One Two Three, ABC Dolphin Draft Desirables

The 2017 draft is less than 2 weeks away, and the first round kicks-off on Thursday April 27th at 8pm EST. The second and third rounds start at 7pm Friday while rounds 4 - 7 begin at noon on Saturday.

Miami's Dolphins "presently" own selections at
Round 1 Pick 22  (22)
Round 2, Pick 22  (54) Overall
Round 3, Pick 33  (97) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 22  (166)
Round 5, Pick 35  (178) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 41  (184) Compensatory
Round 7, Pick 5  (223) From Rams/W.Hayes DE
Round 7, Pick 22  (240)

The Miami Dolphins landed a top three, if not the number one overall prospect Laremy Tunsil at pick 13 last year. Of course they would appreciate this year's top candidates having incriminating photos of them in preparation for an apocalypse posted on social media as Roger Goodall approaches the podium.

Prospects at Dolphin positions of need such as (according to draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah) the top overall player in #1 Myles Garrett DE, #2 Jamal Adams S, #3 Malik Hooker S, #5 Solomon Thomas DE, & #6 Jonathan Allen DE are not goin to land in Miami at pick 22.

This drafts first round is extremely deep. It actually feels like Miami will have more viable options at 22 in o17 than they might of had in 2016, had they not been blessed with Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins will very likely be able to land a solid starter at 22 no matter the player at a position "of need" they choose. That player might not even be listed here as the line had to be drawn somewhere and so many others are viable possibilities.

Here are some favorites at positions of need that may or may not find their way South via an act of sabotage.

""The Miami Dolphins are on the clock""!

Round One
Pick Twenty-Two

A) LB Jarrad Davis #24 began the process outside of this Dolphins fans top five linebacker prospects. As a Canes fan there were some Gator issues that required resolve. In the end, old school linebacker Jarrad Davis became the personal favorite. However. Should Miami go linebacker with their first round pick? They can't go wrong no matter who were to possibly fall into their grasp at pick 22, or thereabouts. They could surely use a day one stud to start alongside of, or between Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons while the latter is an elderly anvil, though just a two year, short term bridge!

Shoot, should have simply listed these guys as pick 22A thru Z and been done with it. The Reuben Foster #9, Haason Reddick #20, TJ Watt #35, Zach Cunningham, and Jarrad Davis' of the world are all about to explode onto the NFL scene. As a Miami Dolphin? Will one be there? We shall see soon enough! If not?

B) DE Derek Barnett #13 would be this guy's number one overall choice if he were to take an extremely unlikely fall to 22. He is Mr Consistent, well rounded and reasonably good at everything, but great at denting the turf via the quarterbacks backside with 32 sacks (10 plus per) over his starting three year Tennessee/SEC career. He is the first freshman to ever start at DL for the Vols, and he made the SEC honor roll in all three years as a starter.

Miami re-signed last year's 5.5 sack Andre Branch (27) to reunite with Terrance Fede (25), Julius Warmsley (26), and 35 year old Cam Wake. They also traded a 6th round pick for a 7th round pick and DE William Hayes (31) who has averaged just over 5 sacks per year over the last five. In 2018 the cap number of Branch doubles to 10plus million, Hayes will be 32, and CWake 36. Draft prospect Derek Barnett a 2017 Miami Dolphin?

C) OL Forest Lamp #16 is a career LT that would start at left guard for Miami on day one. He would likely push 1.4 million dollar free agent acquisition Ted Larsen to LG/RG/C backup duties while Lamp himself can play any offensive line position, including center, (if need be). His selection would enhance the possibility of having a third offensive line starting position secured for the next five or so years along with RT Ju'Waun James (who's in the final year of his rookie contract), and LT Laremy Tunsil.

RG Bushrod is likely in his final year, Center Pouncey has two bad hips, and James is scheduled to become a free agent which suggest that from C to RT may require reinforcements of 1 to 3 bodies, if not starters. Maybe Miami should lock up the left side with Tunsil/LAMP like back in the day with Richmond Webb & Keith Sims? Forest Lamp can forever help light up a dreary place that has been too dark for too long.

D) S/ Jabrill Peppers #31 could become the next Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh Steelers fame. He can attack from everywhere defensively, and can/has also seen extensive production as an offensive and special teams secret weapon with extraordinary ball in hand skills.

The Dolphins still have perennial backups Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens. They also signed two free agent safties (Nate Allen 29 & TJ McDonald 26) with extensive starting experience to one year contracts this off-season. So a starting safety isn't exactly an immediate need, but if the well worth risk of Allen and (McDonald who's on a half season suspension) are unable to produce/stay clean in their one contracted year. Jabrill Peppers could potentially start at some point in o17, and would definitely start in 2018 alongside of Rashad Jones.

E) DT Malik McDowell 6-6, 297 was a last minute offering here due to upside (in case the rest have already been claimed). Personally I believe that Jordan Phillips is already better with every bit as much upside. Though some local radio host suggest that he doesn't display the want on every play which may be the same jacket that Malik McDowell wears. I believe differently about Phillips, he led the team in off sides penalties (which illustrates want) due to inexperience, timing, and poise. When he's right he's an opponents play/drive destroyer. He just needs a bit more coaching, experience, and poise to become a consistent force. DT Malik McDowell is offered in case those radio guys are right and/or he's the only one of substance left at pick 22.

DE's Takkarist McKinley #19 & Taco Charlton #23 are ascending one year wonders, (unlike Mr. Consistent Derek Barnett at 22B).

Takk Mc (6-2, 250 potential OLB/DE) has started the last two years at UCLA while DE Taco Charlton became a full time starter at Michigan just this past year. Both had their first 10 sack season in 2016. Though they are late bloomers, they have the necessary tools for NFL success.

Takk McKinley though small for full time NFL DE duties, he is fast for a big OLB with a relentless motor.

""Charlton's ceiling is as an all-pro, his floor is a solid starter"" suggest prospect analyst Lance Zierlein. Cam Wake is 35 years old. Ya'know that (if all else fails, and if available)? Michigan Alum Boss Ross will be suggesting to feast on a 6-6, 277 pound Taco.

F) TE OJ Howard #8 isn't going to fall to 22. Right? If so, he is an all around special tight-end, and the perfect complement to the trade acquisition of Julius Thomas. Howard actually belongs at B, C, or D of this personal list but fit better here in transition.


Round Two pick 54

A) TE David Njoku #12 at this point would be quite the steal worth taking as he is not quite the perfect first round complement to Julius Thomas (28), but Miami could use a second play-making type of TE like Njoku.

The Dolphins reacquainted themselves with the four year departed free agent TE Anthony Fasano (32) primarily for TE blocking duties. They also acquired a similarly sized, stat-less Chris Pantale (27) while Marqueis Gray (27), & Thomas Duarte (22) remain.


GOFINS!!!

Ran longer than planned above.
Felt more would be too much.
Devise is being temperamental, so I must include the not quite finished remains at the threads first comment.



The Miami Dolphins Need to Pay Jarvis Landry


“We’re building something special here…”

This quote leads to a curious case with Jarvis Landry and his value to the Miami Dolphins. Will it become a point of contention the longer the prolific wide receiver remains without a contract extension? As a slot receiver, Landry is rarely mentioned in the same sentence with his flashy college teammate Odell Beckham. Yet Landry holds the NFL record for the most receptions in his first two seasons, catching 194 passes. Landry and Beckham are tied for the most catches after three seasons with 288.

Landry is oft criticized for finding the endzone only 13 time in three seasons but he has a history of mastering perceived shortcomings. Overshadowed by Beckham and posting a pedestrian 4.61 40 yard dash allowed Landry to slip to the Dolphins in the second round. At 5’11” he’s not the biggest target, in fact, few of his tangible measurements stood out during the 2014 combine. Only when plugging in the tape does Landry’s value as a football player and teammate become apparent.

Landry is the spark plug that ignites the Miami Dolphin engine. Landry is the playmaker in moments of desperation. Landry is the leader when others lose confidence. These intangible assets, unlike 40 times, are his core value. On a team with a subdued Ryan Tannehill at QB, the fiery leadership comes from another position in the huddle. That position belongs to Juice Landry, he is the juice that gets the party started.

“We’re building something special here…”

A slot receiver is not typically a big money player, that designation goes to DeVante Parker with his first round pedigree and off the chart combine numbers. Clearly tangible measurements do not make a football player. Parker may one day live up to the team’s draft day expectations, but this is more an indictment of the process. Rewarding 40 yard dashes over demonstrated accomplishments on the football field has led to more Dion Jordan’s than Jarvis Landry’s.

Those first round mistakes created the rookie salary cap because the risk/reward of the unknown is a losing proposition. The notion of paying more to veteran players is a joke and a lie. The NFL power brokers grew tired of their own mistakes and decided to mitigate them by forcing rookies to demonstrate their worth before any big money changed greedy hands.

Under the leadership of Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins have made a paradigm shift in personnel philosophy. Moving from perennial winners of March free agent Madness to a pay-for-play homegrown revolution. Gase’s message is simple and direct, “put it all on the field for me and you’ll get paid by me.” In the free agent age, where money-grabs rule, and players usually switch teams to obtain their perceived value, the approach is both refreshing and enlightened.

“We’re building something special here…”

The concept offers a subtle solution to the question, “how do you motivate players after they become multimillionaires?” Football players like Juice Landry are not as motivated by pure dollars as many outside the locker room would think. Football players know, a single hit or shift in a scrum pile can end their careers’ instantly. When the opportunity to get rich knocks, only a fool wouldn’t jump, especially after working their entire lives to achieve stardom in their chosen profession.

Clearly, the resounding drop-off in performance when players switch teams shows that dollars rarely motivate. The answer lies in the locker room where Jarvis Landry sits waiting on his payday and watches outsiders like Ndamukong Suh stride in with $100 million dollars in their pocket. Resentment is probably a word rarely uttered in NFL circles and yet, why did Suh leave Detroit to get paid? He now sits with two locker stalls in an obscure corner, his $100 million dollars flying like banner over his locker. Are the players around him not supposed to feel resentment?

Therein lies the answer… The Miami Dolphins (among other teams) flounder because, letting players walk out the door to get paid sends the wrong message. Bringing in players from other teams and paying them sends the wrong message. Kenny Stills could have a better contract, Kiko Alonso could have waited for free agency, Cameron Wake could have played out his contract, and Andre Branch would’ve received the same deal elsewhere. They chose to stay in Miami.

“We’re building something special here…”

Teammates motivate multimillionaires… Not coaches, not dollars, not accolades, teammates. When players jump ship to get paid, the locker room breaks down. When new players enter that are not part of the chemistry, the locker room breaks down.

Gase has made a brilliant observation, teammates motivate multimillionaires… 

When teammates hold each other accountable, the dollars are of no consequence. The bad ass defensive tackle in the corner is as much a part of the fabric as the geeky clutch kicker. Together, they strive for greatness and the dollars take care of themselves. “Play for me and I’ll get you paid.”

“We’re building something special here…”

Jarvis Landry is the embodiment of this philosophy because he does not need dollars to put it out on the field. He is the player Adam Gase envisioned when he thought through this personnel concept and now The Juice needs some oranges squeezed! Would it be surprising to learn Jarvis Landry asked his coach to, “take care of my boys first?” It is purely conjecture, but Landry making that statement rings true, because he’s the ultimate teammate.

And now, it’s time to pay The Juice.

“We’re building something special here…”

Miami Dolphins March Madness

The NFL's New Year begins with the opening day of Free Agency on March 9th.

Miami has long been famous and/or imfamous for winning the mayhem of March (on paper). So much so that in three consecutive years that include 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Dolphins landed the NFL's biggest fish at that moment in time with the acquisitions of number one free agent prospects Mike Wallace, Brandon Albert, and Ndamukong Suh respectively. Only Suh remains a Miami Dolphin.

2016 was the first year the trio tandem of Mike Tannenbaum, Chris Grier, and head coach Adam Gase worked cohesively together as Miami Dolphin decision makers. Previously to that from 2008 on, the ego-maniacs in charge didn't even include the head coach in such important roster calculations.

The 2016/present/future regime chose a different route than former trail blazers. Rather than spend the majority of cap space on one big named free agent fish they filled the bucket with potential keepers at practically every position of need, in order to give themselves draft flexibility. Expect them to take a similar approach to 2017.

Previous to the 2016 free agency period the present brass made a trade that landed significant starters in CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso, and a Big Fish via the draft with LT Laremy Tunsil. Though the Dolphins didn't land the biggest free agent fish for a fourth consecutive year. The trade results suggest that the Miami Dolphins won in March, April, and May as well as throughout the season via a new and/or preferred bait.

Here and now in 2017. Miami's terrific trio of brass have already approached a similar path to 2016 with an agreed upon trade on the table that becomes official on the leagues new year this coming Thursday 3-9-17. The supposed trade (in short) brings to Miami a star TE Julius Thomas (28) who accrued 24 touchdowns in just two years (2013, o14) under Adam Gase in Denver. In trade, due to the 2016 draft choice of LT Laremy Tunsil, the Dolphins found the flexibility and willingness to part with 2014 free agent and the often injured 33 year old LT Brandon Albert.


Miami has some fifteen or so 2017 free agents, some of which who could be keepers though perhaps not prior to free agency. Up to seven others could, should, may be thrown immediately into the ice chest under lock and key, though half of those may have to be hooked on their return trip from the breeding grounds.


Miami Dolphin Free Agents of some substance.

Linebackers the absolute weakest and thinnest Dolphin position.
(2016 FA Donald Butler 28, fifteen Dolphin games with five starts), the previous regimes Spencer Paysinger, or often injured Jelani Jenkins & Koa Misi. (Keep one for the sake of familiarity and/or "keeping your own"?)

Better keepers may be had via free agency at what should be highly affordable rates. According to NFL.com 35 ILB's and another 35 OLB's are scheduled to become 2017 free agents. (ILB Zach Brown 27) a preferred snag (from this vantage point) to team up with Kiko as of last years acquisition of the latter. Brown signed a one year o16 contract at 1.25 million with Buffalo. He started 16 games had 149 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception in Rexxx Ryans 3-4/4-3/4-6 defense, so he's well rounded. Zach Brown is the overall 20th ranked free agent prospect of the top 101 (according to NFL.com).


Long Snapper
John Denney (38).
Talk about cohesiveness, familiarity, and/or "keeping your own" loyalty. Denney has been a productive Dolphin lifer of 12 years.

Ten long snappers are about to become free agents. Other positional prospects of potential Dolphin needs that are about to hit the market includes 9 Centers , 32 Defensive Tackles, and 42 Cornerbacks (many of which are highly qualified starters).


Safety
Bacarri Rambo (26). A 2016 free agent with nine Dolphin games played and five starts. He was picked up near midseason upon Rashad Jones' season ending injury. Rambo replaced Isa Abdul Quddus who suffered a significant shoulder injury near seasons end and may not play again anytime soon, (if ever).

Forty Safties are there for the taking.
The Packers Micah Hyde (26) is the twenty fifth ranked free agent prospect. He has played in 63 of 64 career games over his first four years with 33 starts while being part of 227 tackles with 184 being of the solo variety, and has four sacks along with 8 interceptions.


Defensive End
Andre Branch (27). Another 2016 free agent pickup who contributed in sixteen Dolphin games with eleven starts. He's ranked as the 67th overall free agent prospect.

Thirty four Defensive Ends will soon be available, three of which in (Mario Williams, Jason Jones, & Branch were 2016 Dolphins) The Patriots Jabaal Sheard (27) as the 29th rated free agent had 23 sacks his first four years in Cleveland, and 13 sacks over the last two years in New England.


Offensive Guard
Jermon Bushrod (32). Whats this? One more 2016 Dolphin free agent acquisition, and a lifetime LT that played and started 16 games for the Miami Dolphins at RG. Bushrod is not listed in the top 101.

Some twenty five of the leagues guards are scheduled to become free agents while numerous others at every position could eventually hit the market as cap casualties. The Dallas Cowboys free agent guard Ronald Leary is 27 while starting 47 of 48 games played over the last four years. He didn't play his rookie season and played/started just four games in 2015. Otherwise, Leary has been solid for a dominating Dallas offensive line. Ronald Leary is the overall 47th ranked free agent prospect.


Tight End
Dion Sims (26), 6 - 4, 271. If there is a Gronk in Miami it is Sims. Though he's not in the top 101, he's an ascending player and an important type of cog in the Dolphins scheme of things. A Four year Dolphin with 22 starts, eleven in 2016 and the perfect ying to the yang of soon to be an official Miami Dolphin (Julius Thomas).

The Dolphins entire 2016 cast of Tight Ends that included Dion Sims, Dominique Jones, Marqueis Gray, and Jordan Cameron are all scheduled to become free agents this week along with 24 of the leagues other tight ends. This leaves just Julius Thomas at TE in Miami if and when the previously mentioned trade comes to fruition, so several somethings need to be scaled at the tight end table. From a fish eye point of view, none of the free agent tight ends are a better option than is Dion Sims.


Wide Receiver
Kenny Stills (24) is the overall rated 52nd free agent prospect. A two year Dolphin with sixteen 2016 starts, 42 receptions, 726 yards, and nine touchdowns. He'll be targeting double digit millions of dollars per year and/or number one receiver type money, while he would likely be the number three in Miami. Slightly side-tracked early while learning the Gase way. Devante Parker started half as many 2016 games (8) while producing more receptions and yards than the Dolphins touchdown leading Stills.

There is a lot of money to be thrown around throughout the league. The 2017 cap is set at 162 million. Cleveland alone has over 100 million of cap space available while a handful of other teams aren't far behind. Many teams with a ton of ducats are in need of a Kenny Stills over the top type speedster, if not as there number one guy, (though he doesn't have the well rounded game or body type of a true number one receiver).

Maybe Miami goes ahead and gives him the 8, 9, 10-plus million per year he'll be targeting? Maybe they do so, and structure the deal in accordance to when that type of dough will be required to lockup Parker? A ways of proving days and/or a couple years down the road! But then again, Jarvis Landry will be a 2018 free agent that Miami needs to lockup at near double-digit millions ASAP, and (long before o18)! Hopefully, Stills loves Miami and Adam Gase so much that he'll give an affordable home team rate, but that would cut into his agents income who holds zero loyalty to the Dolphins. So don't count on that taking place!

Linebacker
Kiko Alonso (26). 2016 trade acquisition with 15 games played/started that included 115 tackles, two interceptions and several of the Dolphins top defensive plays of the year! Throw him on ice already!! Apparently NFL.com thinks it's a done deal, or they don't think very highly of Kiko as they don't have him in the top 101 while including a multitude of far less relevant others. Perhaps just an oversight as he was nearly as productive as the 20th ranked Zach Brown.


Here's to the Miami Dolphins netting another handful of The Incredible Mr Limpet type 2017 free agents!

GOFINS!!!