Miami Dolphins – Sharpening the Competition
Here is what I don’t get…I don’t understand how experts or writers can give draft grades to teams. Do they honestly know how those players can handle the NFL, when they have not even laced up once? If they do, quick, grab the phone and ask them to give you the lottery numbers.
Seriously, everyone take a step back. The draft is an opportunity to enrich our team based on new potential players that will be entering the NFL. Their ability is yet to be determined. So let’s all be patient and see how the cookie crumbles.
Bottom line is that we added value to our team. We had a few ‘free parking’ signs that we are hoping that these young unproven players will be able to fill in. We addressed two positions on our Oline with two legit prospects. We added depth to our Wide Receiver core and flexibility in our secondary. Add in the element of a potential sideline to sideline linebacker, our front office went in with a game plan and they stuck to it.
I am giving Hickey respect for that. He played the board and at the end of the day, he believes he won.
Now that the draft is over, Hickey still needs to add an additional element he can’t do with draft prospects and that is competition. Our former General Manager use to call this finding acorns…but what we should call them is hungry players that need and want to suit up. Here is a list of players that I think we should bring into camp:
Jonathan Vilma: Linebacker
– Presenting the opportunity to a former hurricane to play his final years in Miami, is a dream come true for so many players. Nonetheless, Vilma is hungry. He knows how to play and play competitively in 4-3 Defense (Team Captain of the former Super Bowl Champ New Orleans Saints).
– Our weakest position was linebacker last year; Vilma can be the mentor that these players need. Look at the year that Danelle had when he could count on Ray Lewis. Now, hold the phone, I am not saying Vilma is Lewis, but Vilma can provide the leadership and game knowledge that is needed to support and groom our young linebackers.
Wade Smith: Offensive Line
– I don’t know why this move hasn’t happened yet. Smith is a player we drafted once upon a time and then started blossoming into a great player. The best news in all of this is our new Oline coach was the former Oline coach for the Texans (Wade’s Former team).
– Smith can provide the veteran mentorship that our two new young draft picks need in our new scheme and would benefit from his fours years of experience in this program. At the age of 33, Smith isn’t looking to break the bank; a solid and fair contract offer must be presented to bring this former Oline back to Miami.
Dustin Keller – Tight End
– Keller never had the chance to suit up under the light for a regular season game in Miami and that hurts. Doesn’t matter what level of football you play, to make it through the three a days, learning labs, OTAs, training camp and then to have your dream cut short so close to the finish line, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Trust me on this…
– Keller wants to play in Miami, and we should allow him to come back and show us what we missed out on last year.
One thing that all three players have in common is that they already have an existing relationship with the Miami Dolphins community. Either with playing in the Dolphins stadium (Vilma) or ties to former coaches (Wade) or just making a statement (Keller). Adding to our teams talent will only increase the level of competition on our field and provide veteran leadership on the field that can only be taught by players that have actually seen the game in front of them. These connections make sense….Hickey; don’t worry about the acorns, just focus on sharpening the competition.