The last “Cane” to be drafted by the Miami Dolphins was Vernon Carey in the first round of the 2004 draft. Wow, hard to believe that was eight years ago. This year there are a few Hurricanes that the Dolphins may consider picking, depending on how far down the board they fall. In my opinion, Tommy Streeter, Sean Spence, and Chase Ford are players that have potential who can be value picks in later rounds of this draft:
WR Tommy Streeter: Even though Streeter is not considered a top fifteen receiver in this year’s draft, I still see potential value. Don’t take that as a knock on Streeter because as I have mentioned in previous articles, this draft is stacked with talented receivers. I like the fact that he’s 6’5” 215 pounds and ran an impressive 4.4 forty at the NFL combine.
In Streeter’s last year with the Hurricanes as a junior, he had 46 receptions for 811 yards and 8 touchdowns. It’s great to see his average catch was 17.6 yards and he can make game changing plays that are deep down the field. Most NFL scouting experts project Streeter will be selected between the third and fifth round. I believe there are better options out there for the Dolphins at other positions in the third and fourth round. However, if for some crazy reason Streeter is still available in the fifth, I would consider this a “value” pick for Miami.
OLB Sean Spence: Spence is an absolute tackling machine. His senior year, he led his team with 106 tackles and was fifth overall in the ACC, even though he missed the season opener against Maryland. Spence also contributed with 3 sacks in 2011. Even more impressive, Spence recorded 47 tackles for a loss during his career which is ranked second in the NCAA among active players.
His size and strength are his only visible flaws in his game. Undersized at 5’11” and weighing only 230 pounds, he had just an average combine performance. He was only able to bench press 225 pounds 12 times and ran a mediocre 4.71 forty.
However, Spence shows excellent recognition skills and is a very smart player on the field. He has a great work ethic and spends a lot of time studying film. For these reasons, most scouts project him to go as early as the third round. Because of the Dolphins’ current needs on the roster, I don’t feel he would be a good pick for us in the third. However, I wouldn’t mind if Miami selected Spence in the fourth if he’s still available.
TE Chase Ford: Unlike the receivers, this is NOT a deep draft for tight ends. But, that doesn’t mean Miami should avoid pursuing one. Personally, I’m a huge fan of very tall, athletic TE’s that are at least 6’5”. Who isn’t? Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski are both 6’6” and are the two best TE’s in football because there is not one single 6’5” defensive back out there that can cover any of these animals in the red zone. Chase Ford is just a hair under 6’7” which is exactly why I see value in his stock.
The Dolphins were one of the worst teams last year in red zone situations and having a mammoth like Ford “could” be a great investment. If anything he could act as a decoy. After all, what defensive coordinator wouldn’t worry about a 6’7” receiving TE in goal line situations? Statistically, Ford didn’t have a very productive season as a senior. He only had 9 catches for just 88 yards and one touchdown.
But, since he has ELITE size, fluid body control, and excellent hand/eye coordination, teams will be interested in Ford because he will create mismatches in coverage. Some scouting analysts project Ford getting selected as early as the fifth round. I definitely don’t think Miami should pick him in the fifth or even the sixth round at that. I still believe there are better players out there that can help fill the needed holes for the Dolphins in these two rounds. But, Miami should definitely consider him as a value pick if he’s still on the board in the 7th and final round.
So there you have it. In my opinion, these three Hurricanes are talented in their own ways and do offer value in specific rounds. I definitely don’t think Miami should trade up or reach a round too early for them. But, there is potential here and I believe Miami should seriously consider these players if they do fall to later rounds in this draft. Who knows, this may be the year that the Dolphins add more of “The U” to the roster.