The Miami Dolphins have their new general manager in Dennis Hickey, so they can now move forward by putting together their offseason plan.
Miami is in desperate need of offensive line help, and that should not surprise you one bit. The team is also in need of a complete tight end, a power-based running back, a true fullback, defensive tackle depth/potential starter, linebacker depth, and safety depth/potential starter (We can throw in return specialist for fun, but than can be had via UDFA).
Personally, I am a strong believer in the fact that Hickey will do his best to pursue and secure a top-flight left tackle via free agency, along with securing CB Brent Grimes, DT Paul Soliai, some of his own free agents for depth concerns, and a second-tier guard or top-flight right tackle option.
Therefore, this mock draft is based upon the assumption that Hickey is able to do all of that within his salary cap restrictions (Ha, calling over $30 Mill in cap space a restriction…).
Here is my official pre-combine Miami Dolphins Mock Draft 2.0:
1st Round Pick # 19 – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
As you may or may not know, I am not entirely a fan of this pick here. While I think Lewan has extraordinary upside, I feel as though he struggles with speed rushers too often. He also tends to get a bit lazy with his technique as the game progresses and he tires out.
What I will say, however, is that Taylor Lewan would make a damn good selection at 19, if he’s still on the board (which at this point I have my doubts..). Lewan is almost a carbon copy of ex-Dolphin Jake Long, and would serve as an anchor for this team along an offensive line that should, and most likely will, look 100% different once the 2015 season is upon us.
Lewan would struggle a bit as a left tackle, in my opinion, but if General Manager Dennis Hickey can find himself a left tackle via free agency, Lewan would give this team two book-end tackles to work around.
Previous Pick: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
2nd Round Pick # 50 – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
I have a strong belief in a few things here. First off, Miami will likely allow CB Nolan Carroll to walk via free agency. Secondly, CB Brent Grimes WILL return next season. Lastly, CB Dimitri Patterson will be released due to his inability to stay healthy last season. Therefore, Miami will be pushing last year’s high draft selections Jamar Taylor and Will Davis to compete for the starting position opposite Brent Grimes.
But Dennis Hickey should be thinking BPA here and if Bradley Roby ends up falling a bit, this pick is a no-brainer. For some reason, Roby has been falling out of the discussion as a top corner in this draft. Corners such as TCU’s Jason Verrett, Va. Tech’s Kyle Fuller, and Florida’s Louchiez Purifoy and Marcus Roberson could all pass Roby on the list with a good showing at the NFL Combine this weekend (really on Tuesday..).
Roby was once considered a top-10 LOCK. But fell due to an inconsistent junior season at Ohio State, and, well, those other corners mentioned above are really, really good too. But Roby has the ability to be a team’s number one guy, something that I don’t quite see in Taylor nor Davis.
Hickey would be smart to help out the defense by adding a dynamic legit shut-down corner to his defensive secondary who can step in immediately and contribute; which will also allow the team to gradually move on from the aging Brent Grimes within a few seasons.
Previous Pick: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
3rd Round Pick # 81 – Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
Do you know? Oh, you don’t know? Let me introduce you to one of the best under-the-radar players in the entire draft class. Caraun Reid. Defensive tackle. Princeton.
Reid is a 6’2” 302 pound pass rusher with, according to cbssports.com, 33 inch arms and 10 inch hands.
Yes, he’s a stud.
Who does he sound like? Oh, Randy Starks? Reid would be an excellent option to help ease the loss of Starks, who will likely leave for greener pastures via free agency. Reid is a decent run defender, but he will make a living at the next level rushing the passer.
He possesses well developed pass rushing moves, while also owning a very quick burst at the snap.
Previous Pick: Christian Jones, LB, Florida State
4th Round Pick # 112 – Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson
If you didn’t check out my last mock, you obviously do not understand my love affair with Brandon Thomas.
The Clemson guard is one of the better polished offensive linemen in this year’s class, but teams may struggle to figure out where to place him. He possesses the skills of a tackle, yet the body of a center…so let’s stick him at guard.
Thomas is quite athletic for a man his size and would fit Head Coach, Joe Philbin’s, “style”.
Oh, and he’s the man that shut down Jadeveon Clowney…just sayin’.
Previous Pick: Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson
5th Round Pick # 143 – Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
This is where the draft for Miami gets a bit tricky, in my opinion. Miami just drafted a tight end in the fourth round last season, so why would they do it again this year!?
Miami needs to build for some depth. There’s no sense in bringing back TE Dustin Keller, but Miami can afford to bring in a late-round pick who is a stud in-line blocking tight end.
That’s where Arthur Lynch comes in.
Lynch will not blow you away with speed or quickness or elusiveness, but he does possess solid size at 6’5” 255, and is a very capable in-line blocking tight end…something Miami needs…badly. Not to mention, with his uniform on he looks strikingly similar to another ex-Dolphin…Anthony Fasano anyone?
Previous Pick: James Wilder Jr., RB, Florida State
6th Round Pick # 174 – Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford
6’0” 229 pound rock coming from a ground and pound style offense, Tyler Gaffney is pro-ready. No, he won’t blow you away with speed or shifty moves, but he is a very capable blocker – are you sensing a theme yet?
Gaffney also possesses that big, goal-line style frame that Miami is desperately seeking to pair with RB Lamar Miller. He is a big, bruiser who holds on to the freaking football.
Previous Pick: Wesley Johnson, OT/G, Vanderbilt
7th Round Pick # 211 – Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU
Miami is in need of a “red-zone” target, and while some make the case that the team has a few in Armon Binns and such, they still don’t have that 6’4”-6’5” stud.
Cody Hoffman was once considered at third round pick, but his stock took a hit after a sub-par injury plagued senior season. But, still possesses a nice body for a receiver at 6’4” 218 pounds, and has some ability to become a decent third receiver/red-zone threat for an NFL squad.
Previous Pick: Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State
Don’t forget to tune in to The Direct Snap podcast this Saturday night at 8:30 PM eastern as we will go over cap casualties, potential fits, and much more! 714-333-3302 to give us a call and weigh in! Hope to hear from you!
Last week’s episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/finsradio/2014/02/16/direct-snap