the finishing touches to the Dolphins' offensive line rebuild that has been taking place throughout the offseason and ensure that the Dolphins enter the 2014 season with an offensive line that's one of the strengths of the team, which would be a drastic turnaround from last year's disaster of an front line.
Su'a-Filo would instantly step in as the left guard which would allow recently acquired guard Shelley Smith to move to the right side, establishing a veteran presence next to first round pick Ja'Wuan James and assuring that two rookies won't be starting next to each other. (Miami is expected to draft a guard at some point in this draft to compete for a starting position, but left guard is harder to find as it requires more athleticism.)
Su'a-Filo will likely be off the board when the Dolphins choose with the 18th pick in the second round, but if he is available Dennis Hickey will likely reel him in as Hickey has shown he is dedicated to retooling an offensive line which in 2013 allowed 58 sacks on the QB Ryan Tannehill and the lowest amount of rushing yards since the 1-15 season of 2007.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
I'm not sure how the early the Dolphins want to take a running back in this draft, but I know they want to. Knowshon Moreno is playing on a one year deal, Lamar Miller has shown promise but the jury is still out on him and Daniel Thomas is on the hot seat to even remain on the team past training camp.
Hyde provides the Dolphins with a powerful runner inside the tackles, but Hyde also has surprisingly quick feet and great vision to find the creases to get extra yardage. Hyde had 31 touchdowns in his last two years at Ohio State and also had three receiving touchdowns on the season in 2013.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Seferian-Jenkins might be just what the Dolphins need to compliment Charles Clay at the tight end position. Seferian-Jenkins is nearly 6'6" with a huge wingspan which would provide the Dolphins with the redzone target that they presently don't have.
If the Dolphins think Michael Egnew will make a monumental leap and actually contribute to the team, then Seferian-Jenkins shouldn't be the pick. But, if there is any doubts and Seferian-Jenkins is on the board when Miami picks in the second round then Dennis Hickey needs to make the pick and supply his QB with another security blanket over the middle and a big target in the redzone.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Trai Turner, OG, LSU
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Marcus Martin, C/OG, USC
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
THIRD ROUND PROSPECTS:
Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
Skov is a smart, instinctive football player who is always around the ball. He finds a way to get to the running back in the ground game and, while not being particularly fast, is smart enough to cover a zone. Skov takes great angles to the ball and is a sure tackler. Skov times his blitzes very well and finds himself in the backfield on a lot of plays, which is perfect for the Dolphins' defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's double "A" gap blitzing system.
Skov may be limited to only two downs in the NFL, but he plays much faster than he has shown in workouts. Skov is a team leader and plays with great intensity. Skov might slip to the third day of the draft due to concerns about him having had multiple knee surgeries already, but Skov will be a productive MLB in the NFL if he stays healthy and will prove himself to be worth a third round pick.
Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Some argue that Landry was the better of the two LSU receivers in this draft. The other went 12th overall, so getting Landry in the third round would be a huge steal. Landry is only 5'11" but plays like he is 6'3", never shying away from a jump ball or contested catch over the middle.
Landry could slip due to concerns about his speed, but similar to young Davone Bess who went undrafted out of Hawaii due to speed concerns, Landry would become a contributor to the Dolphins receiving corps and add another weapon for Tannehill in the slot.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
Devonta Freeman, RB, FSU
Lamarcus Joyner, FS/CB, FSU
Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State
Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Day two of the NFL Draft will be very interesting as Dennis Hickey has many different ways he could approach it after filling his team's top need last night. Don't be surprised to see the Dolphins trade back at some point tonight as Hickey has stated that he wants more picks in a draft that is packed with talent in the middle rounds.