The NFL Draft began Thursday night in New York as the first round kicked off. Miami came into the day with the 12th overall pick looking to trade back and recoup the second round pick they gave up in the Brandon Marshall trade. Early on it appeared as though the Cowboys or Eagles could potentially be trade partners, but in the end it was the Chargers.
A few things about this deal. Miami initially was working with the Philadelphia Eagles according to reports circulating in the mid-afternoon. However seemingly the sticking point was the Eagles’ hesitance to give up the 37th pick, which they had acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade. Jeff Ireland said later at his post-draft press conference that one of the considerations in finding a trade partner was finding a team with a high second rounder (as typically teams who pick late in the first round also pick late in the subsequent rounds). Ireland said the Dolphins spoke with about 4 or 5 teams about trades, two of which were serious. One was obviously the Chargers and the other was most likely the Eagles.
The Chargers were willing to trade the pick Seattle sent them for Charlie Whitehurst in return for the chance to trade up to 12 and grab Ryan Matthews. The irony in all of this, however, is that Miami more or less won the Brandon Marshall sweepstakes because Seattle had swapped its second round pick with San Diego in the deal for Whitehurst. Before the trade the Seahawks picked 40th in the second round, three spots ahead of Miami (at 43). Afterwards Seattle found itself picking 60th. You can see where this is headed. Miami ended up being able to deal for Brandon Marshall because they could offer better compensation as a result of the Seahawks having traded the 40th pick. Then to recoup the pick they gave up for Brandon Marshall the Dolphins trade down in the first round with the Chargers and pick up the Seahawks pick.
The trade with the Chargers ended up being a good one. Miami was able to move back in the first round and improve their second round pick by three spots from what it would have been. The teams also swapped 4th rounders, Miami sent a 6th round pick to San Diego and the Chargers sent LB Tim Dobbins to the Fins. The real gem of the trade was picking up the 40th pick in the draft. Miami will now have the 8th pick in round two. That gives Miami the opportunity to address a need or potentially even move back a little further in the second round and add an additional pick or two. With a number of talented players falling out of the first round, Miami could be seated very favorably with the 40th overall pick.
In his post-draft press conference Jeff Ireland was very high on the addition of Tim Dobbins as well, that’s one element of the trade that had a lot of Dolphins fans scratching their heads asking, “who is Tim Dobbins?” Dobbins is a 6’1 246 lb Inside Linebacker, a 5th year veteran out of Iowa State. Apparently Miami was high on him when they looked at potential restricted free agents and were happy to have him included in the deal. Ireland said they will look to him to add backend depth to the roster, he has started games at both inside positions, comes from a comparable 3-4 system and he is also a special teams stalwart.
So, all in all, Miami was able to improve over its original 2nd round pick and add a solid special teamer in exchange for dropping down in the first round, which brings us to the pick. At 28, the Dolphins selected Jared Odrick out of Penn State. Admittedly I was very angry when I heard the selection, I had hoped for Jerry Hughes, Sergio Kindle or Taylor Mays. I didn’t even really see defensive end as a huge need (and I personally think he’s going to at least have to start as an end while he adds bulk if Miami wants to use him inside). Moreover, if Miami wasn’t going to tab an OLB in the first round why in God’s name didn’t they offer Jason Taylor a contract?
I still have questions and I admit I’m still a little miffed JT is a Jet, but I’ve also had time to calm down and think a little more about the pick. I think it was good value at 28. Was Odrick the sexiest pick? No. Were there others on the board who Miami was supposedly looking at taking at 12? Yes. But Jeff Ireland made an interesting point, he felt from the OLB’s from 12-28 were pretty much all the same guy. He has a point, too. Derrick Morgan, Sergio Kindle and Jason Pierre-Paul, the three “prototype” OLB’s in the draft are all 4-3 ends that project to 3-4 outside linebackers. They were all projects. Perhaps in Odrick, Miami saw a player who was better suited to come in and make an immediate impact.
Odrick is a versatile defensive lineman who can play end and is solid against the run or who can move inside on passing downs. He plays three downs, he played at a major college program and produced and he was a high character guy. The more I think about it, the more I can understand why Miami would go in that direction. Reportedly, Miami may have also been interested in Dan Williams and hoped he would fall to them at 28. He didn’t, so they went with the next best player on their board and picked Odrick whom they saw extensively at the Senior Bowl.
-A few last points, first of all Jeff Ireland said if the player they had targeted was on the board at 12 they would have just made the pick. It kind of makes me wish he had said who that player was. But that wouldn’t be the trifecta’s style.
-Also, as much as I’d have liked to see Miami go after one of the OLB’s in the first round, I do have faith in this regime’s ability to evaluate talent (especially at outside linebacker). There’s a good chance the Dolphins have a player who is slated to go later in the draft in mind already and that’s why they weren’t compelled to potentially reach on a first round pick.
-The Dolphins could still take a solid nose tackle if Terrance Cody is on the board at 40. Mount Cody has had weight issues and self-discipline may have been an issue in the past, but if Tony Sparano, Mike Nolan and the Dolphins coaching staff could stay on top of him, he could end up being the best true nose tackle in the draft.
-The Dolphins could also look at Taylor Mays at 40 in order to address another need as well. Mays is a big, physical safety with great speed and athleticism. He would be a welcome addition to the Dolphins secondary.
-And finally, I wouldn’t be shocked if Miami took Mike Williams out of Syracuse at some point later in the draft. Williams has some character concerns surrounding him but the Dolphins had him in for an interview during the lead up to the draft and if he’s available at a spot Miami deems it a good pick, he would certainly be an interesting prospect.
It was a good day for the Dolphins. They drafted a player who will be able to make a solid contribution on the D-line. They recouped the second round pick they gave up for Brandon Marshall and also they now have Brandon Marshall. You have to remember Miami paid a pick for Marshall, you can more or less include him as one of the players acquired in this draft. So even if you’re not happy with Odrick as the first pick, think of Miami’s haul from today as Brandon Marshall, Jared Odrick and the 8th pick tomorrow (40th overall). I’ll take that.