This article could honestly also be titled: Why we should stop worrying about "The Next Dan Marino."
It’s April 23, 2020. Miami Dolphins are on the clock. Roger Goodell is walking over to the podium, card in hand. The envelope is opened.
“With the (fill in the blank) pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…”
And every die hard Dolphins fan collectively takes a deep breath, holds it…holds it…a little longer…
The next few words that come next from Roger Goodell’s mouth may be the most overrated and magnified few words you will hear for our fanbase. From the start of training camp, we have been hoping, praying, hanging everything on drafting the next Dan Marino. Is it Tua Tagovailoa (God I hope so)? Is it Justin Herbert (God I hope not)? Is it Jake Fromm? Is it Jordan Love?
So let me pose this question for you all…
What if the player that the Commissioner names comes in the form of a non-QB? Will there be mutiny in South Florida? Will there be fans calling for the heads of Stephen Ross and Chris Grier? I don’t know the answer to that, but what I will tell you is that our front office (Grier in particular) knows a thing or two about this beautiful game we call football.
So does Brian Flores. You know, the former scout for several years before he got into coaching.
They know the staff. They know the players. They know the schemes. They have the vision of what this team will look like in 2-3 years when we are competing for an AFC Championship. Brian Flores is more than a coach. He is a leader of men. He is a developer. He is, at his core, a teacher. Flores doesn’t need the best QB in the draft (whatever that means, completely relative) in order to win and create a culture of mental toughness and discipline.
Yes, the QB is the most important position in any sport. They are the drivers, the motivators, the leaders of the locker room and the huddle. Players gravitate towards their QB when they need inspiration and leadership. They look for that grit, that toughness, that cold-blooded mentality, that “get it done by any means necessary” attitude.
By no means whatsoever am I saying that we should not draft a QB in this upcoming draft. On the contrary, I love the approach the Dolphins took back when they drafted Rick Norton with the 2nd pick overall in 1966, and then came right back and drafted Bob Griese with the 4th overall pick in 1967!
Keep picking until you find your man! I actually love Khalil Tate from the University of Arizona. Tons of experience, huge arm, very mobile out of the pocket, and accurate when given time. Needs to clean up some things, but I will take a flier on him all day long in Round 5 or 6, even if we get a QB in round 1, and develop him for 2-3 years.
However, I am a huge believer in not settling for anything in life, and that includes the QB that you believe can turn the future of your franchise around for the next decade. Miami believed Rick Norton was the guy. Then they believed Bob Griese was the guy. The common denominator is that they believed one of those guys were elite, and can turn around a franchise. I’m of the belief that Tua is that guy. He’s smart, high character, great leader of men, perfect footwork, elite eye manipulation to sway defenses, good arm, very mobile, the list goes on and on. To me, Tua is the perfect combo of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. If I was Chris Grier, I am not settling for anything less. It’s Tua or bust.
This draft is just the beginning. Why, you say? Well, to start, we have the luxury of three 1st round picks. THREE! Guess what? If Tua is not there when we pick, I continue to build. Trade back for someone that is desperate for a QB like Herbert. (Man, does that guy have “bust” written all over him. JaMarcus Russell type of bust). Pick up their 1st round pick this year, 1st next year, and throw in a 2nd or 3rd rounder this year to boot. Build the OL, DL, and secondary. Pick up an elite starting running back (J.K. Dobbins please?). Continue to develop our existing players. This WR class is so deep, we can pick up a WR2 or slot guy in round 4 or round 5.
Oh, and by the way, we also have over $120M+ in cap space, so that helps. Bring in players like Matt Judon, Brandon Scherff, and Byron Jones. Veterans like that, especially in the trenches, will do amazing things for the confidence and development of our young guys like Dieter, Wilkins, Taco, and those we draft this year.
Last point, and arguably the most important to this article, as to why this draft is not as significant as people may think: the presence, mental toughness, discipline, knowledge, work ethic, and competitiveness Brian Flores and our new staff bring to the table is something that cannot be measured. It is something that is invaluable to the future of our franchise and our fanbase.
Flores, only 3/4 of the way into his 1st season as head coach, is already in the same tier as Mike Tomlin in my book. After “The Gase Experience,” I cannot tell you how much of a breath of fresh air it is to see a coach that not only knows what he is doing, but has the command of an entire group of men. Not only did he implement his culture change within three months into the season, he also has the buy-in from everyone else in the building, specifically Grier, the scouting staff, and Steve Ross.
Remember that time in training camp when reporters said there was trouble in the locker room, and that players were basically going to riot for trading all the top players we had? Old news. Remember when “analysts” on ESPN said we were being immoral for tanking? Yeah, eat crow. Flores turned all of that around. Flores turned this franchise into a respectable one that will be a staple in the NFL for a long, long time. Similar to that team up in the northeast, where Flores came from? Yeah, would be nice to take over that title when the head ball coach retires in 2-3 years. No one better or more capable to do it than Head Coach Brian Flores.
So why is this draft insignificant? Why should we stop worrying about who our next Dan Marino is? It’s simple: Brian Flores, Chris Grier, unlimited cap space, and the unwavering support from our owner, Stephen Michael Ross.
The combo of all of that has me nothing short of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the next decade. With Flores at the helm for the next decade (quite possibly more), it has never been a better time to be a Miami Dolfan (with the exception of that ’72 year.
That was a pretty good year, from what I hear).
This story was written by Ozzie Delgado. Follow him on Twitter: @ozziedelgadojr
The Miami Dolphins are off to an 0-5 start for the first time since 2011, and that was during the Tony Sparano era. The Dolphins lost by one point to a winless Washington Redskins team last Sunday, and the Dolphins had a chance to win the game when first-year head coach Brian Flores decided to go for the two-point conversion.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins missed the conversion and fell to 0-5. Josh Rosen started the game at quarterback and was 15/25 for 85 yards and two interceptions. Head coach Brian Flores decided to bench Rosen, and Ryan Fitzpatrick would come into the game and was 12/18 for 132 yards, and one touchdown pass.
The last time the Dolphins got off to this bad of a start was back in 2004, and that was during the Wannstedt era, and he re-signed midseason. The Dolphins also had a similar start in the 2007 season and finished that season with one win, but Cam Cameron's way of coaching caused the Dolphins troubles that season.
We also can't forget the 0-6 start in 2011, and that led to the firing of the late Tony Sparano. The Dolphins will travel to Western New York Sunday to play AFC East rival Buffalo, and the Bills are off to a really good start, but they are a beatable team.
The Dolphins have some winnable games in the 2019 season, but when do they get their first win? I thought the Redskins game was going to be their first win, but that game was a loss, but you have a Monday Night Football game at Pittsburgh that is winnable. The Jets will come to South Florida on November 3rd, a trip to Cleveland on November 24th, and a trip to MetLife against the Jets on December 8th. All of those games are winnable.
The Dolphins will stay in Newark for another week against the Giants on December 15th, and with their uncertainty with the quarterback position between Daniel Jones and Eli Manning, I think that is a winnable game. The most winnable game on the schedule will be the home finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 22nd, and the Bengals are winless also.
The Dolphins will get their first win of the season soon, but will that be Sunday against Buffalo? I sure hope so because the Dolphins can't relive the 2007 season all over again.
This story was written by Zach Blaine. Follow him on Twitter: @TheMiamiGator
It is safe to say that the Miami Dolphins this year, are not very good. Then again, for a little while the Dolphins haven’t been good. Upper management decided enough was enough, and blew it up.
Old news here, the Dolphins traded away starting QB Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans, traded Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills for a king's ransom, shipped Minkah Fitzpatrick out as well, and from the outside let everyone that had at least a little bit of talent go.
But what if, and hear me out, what if it was for a good reason? What if it was to help bring back a winning tradition to a once proud franchise, and what if the Dolphins front office was playing a little sleight of hand on us all? Let’s explore!
This team has a ton of holes. The most glaring hole seems to be the quarterback position. What’s the answer? Who’s the answer? The most obvious answer is to obtain the number one overall pick, and select Tua Tagovailoa with it. He has all the makings of a franchise quarterback. Strong, accurate arm. Makes great decisions. Really seems to be in command of his offense at all times. It was reported yesterday, that Chris Grier was in Alabama yesterday to watch Tua play. This screams that the Dolphins will take him first overall. But what if that wasn’t the case? What if this is the sleight of hand?
The Dolphins own three first round picks this year. What if I told you that none of them would be spent on a quarterback? You’d think I’m crazy! But what if I wasn’t? Let’s take a look at the direction the Dolphins could be going right under our noses without us all even knowing.
#1 overall pick: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
In terms of pass rush here, this guy has it all. A dominant edge rusher with the ability to get to the QB. Taking a look back at his last 16 games played in college, he has 16.5 sacks in those 16 games. He will provide the pass rush we need to help solidify the defense. Christian Wilkins would benefit from this pick, as teams may try to double team Young, which could free him up to make big plays.
#7 overall pick: Any offensive line position
Taking a look at CBS sports top prospects for this coming draft, there are five offensive line prospects inside the top 30, and several more just on the outside. The Dolphins are in desperate need of offensive line help and taking a lineman here could be more than beneficial.
Before Miami selects a quarterback and makes an investment, they should solidify the insurance.
#20 overall pick: Any offensive line position
Talk about a shocker right? The Indianapolis Colts struggled in terms of offensive line for two years. In the draft before last season, the Colts selected two offensive lineman in the first round. All that did was bring them back into the top ten in the league in terms of the line. Miami uses this formula to help protect the quarterback. Being able to protect the quarterback leads to better offensive production.
Three first round picks, no quarterback selected. I know what you're thinking. Who’s going to play QB? The answer to that question is already on the roster.
QB Josh Rosen gets a second season to develop and prepare as the starter.
Some of you don’t believe that Rosen is the answer. It’s hard to ignore that he’s been victimized by two bad franchises, zero offensive line help, and a lot of dropped passes. Rosen, behind two first round picks on the line and some free agency retooling of the receiving corps, should blossom into the QB the Dolphins need. And if he doesn’t, then Miami has the draft capital to then go and select QB Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson. Some are considering him the second best QB prospect behind Tua Tagovailoa.
It’s going to be a long season folks, but there will be bright spots. There is a light at the end of this very long dark tunnel. His name just happens to be Young and not Tagovailoa.
This story was written by Dakota Gabel. Follow him on Twitter: @DakotasForrest
“I’m such a baby ‘cause the Dolphins make me cry.”
Darius Rucker said it best and it’s never been more fitting. Being on the wrong side of 102-10 over the last two games - albeit against playoff teams. Normally there is a green shoot somewhere to latch on to but all I see is a Sahara wasteland with humidity.
From all the fans I know and talk to on the daily, many are upset but they are also doing their best to buy into the program. If it were anyone else other than a Belichick disciple I think it would be even tougher to take, but that’s all we really have right now, a singular vision of New England South!
That plan doesn’t always work out and I would even say most of the time it hasn’t worked. Even Josh McDaniels failed miserably in Denver but somehow in New England he’s a genius. Is it because he is under the wing of the greatest modern-day coach? Or is it because he has a selfless QB in Tom Brady who is all in on being the greatest spinner of the football for generations to come?
I’ll go with the latter and remind everyone that Brady has never broken the salary cap bank. He is smart with his body, mind and money. Tom Brady makes $15 million a year, not even enough to break the top half of paid quarterbacks. The Patriots plan is to pay above average and good players in mass and not typically set contract records. Tom Brady allows them to fill the roster with support. That just doesn’t happen and may never happen again.
But I digress, we don’t have to be Patriots South. But we do need a quarterback. Stephen Ross is a businessman. He doesn’t like losing money but with the Dolphins he is so desperate to bring a winner to town that he has given the keys to the franchise to his guys. You must understand that in Miami we have to be competitive to sell tickets. The strategy of years past has always been bring in a couple of overpaid free agents not to fill holes but rather sell tickets.
Taking this approach is a losing one. Revenue is somewhere in the $400 million-dollar range. Ross has essentially written a $200-$300 million-dollar check to get this thing right over the next couple of years. What fans are buying jersey’s right now? Season Tickets? Parking Passes? For that matter, how excited are South Florida transplants to come to the games?
Stephen Ross deserves all the credit in the world for throwing the kitchen sink at getting this thing right!
There are few owners with the resources of our owner and many that do aren’t willing to go to this extreme to bring the Lombardi home to a franchise with lots of rich history. We host all the Super Bowls; it’s been a very long time since we had one and Ross for damn sure is trying. You can bitch and moan about the process and micromanage the decisions as expert Monday morning quarterbacks but none of us have real world capital on the line.
To be honest, we might as well say the Miami Dolphins are living under the curse of Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. We literally drafted a RB with an average career of 2.57 years and a Left Tackle that never even made it to his second contract. Parcells once said he didn’t want to give top overall pick money to a quarterback. Think about how dumb that sounds now? Saved $10-$20 million on a draft pick so that we spend hundreds of millions on multiple team rebuilds?
Let that sink in for a minute.
Mike Shanahan proved that you can get a running back anywhere, yet the Miami Dolphins took a prototype that wasn’t even the main starter in college. Oh, wait we did that with Drake too. At least he wasn’t the second pick overall. But back then the fan base was thrilled! That excitement didn’t age well.
At this point, I want to give every young guy on the roster a chance to be veterans on this team in a few years. We have a few pieces to build around and the year should be considered preseason from here on out. Josh Rosen, Preston Williams, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki, should all be lined up on offense. Sign some other teams practice squad guys, take a shot on some Offensive Lineman that are way down on the depth chart on teams that are loaded. Don’t buy any jersey’s this year, wait till next. We will have our franchise quarterback soon. Just survive and put your knives away. Trust the process.
Cam Cameron said it best, “Fail forward fast!”
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
The Miami Dolphins are coming off of not only one of the worst games in franchise history but possibly even league history. Even though the score of the game was a blowout, the score still did not represent how bad the game was actually.
As many Dolphins fans know, the Dolphins were outmatched in every aspect of the game. In addition to being outmatched, the Ravens never let their foot off the gas pedal. For example, up 35-3 with three minutes left in the first half, Miami finally made the Ravens offense punt, or so we thought. Baltimore decided to do a fake punt and gained 60 yards which eventually led them to score another touchdown before halftime.
A lot of Miami’s players looked lost or potentially even fed up with what was happening.
Moments after the game, reports came out that multiple Dolphins players talked to their agents about a possible trade. The reasons for players requesting to be traded varies from believing the coaching staff and front office is not serious about winning and that the team only cares about the future.
While most fans are frustrated by these reports and say trade them away, everyone needs to understand why a majority of Dolphins players are unhappy with the state of the franchise.
Releasing/Trading The Wrong Players
Days before the start of the regular season, Miami traded away two leaders, Kenny Stills, and Laremy Tunsil.
Tunsil, who was told he was not going to get traded and was supposedly deep in extension talks with Miami, was the best player on the offensive line and one of the best young left tackles in the league. Stills was a locker room favorite by both the media and players and managed to have 24 touchdowns in four years.
When reports first surfaced about a potential Tunsil trade, other reports came out that players would revolt if Tunsil was traded. Once the Tunsil trade was finalized, it came clear that Miami truly has no intention of winning this year. Even though Miami got a lot of draft picks in return, head coach, Brian Flores, showed he would rather risk drafting players compared to letting established leaders teach the younger players how to play and act like pros.
During the Dolphins final offseason cuts, they released players such as Vincent Taylor and Nate Orchard. Both players were considered starters and were prepared to have breakout years for Miami. The reasoning for the players to be cut was because of “scheme fit” but, if you have two players who were considered some of your best at their position you find a way for them to fit your scheme.
The biggest surprise cut that even got a lot of fans mad was longtime long snapper, John Denney. Denney was a very respected player in the Dolphins locker room and even a fan favorite. Cutting a player like Denney shows that Flores wants to build a team of players he knows instead of a team of players that the team already knew.
Releasing or trading away players that can help you win games and are highly respected in the locker room is not a smart move for any team. When you do that it shows the players that are still on the team that you are not serious about winning and the tank is serious.
Coming from New England and introducing the new TNT Wall players had to run to when they made a mistake, many people thought this would be the most disciplined football team Miami has had for a while. That was not the case. Throughout the whole game, many fans say the only bright spot was Preston Williams getting his first touchdown catch. Fans and the media roasted the Dolphins secondary and the offensive and defensive lines, as they were by far the worst three position groups.
After the abysmal Ravens game, not only did some players want out, but some players were unhappy with the coaching staff as well. Players feel like the coaching staff is not good at adjusting mid-game and putting players in the wrong position to be successful.
Two players that played below expectations on Sunday were Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Both players are now playing safety when they both played corner last year. McCain was considered one of the top slot corners in the league while Fitzpatrick was saw as a top young corner. Now both players are adjusting to a new system and position while their previous position (cornerback) is considered one of the worst position groups on the team, outside of Xavien Howard.
The Dolphins now have a locker room full of players who: do not believe in the coaching staff already, are mad the team is not serious about winning for future success, tired of playing out of position, and most importantly, are not having fun. After taking a look back at everything can you blame for the players for getting mad, or for requesting a trade?
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
Can you smell that? The smell of appetizers and cold beer is about to overtake someone’s home including my own.
Ahhh, smoke pork butt!
It’s time to draft your fantasy teams fellas!
Most people are expecting the Miami Dolphins to be a little barren of talent this year at the skill positions, but the Dolphins are not short of sneaky picks. How great is it when you can draft a guy from your favorite team to fill roster spots on your fantasy team? There are some definite opportunities with this year’s group. My rankings are based on half point PPR format since that is the league I play in.
First let’s talk Kenyan Drake, the ultimate boom or bust pick currently going into this year. Most fans expect him to make the next step, but I’ve been a critic of this thought process. My first concern is we’ve only seen it a few times and why in the heck couldn’t he steal the show from Granddaddy Gore?
I argue with my fellow writers all the time about this. Was Adam Gase just that stubborn and ghastly as a coach? Or, is Kenyan Drake a third down runner with pass catching ability in situational football? That’s all he’s ever really been going back to Alabama. Maybe Nick Saban was actually right on his ability.
My take with Drake is he has always been a third down running back. If you want to draft him this year, do so as a fallen value in the 70-80 pick range. If you really think he’s a franchise guy, you can pick him as high as the 65-70. He’s an inconsistent player playing behind an even more inconsistent offensive line, so flex appeal is his best fit for any team he finds himself on.
Draft him as a RB2 and you might very well not make the playoffs. Drake is no better than the 25th best runner this year as he also faces competition behind him.
Secondly, staying on the RB theme make sure that if you invest in Drake, you also invest in Kalen Ballage. Having Ballage is the upside you may need to win your league let along mitigate risk in picking Drake. He may very well get his opportunity to take over the starting job at the bye week if the team is looking for a spark coming out of the time off.
You’re starting to see Ballage pop up on “2nd Year Backs To Watch” lists all over the fantasy landscape and you can include me in that group. At 6’2” and 231 lbs., running a 4.46 at the scouting combine and 4.35 at his pro day. Ballage is built to be that every down back the Dolphins have been desperate to find, and they may have very well found him.
Draft Kalen Ballage as the 35th to 40th Runner off the board. Consider him higher than a handcuff somewhere in the Austin Ekelar, Royce Freeman, Duke Johnson range and he shouldn’t disappoint. It could very well be the Ballage-Walton show to close out the season.
Well thanks for reading, the rest is a complete wasteland…or is it?
Kenny Stills is walking into this years Fantasy Season undervalued once again. At 27 years old, Stills is in his prime and with previous QB/Coach woes there is no doubt in my mind he can be at minimum a WR3 capable of filling bye weeks or operating as a flex most weeks.
Draft him knowing that there could be legitimate upside because there is little competition and a new staff and QB who can throw the deep ball. Landry was so effective here because Tannehill couldn’t complete anything past 10 yards.
That no longer applies with either of the QBs Miami now has on the roster. There will be lines that break down and force Fitzmagic/Rosen to get creative and an astute Stills can be a difference maker.
Draft Stills as the 50th or so Wide Receiver off the board ahead of guys like Emmanuel Sanders, Donte Moncrief, and DeSean Jackson. He’s the number one guy on a rebuilding team that will be playing from behind a ton. He should absolutely finish higher than where he’s being drafted.
And with the last pick of every fantasy football draft, every team not in my league, should take a flier on Preston Williams. He may already be the best wide receiver on the roster. I know it was preseason but how impressive for this young guy to come out and make those catches. He played the ball exceptionally well and that size! You may say I’m overreacting, but his story isn’t new.
The message has been the same through all camps this year. That man can ball. I never bought into the idea he was a project. He was very productive; it was really about the grey matter between his ears that caused him to fall out of the draft and the combine. Everything I’m reading is that he really has done everything he can to turn his life around. And great job Grier for giving a young man a chance to prove he deserves another shot at life.
I love the versatility and skills sets in Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson. I just don’t see them finding much consistency although there will undoubtedly be a four catch, 130 yard, one touchdown stat line. Don’t draft any of these guys and expect consistent production.
Undraftable positions is Tight End and Team Defense. We just don’t have the guys built for the defensive system yet. Mike Gesicki can’t block hence bringing in Dwayne Allen. I’m not even sure he can beat out the feisty Nick O’Leary yet.
Minkah Fitzpatrick may be a viable option but you’ll need to see that develop. He’s a swiss army knife that will play near the line of scrimmage quite a bit. If he puts a couple weeks back to back with ten plus point, pull the trigger.
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
Last season Kenyan Drake created one of the best memories in the history of the Miami Dolphins, but with Frank Gore now being a part of the Buffalo Bills, now Kenyan Drake will have to carry the load. Drake last season had four touchdowns, and 53 receptions, for 477 yards, but this coming season he will definitely be named the starting running back for the Dolphins.
Training camp is coming up in July and my second question is who will be Drake's back up? The Dolphins have Kalen Ballage, a two-year back from Arizona State who did see playing time carried the ball last season 36 times for 191 yards and one touchdown.
The Dolphins also have a three-year running back in Kenneth Farrow, who did not see any playing time last season and rookie Myles Gaskin was drafted in the seventh round, 234th overall.
The Dolphins also signed Patrick Laird from Cal, as an undrafted free agency, but if he has any hopes of carrying the load he has to make it through, not just the first cut in training camp, but the 53-man roster.
I am not taking my eye off of Mark Walton last season he carried the 14 times, for 34 yards, and no touchdowns. Walton spent one season in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and I still think he has potential to play in this league and he is a South Florida native out of Booker T. Washington High School in Miami and went on to play college football for the University of Miami Hurricanes from 2015-2017 and was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round with the 112th overall pick.
Dolphins first-year offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea and first-year running backs coach Eric Studesville should not have a real hard decision to make to see who earns the back-up role at the end of training camp at the end of August. Personally, I think we should see who carries the ball better through the preseason because that's when the front office can make the right and wrong decision on who to let go.
I trust Chris Grier though and definitely, Brian Flores comes from the most accomplished coaching tree and front office in the National Football League.
If any of these running backs have any hopes of playing the second string or even third string and see a good amount of playing time they are going to have to step up in training camp. Personally, I go by experience when it comes to learning an offense and playing so I think Kalen Ballage will earn the second string role at running back, due to the fact that he has already rushed for 191 yards in his limited playing time.
The third string spot should go to Kenneth Farrow, he has more experience than Ballage, but I will point out that Farrow has no carries as a Dolphin. I believe this is how the depth chart will look going into the first preseason game at home against the Falcons, but the Dolphins rising star at running back in my mind is definitely Mark Walton who I think will get a lot of carries in training camp.
Why don't I have Walton at least at third string? I see Walton more like a kickoff and punt returner and in Cincinnati last season he carried the ball 14 times, but he had no touchdowns. I bet signing Walton got Hurricanes fans attention big time, but it definitely turned my head because I watched him in college at Miami and I thought he was extremely talented due to the fact that he is a speedster.
The last Canes running back to make it big for the Dolphins was Lamar Miller, and Mark Walton definitely has a chance to do the same. Duke Johnson is doing well for the Browns, but he has fought injuries throughout his NFL career and I expect him to have a big year this year in a talented Browns offense and that should be a really tough game for the Dolphins.
Brian Flores retained running backs coach Eric Studesville from Adam Gase's staff a year ago so he knows these running backs quite well, but I think Flores should have cleaned house, in my opinion, to have a whole a new attitude on this staff.
I do have confidence though that Flores has brought a really a good attitude to South Florida from a really accomplished coaching staff in Foxborough from Bill Belichick's six Super Bowls. The Dolphins are coming into the 2019 season with hopes of returning to the playoffs soon, and they will also be in a quarterback triangle throughout training camp, but we will have just have to find out who Brian Flores decides to go with.
This story was written by Zach Blaine. Follow him on Twitter: @TheMiamiGator
“This conversational dust-up over Jones of the past several weeks was ritual nonsense. It missed the real issue of this simply being a bad marriage between Jones and the Dolphins.”
There are rumors that the Dolphins are tying to trade Jones but they can’t get what they want. They have evidently decided that the best thing to do is wait the league out in hopes that a desperate team on the cusp of winning will pay more if they lose a good safety in training camp.
If this is what they are doing, I do not agree with this decision. Good strong safeties are a dime a dozen this year and no one is going to give you much for an injured one, even one that is among the best in the league at it.
More importantly, every day that a player who put his pride ahead of the team and refused to play remains on this young, impressionable roster does irreparable damage to the mentality of the other players. Every time head coach Brian Flores talks about putting the team first with Jones in the room his credibility takes a hit.
Chris Perkins at The Athletic reported the Jones situation in the proper perspective when he highlighted the match up between first round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and third round guard Michael Deiter in the same article.
Perkins recognizes that this year is about developing the younger players both physically and mentally. The Dolphins have to take what they can get for Jones, move on and do the same.
I’m not entirely sure where this is coming from but many reporters seem convinced that this is a real competition. Dave Hyde at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is one of the few that seems to be taking it a step further to see the "competition" as a good thing for Rosen. But at the same time, he knows that it's not exactly real:
“The question the Dolphins will wrestle with until the opening game — and probably beyond — isn’t if Fitzpatrick gives them a better chance to win the next Sunday. It’s how Rosen would look by November with a couple of months of starts under him.
What few people in the media seem to be acknowledging right now is that what the Dolphins aren’t actually deciding if Fitzpatrick is better. Of course he’s better. Rosen is only in his second year and probably has not had the best of coaching up to this point. What the Dolphins have to decide over the next few months is if Rosen is the future. And that’s more difficult because it involves projecting his development through this year and beyond.
One thing is certain. The Dolphins don’t have to show it externally but internally they have to totally commit to Rosen until they’ve made a decision on him. He has to be nurtured and every opportunity to help him and evaluate him has to be taken. And that means two things:
a. This isn’t a competition. Or more accurately, it isn’t a competition between Rosen and Fitzpatrick. Because Fitzpatrick’s performance isn’t relevant to the decision. What Rosen has to do - and his comments indicate that on some level he understands this - is to prove to the Dolphins not that he’s a franchise quarterback now but that he will be some time into the future.
b. The Dolphins have to start Rosen until they’ve made up their mind that he’s never going to be at least part of the answer to their quarterback problem, even if it's just as a cheap, long-term back up. If Rosen isn’t starting week 1, it means they’ve already made up their mind. And that will mean bad things for his future in the league.
“Already working to improve his production as a receiver, Gesicki also looks to shed the label of exclusively being a pass-catching tight end.
I was almost disappointed to read this. It means that Gesicki hasn’t totally moved on from his year with former head coach Adam Gase.
I’m not one of those guys who constantly bashes a coach or executive once they leave town. But in my opinion, Gase did Gesicki no favors by expecting him to block too much as a tight end. Gase came from the Mike Martz school of offense where tight ends are there to block and if you want to set up a mismatch, you go with the big wide receiver.
The modern NFL works differently and Gesicki is a modern NFL tight end. At 6’6”, 245 pounds he was drafted to catch passes, particularly as a red zone weapon, not block. The Dolphins have Dwayne Allen to do that and he’s pretty good at it when he’s healthy.
The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Gesicki will continue to be misused. When asked about Gesicki, current head coach Brian Flores didn’t mention Gesicki’s blocking.
“’I talked to him about this [Wednesday] morning,’ Flores said. ’One drop is one too many; one penalty is one too many; one missed assignment is one too many. That’s kind of the standard, the approach we’re taking.”’
“Bobby McCain experiment at safety could stick.
Count me among those who were surprised by this move. It's not that I don’t think McCain can be a good free safety - he can. But along with pass rusher, cornerback is probably the weakest position on the team this year. Xavien Howard is, of course, a given starter. But other than him, there isn’t much.
Now, in addition to the spot opposite Howard which the Dolphins are evidently counting on a relatively unproven Eric Rowe to fill, the Dolphins are creating another hole at nickel back. At the same time they have an apparent glut at safety with Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, and T.J. McDonald and now McCain.
The problem that Flores is evidently trying to solve has to do with the fact that Jones and McDonald, both paid like starters, are really best suited for strong safety. Kelly elaborates later in the article:
“Can Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald work together?
Hopefully the current coaching staff will do a better job of it than last year’s staff did. That’s assuming Jones isn’t traded, something I’d still bet will be the case. In any case, the situation demonstrates once again how poorly the 2018 version of the team was built by former executive Mike Tannenbaum and current general manager Chris Grier.
In any case, the bet here is that Fitzpatrick fills the hole at cornerback that the move has left in its wake. Reports indicate that Fitzpatrick will move around quite a bit week to week as required this year. But Nick Saban, Fitzpatrick’s coach at Alabama, claimed that Fitzpatrick’s best position was nickel back and playing him there will likely put him in a good position to do that as the extra defensive back on the field.
“So Dolphins coach Brian Flores wasn’t kidding when he told reporters a few weeks back, ’I’ll know what he’s doing. You guys probably won’t.’
In a way this is encouraging. And in a way it isn’t.
The odds are very good that, unlike the previous staff, the current staff will be able to decisively present Fitzpatrick with a game plan early in the week and in that respect he’ll be able to better prepare. They’ll have learned how to do that and to communicate clearly to Fitzpatrick exactly what he needs to do from Bill Belichick when most of them were in New England.
But playing in the NFL isn’t like playing at Alabama. Opponents surprise you more often on game day with what they are doing on offense and rapid adjustments are necessary. The odds are good that no one will have to adjust more than Fitzpatrick who will likely be at the center of the changes not only game to game but play to play.
Unlike in college, the odds are good that in his current role, Fitzpatrick is never actually going to be able to prepare the way he wants to because it's going to be impossible to thoroughly prepare for everything over the course of the previous week. Fitzpatrick is going to have to be flexible mentally in a way that he apparently wasn’t last year.
If we take Fitzpatrick at his word, it sounds like he’s might struggle with what the Dolphins are going to be asking him to do this year.
“There are too many positive pieces to this team heading into training camp, starting with Flores at the wheel, to not believe the Dolphins will a lot better than expected this season.”
See my entry above where I pointed out that the Dolphins at short on talent at cornerback and pass rusher. These are the cornerstone positions of every defense.
Sorry. I’m not buying it.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
The Dolphins come into the 2019 season with a brand new attitude, but there are a lot of questions especially at quarterback. Josh Rosen spent one season in the NFC West with the Arizona Cardinals and Miami also brought in veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick from the other side of the state in Tampa Bay.
Brian Flores also brings in a good coaching staff of his own with Jim Caldwell as the quarterbacks coach and he has been a head coach twice with the Colts and the Lions. Personally, when you look at the schedule I think it is brutal from what I know from last season's record, but the usual AFC East schedule is very wide open from recent history since the Dolphins have had the Patriots' number whenever they have visited South Florida. Miami does have more winnable games on the schedule than what most experts think so let's find out.
Week 1 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Since 2013 the Dolphins are 1-4 against the Ravens, and last season Baltimore had one of the top defenses in the NFL. Miami's offense should be changed around whoever is named the starter in week one, but I think it will be Fitzpatrick and I think this game will result with some Fitzmagic with a Dolphins victory. 1-0.
Week 2 vs. New England Patriots
Tom Brady is still in New England, but no more Gronk to dig him out of holes during struggles. I think Miami will definitely have their confidence up from week one and the Dolphins will defeat the Patriots to get out to a 2-0 start.
Week 3 at Dallas Cowboys
This game will be a very tough one, but I'm going to be realistic and I expect a big year out of the Cowboys this season due to really good quarterback play out of Dak Prescott, and Ezekiel Elliott should be the team MVP. I think Miami will be ready to play, but this game will come down to mistakes and the Cowboys don't make those at Jerry World. 2-1.
Week 4 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are a lot like Dallas, they are a really good road team, but they were beaten badly by the Patriots in last season's AFC Divisional Playoffs. San Diego's last visit to South Florida resulted in a shutout loss to the Dolphins, but they were a different team at the time and they have a true leader in Philip Rivers. I'm going to be realistic and give the Chargers the road win in South Florida. 2-2.
Week 6 vs. Washington Redskins
Miami will come off of a bye week coming into the Washington game. However, the Redskins will have a rookie quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and when he is firing on both cylinders running and passing he is unstoppable, but that was at the college level.
The Dolphins will come into this game off of the bye playing mistake-free and I'm predicting that Josh Rosen will play in this game and I'm not saying he will start, but he will play. Miami's defense will get them the home win with leadership from Minkah Fitzpatrick in the secondary, Kiko Alonso, and Christian Wilkins in the front seven. 3-2.
Week 7 at Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins will travel up to Western New York for the first game of the series against Buffalo. Miami has not won up in Buffalo since 2016, but this should be a very evenly matched game. I think this one will come down to mistakes and turnovers, but this year I think the Dolphins are a way better team than the Bills so I'm giving Miami the road win, but it will be close. 4-2.
Week 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are really beatable and the Dolphins' last visit to Heinz Field was one I'd like to forget, but I have a good feeling about this one. I'm going to give Miami a road win on Monday Night Football because I expect big plays on defense and really good game management from Fitzpatrick or Rosen. 5-2.
Week 9 vs. New York Jets
Adam Gase returns to South Florida just on the wrong side of the ball and also the Jets don't even have a general manager yet. Personally, the Jets are a mess and even though they were still mediocre, letting go of Rex Ryan was the worst thing that happened to them and I'm just stating facts. I'm going to give Miami a home win and they will win it big and I'm not saying it will get ugly, but it will be over by the fourth quarter. 6-2.
Week 10 at Indianapolis Colts
Frank Richt did one of the best coaching jobs last season and not to take anything away from him, but Andrew Luck played a huge part in it as well. The Colts are very tough to beat at Lucas Oil Stadium, but unfortunately, I have to give Indianapolis the home win in this one. 6-3.
Week 11 vs. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo comes to South Florida to close out the series with the Dolphins and last season's home victory over the Bills was a thriller. This game will feature two of the top quarterbacks from the 2018 draft Josh Rosen vs. Josh Allen, but I'm going to give Miami the sweep in this one with a home victory. 7-3.
Week 12 at Cleveland Browns
This game features again two of the top quarterbacks from the 2018 draft in Rosen and Baker Mayfield. The Dolphins will see a familiar face in Jarvis Landry across the field, but I'm expecting big things from the Browns this season and yet again this is another evenly matched game. I'm giving the Dolphins the road win in a thriller, but I think the Browns will outplay the Dolphins. 8-3.
Week 13 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Well Nick Foles is gone, but he is not around anymore to bail the Eagles out of a jam if Carson Wentz is injured or if he is struggling, and this game is in South Florida. The Eagles will be a lot healthier this season and to be realistic Miami will play a lot better than Philadelphia, but from all the years I have watched football this is just one of those games that don't go the Dolphins way when it matters the most. 8-4.
Week 14 at New York Jets
Sam Darnold should be a much better quarterback this season and to be honest Adam Gase will play a big role in that, but the Jets are not there yet. I'm giving the Dolphins the road win and the sweep over the Jets. 9-4.
Week 15 at New York Giants
The Dolphins are in New York for another week and it's against the Giants. New York has similar struggles to the Jets, but the Giants have a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning who is an interception magnet. If that happens they will turn to Daniel Jones. They also have a talented young running back in Saquon Barkley, but he can't do it all on his own. I'm giving Miami another road win and this win should earn them a playoff spot. 10-4.
Week 16 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati has a new head coach in former Dolphins assistant Zac Taylor and they still have a mediocre quarterback in Andy Dalton, but this game depends on which attitude Miami is in since they have already clinched a playoff spot. What could also be on the line is an AFC East title, or even maybe a home field advantage? I'm still giving the Dolphins the home win, but this one won't be easy. 11-4.
Week 17 at New England Patriots
This game will determine the AFC East Championship and it has been a long time since the Dolphins have a regular season game with a lot on the line like this since the Dan Marino era. The Patriots are very tough to beat at Gillette and I think it's just the way it is as long as Brady is around so I have to give the Patriots the win. 11-5.
If my 11-5 prediction is right then Brian Flores would have done the best coaching job than any coach in the league in 2019. I'm predicting that Josh Rosen becomes the Dolphins starting quarterback in week six against the Redskins, but he will play a lot before that week. The Dolphins defense should be one of the NFL's top defenses due to Christian Wilkins at defensive end, Kiko Alonso at linebacker, and Minkah Fitzpatrick in the secondary.
This story was written by Zach Blaine. Follow him on Twitter: @TheMiamiGator
“Under previous coach Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake’s workload would fluctuate from averaging 18 carries per game in the last five weeks of 2017 to having just 7.5 attempts per outing in 2018.
Even as Drake flashed potential last year, not many people around the team were advocating more playing time for him. No one said it outright but the suspicion is that his work ethic wasn’t up to snuff. Apparently working with the veteran Frank Gore didn’t bring it out of him.
It sounds like Drake is embracing his opportunity to work with the new staff and is looking at it as a fresh start. Here’s hoping it results in a more professional attitude and, as a results, benefits the Dolphins in a big way.
“There’s no doubt Miami must upgrade from last year’s starting duo of Davis and Ted Larsen, who is now with Chicago. Davis was the league’s 77th-rated guard last season according to ProFootballFocus, allowing seven sacks. Larsen, who started 14 games, was even worse, ranking 125th and allowing four sacks.”
This article highlights the past problem at guard and the fact that Jesse Davis is currently still the leading candidate to play right guard is an indication that the Dolphins have a long way to go at this position. And the fact that third round draft pick Michael Deiter will likely beat out current starting left guard Chris Reed doesn’t make me feel a lot better. The fact is that this problem probably won’t be solved this year, at least on both sides.
Many people have a habit of underestimating the importance of the guard position. In fact, I used to be one of them. But experience has taught me that this is the most important position on the offensive line. It's easier to find guards like Deiter in the middle to late rounds of the draft. But guard position, itself, is more important than tackle. Quarterbacks can step up in the pocket to escape defensive ends coming off the edge if the interior linemen do their job. But no quarterback can throw with pressure in his face.
This is a huge problem that will likely stunt the performance of both Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick along with the performance of the rest of the offensive players, which will have to be judged with this in mind.
“Four different assistants — [outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino, [safeties coach Sean] coach Desai, [defensive line coach Jay] Rodgers and new linebackers coach Mark DeLeone — suggested that new voices should help combat complacency from players.
This is why analysts who are predicting things like ridiculous 0-16 seasons for the Dolphins are wrong. It's because it takes more than lack of talent to result in historically bad teams.
No first year head coach has ever gone 0-16. Rod Marinelli was in his third with the Lions in 2008 and Hue Jackson was in his second with the Browns in 2017.
The Dolphins do have holes all over the field with important positions on the offensive line, at pass rusher and at cornerback filled with mediocre to less than mediocre players. But all of those players are, or should be, laser focused as new playbooks are installed and as relationships with new coaches are built. And every job is wide open as new coaches without preconceptions watch practices with a neutral eye that may decide that a long time starter shouldn’t be given his position and that maybe a relative unknown should be given a shot.
Dolphins coaches will naturally have an easier time getting the most out of their players this year. And that could produce a pleasant surprise with a better than expected season. But at worst, it won’t produce anything historically bad.
“Luckily for [Josh] Rosen, he has had some recent experience in a similar scheme.
Rosen is very lucky here and so are the Dolphins. Young quarterbacks can sometimes take a full season with a new coach before they get to the point where they can stop concentrating on their own offense and start concentrating on the gameplan for the upcoming opponent.
What is more likely to hold Rosen back is how the other players on the field adjust to the new scheme rather than how he does. Nevertheless, this is yet another reason why the Dolphins coaching staff should be able to get a good handle on Rosen over the course of just one season to make a judgment about whether he should be the franchise going forward.
Washington Redskins - 5/5
Oakland Raiders - 5/2
New York Giants - 3/1
Detroit Lions - 7/2
San Francisco 49ers - 9/1
I understand why Daniel Snyder’s Redskins might be the favorite. Snyder seems like just the entrepreneur who would see this as an opportunity rather than a detriment. Nevertheless my money’s on the Raiders.
Mark Davis has been adamantly against this team appearing in the past. But getting permission to move his franchise to Vegas undoubtedly came with a lot of strings attached behind the scenes. The bet here is that it’s not coincidence that the Rams both appeared on Hard Knocks and went to London to play after permission to move to Los Angeles was given.
Oakland plays a home game against the Bears in London this year and it would surprise no one if they ended up being forced to volunteer to be on Hard Knocks as well.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
The Miami Dolphins are entering year one of the Chad O’Shea offense.
Thus far through OTAs, players such as DeVante Parker and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been all the talk for the offensive side of the ball. One position group that is flying under the radar is running back. The Dolphins depth at the running back position is severely different than last season.
Only Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage are still on the roster from last year’s running back room. Miami drafted Myles Gaskin in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL draft and surprising signed the troubled Mark Walton. In addition to those players, Miami also drafted Chandler Cox, a fullback.
Miami now has one of the youngest running back rooms in the league and it is loaded with potential. Drake flashed his potential in 2017 when he took over as the lead back once Jay Ajayi was traded away. Ballage flashed his potential multiple times last season even with the limited opportunities he got.
Walton is the most interesting name in the room. Walton has a huge amount of potential but he seems to always be in trouble. If Walton can stay out of trouble, Miami could have a future three-headed monster at running back with Drake, Ballage, and Walton. Gaskin can be a great third down back in Miami as, in college, he showed he can catch out of the backfield, pass block, and can get past the first down line if needed.
Cox was an interesting pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since O’Shea is from New England one would have to assume that he will be used like James Devlin, New England’s fullback.
Even though it is very early in the 2019 season, Miami has the potential to be a very good rushing team. It will be interesting to see how things play out in training camp, as I do not expect Miami to keep four running backs and Cox on the active roster. If Miami does keep all five players on the active roster, expect to see Gaskin have a huge role on special teams as he more than likely is the odd man out in the competition (unless Walton can not stay out of trouble).
Gaskin should make the practice squad if he does not make the final roster as an insurance plan.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
“’If you work hard and put the team first, you’re a leader,’ Flores said. ’I want to have 53 leaders on our team. I want 90 on our team right now. That’s something that you can develop. That’s something that you can talk about.”’
I’m glad that Salguero is pressing the issue of Reshad Jones' absence from OTAs in a year where a new coaching staff is trying to install a new defensive scheme. But that aside, I continue to be astounded that Jones is still a part of this team at all.
I understand that cutting Jones post-June 1 would entail eating $17 million dollars in dead cap money. But the Dolphins have plenty of cap space.
How can you keep a guy who basically quit on your team by refusing to enter a game last year? I don’t care what issues Jones had with defensive coordinator Matt Burke or head coach Adam Gase. As Flores, himself, correctly points out above, none of your 53 “leaders” should ever put pride ahead of the team, especially if you are a serving as veteran example.
I understand that football players aren’t all going to be angels. But right now the focus has to be first and foremost on developing young players and establishing a positive team culture.
Similar to the signing troubled running back Mark Walton, I can’t imagine what a poor example such “veteran leadership” will set for the youth on a rebuilding Dolphins team.
Every time Flores speaks to the team about “putting the team first,” young eyes in that room will involuntarily turn to look at Jones (when he finally shows up). I can’t imagine the damage that will cause.
“[T]he frustrating thing about this pick is that Asiata was drafted out of Utah with the 164th selection. And with the 190th selection the Los Angeles Chargers selected Sam Tevi, who was on the same offensive line as Asiata at Utah.
In fairness, the Dolphins were still two years away from losing Ja’Wuan James to free agency. They had just taken Laremy Tunsil in the first round in 2016 and they were just moving him to tackle. They needed a guard.
Nevertheless, Salguero’s point is excellent and well-taken. Talent is talent and it isn’t like the Dolphins couldn’t have used a good developmental prospect that could serve as a back up in the meantime.
The situation highlights a fundamental problem. The general manager can set the general direction of the franchise and help make some final decisions on the players. But Chris Grier, even if he’s the right guy for the job, can’t be everywhere. It takes a village to put together a good draft and if the scouts can’t recognize talent when they see it, it results in an organizational failure. The general manager is just the face of it.
This is an issue when you consider the fact that the Dolphins chose to stick with Grier rather than embrace big changes by hiring from the outside. All the little Indians underneath Grier stayed the same. Here’s hoping they improve their performance or it won’t matter who the chief is.
“[Michael] Deiter checks all those boxes.
I think Beasley is right. But I have a better explanation.
The Dolphins drafted Christian Wilkins, a defensive tackle, and Dieter, a guard, with their first two picks. They are planning on being strong up the middle and building outward. And that’s a sound strategy. Nothing disrupts the opposing offense more than pressure up the middle.
Offensive guard is being recognized as an increasingly important position in the modern NFL as teams struggle to keep the pocket clean in front of the quarterback so that he can step up and throw.
“I get it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither were the Patriots. But this is simple roster management issue that could be fixed with a veteran addition, similar to how Jordan Mills’ signing potentially patches up the vacant right tackle spot.”
Kelly is primarily concerned with the run defense but the problem will crop up when it comes to the pass rush as well. The Dolphins are deficient at this position, the outside linebacker when they are in the base 3-4 and the defensive end in the nickel. This position sets the edge against the run and rushes the passer.
There’s no doubt about it. The Dolphins have a huge roster hole at this spot. But I’d love to know who Kelly thinks the team should sign as a “simple roster addition.” The truth is most teams are deficient in this area. Anyone who is any good was taken off the market a long time ago. Even if the Dolphins were willing to part with 2020 draft picks, most of those players aren’t available via trade.
The Dolphins have evidently made the decision to let this position slide in a rebuilding year. I don’t like it, Kelly doesn’t like it and you probably don’t like it, either. But I think its something everyone is going to have to live with because it’s not a problem that will be solved until the next offseason now.
There isn’t much to say about it this early in the process but it is worth noting that installing a new defense and a new offense is going to be a particular challenge for this group of coaches. The reason is simple - most of them haven’t done it before. Indeed, most of them have never even seen it done.
Many of the Dolphins coaches, both offensive and defensive, have spent their entire careers in New England, where head coach Bill Belichick is an institution and where the organization has been a smoothly running machine for a very long time. Belichick probably doesn’t even remember how he went about installing the Patriots defense from scratch, let alone his assistants.
The problem highlights one of the challenges that comes with being a Belichick disciple. Many of these guys have never been anywhere else.
For instance, they’ve never developed the contacts in the league which can be necessary to succeed as coaches, particularly head coaches in Brian Flores’s case. So what happens when you have to hire assistants? You look for former Patriots because you’ve never worked anywhere else and you don’t really know anyone else.
Having veteran coaches like Jim Caldwell can help. But that will only take you so far. Flores and his staff have their work cut out for them in this respect.
“Jets CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson wants a ’great strategic thinker’ to run the football operation. He needs someone who can work with coach Adam Gase. And at the intersection possibly resides one and only one name.
This sounds to me more like the media connecting dots than a realistic possibility. But I’ve been surprised before.
I love Peyton Manning but a general manager? I’m not a big fan of having people without a background in personnel in that role, let alone someone with no front office background at all. It almost never works out. The latest example is in San Francisco where rumor has it that John Lynch, who also had no front office experience, and head coach Kyle Shanahan are rumored to be on the outs.
I don’t like the direction the Jets are taking.
“Multiple judges have ruled that the “sneak and peek” video surveillance violated the law by undertaking no effort to minimize the intrusion on the privacy of innocent persons who were simply getting massages. If the appellate courts don’t overturn these rulings, there will be little or no evidence against Kraft — unless prosecutors can persuade the alleged providers of prostitution to “flip” on their alleged customers.”
It bothers me when someone tries to legally get off the hook based upon technicalities. The police know he did it. I know he did it. You know he did it. The lawyers know he did it. Virtually everyone knows he did it.
Kraft is the owner of a franchise where players are constantly told to be accountable for their actions. Is this accountability? It might be the reality of the world we live it. But I call it hypocrisy.
In any case, the situation puts the league in a bind. They haven’t hesitated to suspend players who are obviously guilty but who have not been legally convicted, often because they paid off the victim. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s 2010 suspension after sexual assault allegations is a good example.
I think its fair to say that although the league has some morally upright fans who strongly disapprove, solicitation isn’t really considered to be a big deal to most in modern American society. It certainly doesn’t rise to the level of sexual assault or similar offenses. But in terms of obvious guilt or innocence beyond the legal ramifications, there are players who are going to be watching this situation closely to see if Kraft is held to the same standard.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
"Narrative: The Dolphins trade down in the second round was part of Miami’s plan to land Rosen.
Salguero makes a lot of good points in this article but that one falls flat.
Salguero’s point is that the Dolphins made the trade not knowing if they could swing a deal for Rosen with the 62nd overall pick or not. No deal was in place. I have absolutely no trouble believing that.
At the same time, Salguero, perhaps purposely, misses the point. The fact that the Dolphins felt good making the trade even if Rosen didn’t come with it doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a potential Rosen deal in mind when they made it. In fact, given that they were already in discussions and thought the 48th pick was too high but obviously felt the 62nd wouldn’t be, it would be foolish not to assume that they didn’t.
Whether the Dolphins were willing to stand on this trade without a Rosen deal or not, the end result is the same. They basically traded back into the third round and added a fourth round pick to make this happen. Intent aside, that was the end result of their maneuvering and that is the bottom line.
Any other conclusion is just spin.
"If he wins the competition, absolutely I’m good with that. I think that would be what’s best for the team and best for the Miami Dolphins," Dolphins coach Brian Flores said.
This is, of course, what Flores has to say. But this competition is - or had better be - slanted towards finding out what the young, potential franchise quarterback can do.
It’s absolutely true that you can’t just trot Rosen out there no matter what he does. For one thing, evaluating Rosen isn’t the coaching staff’s only job. Every young player on the team has to be examined and a determination has to be made about their future with the franchise. That’s particularly true of Kenyan Drake and Jakeem Grant, both of whom are entering contract years.
How can you evaluate your talent if the quarterback if the quarterback can’t throw the ball accurately or run the offense? How can you develop younger players?
So you do have to have a competent quarterback in order to develop and run the team properly in a rebuilding year. But having said that if Fitzpatrick wins this job it will mean very bad things for Rosen. And it will mean the decision about what to do come draft time in 2020 will have already been made.
“Miami’s coaches intend to run a hybrid scheme that incorporates both elements of a 4-3 and 3-4 front, and envision themselves playing with five defensive backs on the field at the same time, possibly as the team’s base defense.
I think Kelly describes the forest well but he misses the point when it comes to the trees. The players in this defense will be expected to do a lot of things but to say that they don’t have “a defined role” really isn’t true. In fact, if the coaches do their jobs right, their role will be very clear cut and well-defined in any given situation. That won’t be - or at least it shouldn’t be - the problem.
The problem comes in when you consider the talent of your players and whether they are capable of executing those well-defined roles. In this case, new Dolphins defensive line coach Marion Hobby seems to understand the challenge.
“That’s where the awareness comes in,” Hobby said.
“A coach used to always tell me if you trick the [defensive] ends and trick the free safety, you’re going to get a big play. So those guys have to have some awareness to them. They have to play with their eyes and their feet. It’s hard. There are very few that can.”
When you are playing a multiple 3-4, 4-3 scheme, to a certain extent you throw the old position definitions away. But position definitions are still there. They’re just new. The trick, just as it is in the old standard systems, is the same. Getting guys who are capable of doing their jobs and getting them to the point where they can execute them is still the key to successful football.
“Look, Tunsil has not fully arrived. He’s not fully developed. There’s much room for growth. But no one in the Dolphins organization questions whether he should be part of the organization going forward. Because he’s very good.
Salguero has a point. But there are drawbacks.
As Salguero points out, the Dolphins don’t have to do this. Tunsil is under contract for 2019 and they have already picked up the fifth-year option for 2020. If they had to, they could apply the franchise tag in 2021.
Interestingly, Omar Kelly at the Sun-Sentinel asserts out in another article that the Dolphins have been criticized for trying to do contract extensions too late. He points to losses like defensive end Olivier Vernon, tight end Charles Clay, receiver Jarvis Landry, tailback Lamar Miller and offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James under Mike Tannenbaum. I disagree with this assessment. In each of these cases it wasn’t a question of approaching the player too late. It was a question of money and value where, right or wrong, the Dolphins in each case decided that there wasn’t a match.
In fact, I would argue the opposite. The Dolphins got themselves in some trouble after Adam Gase’s first year by handing out a lot of contracts such as those for Andre Branch, Reshad Jones, and Kiko Alonso that they’d probably like to get out from under. In many cases, these players were extended when the Dolphins really didn’t have to do it and they eventually let the team down either through disappointing play (debatably Alonso), a lack of development (Branch) or poor football character (Jones).
Bottom line, a lot of money was spent that didn’t have to be and probably wouldn’t have been had the teams waited.
There are also some additional factors. Players who get early long term deals tend to get comfortable. This can lead to less concentration and a decline in quality of play.
And there is the fact that this sort of thing leads to the expectation on the part of other players that their contracts will be extended early, too. So even if you aren’t worried about extending Tunsil, the next guy who is more borderline will press for an early extension. And when he doesn’t get it, it can lead to an early hold out, one which agents have reason to expect might work simply because the team has a history of giving early extensions.
On balance, I’d say its better to wait until the 2020 offseason to extend Tunsil. It would prevent Tunsil from having to enter a final, lame duck year and keep him out of the free agent market. This while keeping the team from having to tag him and while setting a better pattern for other players under the new regime. In the meantime, even if you are reasonably sure Tunsil is a part of your future, it gives you another year to make sure Tunsil remains healthy and to see how he develops and performs under the new coaching staff.
•Safid Deen at the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Dolphins are giving running back Mark Walton a tryout, and then later actually signed him to the team.
I found this move to be ironic given that on the very same day Flores characterized the extension of Xavien Howard’s contract as a move meant to build team culture.
Walton was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals last month after his third arrest. He is facing felony charges for allegedly carrying a concealed weapon, marijuana possession and reckless driving. Significantly, the March 12 incident took place in Miami, his home town. Now the Dolphins are not only giving him a second chance, they’ve brought him back to a city where old friends and bad influences could exacerbate the problem.
But that’s not my point. The problem is that they’ve brought him into a young locker room where veteran influence will have more than the usual impact on the development of the team.
I don’t have a problem with Walton getting a second chance. But giving it to him with the Dolphins seems like a very questionable move.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
The Sun-Sentinel does a photo gallery of quarterbacks who, similar to new Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen, had slow starts to their careers. In one photo they highlighted the start of Peyton Manning’s career:
“His first game was against the visiting Dolphins who grabbed three of his passes, including one for a pick-six by Terrell Buckley in a 24-15 Miami win. By the time the Colts had finished the first quarter of the season, Manning had piled up 11 pickoffs against only three touchdown passes. Things stabilized from there as he threw 23 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in the final 12 games. The rest is Hall of Fame history.”
I hate clicking through these photo galleries and I usually don’t bother with them. But I knew I was going to have to read this one because I knew Manning would come up on a list of very good quarterbacks. With all due respect to Tom Brady, Dan Marino and the many others you could mention, Manning is in my opinion the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. I love all of those other guys but not one of them had to literally lift their team and carry them the way Manning did.
But that’s not my point. My point is that Manning elevated his game from his first three win season through to NFL history with the help of very good coaching from legendary offensive coordinator Jim Moore and quarterbacks coach Bruce Arians. And Rosen is going to need that kind of help.
Like Manning, Rosen is smart. In fact, in the words of former Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson, probably too smart.
What did Johnson mean?
Rosen has a reputation for being arrogant. Most Dolphins fans can’t figure out where that reputation came from because his introduction to the Miami media, as least, was nothing but positive. But I have an idea how Rosen might have gotten stuck with this label.
In my day job when I’m not bloviating about the NFL, I teach first year medical students. Specifically, I deal with a lot of extremely intelligent, high achieving students that I greatly respect. And those students challenge me with a lot of questions. In fact, even after doing this for going on 17 years, I’m constantly amazed at my students’ ability to come up with things I’ve never heard before.
Sometimes these interactions test my limit when trying to show that I know what I’m talking about. And, at least as important, they test my willingness to admit when I don’t know what I’m talking about. I enjoy these conversations, especially when the latter is true, because it forces me to learn something. I’m nearly always better for having talked to a smart student about a topic.
But I have tell you honestly that not all of my colleagues feel the same. There are some who believe that its their job to always show students that they are superior and they don’t like interactions with students who, frankly, might be smarter, if less knowledgeable, than they are. In the end, they explain their shortcomings to themselves by blaming the students. Most feel that these students lack respect.
And that brings us back to Josh Rosen, who is by all accounts an extremely intelligent player. And, let’s be honest, his teachers haven’t been the best.
After having had three offensive coordinators in college at UCLA, Rosen is going on his third offensive coordinator as he joins the Dolphins this season after only one year with the Cardinals. Up until this point, Rosen has had to deal with a carnival of coaches including Mike McCoy, who was fired after Week 7 last year, followed by Byron Leftwich, who was fired after the season.
Someone with more cruelty in his blood than I have might have called it a "clown car."
Nothing against the Cardinals staff but you don’t go through coaches like that if you are good at what you are doing. Bottom line, it would be no surprise to find that Rosen was smarter than his teachers. And it would be no surprise to find that his teachers didn’t react well to the situation.
So far it seems that Rosen has had the same benefits that Manning had in his first seasons with the Colts. Let’s hope that he finds a better home in South Florida with good instructors that he can respect and, just as important, who can respect him.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
Before the draft there were several reports that came out stating the Miami Dolphins potential interest in Josh Rosen. I (like a lot of fans) could not wrap my head around this. I mean, how could I looking at Rosen's stats from his rookie season.
I know better than to say that it's all on Rosen considering he was on a terrible Arizona team with an even worse offensive line. But...I rationalized that he had Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson by his side. He should be better than what his stats were right?
Then I thought, "Well...Miami could have made an effort to trade up for him in last year's draft right?"
I mean, Chris Grier was the GM last year so he clearly didn't like/trust Rosen to bring him in so there's no way he would this year!
Then when reports came out stating that Rosen was toxic to locker room culture and his cockiness rubbed people the wrong way, even his college coach acknowledged that he isn't easy to deal with. That has to mean something right?
Lastly (and the biggest reason for me), the compensation Rosen was going to require. A 1st rounder for a failed investment by Arizona? During our own rebuild? No way! I felt that way even after the reports came out stating we may trade a 2nd and even a 3rd in a draft where the middle rounds would have some value.
Then...the trade occurred.
I was a prisoner of an initial shock that said we traded a 2nd rounder and a 5th next year for him. I allowed myself to fall victim to all the negativity and chaos that followed Rosen. This was especially true because I felt the trade would impede us finding a true franchise QB in 2020 and pretend that recycled garbage can lead this team into the future.
That is when it hit me...three days after the news...I may be wrong and that is okay.
I have seen numerous tweets, posts, and even a video of a fan who exposed himself as a fair-weather fan who masqueraded in Dolphins gear expressing his displeasure about the trade. I have seen journalists who know more, have seen more, and interact with "insider" sources about the team I love express their negative perspectives. I understand it and it's okay...it's also okay to acknowledge that we are holding a grudge that may not make sense and we need to be more open about this.
The reality is that Rosen was a smart QB who could dissect the concepts a defense threw at him. He displayed an arm and footwork that Miami has not truly seen in years. In regards to him being cocky, has that stopped other QBs from being great? And that was behind an atrocious offensive line that would have eaten the best QBs alive. In regards to Miami passing on Rosen last year, they very well could have because of the red flags Rosen had.
It is also very possible that Grier (who has my respect based on his work to date this offseason) wanted Rosen but was overruled by a stubborn Adam Gase (who hates personalities) and Mike Tannenbaum (who thought Mark Sanchez was a franchise QB). Teammates then came pouring out of the woodwork praising Rosen, wishing him well, and acknowledging that Miami has a keeper in Rosen...I wouldn't say that about a teammate I hate.
And then there was the trade and compensation...Grier was an absolute genius. He turned the 2nd round pick this year into a 2nd rounder next year (by trading down with the Saints), acquired a QB who would be the 2nd best QB if he were in the 2019 draft (maybe even the best?) and really only surrendered a 5th rounder. I applaud Grier and his team to not only maneuver this trade but also the trust he has in Brian Flores and his staff to coach up this young pup.
And acquiring Rosen does not impede the team from drafting a QB next year whether Rosen fails or not. It is absolutely okay to have two QBs on our roster (and if you don't think so, look at the last 20 years the Dolphins had).
I refuse to be upset and lose faith in the Dolphins because I "feel" like I should. I'm not going to let others decide whether or not this trade was a good one. If you feel that way, that's fine and you have that right. But for those of you who switched (or are contemplating switching your opinion), it's okay. Don't let others keep you from accepting that you were guilty of being emotional. Don't be that person because you don't want to be wrong. Because you may be missing on something special in the making.
This story was written by Carlos Camacho. Follow him on Twitter: @DolfansVoice
“[T]he Cardinals fleeced the Dolphins for a quarterback nobody else in the NFL seemingly wanted. Despite having no other bidders for Rosen’s services, the Dolphins not only sent Arizona a second-round pick for the UCLA product. They also sweetened the deal by trading away a 2020 fifth-round pick.”
That’s not the whole story by a long shot. Any fair evaluation of this trade has to include the previous exchange where the Dolphins traded back from the 48th overall pick in the second round to the 62nd.
That’s because the Dolphins made that trade to set up the final deal for Rosen. Here’s how the trade breaks down assuming, as is the common wisdom, that future picks are worth a pick in the current year minus one round:
Add all of that up and here’s what that means. After all is said and sifted, the Dolphins got a top ten pick from 2018 and a potential starter for trading back to the third round and giving a fourth round pick. Can anyone honestly tell me that if the Dolphins had made that trade while sitting at 48 overall that they shouldn’t have taken it?
Ladies and gentlemen, that is a deal. The Dolphins not only didn’t get fleeced, they took the Cardinals to the cleaners. The Dolphins did the right thing here. They waited the Cardinals out and bargained hard and got their guy. And they did it in such a way that if Rosen doesn’t work out, they can let him go and figure that they didn’t lose that much. So those who want a quarterback in 2020 aren’t out anything by this deal.
The only real question is whether one year will be enough to properly evaluate Rosen. It certainly will take longer than that to fully develop him. But it says here that if the Dolphins know what they’re doing, they’ll at least have a good idea of what they have by the time the 2020 draft rolls around.
And from what I can tell so far, they do know what they’re doing.
In the meantime I’d like to add my own winner: Joe Klatt at the NFL Network. Klatt usually covers college football for FOX but he came on and did a great job during Day 2 of the draft breaking down the picks. I spent most of Day 3 wishing he was still there instead of Peter Schrager, who seemed to be there more for the entertainment value.
I’m not going to go down this list and pretend I know anything about these guys because for the most part I don’t. But I will tell you that when they hit the field this summer, you might want to pay attention. The Dolphins have a lot of roster openings and a lot of holes to fill. Some of them are gong to be filled by these signings.
And I’ll add this: if you want to evaluate Chris Grier as a GM, paying attention to how many of these undrafted free agents develop is one good way to do it. Good teams with good front offices and coaching staffs usually find a way to develop a few of these kinds of players into good, solid starters. And these guys are going to have more than the usual opportunity to show what they can do.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said he didn’t want to take Kyler Murray after trading up to get Josh Rosen in the first round last year but he was won over by Murray’s talent. This is a gamble for Arizona. Few teams had Murray as the No. 1 player in the draft and it’s fair to wonder if the Cardinals would even have considered Murray if they hired anyone other than Kliff Kingsbury as coach. This will either work out spectacularly for Arizona or cost Keim and Kingsbury their jobs someday.
My guess is that Bordow is right. The Cardinals don’t take Murray if anyone other than Kingsbury is the head coach. The reason is simple. Murray fits what the Cardinals want to do out of the box whereas any other coach outside of Seattle would have had to change their entire offense to make Murray work. Murray’s size makes him less than suitable for an offense that relies on sitting in the pocket and finding the open receiver.
I tried to figure out where the next likely landing place for Murray was if he got by the Cardinals. My guess is that it would have been a long way down the list. Murray not only landed in the perfect spot to take advantage of his talents. He may have landed in the only spot.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
If you are an NFL football fan, chances are pretty good that you have watched the 2014 football film Draft Day starring Kevin Kostner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, and slew of other notable NFL players, analysts and other recognizable sports related individuals.
The premise of the movie is that the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, Kevin Costner, is rebuilding his team through the NFL draft. The movie focuses much of its time on the team’s preparation for draft day, the team leadership’s internal struggles between Costner and the team’s head coach, Denis Leary, to agree on what the team needs are, and then the actual NFL draft.
By the end of the movie, the Browns General Manager, Costner, ends up gaining leverage on one of the other NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and the Browns ultimately move from beginning the draft with one 1st round pick to ending the draft with three 1st round selections. The movie concludes with the Cleveland Browns appearing to have their roster in a significantly better place with their new additional players.
On Friday, the Miami Dolphins did their best Draft Day movie impersonation.
With Chris Grier being the Miami Dolphins version of Kevin Costner and Brian Flores taking the Denis Leary coach role, the Dolphins made some great draft day moves which in turn created significant value for the team with the eventual trade for quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals.
Although fans will most likely never know what conversations were held between Grier and the Cardinal’s General Manager, Steve Keim, the leverage was clearly in favor of the Miami Dolphins after the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first overall selection in the draft and after quarterbacks were selected by the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.
Imagine the phone conversations between Keim and Grier as the 2019 draft was about to begin and the Cardinals were set to pick Murray. “Rosen for the Dolphins first round pick?” “No thank you”. The Dolphins made a smart pick with Christian Wilkinson at number 13.
Then, day two of the draft begins and Keim calls Greir again wanting the Dolphins number 48 pick. “Rosen for the Dolphins second pick?” “No thank you.” Instead, a draft pick trade gets done with the New Orleans Saints to swap second round picks in 2019 where the Saints pick up the 48th pick and Dolphins pick up the 62nd pick and the Dolphins also pick up the Saints 6th round pick in 2019 and a 2nd round pick in 2020.
Then, Chris Grier’s phone rings again. “Oh, hi Steve”, he says. There was surely some haggling about what other compensation was to get moved in a draft trade for the Dolphins 62nd pick, but the final agreement was that the Dolphins send their 2019 2nd round pick and their 2020 5th round pick for Josh Rosen, who was a number 10 draft pick the prior year.
There are plenty of naysayers who think that Josh Rosen is a bust, which is completely understandable based on his rookie year performance. However, if you think about it, the Miami Dolphins will be paying him less money over three years than they are paying Ryan Fitzpatrick for two years. And, when the dust settled on day two of the 2019 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins only ended up giving up a 5th round pick in 2020 for a 1st round selected player from last year's draft. That’s a pretty good deal!
Obviously, the Dolphins did not gain three 1st round draft picks out of the whole deal, similar to the Draft Day movie, but what they did obtain is a quarterback that many analysts during the 2018 draft process called a top 10 draft talent with a very small monetary and draft capital price tag. And, the moves that the Miami Dolphins leaders made during day two of the NFL draft were nothing short of brilliant, similar to the Browns organization in the movie.
At the end of the movie Draft Day, the Cleveland Broward organization appear to be heading in the right direction. The Miami Dolphins appear to be doing the same!
This article was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
The 2019 NFL Draft is tonight. Every Miami Dolphins fan is wondering what Miami will do. In this seven round mock, Miami stays at 13 and does not trade down. Although trading down may be an intriguing option, Miami could land a franchise player if they stay put.
Round 1, Pick 13: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Christian Wilkins is the exact player that Miami is looking for. He has unmatched character and is very versatile. During his time at Clemson, Wilkins was a very respected leader on and off the field and also won the Campbell Award this past year. The Campbell Award is the academic Heisman.
At 6’3” and 315 pounds, Wilkins can play anywhere on Miami’s defensive line, whether it is interior or on the edge.. His 51 tackles and six sacks show that he is a stout defender against the run and pass. This past year, Wilkins also scored two rushing touchdowns as he was used to punch it into the endzone on offense at the one yard line.
Round 2, Pick 48: Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
Building the trenches is a huge need for the Miami Dolphins. Lindstrom is one of the best linemen in the draft and will be a day one starter in Miami. He has elite athleticism which is very important in today’s NFL. Due to his build and athleticism, he can play anywhere on the offensive line.
At Boston College, he started at both tackle and guard and with Miami’s offensive line injury history, that is important. For the NFL, he will be better suited for guard or center since he does not have elite length.
Round 3, Pick 78: Oshane Ximines, Edge, Old Dominion
Ximines was once considered a first round pick but due to so many other players playing for bigger name schools, his name has been lost. The moment he stepped onto the field at Old Dominion, Ximines was a beast. He led Old Dominion in sacks and tackles for loss since his redshirt freshman season.
At 6’3” and 253 pounds, Ximines was all over the field this past season and his stats show it. He had 58 tackles, 12 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one interception A player like Ximines would excel in Brian Flores’s new defense since Ximines has the ability to play in both a 3-4 and 4-3.
Round 4, Pick 116: Khalen Saunders, DL, Western Illinois
Saunders is one of the drafts most intriguing prospects. You might know him as the defensive tackle that recently gained popularity for doing a at backflip at 324 pounds. Although he is 324 pounds, he is only 6 feet tall. Even though he is a bit undersized, he is a very athletic and aggressive player.
Since he went to a small school, he had doubts that he never played against NFL competition. Once he went to the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts, those talks stopped.
This past season he had 72 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks. Saunders does have some conditioning issues, but in Miami, he will be a rotational player so those are not such a big deal. If Saunders does pan out to be an eventual starter, Miami would have found a diamond in the rough.
Round 5, Pick 151: Ben Powers, OG, Oklahoma
Powers was one of the starting players for college football’s top offensive line. Due to the scheme he played in, Powers already has NFL ready intelligence and an understanding of NFL blocking schemes. His length is limited so Powers would be a guard in Miami ad could replace Josh Sitton.
His blocking style is very aggressive yet he does not lose his technique. Powers is an overall good lineman who can block both the run and pass. One of his only weakness is his athleticism, but that is not such a big deal deal due to his great aggression and technique.
Round 7, Pick 233: Chris Westry, CB, Kentucky
Westry is perhaps one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He is 6’5” and 199 pounds with 33 ¾” arms and ran the 40 yard dash in 4.31 seconds at his pro day. Again, he is 6’5” and a corner. Due to his size, Westry has an unlimited amount of potential. The reason why he is such a late round pick is due to his production and talent.
This past season at Kentucky he was not a starter and only had 21 tackles and two passes deflected. During his four year career at Kentucky, Westry only has three interceptions and 12 pass deflections. Having numbers like those are unacceptable for any corner, let alone one that is 6’5”. That being said, drafting Westry would be based off solely on potential and what Brian Flores thinks he can do with him.
Round 7, Pick 234: Wes Hills, RB, Slippery Rock
The Miami Dolphins already have two good running backs in Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, but neither of them are true power guys. Hills would be the perfect compliment to both Drake and Ballage. At 6’2” and 218 pounds, Hills is a back that can get you that extra yard when you need it most.
He is from a small school so the competition he faced was not the best. He did play at the University of Delaware for three years but during those years he dealt with injuries and academic issues. Hills has boom or bust potential, but due to his injury history, and playing at a small school, his stock has fallen.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
"By far, the most common question about the Dolphins after the rhetorical tank-of-no-tank (seriously?) is this: Why was Chris Grier promoted to king-of-his-world powers when his drafts seem mediocre the past three years?"
I think the answer that you'll get from most fans is that it's because Mike Tannenbaum was defacto general manager and Adam Gase had too much influence over personnel. And they’d have a point. But only to an extent.
I have little trouble believing that Tannenbaum and Gase had strong opinions about who the first and second round picks should be. But after that, more and more it becomes scouts work. And that’s Chris Grier’s domain.
So how has Grier done with those crucial mid and late-round picks? Hard to say. He’s only presided over three drafts but let’s take a look. Also note the results of an informal poll among our PhinManiacs writers (1 = poor, 5 = excellent)
(Yes, I know its stupid to grade recent drafts. But for the sake of the exercise, let’s do it anyway.)
3rd round: Kenyan Drake
3rd round: Leonte Carroo
6th round: Jakeem Grant
6th round: Jordan Lucas
7th round: Brandon Doughty
7th round: Thomas Duarte
PhinManiacs writers scores: 3.0 out of 5
This was, indeed, not great. Drake has been a solid contributor but they needed him to develop into the main running back. He had the opportunity last year but it seemed that no one associated with the team was beating the drum to put him in that position, reportedly due to some maturity issues. Carroo has been waived after what was a less than productive career but Grant was a hit. I think a good draft would have had at least a solid contributor in at least one of those last three names.
3rd round: Cordrea Tankersley
5th round: Isaac Asiata
5th round: David Godchaux
6th round: Vincent Taylor
7th round: Isaiah Ford
PhinManiacs writers scores: 3.0 out of 5
Really hard to tell only two years out from this draft. Tankersley has been a disappointment when called upon to play. I’d call both Godchaux and Taylor hits as they would both be solid members of the rotation on the defensive line this year without the scheme change. It wouldn’t have been a good defensive line but they’re still both starters.
A lot will depend on how Asiata turns out. At the moment, he hasn’t impressed anyone in limited exposure but he’ll likely get his chance to compete to start this year.
3rd round: Jerome Baker
4th round: Durham Smythe
6th round: Kalen Ballage
6th round: Cornell Armstrong
7th round: Quentin Poling
7th round: Jason Sanders
PhinManiacs writers: 3.8 out of 5
Like our writers I feel better about this class than the previous two. Again, it's still early but already pretty good. Baker and Sanders are already solid hits and Ballage shows some signs of developing into one. It’s discouraging how little the others have contributed but I think it's hard to ask for more than three good hits out of six in these rounds.
My conclusion is that Hyde’s characterization of Grier isn’t unfair. But I also think the fans have a point.
To have really called those picks excellent, I would have liked to have seen just one more good hit in each of those years above. But it's fair to say that if you give Grier a free hand on those early round picks, his record in the later round should give fans some signs of hope.
Why is that significant to Dolphins fans? Because that class was denigrated at least as much as the 2019 class is currently being criticized.
“So many people said it wasn’t a strong quarterbacks class,” [Mitch] Trubisky said.
Added [DeShaun] Watson: “We all remember that. Patrick [Mahomes] has said it. Mitch said it. I’ve said it. And we all put that in the back of our heads, went to work and started grinding. … The whole time leading up to that draft, no one thought we would be where we’re at now. Especially after Year 2.”
Those opinions caused both Watson and reigning MVP Mahomes to fall into a range where teams that know what they’re doing could trade up and get them while teams that don’t know what they’re doing took a pass.
It just goes to show how little the prevailing media opinion should influence fans’ attitudes toward the draft. If you are praying that the Dolphins don’t take a quarterback because "all of the potential first rounders would have ranked behind all of last year’s first rounders," you should remember: it’s all been said before.
Suddenly the mock drafts that weeks ago had Miami picking a quarterback in the first round have changed. The pundits and analysts have moved on to seemingly other ideas. The idea of the Dolphins picking a quarterback in the first round in 2019 seems less popular now.
Fair enough. But here’s the problem. Teams that have a need at quarterback, or any other position, have a bad habit of finding that they like the players.
You hear ex-NFL personnel men talk about this all the time. You always say you’ll take the best available. But somehow the best available usually ends up being at a position of need. You pay more attention to those prospects and they tend to get pushed up your board.
So, yes, absolutely. The Dolphins shouldn’t take a quarterback just to take one. They have to believe in him. But don’t be at all surprised if they find that they believe in one of the ones that are right in front of them.
Having said that, the pass rushers have gotten the most first round attention - with some justification. But don't sleep on the defensive tackles. Experts are calling this class of interior defensive linemen one of the best ever.
It's not as flashy as the sack generators - and the Dolphins could certainly use some with Charles Harris being their best option right now. But nose tackle is a big deal if you are going to spend any time in a three man front as the Dolphins are apt to do next year. There would be nothing wrong with drafting a big man who can move, either there or at defensive end.
New head coach Brian Flores should be intimately familiar with Rowe and he must have liked what he saw. He was a depth piece in New England but it's possible that Flores thought he could be more.
Rowe is only 26 years old and is far from his peak. Identifying and developing young players who are on the rise is what the game is all about right now. Rowe could be a very nice, affordable answer on a team that is re-building and that is about to sign Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard on the other side to a lucrative extension.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
As we enter draft week, the talk is all about what to do with that first round selection number 13. It is fairly clear what fans feel about the core needs. Many are looking to fill vacancies left by the departures of Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, and are still reeling a year later from the departure of Ndamukong Suh. There are glaring needs at right tackle as well with Ja’Wuan James moving on.
The fan base will be excited to draft any of the quality defensive tackle or defensive end prospects. My personal belief is that quarterback needs will be more of a developmental prospect this year and not a franchise cornerstone. If something crazy happens that Dwayne Haskins makes it past the Giants and the Broncos, maybe the Dolphins find a trade partner, but he will not slide outside of the top ten. At this point, 2020 will be the year the Miami Dolphins participate in the quarterback market.
So going into the draft, how do the Dolphins brass fill out the rest of the roster? They have the following picks to achieve this:
2nd Round (48)
3rd Round (79)
4th Round (117)
5th Round (152)
7th Round (235)
7th Round (236)
Mr. Irrelevant is pick 254, putting the Dolphins seventh round picks right in the middle. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th round selections. These middle round picks need starter potential and not special teams talent. That is the prism by which we will look at these picks.
I think the Miami Dolphins will take a top tier defensive line talent. My preference would be the intelligent leader of Christian Wilkins, but they may very well go with a splashier defensive end there. An argument can be made that beef in the middle of the defensive line can be found in later rounds to compliment what they already have in Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor. I’m not sure there is a Pro Bowler in that group, but if there is one, it will be Godchaux that takes the next step.
The second-round pick selection I have the Dolphins targeting Garrett Bradbury (center) out of NC State. He’s very strong with huge hands. His athleticism and quickness is unquestioned and was on display at the Senior Bowl. Being a tight end in high school contributes to his great feet. I think his strength (34 reps) and hand size will make him dictate the game at his will. Finally a solid replacement for Mike Pouncey.
Then, in my opinion it would be in the Dolphins best interest to go back to the interior offensive line and select Max Scharping (guard) out of Northern Illinois with their third-round pick. I really like drafting guys in the middle rounds from second-tier college programs. He played right tackle last year with a projection of sliding inside. That experience and possible line flexibility is the kind of pick the Dolphins desperately need. His wingspan is 80 inches and he is 6’6”. He will be a mauler at the next level and will be a great addition should the Dolphins organization see him as I do.
With the offensive line additions, I can see the Miami Dolphins burning a pick here on a developmental prospect at quarterback. With the fourth-round pick a prospect like Tyree Jackson (quarterback) makes all the sense in the world to me. Jackson left a year early so that additional development can happen on the Dolphins roster.
What better player to learn the position from than our current all-world smart guy Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Jackson's got every tool in the book besides accuracy. If he completed more than 55 percent of his passes he would be considered a first or second-day pick. Think Bills QB Josh Allen here But also, who were his skill position guys outside of Anthony Johnson? Tyree Jackson is the definition of developmental prospect with Cam Newton upside.
For the fifth-round selection I can see the Miami Dolphins keep it local and select Joe Jackson (defensive end) out of the University of Miami. He has all the tools to be successful. His issue is consistency. The write up on him is that he ran too hot and cold. His 2018 projection had him much higher than his current one.
This is a classic buy low opportunity. My only concern here is that he has a 3rd to 5th round projection so it’s likely a team takes a luxury shot on him in round three or four. Might be worth trading one of our next year picks to go get him. He can be coached up and fulfill his raw potential.
It is clear, the Dolphins absolutely must address the trenches this year. The back seven is actually in pretty good shape. If Miami can get some scheme help and produce creative pressure up front, the back seven will benefit. The skill positions are filled with exciting young players that the team will take the “next man up” approach with.
It is an exciting time to be a Dolphins fan. I don’t remember a time when we had so much confidence in the leadership of the team. This rebuild (oh, I mean youth movement) is the most exciting thing we've seen in a decade.
Embrace it, have fun, let’s go Miami!
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
The NFL draft is officially a little over a week away, we can almost hear the clock ticking away as teams scramble to make their selections. The Miami Dolphins have the 13th pick of the draft and there are multiple avenues they could take, they could trade up or trade down, draft an offensive or defensive player, or possibly select the future franchise quarterback.
Below are the selections made by the PhinManiacs writers, do you agree or disagree with our selections?
Pick #13 - Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Miami will most likely be looking to trade down from this spot but landing an elite EDGE player such as Montez Sweat would be a great selection.
Sweat is an athletic freak, standing at 6’5’’, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds. Sweat had high “sack” and “tackle for loss” production in college and with his athleticism this coaching staff could use him as much more than just an edge rusher.
- Oliver Candido (@BrazilCandido)
Pick #24 - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
With Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock all off the board in the top 10, the Miami Dolphins explore trading down, and find a willing partner in the Oakland Raiders. Dropping eleven slots to the 24th overall pick brings Miami an additional 3rd round (#66) and 6th round (#184) picks this year, plus a coveted second round pick in 2020. The Dolphins then take defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, a 6’4’’ behemoth from Clemson.
- Eldon Jenson (@EJFootball)
Pick #13 - Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins has the size and athleticism to line up at multiple positions along the defensive line. Scheme versatility is coveted in today’s NFL. With head coach Brian Flores’s background, he will love to have this guy’s set of skills to confuse opposing offenses.
- Steven Paulsen (@SarcasticPhin)
Pick #20 - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Pittsburgh Steelers are still in search of someone in the linebacker corps to truly replace Ryan Shazier, someone who can cover, blitz, and run sideline to sideline, an all-around stud. There's a linebacker available in the first round who can do all of that well, and that's Michigan's Devin Bush. But the likelihood is that Bush won't be there for the Steelers to draft by the time they're on the clock at 20, and the linebacker depth in this draft is not exactly deep.
So, the Steelers trade up with the Dolphins to get to 13 and draft Bush, which allows Miami to get their hands on an extra third rounder and maybe a pick for 2020. With their new 20th overall pick, the Dolphins select Greedy Williams out of LSU. Xavien Howard continues to negotiate with the team for a long-term contract, and Miami needs someone to be the Patrick Surtain to Howard's Sam Madison.
Williams is the favorite corner in the draft by some analysts, while other have the likes of Byron Murphy or Deandre Baker above him. Nevertheless, Williams is a solid choice, and he (or one of the other two aforementioned corners) is likely to be available after a trade down. With the depth in the draft in the trenches, spending a 1st rounder on a corner still leaves plenty of talent available for later picks on the lines.
- Luis D. Sung (@LuisDSung)
Pick #13 - Greedy Williams
None of the QBs in this draft are worth a 1st round pick, so, instead, Miami needs a CB opposite of Xavien Howard, and the focus shifts to Greedy Williams. At 6’3’’ tall, 184 pounds, Williams has the size to be an excellent corner in the NFL.
He’s shown a knack for getting to the ball with eight interceptions in two years and 19 pass deflections. He also recorded 71 total tackles in two years showing he’s not afraid to make a tackle when needed.
- Dakota Gabel (@DakotasForrest)
Pick #13 - Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Clelin Ferrell would make a great replacement for Robert Quinn and he can even be used as a Trey Flowers type of player in Miami's new defensive scheme. Ferrell is good against the run and pass, he will immediately boost the Dolphins defensive line.
- Tanner Elliott (@Elliott302Tj)
Pick #17 - Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
With the 13th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins will be trading down in order to accumulate additional picks. We could see any of the later round teams trying to improve their draft position and give up picks to trade with the Dolphins.
Then, later in the first round, the Dolphins will address their defensive line by selecting Rashan Gary, an edge rusher out of Michigan. He probably won’t last too far into the 20s range of the 1st round, but the Dolphins will effectively fill a need right from the start.
- Ian Berger (@ian693)
The Miami Dolphins have recently signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $11 million deal. The Dolphins signed Fitzpatrick to be their starting quarterback for the 2019-2020 season, unless something dramatic happens in the draft. As we all know from last season, Fitzpatrick wowed the world at times and at others just looked like the player he has always been.
With all of the reports saying Miami is drafting a quarterback in the 2020 draft, Miami is likely hoping Fitzpatrick just plays like his normal self this year. If this does happen, Miami will be in prime position to draft a top tier quarterback next year such as Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, or Jake Fromm. This scenario is the best one for Miami and their fans since they will be drafting their new franchise quarterback and having Fitzpatrick taking him under his wing.
Although that is what we all expect to happen, it is not the only possibility. If Fitzpatrick plays like he did last season when everyone was impressed by him, the Dolphins could challenge the Patriots for the division title. Fitzpatrick played so well at times last season, he was given the nickname Fitzmagic. During that time, the Buccaneers were competing with some of the best teams in the NFL such as the Saints.
"He’s a leader first and foremost." Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said last week. "I’ve watched Ryan for a long time. I played against him, coached against him. Well, I didn’t play against him, but he was at Harvard when I was at Boston College. I’ve known about him for a long time. The one thing you hear over and over and over again is his ability to connect with players offensively, defensively, and lead. I think he’s a great fit for us. We’re excited to have him. Again, I’m just excited to have him.”
During the first three weeks last season, Fitzpatrick threw for 1,230 yards, 11 touchdowns, and four interceptions, with a 72% completion percentage. The last three games he played was a different story; he had 816 yards, four touchdowns, seven interceptions, with a 64% completion percentage. Even though he was inconsistent last season, Fitzpatrick does have the talent to lead the Dolphins to a good record if he plays well.
Miami might be “tanking” this year, but if Fitzpatrick plays like Fitzmagic, Miami might have a better record than people think.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
With the scouting combine over and free agency winding down, we look at the potential prospects that could be drafted in the first round this upcoming April.
Cardinals, Pick 1: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Ever since Murray weighed in at the Combine, he has almost been a lock to go first overall. The only question is which team drafts Murray. Here, the Cardinals keep the first overall pick and draft their new quarterback.
New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has not been quiet about how much he loves Murray and drafting him would make Cardinals fans excited about the future. The only way I see the Cardinals moving from the pick or not drafting Murray is if an offer they cannot refuse comes up or if something unknown about Murray comes up.
49ers, Pick 2: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The 49ers would be drafting Nick Bosa if they were drafting off potential, but since it seems like the 49ers want to win now, they draft Williams. Williams is probably the most NFL ready player in this draft and it also fills a need for the 49ers.
Dee Ford was recently traded to the 49ers which means that interior line is a bigger need than edge rusher for them. The addition of both Williams and Ford could make players such as Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner better or make them better.
Jets, Pick 3: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
With this pick the Jets draft a player that many people consider to be the best in this class. Nick is Joey Bosa's younger brother and many people, even older brother Joey, think that Nick is the better brother. If that is the case, the Jets would get a steal here.
Bosa is a terrific pass rusher and has a terrific build to be a great player. Bosa has few flaws but one big thing that sticks out to people is that he missed all last season with a core injury. If this injury is only a one-time thing and Bosa can stay healthy then the 49ers and Cardinals might regret passing on him.
Raiders, Pick 4: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
The luck of the Raiders continues with this pick when they draft Josh Allen, another player that is first overall pick worthy. Allen would be a great fit with the Raiders because they are desperately looking for a pass rusher since they traded Khalil Mack. Allen has the ability to rush the passer as well as drop back in coverage if needed.
Allen has the same skill set as another former Raider in Bruce Irvin. Allen has the speed to chase down quarterbacks or to drop back in zone and cover the nearest tight end or running back. Allen will be a great addition to the Raiders' already young defensive line, and can hopefully give them all the spark they need.
Buccaneers, Pick 5: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
Sweat blew people away at the NFL combine, which is why he is here at the fifth pick. There were reports out that Sweat has a heart condition. This condition is not supposed to scare teams away since he was cleared to participate in the Combine and Senior Bowl.
Sweat was very dominant in college but his recent performances in the Senior Bowl and the Combine has boosted his stock and put him in the top 5 discussion. Sweat ran a 4.41 forty and him being 6’6” and 260 pounds, with that combination of size and speed, Sweat will be a force on an already talented Buccaneers defensive line.
Giants, Pick 6: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
Gary would be a great pick for the Giants, especially since they traded away Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison. He has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line, but he is best on the edge. Gary impressed everyone at the combine when he ran a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash which shows he does have some speed.
Even though Gary ran that impressive 40 he does not use his speed in his game. He is very good at setting the edge when needed, so he is good against the run. The only move that he seems to use to rush the passer is his bull or power rush, but after this, the Giants might try to turn him into a more complete pass rusher.
Jaguars, Pick 7: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
After signing Nick Foles to a monster contract this free agency, the Jaguars use this pick to protect him. Williams is a top tackle in this draft but what makes him unique is that he can play either side. There have been some concerns about Williams' size and how he is not big enough to play tackle in the NFL.
At 6’4” and 308 pounds, Williams is not the biggest player on the field but he beats players with his technique. Williams has great technique which helps him win battles that some people do not expect. If Williams can get stronger then he can possibly turn into the next Joe Thomas.
Lions, Pick 8: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Lions have many needs and corner is one of them. They already have an elite corner in Darius Slay, and with drafting Greedy Williams they will have two lockdown corners. The Lions could draft a defensive lineman here but due to the position being very deep, they take Williams. Williams is by far the best cover corner in this draft and has perfect size to go along with it at 6’2”.
He does have some concerns about his effort on run plays, as he does not try to get off blockers or does not try to tackle the running back. Other than his lack of effort in the run game, Williams is an almost flawless corner and would give a much needed boost to the Lions defense.
Bills, Pick 9: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Bills addressed the receiver position in free agency so they draft Taylor to help protect quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills already have a respectable defense and offensive line is one of their biggest needs.
Taylor is a fantastic run blocker, especially for the tackle position. He is a very aggressive blocker and is very athletic. Taylor showed in college that he can block any type of move that a defender will use, such as a spin move.
Broncos, Pick 10: Devin White, LB, LSU
Denver needs to find a good linebacker that they can build around and White fits that description perfectly. White is a sideline to sideline player and was a prototypical middle linebacker in college.
He is good against both the run and pass which is crucial with the Broncos being in the AFC West. White does have some issues with his instincts but when he starts to get used to NFL speed he will be the anchor of Denver’s defense for years to come.
Bengals, Pick 11: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Tight end is not a huge need for the Bengals but it is a position they would like more consistency in. Tyler Eifert was just re-signed by the Bengals on a one year deal, but knowing his history he will more than likely get hurt. Hockenson would be the player they thought they were getting when Eifert got drafted.
Hockenson is the best all around tight end in the draft and one of the most pro-ready players in this draft. Hockenson would be a huge help in the run game as he can block both defensive lineman and linebackers. He would also give Andy Dalton another big target outside of A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
Packers, Pick 12: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
After signing two edge rushers in free agency, the Packers boost their interior line by drafting Oliver. Oliver is a very versatile player, as he can play any position and there are even rumors that he can play linebacker in the NFL.
Oliver is not as highly touted as he was in his earlier college career but he is still a dominant player. People have concerns that Oliver's pass rush has not developed as fast as they wanted but with NFL coaching, Oliver can develop his play more.
Dolphins, Pick 13: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
The Dolphins could easily trade this pick so a team could draft Haskins or Miami themselves could draft Haskins. Instead Miami looks to keep rebuilding their team and draft a defensive end to replace Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn. Ferrell would be an excellent pick for Miami since he has some of the same measurables as Trey Flowers.
That is key because new Dolphins coach Brian Flores is from New England and tried to sign Flowers this past offseason. Ferrell would give Miami another defensive player to build around. Ferrell is very good against the pass and even jamming tight ends off the line of scrimmage.
Falcons, Pick 14: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins is another Clemson defensive lineman who is expected to go in the first round of the NFL draft. Wilkins has a good size and speed at 6’3” and 315 pounds and ran a 5.03 in the forty. The thing that makes Wilkins so great is that he is a great leader on and off the field. Many of his former players and coaches praised his character which is always a good thing.
As for his play, he is very effective at the line of scrimmage and keep leverage while being engaged with blockers. If Wilkins can play at the level he played at in college he will be one of the NFL’s favorite players.
Redskins, Pick 15: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The biggest question of this draft is, where will Dwayne Haskins go? People have said Haskins can go top 5, while others say the will fall out of the top 10. Here, Washington picks him up with the 15th pick. Even though they traded for Case Keenum earlier this offseason, Haskins would be a great fit in Jay Gruden’s system and could possibly start day one for Washington.
Haskins has rivaled Kyler Murray for the top quarterback in the draft even through the two are completely different. Haskins is everything Gruden would want in a quarterback and then some, making him an excellent pick for Washington.
Panthers, Pick 16: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Cam Newton has been subject to injuries his whole career. Now whether that is his fault or because he gets hit every play is the question. It is about time the Panthers get Newton some protection. Dillard was a four year starter for a pretty good offense and is a very athletic blocker.
He is an all around good blocker in both the run and pass. He can drive defenders on run plays and can protect your quarterback in the pass game. Dillard will give the Panthers offensive line a very much needed boost.
Giants (via Browns), Pick 17: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
After the Giants pass on Haskins with the sixth pick they pick their franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones. There have been reports that the Giants do not like Haskins at all and other reports saying they love him. If they are not interested in Haskins, Jones makes the most sense.
Jones has been compared to current Giants quarterback, Eli Manning and because of that the Giants might be interested in drafting him. Jones has also worked out with the coach that coached the Manning brothers. If the Giants are serious about keeping Manning as their quarterback, and keeping their scheme the same, Jones would be the smartest pick.
Vikings, Pick 18: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
After Anthony Barr had a change of heart and re-signed with the Vikings, they need to address the offensive line position instead. Ford is very athletic for his 6’4” and 329 pound frame.
He also has experience to play both guard and tackle which is very beneficial. Ford never gives up on a play and is very aggressive. His pass blocking is not the best but he should still be a day one starter so he can progress through the season.
Titans, Pick 19: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
Corey Davis did not turn out to be the player the Titans hoped for when they drafted him. Metcalf on the other hand is one of the most explosive receivers to come into the draft in recent memory.
At 6’3” and 228 pounds, he ran a 4.33 forty and it blew people away. Due to Metcalf’s size and speed combination corners are going to have a tough time covering him. Hopefully with the addition of Metcalf, Davis can turn into the player everyone projected him to be.
Steelers, Pick 20: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Steelers defense was the reason they lost games last year. The addition of Murphy will boost both their run and pass defense. Murphy had seven interception and 20 pass breakups on only 87 targets in his college career.
For a corner he is very aggressive and can be a hard hitter. He is the perfect size for a slot corner but he can play outside due to his aggressiveness. Murphy would also be a great compliment with Joe Haden.
Seahawks, Pick 21: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Seahawks offensive line got progressively better as the season went on last year. That is why the Seahawks draft one of the most exciting players in this year's draft. Fant had one of the most impressive combines and was already considered to be a first round pick.
At 6’4”and 250 pounds he is big enough to block edge rushers but running a 4.5 in the forty he is fast enough to outrun linebackers. The only issue with Fant is that he is not aggressive enough with blocking or when running routes. Once he realizes how to use his body better those weaknesses should go away.
Ravens, Pick 22: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
With the loss of C.J. Mosley, the Ravens are now looking for a new middle linebacker. Bush would immediately fill the void left by Mosley and is exactly the type of player the Ravens look for. Bush is the prototype of a modern middle linebacker although he is a bit undersized.
Bush has the ability to cover sideline to sideline and is not scared to stick his nose in the run game. The only negative with Bush is that since he is a bit undersized, he can easily be bullied by guards. If Bush can find a way to get off blocks from bigger guys and improve his reaction time, the Ravens will have another star linebacker on their hands.
Texans, Pick 23: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Abram would replace Tyrann Mathieu who left in free agency. Abram is one of those safeties that can play as an extra linebacker. He is very aggressive and a hard hitter who is great in the run game.
He is better against the run compared to the pass so he might get moved to linebacker later down the road. His hip movements are not the best so in order for him to be a great safety they will need to improve.
Raiders (via Bears), Pick 24: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
The Raiders double down on edge rushers with their first two picks. Burns was very impressive during the combine and pairing him with Josh Allen would be deadly. The Raiders are only lacking edge rushers on their defensive line since they already have Johnathan Hankins and Maurice Hurst in the interior.
Running a very impressive 4.53 forty will give the Raiders the ability to send Burns off the edge and he has the speed to chase down running backs. Burns is very athletic which makes it easy for him to get off or go around blockers. If Burns can set his frame and not give away his position when approaching blockers he can be a very good player.
Eagles, Pick 25: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The Eagles running back position has been very inconsistent over the years. With Jacobs they get a dependable guy who can do it all. Jacobs has been praised by his coaches for his work effort. He is a traditional runner since he does not have breakaway speed but he makes good use of his blockers.
Jacobs is also very good out of the backfield which is a crucial part of the Eagles offense. The best part about Jacobs' game is that he is very patient with his blocks and attacks the hole at the right time. Hopefully Jacobs will be the player the Eagles need to fix their running back woes.
Colts, Pick 26: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
The Colts are one of the NFL’s most interesting teams. They are very young and they have a lot of cap space to grow. By drafting Ya-Sin the Colts boost their young defense and give much needed help to their secondary.
Coaches love him and that shows that Ya-Sin is both coachable and a great player. Ya-Sin is great in coverage and can break on the ball at any given moment. He also is not scared to stick his nose in the run game which will help the Colts out as well.
Raiders (Via Cowboys), Pick 27: Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama
Jared Cook was arguably Derek Carr’s favorite weapon this past year. He has left in free agency and the Raiders find his replacement in Smith. Even though the Raiders got plenty of weapons in free agency, the way Carr used Cook last year should be a reason why they draft Smith.
Smith is more of a receiving tight end but he can block if needed. His blocking is a bit inconsistent but if he gains more weight and more coaching he will get better. He is not the biggest at 6’2” but he does have a little speed on him with a 4.62 forty. He has strong hands so he has the ability to be a red zone threat as well.
Chargers, Pick 28: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
The Chargers are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. The only position they really need help with is offensive line. McGary is a very good player but he has a lot of issues that just need to be worked out over time.
He is a very effective blocker but he is not always consistent. He has potential to be a franchise tackle and with that the Chargers will be picking best player available based off of need.
Chiefs, Pick 29: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Chiefs need all the defensive help they can get, especially since they traded away Dee Ford and released Justin Houston. Lawrence improved every year that he was in college. He is also very althletic and has great size at 6’4” and 342 pounds.
The Chiefs have been looking for a new defensive tackle ever since Dontari Poe left and Lawrence could be that guy. Since the Chiefs do not have many defensive pieces, they could start to build their new defense around Lawrence.
Packers (via Saints), Pick 30: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Packers do not have many receivers outside of Davante Adams. Brown would give Aaron Rodgers a new weapon to play with. With Brown’s explosive speed Aaron Rodgers will have a lot of fun with him.
Brown is the best route runner in this year's draft and with his speed, he should make an impact day one. He does have some recent injury concerns but teams should not worry about that since he did not participate in the combine to stay healthy.
Rams, Pick 31: Garrett Bradbury, G/C, North Carolina State
The Rams are a very complete team but the offensive line is a huge need. Bradbury is the best interior lineman in the draft and would become an instant starter for the Rams. He has great hand placement and once he is locked onto a defender he stays locked on.
Bradbury is a bit undersized and uses the same blocking moves every time, making him predictable. Bradbury’s size is not that big of a concern since he very technical but with NFL coaching he will start to use different blocking moves, which will only improve his game.
Patriots, Pick 32: Zach Allen, Edge, Boston College
All throughout the combine, scouts said that Allen plays and acts like a Patriot. He is very coachable and does whatever he is told. The Patriots draft Allen to replace Trey Flowers who they just lost in free agency. At 6’4” and 280 pounds, Allen can rush the passer and set the edge.
Allen also has incredible football IQ which is something the Patriots look for in players. He does not have great length so he may be on blocks longer than scouts like but Allen always keeps his eyes in the backfield to know where the ball is going. It seems like Allen is a player that the Patriots will love to have and also need.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
With the scouting combine over and free agency winding down, we look at the potential prospects the Miami Dolphins could draft this upcoming April.
Round 1, Pick 13: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
If the Miami Dolphins want to boost their pass rush, then Ferrell will be an excellent pick. Ferrell played in a 4-3 scheme in college but should have no problem adjusting to a 3-4 or a hybrid since he is so athletic. Ferrell is very explosive off the ball and uses his long arms to his advantage whenever he is engaged with a blocker.
Although Ferrell does use his long arms to his advantage, he is not the best at getting off of blocks. This could be an issue early in his career, but once he starts to adjust to the NFL and learns how to use his body he will turn into a great pass rusher. Brain Flores could use Ferrell as his new Trey Flowers since they both have similar measurables.
Both players are 265 pounds but Ferrell is two inches taller. Having a player that could act like a Trey Flowers would be a big addition to Miami’s defense in the long run.
Round 2, Pick 48: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
The Miami Dolphins double down on defensive linemen with this pick. After getting an edge rusher at 13 the Dolphins get a player to boost the middle of their defense. Simmons was a projected top 10 pick in this draft before he tore his ACL last month, training for the combine.
Simmons will immediately boost this defensive line as he was a force in college, especially in the run game. His junior year alone he had 63 tackles, 18 of those being a tackle for a loss, two sacks, and four passes deflected and one forced fumble. Due to his injury, Simmons will more than likely be out all of the 2019 season but drafting a player of his potential and skill set at this pick would be a steal, especially with Miami's rebuilding mindset.
Round 3, Pick 78: Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls
Pipkins is a very small school prospect but he turned some heads at the Senior Bowl. Since the Senior Bowl teams have been doing some research on him and realized he could be a diamond in the rough. At 6’6” and 309 pounds he has perfect size to play tackle in the NFL.
Teams have seen that he is very athletic and has potential to get stronger, so he has potential to be a starter in a year or two. Pipkins is a better pass blocker compared to run blocking but if he gets stronger and improves his technique, him and Tunsil can be one of the best young tackle duos in the league.
Round 4, Pick 116: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
Dean turned some heads at the combine when he ran a 4.3 in the forty-yard dash and at 6’1”, with very long arms, he has potential to be a lockdown corner. Dean had 28 tackles, a sack, and two interceptions this past season. Dean is not the most polished corner but has shown flashes of great play. Based off of his size, and speed alone, Dean could turn into a Jalen Ramsey type player.
Dean does have a medical history having three knee surgeries since high school, so that could be why the Dolphins pass on him. Although Dean does have an injury history, if he can break some bad habits he has and turn them into good habits, the Dolphins could have a very scary secondary.
Round 5, Pick 151: Ben Powers, OG, Oklahoma
Powers was a part of one of college football’s best offensive lines in Oklahoma. Powers has experience at both guard spots, which is very important knowing Miami’s history of offensive line injuries. Powers is an exceptional pass blocker but a below average run blocker.
Powers does not play with his lower body much and relies on his upper body to block defenders. He does use his hands well and is always square when blocking. If Powers can learn how to use his legs more and develop his run blocking, he will not be a bad backup and could potentially compete for a starting spot down the road.
Round 7, Pick 233: Dakota Allen, LB, Texas Tech
I had Allen going to Miami in the sixth round but due to his poor combine, Allen falls to the Dolphins in the seventh round. Allen has potential to be a great pick for them but will need time to develop. Allen has been praised by many of his coaches because he is a team player and is a very coachable player.
He is also a good tackler so whenever Allen has someone wrapped up then you know the ball carrier will go down. Allen does have some issues reading plays and over-committing on plays but this can all be changed with good coaching.
Round 7, Pick 234: Jacob Dolegala, QB, Central Connecticut
Dolegala was not even projected to be drafted until he worked out at University of Buffalo’s pro day. After the pro day, many teams wondered who he was and now there are rumblings that he could be drafted. Playing at a small school, many teams will wonder how he plays against NFL competition.
Even playing at the level he is, he did not put up spectacular numbers. Last season he had a 52.9% completion percentage, 1,953 yards, 13 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
Scouts are just interested in what he has to offer as a quarterback and it would be smart of Miami to draft him to see what he can do. At 6’6” he has NFL height but more than likely will be a practice squad player so he can develop.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
“To stay or not to stay, that is the question.”
A Jimmy Johnson figure appeared in my dream and wouldn’t stop talking about this top-secret Draft Pick Value Chart he made. Then we popped a beer and caught one heck of a Sailfish! Catch and Release of course, we aren’t a-holes.
Then I woke up and realized I just left the NFL Network on when I passed out. But the question remains.
Do the Dolphins trade up, down or stay?
Well, since I have zero influence on the top brass I’m going to assume they won’t be trading up or down and they stay put. Which for the purpose of this article I’m actually quite excited about. There is some great depth that should fall just about perfectly to Miami that will provide a Pro Bowl upside and fill a need. That’s a combination I can get behind.
Every year there is a QB feeding frenzy and this year won’t be different. It’s highly probable that three guys get over drafted much like the year the Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill. Remember Brandon Weeden? Yeah, he went 22nd that year with talk he might have actually gone third. But I digress, these three guys are excellent additions should they fall to Miami.
Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
I’ve seen Oliver fall to middle of the first round or as early as the top ten in every mock draft. If he were to slide to Miami, Oliver would have the upside of Warren Sapp. Great feet and very technical. He’s got all the pieces to anchor that line and retire a Miami Dolphin.
I love the small school guy who grows up in college even if he was slightly overlooked in the college recruiting process. You can call it “playing with a chip” if you want to, but this guy has a great skill set.
Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
I don’t think Clelin Ferrell will be there, but honestly, I would take either of the premier guys from Clemson. I prefer the size and scheme versatility of Wilkins a shade more.
6’4” and 310 pounds that has a well-coached game that complements his big man athleticism is irreplaceable. Many guys are saying that Geno Atkins is his comparison but I think a slightly shorter Richard Seymour is more suitable.
Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
With the loss of Ja’Wuan James at RT, Ford has the athleticism to play either tackle spot. The jury is still out on Laremy Tunsil - though things are trending up - and one thing we do know is that left guard is a position that Tunsil can excel at. Left tackle we will see how that unfolds but I think having a little left tackle insurance in Cody Ford makes all the sense in the world.
Bottom line, we know that the trenches need the most work for the Miami Dolphins. They have lost all sorts of talent there and this is a priority. They can pick up a center and guard in later rounds. There is always talent to be had later. Finding first round talent at tackle or the defensive line provides the ability to lock a great player up for four years before the big salary cap busting contract comes which many times comes in free agency.
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
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