The Miami Dolphins have several needs heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, but they also have some flexibility to see how the Draft shakes out before deciding what they will do. It should make for an interesting Draft, and it has already led to much discussion and debate.
CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso posted a seven-round mock draft earlier this week, taking a shot at projecting the picks for all 32 teams throughout the three day selection process. Who would Miami land, if Trapasso's projection is correct?
Round 1: Marcus Peters, cornerback, Washington
Peters has not been a common projection to the Dolphins recently, but he could make a lot of sense at this spot. He is 6-feet tall, nearly 200 pounds, and can use that size to his advantage, with Trapasso writing "Peters is this year's most impressive press-coverage corner prospect," explaining that Miami needs "as much secondary talent as they can get playing in the AFC East, a division suddenly oozing with dangerous pass-catchers."
There is no doubting PEters has talent, but he is raw at the same time. He will put his hands on receivers too much, which will lead to flags like crazy in the NFL. He plays emotionally, which can be a great thing, but also leads to him making mistakes when he gets frustrated, allowing big plays or leading to penalties. He does not seem to be a coach's player, which, knowing Joe Philbin's reputation, could lean the Dolphins away from Peters.
I like the idea of adding Peters, I just do not think it is the move Miami would make here.
Round 2: Laken Tomlinson, guard, Duke
This seems to be another move to answer a Dolphins need by Trapasso, but perhaps not with the right player. He writes of Miami's picking Tomlinson, "The Dolphins may have more pressing needs, but Ryan Tannehill was still sacked too much in 2014 and question marks surround Dallas Thomas." That is absolutely a true statement, with the Dolphins needing to protect Tannehill better.
Tomlinson, however, does not appear to have the athleticism Miami is looking for in offensive linemen. He could be a really good addition to a straight ahead, power blocking scheme. In an offensive line that asks the linemen to move, as Miami does, Tomlinson could end up lost. He has the size and power to take on a defensive tackle straight on, but if he has to move, his weakness could become too obvious.
Again, this move feels like it is a good attempt, but not quite the right fit.
Round 3 - No Pick
Round 4: Tony Lippet, wide receiver, Michigan State
As we move into the later rounds, there are going to be issues with players selected, despite potential to develop, and Lippet is no exception. He has the size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds), hands, and vertical a team would want. He, however, struggles on cut routes, rounding them off and allowing cornerbacks to jump back ito the passing lane. He does not create a lot of separation, but can break away with the ball in his hands.
He is a good receiver, and should be a consideration for the Dolphins. He just will not be a day one star.
It should be noted he played both ways this past year, starting at cornerback as well as receiver. He did well for trying to make the conversion, and that work ethic could be exactly what gets him drafted.
Round 5a: Trey DePriest, linebacker, Alabama
The first of back-to-back picks for the Dolphins in the fifth round, Trapasso has Miami adding a linebacker to fill a depth need. DePriest may not be the right move for the Dolphins, though. At a minimum, it seems a little high for him. He seems to get lost on the field if the play is not coming directly to him, leading to him being of little factor.
That issues manifests itself again in pass coverage, where he could be a liability in man-coverage. DePriest plays stiffly, and cannot flow with a tight end or a running back, which could lead to big plays allowed. He is willing to hit people, but he may rely on the big hit too often, rather than wrapping up a player for a tackle.
It is not all bad for DePriest, who seems to enjoy contact, throwing himself into holes to try to stop a run play. He is also good at taking out blockers at the second-level on running plays. That said, DePriest is likely a special teams contributor and a depth linebacker at the most if Miami were to select him.
Round 5b: Shane Carden, quarterback, East Carolina
Adding a depth quarterback makes a lot of sense for Miami, who could carry a third signal caller after going through the 2014 season with just two, or they could stash Carden on the practice squad. He is not likely to be a poach target if the team were to try the latter route.
What makes Carden an NFL prospect is his on-the-field performance. He is full of intangibles, and he threw for nearly 12,000 yards in three season at East Carolina, with 86 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. The stats are there, and he lead ECU to two bowl games. Just looking at his stats, Carden should be a decent prospect.
There is a lot of concerns that surround him, as well, though. He does not put a lot of strength on his passes, and he is very heavy footed. He might struggle in the NFL, especially on longer throws to include out routes to the sideline.
Personally, I like picking quarterbacks, either adding one every year or every-other year. If you can find a player who needs some development time, can give him the coaching he needs, and turn him into a commodity, you are setting yourself up for success, either on the field if you starter is injured, or in the front office as trades happen. For that reason, Carden could be a good pick up for the Dolphins.
Round 6: Kyle Emmanuel, outside linebacker/defensive end, North Dakota State
Seeing Emmanuel last until the sixth round would be a surprise. Yes, North Dakota State is a small school, but Emmanuel has the talent to justify a selection earlier in the Draft. He is going to take some time to adjust to the NFL, where he will not be able to abuse offensive linemen as easily, but he absolutely can use his speed to get around the line of scrimmage.
There are a lot of things about Emmanuel that seems to scream Dolphins, including the small school and he seems to be right in that "'tweener" range. His athleticism could warrant looking at him as a linebacker, but realizing he can get after quarterbacks like a defensive end - just like Dion Jordan and Chris McCain.
Round 7 - No Pick