Nothing gets Dolphin fans more excited and fired up than talking about the upcoming NFL draft. With all of the holes and needs on this team it’s impossible for us to agree on what the Dolphins need to do with their selections. Even though we are still two months out, I can already see the biggest “steal” in this year’s draft. For those of you who watch and follow college football, you should already be familiar with this player. For everyone else, he is the wide receiver for the South Carolina Gamecocks, Alshon Jeffery.
Listed at 6’4” and 229 pounds while playing for South Carolina, Jeffery is already the most intriguing player entering this year’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis. He has the most pressure out of all combine participants to do well and silence the critics. According to recent rumors and reports from sources covering Jeffery, he is currently overweight at 249 pounds and running a poor 4.88 forty-yard dash. These same sources have also stated that he has a subpar work ethic. Please keep in mind that these are currently just unconfirmed rumors.
As a sophomore in 2010, Jeffery had the most receptions in the SEC at 88, which was more than both A.J. Green and Julio Jones. His breakout year also concluded with 1,517 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was arguably the most dominant receiver in college football and was virtually unstoppable in the red zone. As he was entering his 2011 season as a junior, Jeffery was already viewed as a top 10 NFL prospect. However, because of injuries as well as South Carolina’s inconsistent and terrible quarterback play, Jeffery’s last year was less than spectacular; recording just 49 catches, 762 yards, and 8 touchdowns.
Due to Jeffery’s quiet junior year and the recent rumors and allegations of being slow and out of shape, his draft stock has been severely damaged. Even though a handful of NFL scouts claim Jeffery is still the best receiver in this year’s draft with top 10 talent, it appears the “majority” slightly disagree. For example, ESPN NFL draft experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper no longer have Jeffery getting selected in the first round. In fact, NFL Network Draft Analyst, Mike Mayock, and most mock drafts now have Jeffery getting picked in the mid to late second round. If that truly is the case, in my opinion, he will be the biggest steal in this year’s draft.
Depending on what happens with the coin toss early Friday morning between Carolina and Miami, the Dolphins could be selecting 40th or 41st in the second round. And I know many fans will yell and scream at this suggestion, but if Alshon Jeffery is still sitting there at that spot in the second round, I think the Dolphins should grab him. Regardless of team needs, he will be the best available player.
Trust me, I realize that upgrading the Dolphins’ receiving corps is probably dead last on the list of positions to improve this year. But in my opinion, from the games and film that I have studied on Jeffery the past two seasons, I have no doubt he will be a stud in the NFL. In college he was a man among boys. He has all the physical talents and attributes to be a game changer on Sundays. I do not want to sound too cliché here, but Jeffery can be as good as he wants to be.
Jeffery has a ton to prove at this year’s Combine. The brightest spotlight is shining on him to perform well. For the most part, the tribe has already spoken and labeled him a second round talent. If he has any hope for a first round bid, he must show up in shape and run the forty-yard dash somewhere in the mid 4.5 range. To me, I don’t put as much emphasis on the forty-yard dash for receivers as most draft experts. Heck, just look at Ted Ginn Jr. and Darrius Heyward-Bey. They are two of the fastest receivers in the league and how many Pro Bowls have they gone to?
If the recent mock drafts are true and Jeffery gets left at the dance when the first round comes to a close, he will be second round gold. Where Miami is selecting, they could have the biggest steal in this year’s draft. If Jeffery is available and Miami passes up on him, let’s just pray the Bills, Jets, and Patriots are not smart enough to grab him with one of their 42nd, 47th, or 48th picks. If so, WE WILL regret this decision for years to come.