DJ’s Crystal Ball – Playing GM on Draft Day
The best thing about the NFL draft for us the fans is that we get a chance to pretend we are NFL General Managers. With March Madness ending, our predictive modelling skills can now be used to forecast the upcoming NFL draft. How will the NFL draft play out….no one knows for sure, and if they do, they are pretty much lying to you. We can only base our predictions on research, analysis and a little shot of luck. How do I think the Miami Dolphins draft will unfold, well sit back, relax and enjoy the story;
Round 1– 12th overall selection
- First I believe that the big 3 Left Tackles will be off the board (Eric Fisher, Lance Johnson, Luke Joeckel)
- Second, I don’t believe that Ireland will trade up for a Left Tackle, for one reason, that will not excite the fan base. Remember when we drafted Jake Long, how are you supposed to promote or advertise a player that will never touch the football? Ireland is in a contract year and will make decision based on best available player.
- Thirdly, I don’t believe any team would want to trade up for the 12th pick. Perhaps San Fran was intrigued about adding a play making Safety like Kenny Vaccaro, but I can’t see why they would when they can possibly get the 2nd best thing if they stayed put and draft Jonathan Cyprien (who reminds me of Sean Taylor. Watched game tape on him, and left with a one word response…wow). Cincinnati would be the only other team that I can see wanting to trade up, but if they wanted to they would be looking for a Left Tackle, and would be forced to look higher than the 12th overall pick.
- So where does that leave us, with two questions I believe. Do we address our Defensive Tackle position or address our need at Cornerback. With Starks and Solia both becoming unrestricted free agents next year, addressing this concern might be the best option, or do we look at our secondary and think that since the NFL has transitioned to a passing league, and the fact that we play Tom Brady twice a year, Ireland will select the best corner that fits our system, enter Desmond Trufant CB Washington
Round 2 – 42nd overall selection:
- We did a lot of exciting things this offseason, specifically around updating the speed on both sides of the ball. Now that we have addressed our secondary we need to make our best player happy. Cameron Wake needs a player on the opposite side of him to take the pressure off him, otherwise we are wasting his best years. JJ Watt has been one of the best players in this game the past two years, creating chaos by playing either DT, NT, DE, or OLB, so Ireland decides to take the second coming of JJ, enter Marqus Hunt DE/DT SMU
Round 2 – 54th overall selection:
- So what have I done so far…I got my CB to take pressure off my secondary. I followed that up, by pleasing my best player, by obtaining some pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, next I need to look at addressing a glaring need. In round one I stated that we would either go for cornerback or defensive tackle. Since I addressed my cornerback issue in round one, I look for the best Defensive tackle left on my board, enter Kawann Short DT Purdue.
Round 3 – 77th overall selection:
- I have taken my first 3 picks and addressed the three most important concerns I have on defensive side of the ball. I can insert all three of them into my starting line up right now, and watch them grow for the next four to five years. Now I can review my board and look on the opposite side of the field and focus on protecting my franchise quarterback. I still believe there is a lot depth on the board, but I need someone who has played in zone scheme, has played against top talent and can get and locate his second level blocking, enter Dallas Thomas T Tennessee.
Round 3 – 82nd overall selection:
- I am looking at my board and I am looking at players on my team and their respected contract lengths. Where is my next position of need? I see that my safety positions needs to be addressed. I would be smart to resign Rasheed Jones, but I can still franchise him next year if needed, however I did sign Clemons to only a one year contract. Let’s obtain a younger player than will ignite some healthy competition and perhaps provide another spark to our young but exciting secondary, enter Philip Thomas S Fresno State.
Round 4 – 111th overall selection:
- I look at my team and I think I can afford a luxury pick since I have taken care of most of my problematic areas. If the season started today, I would be looking at Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas as my two starting running backs. Although, I let Reggie Bush go, I feel confident in Miller, since I traded up for him last year. However, my concern is surrounding Daniel Thomas. He’s has not been injury free, has tendencies to fumble the football and hasn’t reached his second round hype, yet. Therefore, I am going to bring in some healthy future competition to try and lite a fire under this group, enter Marcus Lattimore RB, South Caroline.
Round 5 – 146th overall selection:
- When I enter the 5th round, I know I am now reaching for prospective players that can fit my team in order for them to develop their raw skills into our system. I am going through my draft board and noticing that although I might need some additional blocking assistance with the lose of Tony Fasano, my former TE. Reviewing my players, I have Dustin Keller signed for a one year deal and will be my seem TE, however, his blocking doesn’t really provide me with any assurance, enter Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
Round 5 – 166th overall selection:
- I like what I did this offseason obtaining speed at core positions, specifically the Linebacker position. I believe Wheeler and Ellerbe will do well for our team. However, I am concerned about depth, and need a prospect that I can believe will flourish in special teams and become a productive player for our team in the future, enter Devonte Holloman LB South Carolina.
Round 7 – 217th, 224th, 250th overall selection
- For my 217th pick
- With no pick in the 6th round, I would focus my attention in the 7th round on a kicker. The best available, since I am concerned about our current kickers 2.5 million salary cap hit, and don’t get me started on how he missed those FG’s at the beginning of the year.
- For my 224th pick and 250th
- I focus my attention on speed. Reviewing my draft board I would select the faster player available for both Cornerback and Wide Receiver. Speed is something that cannot be taught, and fostering those prospects other skills with my coaching staff would be easier to do.
On Sunday April 28th, the newspaper will start their criticism on how I drafted, but for now, what are your thoughts on how I reviewed and drafted based on our team needs?