The Miami Dolphins will – more likely than not – be drafting a TE somewhere in the 2011 NFL draft.
That pick will also – more likely than not – happen after at least the third round, even if they acquire a second round pick. This shouldn’t be a newsflash to anyone, considering the Dolphin need for a quick, pass-catching TE to complement Anthony Fasano. New OC Brian Daboll loves his double TE sets and the Dolphins missed out on Jeremy Shockey.
Nevada’s Virgil Green will be very appealing if he’s there in round 4, and may very well warrant consideration in the third. As a senior last season, Green started 14 games and caught 35 balls for 515 yds, with 5 TDs. At 6’3, 249 lbs., he’s fast, he can catch the ball, and he’s very, VERY athletic. I’d be shocked if the Dolphins pull the trigger on a TE any earlier than the third round. The team has more pressing needs. Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph is the only TE pundits are calling 1st round caliber, and he’s not exactly the seam threat Miami is looking for anyway.
Green and Arkansas’ D.J. Williams are the names being tossed around the most as possible fits in Miami, and the Dolphins met with them both last month. Personally, I’d be happy with either one, but I’ve been eyeing Green since he lit up every drill at the combine.
I’m aware the “dog and pony show” that is the combine can’t always be translated to the NFL. But, it’s hard not to be impressed by Green’s performance. He was best among TE’s in the vertical jump (42.5 inches – unofficially the second best vertical ever posted by a tight end at the combine), and best in the broad jump (a good test for lower body burst). He also ran a speedy 4.64 forty, which was third best among TE’s – behind FAU’s Rob Housler and USC’s Jordan Cameron.
Most of the scouting reports list the same strengths, and mention the same knocks on Green – summed up nicely in Pro Football Weekly’s draft guide:
– Terrific speed that can stretch the seam. Catches cleanly. Very good balance and agility. Hardworking, self-motivated, high character. Excellent weightroom strength.
– Relatively raw, not elusive beating the jam, gathers to cut. Doesn’t play big, or translate weightroom strength to the field.
The bottom line on Green is that he’s an athletic, potential vertical threat TE that could fill a need for Miami, but at 6’3 and 249 lbs., he’s a bit small, is more of an H-back type player, and would not be drafted for his blocking ability. He’ll likely be there when the Dolphins pick in the third, but may be gone by the fourth. We shall see.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a link of some Virgil Green highlights.