The Miami Dolphins will certainly have numerous options sitting at the 19th overall selection in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft vastly approaching. The draft kicks off in May, therefore Miami and general manager Dennis Hickey could add a few more free agents to lessen their needs, but the vast majority of “quality” free agents are all but gone.
Miami has done a decent job of filling major needs this offseason, but a few holes are still glaring (RG, RT, RB) and there are a few holes that could/should be upgraded through the draft (TE, MLB, FS, CB, DT(?)).
With Miami sending it’s 7th-round selection to Baltimore for LT Bryant McKinnie, the team is left with six selections during May’s draft. This should not change the draft plan for Miami, however. The team is likely looking to add the BPA (best player available) in rounds 1 and potentially 2, while addressing “needs” that have yet to be filled during rounds 3, 4, 5, and 6.
So let’s take a look at my top targets for the Miami Dolphins at the 19th overall selection:
#15: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama.
-Kouandjio has seen his stock fall dramatically over the past few months due to a few things. First off, he had a horrid combine in which he came in over-weight, looking very soft, did not perform well in drills, and ran one of the slowest 40 times I have ever seen outside of Rich Eisen. Secondly, he was destroyed in his final game at Alabama by Oklahoma OLB Erik Striker. Lastly, he practically has the same pair of knees that former Auburn stand-out LT Marcus McNeil struggled to stay healthy with during his NFL tenure. Kouandjio’s chronic knee issues have teams wondering if he will ever be a solid contributor.
Is he the guy at 19? No. But if he slips to Miami at #50 in the second round, I would be quite tempted to stick him at right tackle where I think he will make a living for years to come.
#14: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia.
-Moses has actually seen his stock go the opposite direction of Kouandjio’s in the same amount of time. He is a massive man pushing 6’7” and possesses the prototypical body NFL executives look for in their tackles. He has the skills to be a great right tackle in the NFL and a decent left tackle if a team were to fall in love with his upside. The only issue with Moses, similar to Kouandjio, he has knee issues as well and teams are concerned that due to his knee problems, he will not be cleared to play.
Is he the guy at 19? No. Again, if he were to fall to Miami at #50, I would be tempted to take a player like Moses, but the value is most certainly not there at 19.
#13: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame.
-Nix, or better known as Irish Chocolate, is quite a funny character and would definitely add some fun to Miami’s locker room (can you imagine Nix and Odrick together, oh brother..). Nix would be an interesting pick at 19 to fill the void left by former Miami Dolphin DT, Paul Soliai. Is Nix on the same level as Soliai? No, but with time to develop and mature a bit he could be just as effective in the middle of Miami’s defense as a space eater. However, Nix had an awful combine looking slow and quite sluggish through drills.
Is he the guy at 19? He very well could be if the team feels the value is right. That being said, with DT Earl Mitchell and Randy Starks in town, I doubt Miami takes a defensive tackle that high unless he’s a once in a lifetime player…
#12: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State.
-Roby is one of my favorite corners in this year’s class, and boy do I love this year’s class at the corner position. Roby was known as the best corner in the draft last summer, but his stock fell dramatically after a sub-par 2013 season with the Buckeyes. He showed inconsistent ability and teams were not afraid to throw his way like they were during 2012. That being said, Roby would be a solid fit in Miami’s secondary. Adding a top-end corner this season would allow Miami to truly bolster their secondary, one of the team’s stronger units, and to also allow their young guys in Jamar Taylor and Will Davis to develop another season or so before they have to become every down players.
Is he the guy at 19? I highly doubt it. Miami could stand to add another corner to the roster, and I am almost certain they will select a corner come May, but Roby at 19 may be a reach and would be too much of a luxury pick given the recent signing of CB Cortland Finnegan.
#11: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State.
-This one will make fellow staff member, Paul Picken, quite happy. Carlos Hyde was an absolute monster last season for the Buckeyes. He routinely was the bell-cow for that team and “put the team on his back” to carry them to victory. He is one of this class’ top running backs (still my top back, although my boy Bishop Sankey is coming!!!) and could be available in round one or two. He is an absolute load and would provide a nice compliment in Miami’s back field serving as the primary short-yardage/goal-line back, along with spelling last year’s #1 RB Lamar Miller from time to time. Hyde does struggle with his weight, however, and does have some off-the-field/character concerns that he will have to clear up during the interview process.
Is he the guy at 19? It’s certainly possible and probably the most realistic option thus far. I will make a bold statement and say that if Miami feels comfortable with Hyde at 19 and they feel as though the value is right at 19, they should take him. If not, move on and cross your fingers that he or Sankey slide to 50.
#10: Calvin Pryor, SS, Louisville.
-Man would this pick make me happy or what? Pryor has been my guy for about four months now, and he has seen his stock rise as high at the top-15 in some mock drafts. He is a rangy, ball-hawking safety who tends to go for the big hit more often than not. Pryor seems better suited to play strong safety in the pros as a box-safety, but could continue to play free safety being the “center fielder” for a defense from day 1.
Is he the guy at 19? Pains me to say this, but I doubt it. Pryor looks and plays the part of Reshad Jones. Both are strong against the run and bring the hammer, but Pryor tends to, well, suck at wrapping up ball carriers which is not a trait you want out of your free safety, who is typically your last defender.
#9: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M.
-Sorry, I just had to throw this one down. Obviously I have my doubts that Evans would fall to Miami at 19. Why? Well he would slip past the likes of Detroit, New York (both), St. Louis, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. I don’t see that happening. He is a red-zone style receiver who was one of the better receiver’s in college football last season. He would immediately step into Miami and provide that big bodied receiver in this offense, and he would NOT have to be an immediate impact player giving him time to learn the offense and develop.
Is he the guy at 19? I wish.
#8: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State.
-This would be one of the better picks for Miami at 19, in my opinion. Dennard is one of the best corners in this year’s draft, and bar none…my favorite. He was one of the best corners in college football last season and is perhaps the best overall corner in this year’s draft class. No, he does not have top flight speed or athleticism. Dennard brings intelligence and natural ability to the table. He’s a corner that can completely shut down one half of the field. Miami could also take Dennard at 19 to stick him at free safety, remember when I told you he brings intelligence and natural ability? He would be a perfect fit at free safety for Kevin Coyle’s defense to step in and quarterback the defense.
Is he the guy at 19? I would love it if he was, and I will say that nothing in the NFL surprises me anymore because you have to expect the unexpected….but I don’t see this move happening due to the Louis Delmas signing and, again, Grimes returning and Finnegan coming in.
That’s it for this installment. Be sure to check back tomorrow for numbers 1-7!
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night at 8:30 PM Eastern for the first round of our 2014 Direct Snap NFL Mock Draft!
If you missed last week’s episode, here is a link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/finsradio/2014/03/16/direct-snap