Every year we hear the monotonous statements from GM’s across league about how on draft day, they will be selecting the best player available and not reaching based on need.
Amazingly, some how, some way, a team ends up whiffing badly in the draft because of the players they selected based on need. This usually leads to fans screaming and debating over prospects their teams’ should’ve selected or scouted better, wishing certain prospects ranked higher in terms of priority on their team’s draft boards.
I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of being one of those fans. Every year I seem to pick a handful of players that I follow through the draft process that end up becoming quality NFL players, and 9 times out of 10 I’m disappointed the Miami Dolphins didn’t select one of them despite the need.
Only 6 times over the last few years have the Miami Dolphins drafted one of the guys I was infatuated with during the draft process. Most panned out, one of them bombed and a few are yet to be determined.
Koa Misi, Charles Clay, and Rishard Matthews were my hits, Daniel Thomas was my big miss, with Dion Jordan and Dion Sims yet to be determined.
This year, I just wanted to put together a pool of 25 prospects that I believe would be good players in the league, and would be happy about the Dolphins drafting. Below is that list, along with brief descriptions as to why they’ve caught my attention.
Without further ado.
RB- Tre Mason – Auburn – Awesome pure running skills with a great center of balance and vision, capable in passing game but underdeveloped in that aspect. Would be lead dog in Dolphins running attack.
RB- Charles Sims – West Virginia – Best receiving back in the draft with great one cut ability, upright running style a drawback, but does run with a sense of purpose and knows when to lower his pad level.
RB- Marion Grice – Arizona State – All around smooth running play maker who runs with tremendous lean, making himself a difficult target to hit, not exceptional at anything nor incapable of anything either, can do it all.
RB- James Wilder Jr – Florida State – May be slower than expected but he is a load to take down and would solve Dolphins’ short yardage struggles.
TE- Eric Ebron – North Carolina – Athletic, bulked up wide receiver who needs work as a blocker but upside is dynamic. Would provide missing seam threat.
HB- Gator Hoskins – Marshall – Reminds me of Randy McMichael, will never blow anyone away with time testing but kid can play football and knows how to get open.
HB- Colt Lyerla – Oregon – A cross between Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski on and off the field, if he can literally keep his nose clean, this kid will be a stud. Dynamic athletic phenom who can play every skill position on offense except QB. Combo of him and Clay would be a mismatch nightmare.
OT- Taylor Lewan – Michigan – A stud like Jake Long, plug him in and you don’t have to worry about that position for the next 6 years.
OG- Joel Bitonio – Nevada – A Guard at the next level, would be day one starter at RG for Dolphins. Zone scheme friendly with good mobility.
OT- JuWuan James – Tennessee – RT in college has all the tools to be a plug in and play type of player in the Pros at RT, has the tools you need to succeed including the mean streak.
OT- Antonio Richardson – Tennessee – Would be transitioning from Left to Right in the pros but offers position flexibility.
OT- Zach Martin – Notre Dame – Versatility, consistency and maturity make him a sought after prospect, while not a sexy pick lacking the standout measurables, this is a kid you can bank on being a quality starter somewhere on your line,
OG- David Yankey – Stanford – Comes from a program that believes in the run and runs a pro system, his football IQ is years ahead of some of the other prospects.
OG- Xavier Su’a-Filo – UCLA – Prototype OG at the next level with the movement skills to handle any scheme, naturally strong, he has the makeup to start for many years.
OG- Jon Hilapio – Florida – Later round pick without the standout measurables but a high football IQ and nasty streak, he will excel in a zone scheme.
DT- Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh – The guy is a stud and a handful for opponents, how do you keep him out of the backfield? Strength and speed are exceptional as well as hand techniques. Warren Sapp type desruptiveness.
DT- Daniel McCullers – Tennessee – Mountain man, would be good replacement for Paul Solai, developmental prospect that gives you scheme diversity as he can anchor the nose in 3-4.
OLB- Ryan Shazier – Ohio State – Run and Hit machine, the type of WLB the Dolphins need to replace Phillip Wheeler, while first round may be a reach for him, he won’t disappoint in terms of production if selected there .
OLB- Jordan Tripp – Montana – Projects to MLB in pros where his limited foot speed can be hidden, plays with great instincts and has very good size.
MLB- C.J. Mosley – Alabama – First round pick who would be upgrade over Dannell Ellerbe, has the football IQ you look for to anchor a defense.
OLB- Morgan Breslin – USC – Injury plagued senior year made people forget how he dominated the year prior, athletic specimen who may fit 3-4 OLB more than 4-3.
WR- Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt – Mentor and Uncle is Jerry Rice, enough said, the tape shows it as well.
WR- Josh Huff – Oregon – Former HS RB with Randall Cobb, Golden Tate type potential. Could be a dynamic slot player with progress in route running and passing game concepts.
S- Donate Johnson – NC State – Physical specimen that has range to play Free Safety, could provide competition in camp.
CB- Jaylen Watkins – Florida – All the skills you look for in a corner, has the hips, speed, ball awareness, and physicality needed to succeed. Unselfish player has played safety, this could help him in the pros as he has experience covering from the slot, deep end, as well as the boundary.
Feel free to engage in debate within the comments section, I would love to hear feedback and thoughts of the players on my list. FINS UP!