Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, there was an essence that the front office needed to focus on offense, particularly the wide receiver position, but plans didn’t go as scheduled. Additionally, regardless of not drafting a wide receiver until the sixth round, the team from South Beach had one of their better drafts in recent years.
With the eighth pick in the draft the Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill. Eye brows raise? Not at all, Tannehill was the guy Steph Ross and company were aiming for. The former Texas A&M Aggie will fit remarkably with his former head coach’s offense. Dolphins’ newly acquired head coach Joe Philbin has constructed a philosophy of building a team through the draft.
At pick 42, the Dolphins assess a need that will help keep Tannehill secured, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin to be specific. The former Stanford Cardinal had the pleasure of protecting quarterback Andrew Luck. Martin and the Cardinals’ offensive line did an exceptionable job in the 2011 season. With Jake Long already playing left-tackle, the right-tackle could be filled with Martin.
In the third round, the most underrated defensive player in the draft was selected, former Miami Hurricane defensive-end Olivier Vernon. He is extremely physical and explosive, would be intriguing with him one side and Cameron Wake on the other. His presence on the defensive side was established in his junior year finishing with 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Tight-end Michael Egnew was next for South Beach. The tight-end recorded 140 receptions, 1,285 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns. The big target will be visible with a 6-foot 6-inch and 252 body frame. The Missouri Tiger would certainly secure the blocking void and contribute tremendously in the passing game.
The most rewarding pick throughout this draft is running back Lamar Miller, another Miami Hurricane. Miller was one of the fastest and explosive running backs in this draft. You are probably asking why would they need him? He can be another weapon to have in the long game. He would be a great back up for Reggie Bush. With him and Bush in the backfield you can’t go wrong. Miller has built his foundation within the Dolphins’ organization in the 2012 rookie mini camp.
Oregon’s linebacker Josh Kaddu was the next to go in the fifth round. His impact on the defensive side of the ball was eccentric. His versatility to get after the quarterback was incredible. The Dolphins mindset had to consist of confusion on why he slid in the draft. Kaddu tallied 47 total tackles and 6.5 sacks in his final year with the Ducks.
“It’s about time” was the talk around the sixth round pick, wide receiver B.J. Cunningham. In examining his highlights and some of his games last year, he has one of the best football skill sets in this draft. Cunningham was the go-to wide out at Michigan State University. Could he make the transition for Miami? Only time will tell, but this player can take over a game like no other. Cunningham had the most receiving yards in Michigan State history with 1,306 receiving yards. Additionally, he finished with 12 touchdowns.
Longhorns’ defensive tackle Kheeston Randall was next in line. Randall is a complimentary piece, you can tack him in any type of scenario and he will give his all. Depending on the defense, the Dolphins are hopeful he can transform into a big time starter.
The final pick for the Phins was wide receiver Rishard Matthews. Matthews is a good asset to have. In my mind, the front office’s motive in drafting the former member of the wolf pack is to give a little traction and competition for the wide receiver core.
Miami’s picks were overlooked by many NFL analysts but I don’t see how you can’t applaud them for what they did in late April.