Well fellow Shouters, here it is. I said I would write a follow up post to my "Past Draft Grade" post and ask about this year's draft, so here we go. Just so everyone knows, I'm not going to go through every draft pick with stats and analyzing them all. I will touch on a few, but we are grading the group as a whole and not certain individuals.
In the first round the Dolphins traded up nine spots to draft what some have called a "Jason Taylor Clone" in Dion Jordan. Now, I wouldn't want to put that kind of pressure on any young kid right out of the sandbox. I like Jordan as a player. I don't like the fact that we had to give up a second round pick to get him. I have not heard one "expert" say this was a good move. We had several holes to fill when we walked into the draft, and using two picks on one guy, especially your first two picks, seems a little counterproductive to me. There was still a very good selection of players available at 12 that would have helped in other areas, not to mention the 42nd pick that we got rid of also. I know if you look at the value chart it was a STEAL by Jeff Ireland, but not at the expense of giving up a second starter on a team that still needs help. Jordan will be a help, so let's hope for quality over quantity here.
In the second round we had two picks: 42 and 54. As we all know we gave Oakland 42 in the move up, so we had 54 left. With the 54th pick we selected Jamar Taylor, a cornerback from Boise State. Taylor was graded out as anywhere from 30th overall to in the 60s overall, so the value was there for the pick. Most had him in the high 30s. This is probably my favorite pick of the draft for us, just because I think he is a good player at a position of need. I think he's probably a week one starter barring injury. He has had some kidney issues in the past, so we can just hope he is healthy.
The third round is where I think Jeff Ireland starts to lose control of things. At 77 he reaches for an offensive lineman, Dallas Thomas from Tennessee, who, first of all, has a fourth or fifth round grade and, second of all, doesn't really fill a need. He's more of a depth pick who can possibly be a starter, but it would be at right guard not tackle. That's also if Lance Louis, who the coaching staff really likes, doesn't beat out the incumbent John Jerry. So you see Thomas has more than one player to leapfrog just to get playing time unless there are releases by the Dolphins, which is always possible on a 7-9 team.
The second third round pick (93rd) Will Davis was again, a depth pick. He's not a starter by any means, and on a 7-9 team that hasn't been over .500 for five years we should be drafting starters here and not depth picks. Davis is a nice player, but I feel like we had better options available, and he would probably still have been available in a round or two. The real hard part to swallow here is that we traded up to get a guy everyone says would have still been there when we picked next round, so we gave up additional picks to get there when we didn't need to. If we were going to trade up to grab a cornerback, we should have went and got "Honey Badger" earlier in the round.
On to the fourth round pick. 104 was Jelani Jenkins, a linebacker out of Florida. He's a bit undersized at barely six feet tall, but a very good cover linebacker. He should do well against the Aaron Hernandez's of the NFL. Again, a bit off a reach here, but not terrible.
With our second fourth rounder, pick 106, we took Dion Sims, a tight end out of Michigan State. Sims is mammoth at 6'5" 280 pounds. They say he is working on getting down to 260, which would still be very large. Sims is a much better blocker than pass catcher, but he can go get the ball, which would be nice in the Red Zone. Again, he is a nice player, but not someone anybody is going to get confused with Tony Gonzales, several other options were still available.
Now we are at the fifth round pick. 164 was Mike Gillislee, running back from Florida. Gillislee played very little until his senior season. The most carries he had was 58 and the most yards he had was 328 before his senior campaign. During his senior year he was OK: 1152 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he's not a receiving threat at all. 23 catches in four years, so as of now he's kind of one-dimensional, and with his lack of breakaway speed (he runs a 4.58-4.60 40-yard dash) I'm not sure where he fits, unless Daniel Thomas is on a short chain.
That brings us to our second fifth rounder. 166 was Caleb Sturgis, Kicker from Florida. I will go on record right now as saying that I hate this pick, but not because I don't like Sturgis. It's because he or any one of 100 other kickers would have been there after the draft was over to sign as a free agent. I know there were a lot of people on the live chat that liked the pick. I wasn't one of them.
Since we didn't have a sixth round pick that takes us to the seventh round and our last pick of the draft: Don Jones, Safety from Utah State. Jones doesn't have bad measurables. He runs a 4.40 forty and has a 42 inch vertical, so he can go get the rock when he needs to. It's a seventh round pick, so I won't be too critical, but I think Robert Lester, the Safety from Alabama may have been a better pick, but who knows.
Keep in mind we went into the draft having 11 picks, and through a couple of trades we drafted nine players. Even on a 7-9 team it's going to be almost impossible for all nine players to stick, and we also picked up 15 or 16 undrafted free agents to compete with these guys.
So, it's grade time. This is really hard for me because I really do like the first two picks. I hate that we lost 42 in the trade up, but you have to give something to get something is the old saying. I'm not overly impressed with much after the second round. I don't hate it, I just don't love it either. My overall grade is going to be a C+. I think we could have been a B+ with one move, but we didn't make it so this is my grade.
I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's comments and grades. And remember folks, this is just our own opinions. It won't change what the Dolphins did, and it certainly won't alter the course of the universe, so take it all in stride and have some fun with it. Love y'all!