Miami Dolphins 2015 NFL Draft: 3 Strategies


For the most part, life as a Miami Dolphins fan has been bleak over the last decade. Sure, there was that time in 2008 when Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown led the team to an 11-5 record, but that season was a bigger tease than Mike Wallace taking his talents to south beach in 2013—shout out to all those fans who bought a #11 jersey over the last two years.

Now, draft month is here and it’s time to put our optimistic hats on for the 2015 season. After all, QB Ryan Tannehill is coming off his best statistical season of his young NFL career where he completed 66.4% of his passes for 4,045 yards and a 2.25 TD/Interception ratio (27 TDs / 12 INT’s). So, lets have some fun and check out what could go down in round 1.

There are 3 strategies for the Miami Dolphins to look at when the 2015 NFL Draft commences on April 30th: (1) stay put at #14, (2) trade up to get into the top 10, or (3) trade back to get more draft picks

The case for staying put:

Staying put is always the easiest strategy to go with because it comes with the least amount of scrutiny. At #14, the Miami Dolphins will hope to see one of the top 3 WR’s fall to them or receive an enticing trade from a team looking to trade up. However, this may not happen, so lets take a look at three players that should be available when the Fins are on the clock.

A player that I’ve liked throughout the scouting process is defensive tackle Danny Shelton (Washington). He would add depth to the interior defensive line unit and would be a perfect scheme fit for the Miami Dolphins 4-3 front. The Fins have three pass rushers in Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and newly acquired Ndamunkong Suh. However, they don’t have a viable two-gap defensive tackle that can plug up holes and take on double teams to free up blitzing linebackers. Luckily, Danny Shelton and his 340-pound frame will bring just that.

Another player that should be available at pick #14 is Brehsad Perriman out of UCF. I would slide in Davante Parker here too, but he’ll most likely be gone by the time pick #14 rolls around. Breshad ran a blazing 4.24 and 4.27 times at his pro day in the 40-yard dash and could easily replace Mike Wallace as the Dolphins deep threat next season. He has ideal height-weight-speed for a NFL WR and displays big play ability. The only knock most scouts have on the speedy WR is his ball skills, which seemed to improve as his collegiate career went on.

The last player to discuss in this scenario is one that may receive some negative feedback in the comment section. The Miami Dolphins still need to improve along the offensive line and Branden Albert isn’t a sure thing to start every game during the 2015 NFL season. So, in comes Cameron Irving out of Florida State University. He has the ability to play every position along the offensive line and could be an immediate plug-and-play option for the Dolphins. As run blocking is concerned, he’s one of the best in the draft and takes near perfect angles when pulling or getting to the second level. As for protecting Tannehill, he has long arms and displays quick feet—two ideal traits in pass protection.

More from Dolphins Draft

 Trading up to get into a top ten position:

Trading up in the first round is always a huge risk, cough, Dion Jordan. In my opinion, trading up that early is rarely worth it. The only reason a team should consider giving up multiple picks or players for a higher selection in the first round is when you’re either one player away from a Super Bowl run, or if it’s for a QB like Andrew Luck. Sorry FSU fans, Jameis is NOT Andrew Luck.

For the sake of argument, lets say the Dolphins do trade up on April 30th. The logical options for trading into the top 10 are WR’s Amari Cooper, who is my #1 option, and Kevin White. Both receivers will give the Dolphins what they need as a #1 target for Ryan Tannehill—a player that can rise above the defender to make a catch and become a consistent redzone threat.

While Kevin White has the high ceiling and flashy combine numbers, he could ultimately be a one-hit-wonder. Amari Cooper, on the other hand, is widely considered a lock to be a perennial pro bowler and future stud at the WR position. He went to Miami Northwestern High School in Maimi, Florida and then proceeded to absolutely dominate SEC defenders during his time at Alabama. If the Dolphins trade up in the first round, they need to get back to their south Florida roots and select the 2014 Heisman Trophy finalist, Amari Cooper.

Trading back to get more draft picks:

Unless one of the top 3 receivers in this years draft (Amari Cooper, Kevin White, or Davante Parker) falls into the Fins lap, trading back is the best option. Unfortunately, trading back when you’re sitting at #14 isn’t easy. At this rate, unless Marcus Mariota falls and San Diego (#17) or Philadelphia (#20) want to trade up to get him, it doesn’t look like there will be many other teams looking to do so.

Again, for the sake of argument, lets say Marcus Mariota falls to #14 and one of those teams calls our GM, Dennis Hickey. Mr. Hickey will look to get the most bang for his buck, which simply means the most draft picks possible for trading away the #14 overall pick. Personally, this strategy would make me a happy camper because this years draft is absolutely loaded at the WR position and the Miami Dolphins don’t have a third round draft pick (traded it to New Orleans for Kenny Stills).

In this case, lets say the Dolphins make a trade with Philly (#20) so they can go get Chip Kelly’s dream boy Marcus Mariotta. The Fins would swap first rounder’s, receive Philedelphia’s third (#84), a future third, and this years fifth (#145), at minimum.

At #20 overall, the Dolphins would have the ability to either capitalize on a stud RB with Todd Gurley / Melvin Gordon or get a MLB that could bring some much needed consistency to the Miami Dolphins run defense (e.g. Erik Kendricks or Denzel Perryman). Pick #20 may be slightly early for Denzel, but his tenacity and football IQ remind me of a hybrid between Ray Lewis and Zach Thomas—tell me that doesn’t sound like someone you want leading your defense.

As a new writer for FanSided, I want to say thank you to the readers and fins up!