Since the Trifecta took over the Miami Dolphins in 2008, their mindset has always been focused on drafting for “need” rather than the “best available” player in the first round. Even last year when Bill Parcells was no longer holding Jeff Ireland’s hand during the draft, the Dolphins still stuck by their drafting philosophy by selecting a center, Mike Pouncey, with the 15th overall pick. Of course, getting a center was our biggest need going into the draft.
Just to give you some perspective here, in the last 30 years, only 14 centers have been drafted in the first round. During that same period, only one center was drafted higher than Pouncey; Steve Everitt was selected 14th by the Cleveland Browns in 1993. Now, I want to be clear that I am a huge Pouncey supporter and I believe he can be a top five center in this league. But this year, the Dolphins will have to completely change their drafting philosophy, especially if Oklahoma State’s WR, Justin Blackmon, is still available.
When Blackmon showed up at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, he was sized up measuring less than 6’1” and weighing just 207 pounds. Considering he was listed at Oklahoma State at 6’1” and 215 pounds, many NFL scouting experts were discouraged, comparing his size to a Michael Crabtree from San Francisco. Blackmon’s overall combine performance was just mediocre and nothing worth writing home about. The fact that most scouting reports on Blackmon claim he lacks elite speed, only adds to the already growing level of concern on his draft status.
Since the combine, every single mock draft board available has changed. The most recent mock drafts have been showing trends of Blackmon moving down the board and still being available when the Dolphins are on the clock with that eighth pick. Regardless of what any of these mock drafts claim, I believe Blackmon is still a top five talent.
Blackmon is a playmaking machine who finished out his junior year with stellar numbers. He had 121 catches for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns. And who could forget the one man show he put on at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Andrew Luck’s Stanford Cardinals? That night playing on the biggest stage of his college career, he posted 8 catches for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns. His production ultimately led to a 41 to 38 Oklahoma State victory in overtime. When the Cowboys needed a big play, it was Blackmon who delivered in the clutch.
I was fortunate to watch several Oklahoma State games this year and Blackmon was in a league of his own. I have no doubt he will be a game changer on Sunday afternoons. If he’s still available at that spot, how could the Dolphins afford not to select him? With no debate, he will be the best available player for Miami with that pick.
Upgrading the wide receivers is probably not even in Ireland’s agenda in this year’s draft. Considering the obvious huge needs of a quarterback, right tackle, right guard, safety, and a pass rusher for our new 4-3 defense, the Dolphins may not even intend to use a draft pick on a receiver. But if Blackmon is still available, the Dolphins must consider picking him.
Even though we have a much bigger NEED at drafting yet ANOTHER first round offensive lineman to shore up the glaring hole on the right side of the line, this can be done in later rounds. In my opinion, the Dolphins will be better off and more explosive on offense by adding a solid number two receiver like Blackmon on the opposite side of Brandon Marshall. With the mix of Davone Bess in the slot and Reggie Bush in the backfield, the Dolphins could finally have the recipe for scoring 30 plus points per game and keeping up with the Patriots. Of course, that’s assuming we have the right quarterback distributing the rock.