2018 Miami Dolphins Starting Roster MakeOver!!

The 2017 Miami Dolphins waded their way through an unparalleled chain of events that began upon the final preseason game and continued on a weekly basis through week 11!

It started with a catastrophe, was followed by uncontrolable disasters which precedded a number of rediculous off the field calamities. An inside of doors snow blizzard, in Miami? A proven LB of high character goes AWOL, and another gets the drunk & disorderly handcuffs? A cancelled week one & Bye Week 11? The Dolphins were done before even getting started, and they were most definitely worn beyond worn over the season's final 6 games! And after the week one disaster, tropical storms continued to soak Miami into the seasons final third!!

You remember the field conditions in Miami for their first six or so of eight home games? DISGUSTINGLY EMBARRASING!! As was the final tally of 6 - 10..

Our team was not only challenged via all the above and then some.. They were severely lacking (due to injuries for the most part) at the CB, LB, TE & OL positions from beginning to end, and ohh yea at QB too !!

The Miami Dolphins can't control what's beyond their control !!

So they went above and beyond in taking command of what they can control with fresh, proven, Highly qualified personnel throughout the coaching staff and on the roster/field !!

They went so drastically deep into changing what takes place on the field of 6 - 10 team, that (compared to game one starters of 2017).. The probability is extremely high for THIRTEEN (if not 14) different starters taking the field in week one of 2018! Lucky 13, thats more than one half of a 25 man starting roster!

So here's how some of it is visualized from one Miami Dolphins Fans Perspective..

2017 Miami Dolphins Game One Starters,
and ( The Replacements ) Projected for 2018.

OFFENSE

QB Jay Cutler,      ( Ryan Tannehill )
LT Laremy Tunsil
LG Anthony Steen, (Josh Sitton)
C   Mike Pouncey,  (Danial Kilgore)
RG Jermon Bushrod, (Jesse Davis)
RT JuWaun James
RB Jay Ajayi,    (Frank Gore/Kenyan Drake, and rookie Kalen Ballage)
WR DeVante Parker
SR  Jarvis Landry, (Danny Amendola/Albert Wilson/Jakeem Grant)
WR Kenny Stills
TE Julius Thomas, (Rookies Mike Gesicki/Durham Smythe)

Miami's 2018 offense would be very likely to stomp 2017's TEAM into lost & forgotten obliteration!


DEFENSE

FS Nate Allen, (TJ McDonald/Minkah Fitzpatrick)
SS Rashad Jones
DE Andre Branch, (Robert Quinn/Charles Harris)
DT Jordan Phillips
DT Ndamukong Suh, (Davon Godchaux, William Hayes, Akeem Spence, Vincent Taylor)
DE Cameron Wake
OLB Kiko Alonso
MLB Mike Hull,  ( Raekwon McMillan )
OLB  Chase Allen, (Stephone Anthony/rookie Jerome Baker/CAllen/MHull, and another rookie Quinton Poling) etc.
CB  Xavien Howard
CB  Byron Maxwell, ( Minkah Fitzpatrick/Cordrea Tankersley/Tony Lippett)

Minus the third LB Base Defense
Slot = Bobby McCain/Tank/Fitz/Lipp, and rookie Cornell Armstrong etc..


SPECIAL TEAMS

LS John Denney
P   Matt Haack
K  Cody Parkey,  ( Jason Sanders )


I have Minkah Fitzpatrick (over the seasons duration) starting at any one of seven different Defensive positions via ( S X 2, CB X 3, LB X 2 ). For game one, play one, if they start in base 4-3, I see him starting over Cordrea Tankersley opposite of Xavian Howard..

Anyone remember the name Byron Maxwell?? Man he went from the one, to the two, to being inactive in o17’s first 3 weeks which was when rookie Tankersley took over and did pretty well..

Maxwell never played another down and was released a month later..

I think that Tank is pretty damn good, but Fitz teamed up with X makes for a total shutdown tandem at CB!!!

As far as who ended-up as o17 DB starters. Tankersley (last witnessed) would appear to be the weakest link, (though he’s not weak in any sense). It's just that it's quite apparent that Fitzpatrick offers farr more proven talents, and skills..

That would be my basic Defensive lineup for getting the best 7 on the back-end, play one..

But of course. There is also the possibility that Minkah Fitzpatrick may very well start at one of the other 6 positions he excels at? Shoot Saban suggest that #29 Fitz could even play MLB in certain situations, (which makes 8 different positions he can morph into) while Butterfly-Bellied-Brady is at the LOS attempting to dissect !!

The other positional player that Minkah may likely be a better option to start for would be the third LB (whoever that may endup being among numerous previously mentioned qualified candidates)..

While (if not a true OLB starting at that spot)? One of either Fitzpatrick or TJ McDonald could start/play/lineup at an OLB's vicinity with the other at FS..

An order to get the 7 best of the back-end on the field, game one, play one, and throughout the season.. Should make for quite the confusing puzzle for offensive opponents!!

TJ McDonald an established/proven/productive/deserving player & First Round Pick Minkah Fitzpatrick should both start somewhere !!

So in the 4-3 base game one, play one,
I have TJ'Mc at FS, & Minkah in place of Tankersley at CB.



Or.
(My Goodness, Fitzpatrick brings with him soooo many alternative options)..
It's mind boggling!!



Fitz at FS & TMc at OLB?

But (in that moment) who knows? Perhaps one of them true OLB’s (Jerome Baker etc) blows the doors off TMc at OLB for the game one, play one start?

Of course a lot will depend on how the Titans lineup.. In o17 Miami started in the base 4-3 against them..

With get this at LB
Kiko, Maualuga, Timmons

Hmmm..
Think The Dolphins are a little better off at LB, DB, overall defense, TE, OL, and ohh yea QB ??

Not a headscratcher, DATTS’FER'SURE!!

I BELIEVE that The Swiss Army Knife, Jack & Master of All Football Trades, and true leader Minkah Fitzpatrick will be farrr more valuable than the one dimensional Suh as the Future Franchise Face of the Defense!!

And we’ll have him for 5 years for the cost of one year with what we were scheduled to pay Suh!!!

Loved Suh (zero disrepect intended), but Minkah Fitzpatrick (from Anywhere and Everywhere) will be farrr more impactful and indecipherable !!

The Miami Dolphins 2018 Defense could very well become the class of the AFC East!


What Are Your Thought's 3 months before kickoff ??


GOFINS!!!

Defining The Miami Dolphin Puzzle

In recent years, when Miami Dolphin fans enter the off-season it is usually with a sigh of relief. The Dolphin football team has beat us down until a final cry of, “Uncle” is a collective gasp. Miami is not necessarily awful, there’s a level of frustration that comes with mediocrity. It’s like going to a gentlemen’s club where you can look, but do not touch. All the shiny trophies are on display, but someone else is the recipient.

In the third year of the Adam Gase era, the expectations become more urgent. Is there truly a plan in place that will lead to a contending football team? Looking at pretty puzzle pieces individually helps create the final picture. Looking at how those pieces are handled provides insight into the direction of the organization.

Miami began this off-season by discarding the corner puzzle pieces of the franchise. It’s nearly impossible to build a puzzle without the corners and when those pieces are gone, the changes can be drastic. Publicly this team has not made a declaration of starting over, but the actions are speaking much louder than the words.

The normal nicety is to cite salary cap issues as reasoning for releasing highly paid players, but the reality is much more philosophical. In the NFL, the highest paid players must reflect institutional beliefs, otherwise a team is paying for players that don’t match expectations.

Mike Pouncey led an offensive line group that did not consistently produce in either the passing or the running game. Even if the issue was more related to health than game day performance, the line could not produce with its leader watching during practice. Well liked individuals make these decisions difficult. When the robot is breaking down, it’s easy to replace, when it’s a person, it's not so easy.

Ndamukong Suh is a beast among men, he’s as good a football player as any in the league. As the team’s highest paid player, he was expected to be the example of what it takes to reach that plateau. Suh did not attend voluntary off-season programs, did not call the community home and simply was not a good example of a team player. His presence on the defensive line did not make the Miami defense formidable because, he was not a leader.

Jarvis Landry is relational to philosophy for a completely different reason, Miami placed a value on his position and his demands exceeded that value. Free agency is the quirk of the NFL. Suh left Detroit because their structure did not include $100 million dollars for a defensive tackle. Miami paid then what they would not pay for the same position today. Miami would not pay $15 million for a slot receiver.

These puzzle pieces were not leading to a complete picture. Mike Pouncey could not lead from the sideline. Ndamukong Suh could not lead while spending the off-season in Oregon. Jarvis Landry could not lead from a position that racked up statistics and did not produce results.

It’s important to note, none of these players were selected while Adam Gase was the coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Sticking with the same analogy, imagine a circular puzzle. A puzzle where many of the pieces had a curve on one side. A puzzle that had no corners but many similar pieces that connected in a smooth boundary. The idea is a little fluffy for a football depiction, but having many pieces that are each as important as the next, is the definition of the word “team.”

This is the vision of Adam Gase…

He doesn’t want the leader of his offensive line watching while his line-mates suffer through grueling practices. He does not want the leader of his defense isolated in a corner of the locker room with two dedicated stalls. He does not want his highest paid offensive playmaker coming from a position that does not lead to victories.

He wants a team that thinks less as individuals and more as a whole. He wants many smooth pieces and fewer hard edges. He wants players that work together. Most importantly, getting paid in this philosophy, means being part of the glue that holds the puzzle together, not an isolated piece.

That’s why Ryan Tannehill is still a Miami Dolphin and the others are not. Tannehill may not be the greatest QB in the world, but heaven forbid we remind ourselves how many Super Bowls Dan Marino won…

Gone are chronically injured players unwilling to step back in the pay-scale. Gone are high dollar personalities who refuse to participate in team leadership. Gone are individuals seeking inequitable pay for positional value.

These are all philosophical differences that cannot be changed in the course of a few seasons. When we hear this talk of “changing the culture,” this is what it means. It’s Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor rotating for Suh. It’s a healthy Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore in place of an oft-injured Pouncey. It’s Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola for the price of a Jarvis Landry.


The Dolphins are no longer accepting “the (nonsense) that’s gone on in the past,” said Gase. “I feel like we’ve added more guys than we’ve lost, I know free agency, a lot of guys are taken away there, and whether we released guys or traded guys, we’re adding good pieces to the puzzle here.”

Will it work? This will be left for the future to tell, but the vision is becoming clearer with each move. What was not clear was depending on the health of Mike Pouncey. What made little sense was signing Ndamukong Suh in the first place. What would have created an inequitable salary structure was signing Jarvis Landry.

There was a huge sentiment in the media and in the fandom, of a first round Miami Dolphin QB. Hopefully after reading these 1000 words it becomes evident why Miami did not reach to make that pick. Reaching would have been another unreasonable expectation because Ryan Tannehill is Adam Gase’s example of what he wants out of a team player.

If the QB had fallen to Miami, this would not have put that player in the position of being specifically drafted to take over the team. By reaching, Miami would have set the expectation, this is our guy, and this is the new face of the franchise. If the QB had fallen to Miami, the expectation would then have been, “he was there and the positional value was too good not to take him.”

This flies in the face of the logic, “keep drafting a QB until you get it right,” but it doesn’t mean the intention was not there. It means, either there was not enough conviction among the Miami Dolphin brain trust to give up whatever the price may have been to trade up, or they made a calculated decision to wait for the falling star that turned out wrong…

One thing is certain, there is no more time for Ryan Tannehill. The term "nonsense" now applies to injury, overspending without results, and overspending for positional value. There can be many smooth pieces in this puzzle, but only one plays quarterback and in the NFL, it better be the right piece.

Adam Gase is tied at the hip to Ryan Tannehill for one more season. If this puzzle does not produce results, the nonsense shall stop one way or the other…

Sorry Mel - The Miami Dolphins Stole this Draft

The pundits are unhappy the Miami Dolphins did not sell their collective souls to draft a quarterback… Mel Kiper, an admitted Ravens fan, praised his team for selling out to pick QB Lamar Jackson with the 32nd pick. He then panned the Dolphins for not drafting a QB and gave them the worst draft grade of any team.

Mel was asked which player he liked before the draft, his answer – “It's so tough to answer because I have to think about team needs, how each prospect fits into those needs and realistic draft positions.”

Funny how when “their” team is on the clock, even the “experts” forget their own words. Kiper famously said, “Lamar Jackson had a lot of "layups" in Louisville's offense,” when comparing Jackson to Josh Allen. He didn’t think Lamar Jackson would develop into an NFL QB. That was before the Ravens drafted the Louisville Heisman Trophy winner and now, Mel has nothing but praise for Ozzie Newsome.


QB's running around on NFL fields is not the recipe for long and fruitful careers.

The examples are plentiful, but the prefect one is RG3. Jackson is so close in stature to RG3 that it’s scary. Most NFL GMs put on their psychology hat and remembered, “Past performance is the best predictor of future success.” Jackson lasted until 32 for that reason. Miami, along with 30 other teams were not going to risk making the same mistake.

The bottom line is, Miami fans do not care what Mel Kiper, ProFootballFocus or whomever have to say about the Miami Dolphin draft. These fans have grown numb to easy pot-shots from outsiders that don’t have to play New England twice a year.


Miami fans are a resilient and self-sufficient bunch that actually understand what Mel meant with, “think about team needs, how each prospect fits into those needs and realistic draft positions.”

Building up to the draft, this writer penned several articles detailing the issues that led to the Miami Dolphin's 6-10 season. The most annoying line that seems to have become an off-hand fact is that suddenly, Ryan Tannehill is an injury prone QB.

Tannehill and the Dolphins are guilty of thinking experimental science (stem cell therapy) is magic.

It’s not…

Guilty as charged, but injury prone? Tannehill was an ironman prior to a cheap Calais Campbell knee shot. The stem cell experiment didn’t work and Tannehill subsequently had the same surgery nearly every player wearing an NFL uniform has had at one time or another. Tom Brady’s been wearing that brace since the last time Miami won the AFC East.


If past performance is the best predictor of future success, Tannehill will be fine.

Whether Mel Kiper likes Ryan Tannehill is a completely different issue, many Miami fans will agree with that sentiment. Using the term “injury prone” is a ridiculous cop out, if you don’t like Tannehill just say it Mel, you won’t hurt our feelings.

The men whose jobs are on the line - Adam Gase, Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier have the belief that Ryan Tannehill will continue where he left off prior to his knee injury. The Dolphins felt they had too many holes they needed to fill and could not afford to essentially give up their whole draft for an unknown rookie QB.

The Dolphins were perfectly willing to allow one of the top four QBs to fall to the 11th pick. The Arizona Cardinals sent the No. 15 pick, a 3rd-round pick (No. 79) and a fifth-round selection (No. 152) to the Oakland Raiders to jump ahead of Miami and take Josh Rosen. Carson Palmer was 38 years old and retired from the Cardinals who were left with Sam Bradford - Now you’re talking injury prone.

No matter what the pundits believe, the Cardinals were desperate for a QB and the Dolphins were not. It’s as simple as that.

In two previous articles:


http://www.dolphinshout.com/2018/01/miami-dolphins-are-playing-wrong-defense.html


http://www.dolphinshout.com/2018/01/the-miami-dolphins-need-beast-at-tight.html


The real issues that led to Miami’s demise, aside from Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler, were evident by the end of the 2017 season.

The Dolphins allowed 94 catches by tight ends, the most in the league. Only Oakland allowed more tight end receiving yards (1034 to 1038) than Miami. Tight ends scored 10 touchdowns against the Dolphins, tied with Cleveland for second-most and behind only the Giants (13).

The league is evolving and Miami was not: The Patriots had 221 snaps in Dime (6-DB) Personnel and an astounding 161 snaps in Prevent (7-DB). Miami had SEVEN total snaps in a Dime defense. The Patriots faced 3rd & 10 or more on 54 snaps this year and yet they played 6 or more DBs on 382 snaps.

The Miami Dolphins used the Dime package only 7 times…

It’s humorous to hear the talking heads berate the Miami Dolphins for picking Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round. Maybe lining up only 7 times in a dime package is a tiny clue to what Miami REALLY needed.


It’s also humorous to hear how Fitzpatrick will displace T.J. McDonald in the defensive backfield. Stats are for losers, but 7 times versus NE’s 161 times and a total of 382 snaps with 6 or more DBs.

T.J. and Minkah will be playing alongside one another a whole lot in 2018.

NFL teams are not “supposed” to draft for needs but one thing is very clear, Fitzpatrick was a much greater need than drafting Tannehill’s future replacement.

The Miami Dolphins literally had no starting TE prior to the draft. Julius Thomas caught 4 TD passes for Miami and that’s it. The Eagles? 14… The Patriots, 10. Of the TEs with the most TD receptions, 4 of the top 5 were on playoff teams and 2 were in the Super Bowl.

The Dolphins cut Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano retired… Miami threw out the old axiom of not going into the draft with a need so the team could select the “best player available.”


What were they going to do, hide it? Tight Ends haven’t existed in Miami since long before Mad Dog opened the pearly gates.

The pundits are still stomping for Mason Rudolph but the sight of Mike Gesicki in Dolphin teal warms the heart of any true Miami fan.

The Dolphins did not only draft exactly what they needed, but they actually followed the Jimmy Johnson credo and doubled down! They selected coverage LB Jerome Baker in the 3rd round and the Kelly green hulk TE Durham Smythe in the 4th round. (Hey Paul, any relation?)

Kalen Ballage in the 4th as the bruising RB to spell Kenyan Drake. They added CB Cornell Armstrong and LB Quentin Poling in the 6th, along with a kicker, Jason Sanders in the 7th.

Mel Kiper can grade Miami wherever he likes…

At the beginning of the day, this Miami fan is smiling.

At the end of the day, Mel Kiper can explain trading away Jarome Baker and Durham Smythe for Lamar Jackson to sit on the bench for a few years.

Hey he’s the expert after all…

Miami Dolphin Draft Hopefuls

 This is a partial repost of previous piece. (For Fresh thread draft remainder).

Starting with the Miami Dolphins first round pick at #11E as the previous pieces Top Five Target, and 2017's Chuck Bednarik/Top Defensive Player as well as the Jim Thorpe/Best DB Award Winner!!

11E S/DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, (a choice of this guy pushes S TJ McDonald to OLB on approximately 75% of defensive plays).
Perhaps the Dolphins believe that they can get two birds with one stone in such a selection?

Should the ""Right One"" of the top 4 QB's leap through the Dolphins slippery fins?

Then Edmunds, Smith, Vea, and Fitzpatrick or the likes of (for good measure) become the obvious targets.

And ""Swiss Army Knife"" FS Minkah Fitzpatrick became the pick of the three who remained at #11 !


Round One (According To Availibility)

1) QB Baker Mayfield (Gone #1)

2) LB Tremaine Edmunds, VTech (went 16)

3) LB Roquon Smith (Gone #8)

4) DT Vita Vea, Wash (went 12)

5) FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
( YOUR MIAMI DOLPHIN )!!!

6) QB Lamar Jackson (went #32)

7) QB Josh Allen (Gone #7))

8) LB Leighton Vander Esch (went 19 )

9) OLB/DE Harold Landry, Boston College

10) T Mike McGlinchey (went 9)

11) G Will Hernandez, UTEP



This inclusion was derived via the previous comment section (Pre-Draft).

Round Two
(Positionally Dependent on Round One)

1) TE Dallas Goedert (Joe Dirt), South Dakota State

2) TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State

3) DE Marcus Davenport (went 14)

4) LB Uchenna Nwosu, USC

5) FS Justin Reid,
(see below, don't need him)

6) S Ronnie Harrison, Bama
(Already landed Bama FS Fitz)

7) DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford

8) DT Mo Hurst, Michigan

9) RB Nick Chubb, Georgia

10) RB Rashad Penny (went 27)

11) G/T/C Isiah Wynn (went 23)



Round Three
(Positionally Dependent on Rounds One & Two)

1) QB Mason Rudolph, Oak State

2)TE Mark Andrews, Oak

3 DE Sam Hubbard, Thee OS

4) LB Jerome Baker, Thee OS

5) FS Jesse Bates III (Got FS Fitz)

6) OT Geron Christen, Louisville

7) C/G Billy Price, Thee OS

8) RB Royce Freeman, Oregon

9) QB Kyle Lauletta, Richmond



Round Four

1) K Eddie Piniero, Florida

2) TE Ian Thomas, Indiana

3) TE Chris Herndon, TheU

4) DE Jalyn Holmes, Thee OS

5) RB Mark Walton, TheU

6) S Terrell Edmunds, VTech (went 28)

7) QB Mike White, Western Kentucky

Round Six

1) QB Kyle Allen, Houston

2) WR Braxton Barrios, TheU

Just a quickie for fresh thread via drafts remainder..

Day Two, Rounds Two & Three commence at 7pm today/Friday, Day Three Rounds 4 - 7 begin at noon Saturday, ENJOY!!!

GOFINS!!!




Miami Dolphins To Trade, Stay, or Trade ?

""ITTT'S TIMEEE"" (Thank You Bruce Buffer).

The 2018 NFL Draft has arrived when on Thursday April 26 at 8pm Est the Cleveland Browns will officially be "On The Clock".

According to the Draft Trade Value Chart which illustrates the pre-draft points worth of every selection in the draft.

The Miami Dolphins presently scheduled picks induvidual worth,
and combined grand total are as is.

Round 1
Pick 11 = 1250 points

Round 2
Pick 42 = 480

Round 3
Pick 73 = 225

Round 4
Pick 123 = 49
Pick 131 = 41

Round 6
Pick 209 = 7.4

Round 7
Pick 227 = 1
Pick 229 = 1
--------------------------
Total Worth = 2054.4
Draft Trade Value Points

If Chance had it's way?
For one single, particular, potential Franchise Quarterback of the future.
The Dolphins could consider trading away their entire draft, or at least the most part of their 8 presently scheduled (2018) selections.

Everybody knows that there are FOUR Highly Touted QB's projected to be picked between picks one, and twelve!
(If not within the first 5 to 6 picks)?

Everybody knows that Cleveland will take one of these QB's with most likely pick #1, for sure #4 if RB Barkley goes first!

#2 NYG ? Would love Barkley, or perhaps Eli's protege?

The World knows that the NYJets didn't move up into the top 3 for anything other than a QB!!

The Galaxies know the names of these four premiere Quarterbacks are (in no particular order), Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and ((( Baker Mayfield )))!! PS, according to Todd McShay. None of this year's QB's have a higher pre-draft grade than our own 2018 starter Ryan Tannehill!!

So Miami's total (2018) draft worth equates to 2054.4 points!

The Dolphins can not get to
#1 Cleveland = 3000
#2 NY Giants = 2600
or
#3 NY Jets = 2200
(Bad Business For Both Anyways).

Miami Not being able to work a deal for picks 1 or 2 is factored in via only (2018) picks while excluding the very real possibility of getting there with an offering of #11, and 2019's first round selection. Miami's 2019 first round pick could be worth anywhere between pick #32's 590, or the 3000 point first overall pick. By giving it up (along with #11's 1250). In this case, it would count as 1750 points which equates to a top four to five pick in 2019.

Somewhat of a steal for the Dolphins. If they were to do the usual and finish Mid-pack or better. Basically, (if Miami were to finish in the bottom five)? It would breakdown to our 2019 top five pick (while throwing in this years #11 plus whatever) for one of 2018's top two picks. It would have to be The NYG at #2. But lets not give that too much hype as it would pretty much decimate Miami's 2018, and 2019 draft options. No-Way does Cleveland trade #1!
But if they get their QB at one? They may consider trading #4 (If RB Barkley is gone)?

#4 Cleveland = 1800
(which would require everything other than our 3rd round pick in 2018.)

#5 Denver landed QB Case Keenum in FA for two years and may be interested in a future franchise QB. Shot-Caller John Elway suggest that Keenum was their man all along, and that they are open to potentially trading pick #5.
(Which is worth 1700 points).

Do the math with Denver and Miami can get to #5 for picks #11 & 42, and keep the rest. Bronco's could offer their 30 point fifth round pick #149 for an exact point value trade.

#6 Indy says that they are taking calls on this pick worth 1600 points.(According to the Draft Trade Value Chart). It is feesible that The Dolphins could get to this Colts selection with an exchange of (Miami's #11 & 42 worth 1730) for (Indy's first round pick #6, forth round #104, & fifth round #140 total of  1721.5). But to trade down. The Colts would likely be looking to gather more picks, not spend them. If thats the route they choose? Our entire draft other than our second round pick comes within 25 of the total point value cost for pick #6.

#11 Miami (#'s 42, 73, 123, 131 plus)
#12 Buffalo (#'s 22, 53, 56, 65 plus)
#15 Arizona ( #'s 47, 79 plus)
#16 Baltimore (#'s 52, 83 plus)
#17 LA Chargers (#'s 48, 84 plus)
#23 New England (#'s 31, 43, 63 plus)

Potentially.
All are bidding for picks 4 - 6 and their QB dreams of the future. Obviously a couple teams can easily afford to get #1 if it were on the market, while also having more than enough leverage to overpay (the goin rate) for picks 4, 5, 6, & all the way to pick #10, (if so be it).

All the potential tradeup/down deals have already been discussed between suggested franchises, the ground work has been laid out. So and so, will give so and so, so and so, if so and so is available at so and so number pick.
If so, sign-ze-papel.

Otherwise.
They will all be hoping that their Head Coaches one and only Quarterback of four falls to where they presently pick.

If it were this fans choice. The Bills and/or Pats don't leap-frog Miami for any picks between #'s 2 - 10. And.
The Miami Dolphins at pick 11select Baker Mayfield. Otherwise. Gotta get to at least pick 5, or 6. (If he is still there)? No Bro-Mance from this guy for Darnold, Rosen, or Josh Allen. Adam Gase may see things differently? JAllen if any of the four other than Mayfield, but personally it's Baker, Lamar Jackson, then Josh Allen at QB for me. Meanwhile, due to a few ill-advised words while in the spotlight, and with questions of his commitment and/or ""love"" for the game coming about. Rosen may be the one who drastically falls, and who knows. Maybe he is the ""Right One"" in the eyes of Adam Gase?

Gase has suggested.
""Sure I'd like to grab a QB, but it's gotta be the (Right One)""!!

I wouldn't put it past the Dolphin fan teasing football gods to have the ""Right One"" QB available at pick 10 when Oakland goes on the clock. And at that moment Buffalo at 12 jumps Miami at 11 with a deal that the Raiders God Father Gruden can't refuse.

Alright, so it's obvious that for me The Miami Dolphins first pick somehow, someway ends up being a guy that will be recognized by just the mention of his first name, Baker. (Or the QB that Adam Gase see's as the ""Right One""!

11A QB Baker
11B LB Tremaine Edmunds
11C LB Roquon Smith
11D DT Vita Vea
11E S/DB Minkah Fitzpatrick/Derwin James (a choice of one of these two pushes S TJ McDonald to OLB on approximately 75% of defensive plays).
Perhaps the Dolphins believe that they can get two birds with one stone in such a selection?

Should the ""Right One"" of the top 4 QB's leap through the Dolphins slippery fins?

Then Edmunds, Smith, Vea, and Fitzpatrick or the likes of (for good measure) become the obvious targets.

11B & C Edmunds and Smith may require trading up to picks 7 - 10. If the brass so desires? The Bucs Pick 7 can be had for #11 along with one 3rd & 4th round pick.

Da'Bears #8 and 4th round #105 is gettable via Miami's #11 & 3rd round pick #73.

The Whinners #9 can be had for the Dolphins #11, and two 4th round selections.

The Raiders Pick 10 can be had for #11 and a 4th. (All according to the Draft Trade Value Chart) which will be included via this threads first comment.


11D Vita Vea is the most assured prospect of Dolphin positional priority to most likely be available at #11. He is by far the best DT in this draft, and would easily be a top ten pick if not for the abundance and need of top ten QB's. He could very well be the second coming of Ndamukong Suh? He requires double teams on every play and with ten years of youth on his side can be had for 25 million fewer dollars yearly than was Suh. With Suh's dead money. The Dolphins are still highly invested financially at the position of DT. With the selection of a Vita Vea, Miami will at least get some value/production for the dollars being given to one no longer on the roster. Vea would start on opening day alongside Miami's current #1 DT Jordan Phillips who is scheduled to be a 2019 FA.

S/DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (or the likes of/Derwin James) most likely come into play only if 11A, B, C, & D are gone at 11.

Or, If Miami were to trade down from 11 to where if any of the above were to fall could possibly become Pick 15 - 20 A.

15 - 20 (two options per)
B. QB Lamar Jackson
C. TE Mike Giseki
D. LB Leighton Vander-Esch
E. LB Rashaan Evans
F. DE Marcus Davenport
G. TE Dallas Goedert
H. G/T/C Isiah Wynn
I.  T Mike McGlinchey   
J. C/G Billy Price
K. LB Uchenna Nwosu

For instance;
For pick #15.
The Dolphins could potentially trade down for Arizona's pick, and gain a 3rd round pick #79 overall. (Though for Arizona to do so, they'd probably be targeting QB Lamar Jackson)!

Or

For pick #20
Miami can move down to Detroits selection, and acquire an additional 2nd round pick #51 overall.

Obviously
Picks #16 - 19 will also bring a similar additional high draft pick south.

And The Miami Dolphins can still land someone of the highest rated prospects placed between picks 11E & 15 - 20 K!

This fan badly wants Baker, Tremaine, Roquon, or Vita Vea, and think that if Miami gets stuck at #11.

Vita Vea is the most likely to be there!
If all are gone?
QB Lamar Jackson was my favorite way back when (2 years) before discovering Mayfield, and would be my choice at 11. Baker & Lamar are the only QB's in this class that have already displayed a serious ""IT"" about them!!


Just one fans calculations, and Ive been wrong before.

Actually just once.
And that was a case when I thought I was wrong but I was actually right.

OMG, Honey don't get mad, I was just kidd'n. Alright, alright, but on the way home can you grab some pastries from that guy with the funny hat.

OPPPS, GOTTA GO !!!

GOFINS!!!

What do you folks think?

And with the Miami Dolphins pick #? they select?


























Random Draft Musings



By Joe Tarell (AKA Quadzilla)

Every draft has a theme and this one is no different. Sometimes they are defined by the top draft pick, if it is someone who is clearly the best, but usually it is by positional strength or weakness. Last year there was a clear lack of offensive linemen and this was clear at the start of free agency when O-linemen got deals that were way too high for their skill level. Might be just the opposite this year, but most people consider it the year of the quarterback.

What is strange this year is that the best offensive lineman is a guard. This usually signals a weak class because LT is the premier position on the line and some would say is second only to QB in importance on a team. But there is a strong OT class this year, just not strong enough to out rank Quentin Nelson, the guard from Notre Dame. He might turn out to be the best player in this class 15 years from now. He is big enough and quick enough to play tackle, but has a nasty streak and the pulling ability that lends itself well to guard. He should go top five unless the QB class dominates that group. If Nelson slips some team in the second five will be very happy. There is almost no chance he gets to the Dolphins at 11 unless all six quarterbacks go in the top ten. Yes, I said six... more on that later.

There could be as many as seven O-linemen in the first round. The run will start sometime after the Redskins pick at 13. By then Nelson will be gone and those that need OL help will start taking tackles like Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame, Connor Williams from Texas, or Kolton Miller from UCLA. But there are also interior players getting attention like Will Hernandez from UTEP who blew up the combine, Isaiah Wynn who played tackle at Georgia but projects to guard, then there are G/C players like James Daniels from Iowa, Billy Price from OSU and even Frank Ragnow from Arkansas. There is also a good second tier of players likely to go in rounds two through four.

Last year there were only two O-linemen taken in the first round but seven defensive backs and 57 total in the entire draft. Conversely, there were only 33 O-linemen taken. It won't flip flop this year but let's just say it will be more even. The DB's in this class do not have the elite talent that we have seen in years past. The consensus number one corner, Denzel Ward from OSU, is only 5'10" and is not really a consensus. Many people see the two safeties, Derwin James from FSU and Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama going ahead of a CB. By the time the first round is complete we will likely see Josh Jackson from Iowa, who has good tape but lacks measurables, Jaire Alexander from Louisville and possibly Mike Hughes from UCF. The interesting thing is that all the corners mentioned above have one thing in common; they each have but one year of starting experience because they were beaten out, transferred or injured. Ward gets the consensus label because he was beaten out by guys who were also first round picks at Ohio State.

We may still see seven or more DB's go in the first round because of the premium on those positions but it is just not that strong a class. We all know that the premium positions are those that pass the ball, protect the passer, sack the passer or defend the pass. Notice that catching it is not part of that group. WR is the hardest position to draft. They are typically among the most arrogant divas on the field but they are totally dependent on others for their success. This topic could be a full length article of its own but suffice it to say that there are very few receivers in this draft class that warrant risking the IME to draft in the first round. Maybe Calvin Ridley from Alabama but that is a risk when all you hear are excuses why he didn't have bigger numbers in college and why his small stature is not that big a deal.

For those who don't know, the term IME was coined a few years ago to try and measure a draftee’s potential to bust. It stands for Instant Millionaire Effect. Let's take some examples to clarify this effect using current or past prospects. Orlando Brown is an OT from Oklahoma who protected the Heisman winner's blind side for three years and some project as a first round talent. The IME says that if you are fat (400 lbs. in high school) and lazy (14 reps on the bench press) these deficiencies will not get better if you are drafted in the first round and guaranteed 12 to 25 million dollars. Reuben Foster from Alabama was widely considered one of the top five most talented players last year, but went 31st to the 49ers because he had failed drug tests and got kicked out of the combine for abusive behavior with some medical staffers. Perhaps had he fallen out of round one and out of the guaranteed millionaire category he might have gotten humbled and would not have three felony charges right now.

The Wide Receiver position is becoming the Dime-a-Dozen position that RB has been in recent years. RB has had that label because it used to be that the best kid on every Pop Warner field was put at RB so by the time you got to the NFL they were all really good so you don't want to waste a first round pick on one who will be out of the league in four years anyway because of the abuse on their body. When looking at the talent in this draft at WR, and considering the IME and diva potential, most teams will wait until later in the draft and try to get someone with skills that is a little hungrier and might actually block someone. With the proliferation of the spread at lower levels of football and most parents scared of little Johnny getting hurt, everybody wants to be a WR. It is likely we see more TE's than WR's in the first round for the first time ever.

There are three or four TE's likely to go high with Mike Gesicki from Penn State the most talented, Hayden Hurst from South Carolina the most complete and Dallas Goedert the most intriguing. Goedert has some great tape. The problem is he played at South Dakota State and has yet to run a 40. He was never wide open against inferior competition, but yet he caught everything thrown his way. Gesicki has sick skills, running a 4.54 with 41 inch vertical at nearly 6'6" and had good production in the Big Ten but he has yet to meet a defender he wanted to block. Hurst seems to be the best combo TE but he is 25 years old after washing out in pro baseball because of the yips (I thought those were only in golf). And finally there is Mark Andrews from Oklahoma who is less talented than Gesicki, but with more production (perhaps because he had a Heisman winner as his QB and roommate).

The defensive line is not particularly strong this year, especially when it comes to pass rushers. Bradley Chubb from NC State is considered the best and then it drops off quite a bit. Marcus Davenport is the Jason Pierre Paul, Barkevious Mingo of this draft class. He is built like the next Charles Haley, but he played at UT San Antonio. Maybe he is JPP or maybe he is Barkevious; someone will be intrigued enough by the measurables to gamble on him in the first round. Harold Landry from Boston College should go in the first round but only to a 3-4 teams that projects him to OLB even though he had his hand in the dirt as a 250 pound DE in college. He has the bend and speed to get around the corner so he is worth the risk even if he is just a situational pass rusher until he gets a little bigger and stronger.

The interior of the DL is also a little sparse with first round talent. Vita Vea from Washington is the best of this group and can really move for a 340 pounder. Having played some running back in high school he has the look of a bigger version Warren Sapp. There is pretty big drop off after that to DaRon Payne from Alabama and Taven Bryan from Florida. Payne is not the athlete that Bryan is but he has the production. Bryan gets an IME label though because when you see talented, but lazy in college, it doesn't usually get better with a fat bank account. Some would say that Maurice Hurst from Michigan is the best of the bunch, and if the NFL team's doctors give his heart a clean bill of health he could go before any of them.

Okay so we have gone this far without mentioning the quarterbacks why not wait a little longer. There are a few special players in this draft, but they are not at the premium positions. Nelson was already mentioned and next in line is Saquon Barkley, the RB from Penn State. He is really special in that he runs, catches, blocks, returns and has been known to throw. He should be special... for four or five years. The other guys who look like they could be special are LB’s Roquan Smith from Georgia and Tremaine Edmunds out of Virgina Tech. Smith is a little small but he plays really fast and had big time production against big time talent. Edmunds looks like a Brian Urlacher clone and he is only 19 years old with a great football family pedigree. Neither of these guys are rush linebackers so that hurts their draft value but they can both make a ton of plays and most importantly, especially for Dolphin fans, they are three down linebackers, playing the pass as well as the run. Leighton Vander Esch from Boise State could go later in the first round, but doesn't have enough quality tape to compare to these two LB's.

And finally we get to those six quarterbacks I mentioned earlier; Baker Mayfield, OU, Sam Darnold, USC, Josh Rosen, UCLA, Josh Allen, Wyoming, Mason Rudolph, OK State and Lamar Jackson from Louisville. And yes, I would draft them in that order. Allen, Rudolph and Jackson do not belong in the first round but, you know, that whole premium position thing. The key is to decide who needs one badly enough to take one at their position in the draft order or trade into a spot to get one. The Jets have already played their hand, and Cleveland is so bad at drafting QB's they should take two. The Giants are smoke screening about not picking a QB.  Eli Manning is old, he was never that great anyway and nobody expects them to be drafting at number two again anytime soon. Buffalo and Arizona do not have an adequate starter. So there are five landing spots. Throw in New England, Pittsburgh, LA Chargers and New Orleans who have old starters and Miami, Jacksonville and Denver who have questionable starters along with Cincinnati and Baltimore who should be questioning their starters, and it is easy to see six go in the first 32 or 35 picks.

So, if you were paying attention there is a mock draft in there. There were 37 names of players in this draft mentioned above, not counting Orlando Brown who was mentioned only so he could be disparaged. You guys figure out what order and to whom and that's a pretty good guesstimate of who gets picked on Thursday the 26th. This list is lighter on WR and RB and heavier on OL and TE than some, but everybody has their biases. Put them in order, let’s see your best mock.

For the Miami Dolphins, it's all in a Name

The Miami Dolphins continue to interview quarterback candidates and leak information about selecting one in the 2018 draft. If QB is king, the name-game and misinformation is closer to the Game of Thrones leading up to the NFL draft.

One name-game to guide them...

One name-game to rule them all...

If the Dolphins can scare enough teams into leaping ahead for one of this coveted class of signal callers, then the players Miami really wants will fall in their lap. Adam Gase may indeed love Baker Mayfield, and Josh Rosen may be a perfect match for Gase’s whispering, but it’s all enticement to lure other teams into the web of deceit.

It is possible one of these players will actually fall, there are mock drafts with this year’s biggest arm, Josh Allen falling to the 2nd round. There’s local Phenom and Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson wondering what he has to do to get into the mix at 11. Of course, there are trade up with the Colts rumors and trade down rumors circulating everywhere on the internet.

It’s the wonderment and pageantry of the NFL Draft…

In year’s past, entire businesses were established to publish magazines cataloging college players. It was the Sears Catalog of sports, stats and body measurements ranked and rated by a select few insiders who made a living scouting players.

Then the internet happened…

Just like every Smart Phone junky with a Tweeter account can troll till their heart’s content, every adroit or even casual fan can become a draft expert. No one seems certain if it’s Mayfield, Rosen, Darnold or Allen who will attempt to become the savior in Cleveland. There are even pundits believing the Browns should select Saquon and let the QB that falls to pick number 4 be the guy.

The real problem for NFL teams is in the names…

Baker Mayfield
Sam Darnold
Josh Rosen
Josh Allen


See, QBs need the proper name to go with the face of the franchise. Baker Mayfield, come-on, that’s unfair! Baker Mayfield, if that name doesn’t sound like the next Joe Montana or Dan Marino, I don’t know which does.


Sam Darnold is good, it has a ring. Josh Rosen or Josh Allen, well they’re okay, but they’re no Andrew Luck, that’s for certain.

It circles back to Miami - Ryan Tannehill. There it is, all in a name, Ryan Tannehill… See, “Baker” is going to turn into a name of its own, when someone says Baker, it won’t be a poem about a candle stick maker, it’ll be the great NFL quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Ryan Tannehill is distinctly mediocre or maybe even a little less. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue, even the nick-name people have tried.


T-Hill...

It’s like no one even wants to type the whole name. Miami is presently filled with crappy names at QB. David Fales, my goodness, it’s amazing this poor guy has survived as a back-up for so long with a name like “Fales!”

Brock Osweiler… Really!

Ryan Tannehill
Brock Osweiler
David Fales

Jesus, T-Hill doesn’t sound that bad when you look at these names together…

The first time the name-game came up at our draft gathering was way back with a wide receiver named - Limas Sweed. Poor Limas never had a chance. I’m not sure what his mom was thinking, but it is just a name that was never destined for greatness.


Ryan Tannehill, sounds like a great proctologist, but an NFL franchise QB, maybe not. Brock Osweiler or David Fales, definitely not!

Lamar Jackson is okay, not great, but better than we got!

Mason Rudolph? That one’s really interesting. It’s could range from some haughty zillionaire’s son, to a red-nosed reindeer’s cousin but it definitely has a ring. It just may not inspire guys with distinctly other-side-of-the-tracks type of names.


It’s all about the locker room, a lawyer’s name may not ring with fellows who feel the need to kneel at the symbol of their country’s laws, but I digress…

Luke Falk… Use the fork Luke, I mean the force! No, it’s not a bad name, really!

So where are we on this name thing? I think I’m on to something and we need to check back in a few years and see if it all pans out…

Baker Mayfield
Sam Darnold
Lamar Jackson

Those three names are melodic, Mayfield is by far the best, Darnold and Jackson are good. In the case of reality, it means Lamar Jackson is the Miami Dolphin’s choice. Mayfield and Darnold will be gone at 11 and Jackson could survive until 42, but it’s very unlikely, because it’s all in a name…

Ever notice how the winner of those weekly pick the team pools is always some nit-wit who says, “I just picked the names I liked!” They’re laughing at us, right…


“Call me nit-wit while you hand over your $20.00 bill, nit-wit!”

How about a little closer to the truth, Roquan Smith? Roquan? I’m sure someone in their tweeter fueled anonymity will jump me for daring to say, Roquan is just not very good. Sorry - me no likey!

Tremaine Edmunds…

I’m going with Tremaine, it has a certain flow that seems to glide off the tongue, like Tremaine gliding through the middle of the defense and bashing a running back.

“On the tackle, Tremaine Edmunds!” “Tremaine Edmunds just slipped through the entire offensive line and planted that QB on his backside!”

“And with the eleventh pick in the draft, the Miami Dolphins select…”

Tremaine Edmunds

The Miami Dolphin's Best Players = Mediocrity

Allowing the Miami Dolphin off-season decisions to marinate before joining the brashly negative local and national commentary has brought a new perspective.

What exactly were the Miami Dolphins with Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry and Mike Pouncey?

Is it possible to break the chain of mediocrity without breaking the master links holding it in place?

The Dolphins had the highest paid Defensive player in the league for several seasons. It brought only one very fortuitous lost playoff game.
Points allowed in the years with Ndamukong Suh found Miami ranked 29th in 2017, 18th in 2016 and 19th in 2015. The purpose of using these numbers is not a negative indictment of Suh’s athletic prowess. It’s a realization that one of, if not the best defensive tackle in the NFL, is simply not impactful.

A defensive tackle, even the very best
defensive tackle, does not often impact games in the NFL…

Many pundits believe Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is better than Suh, 2017 – 22nd, 2016 – 15th, 2015 – 26th… The thing is, McCoy and Suh are really good and their defenses are not. Tampa even has two of the best young LBs in the game and yet, they’re not very good.

The question that must be asked is, what positions are truly impactful in the NFL?


Mike Pouncey made several pro bowl appearances, all while playing on one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. The people who judge these things should know which players are good and Pouncey got their vote. Yet, the offensive line as a whole was not good. The conclusion has to be that center is not an impactful position in the NFL.

Pouncey was the leader of that unit and the highest paid player. Again, this is not an indictment against Mike Pouncey’s ability, it’s an observation that his position does not impact the NFL game and yet he was one of the highest paid players on the Miami Dolphins.

Jarvis Landry has caught more passes than any player in their first 4 years in NFL history. In 2017, Miami ranked 28th in offensive scoring, 2016 – 16th, 2015 – 27th, 2014 – 11th. Landry wanted to be paid for his accomplishments, which are clearly elite, but they had little impact on Miami’s offensive prowess.

It seems oversimplified to place the mediocrity of the Miami Dolphins on its best players. Perhaps those players are taking the heat or are justification for the mediocrity of the rest of their teammates, but...


Isn’t that how it works?

Aren’t the best and highest paid players the ones who must make an impact? Not all players can get the big contracts and therefore, the ones that do must make a difference and clearly, they have not.

Getting paid for their talent is exactly what players should strive for, it’s up to the management to decide which players impact the bottom line...


Winning...

It appears winning or lack thereof, is exactly what has led to the release of these players.

As observers, we cannot know precisely what goes on behind the scenes or in the huddle, but we can make some assumptions. Jarvis Landry could not possibly have caught more balls than any player in NFL history if he had not been thrown more balls than any player in NFL history. How can this be true and not an assumption?

Catch rate is a term used to determine the amount of times a receiver catches a ball thrown to him.


Landry 70.2 percent
Amendola 68.7 percent

Landry catches a ball thrown to him 1.5% more often than Danny Amendola, that’s it, 1.5% more often. It is not an assumption that Landry has been targeted many, many more times than Amendola, it's a fact.


This is the point where it all makes sense…

If Adam Gase wants a more diversified offense, a single player cannot expect to lead the league in receptions. If Adam Gase wants a more diversified offense, a single player cannot expect 25 carries a game (Jay Ajayi).

Paying Landry would have had the same impact as having paid Suh and Pouncey, mediocrity...

All for the exact same reason, a slot receiver is not very impactful…

Suh, Pouncey and Landry, while very good football players have not impacted the mediocre Miami Dolphins. Perhaps it’s justification for past mistakes, like giving Suh the massive contract in the first place. In a bottom line business, Miami was not winning with these guys as the leaders.


The revolving door of head coaches has had no effect and therefore, is not the problem...

The Miami Dolphins have broken the chain of insanity; they have officially stopped doing the same thing over and over again to fix the same problem…

This is only the first step, now the Dolphins must find the impact players that will lead them back to respectability. A great QB, offensive tackles, defensive ends and cornerbacks. These are the impact positions in the game of football.

Paying great players at non-impact positions has little or no effect on the bottom line…

Winning

Free Agency Repeat for new Thread

 Previous Thread was full,
This is FA part of previous post,
just simply for fresh thread at
4 PM opening of league New Year.

Hmmmm?
While we were away.
It seems as though that lonely cricket chirping in the South Florida distance has lured a bunch of potential mates, and I've taken the liberty to name the suddenly noisy swarm induvidually.

So forget about all the QB-Stuff above,
but remember that over the next few days Kirk Cousins destination is what will decide Miami's positional target at pick 11 come draft day. (For Now)!!


Here are the names (with a brief synopsis) found to be potentially affordable mates for Your Miami Dolphins. Perhaps one, two, a few, or the likes of such can be gathered at the bottom of Miami's historied bug-zapper?


Line-Backer

4-3 ILB/OLB Anthony Hitchens 6-0, 235, (26) started 48 of 60 career games with Dallas

ILB Preston Brown 6-1, 251, (25) has 62 starts in 64 career games for Buffalo

4-3 LB Tahir Whitehead 6-2, 241, (27) started his last 31 Lions games played

4-3 OLB Nigel Bradham 6-2, 241, (28)  has started 56 consecutive games from 2014 - 2017


Slot-Receiver

Kendall Wright 5-10, 185, (28) has accrued 3858 yards, and 19 Touchdowns over his career

Taylor Gabrial 5-8, 165, (27) with a career 1819 yards with 8 TD's

Albert Wilson 5-9, 200, (26) totals are 1544 with 7 touchdowns

An old draftee favorite Tavon Austin may also hit the market

Personally, I have a good case for our own Jakeem Grant, so we're good minus one of the above!


Safety (some say that TJ McDonald could potentially play OLB) should Miami land a ball-hawking Safety. While we all know that one can never have too many DB's, especially in today's game of arial attack!

Tre Boston 6-1, 205, (25) had five 2017 interceptions in his one year prove it stint for the Chargers with 8 for his career and two touchdowns

Tavon Wilson 6-0, 212, (27) has 8 career interceptions with 3 coming along with 3 sacks in his last 23 starts


Tackle, Guard, Center

Justin Pugh 6-5, 311, (27) has 63 starts in 63 games played at tackle for NYG

Chris Hubbard 6-4, 295, (26) had 10 starts for Pittsburgh at Guard & Tackle in 2017

Senio Kelemele 6-3, 300, (27) has 17 starts at Guard for Saints over last 31 games

Weston Richburg 6-4, 300, (26) has 50 starts in 51 games played primarily as a Center for the NY Giants

Ryan Jensen 6-4, 319, (27) started 16 games at C & G for the Ravens in 2017


Tight-End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (((6-5, 262, 25))) has accrued 1070 yards over his short career with a 10.2 average per catch and 10 touchdowns. He's had some off the field issues with alcohol that have detoured his career, but those concerns are suggested to be history

Trey (initially the lone cricket) Burton 6-3, 235, (26) had 5 TD's in 2017 with just one start for a 10.8 average per catch as a World Champion Eagle


Hopeful, Eventual Dolphin Free Agent Returnees, (if positions are not addressed entirely via FA & Draft)

Safety Michael Thomas
Safety Walt Aikens
DLineman William Hayes
DLineman Terrance Fede
OT Sam Young
OG Jermon Bushrod
TE Anthony Fasano
RB Damian Williams
LS John Denney
K Cody Parkey


GOFINS!!!

Miami Dolphins Free Agency Fairy-Tale

Imagine the sound of silence,
or the faint chirp of a lonely cricket in the distance. NOT!

The 2018 season begins this week with the opening of Free Agency on March 14th.Teams can begin speaking to, and negotiating with NFL veteran free agents today the 12th while nothing heard can become official until Wednesday.

Miami's Dolphins are presently 3 plus million over the cap, so they arent epected to be much of a player, but it is expected that they will rearrange some things in order to get somewhere near 20 million in cap space by the 14th.

The Dolphins rival NY Jets have the most available money with 90 plus million in space, nearly 100 million more dollars than Miami. Just a few days ago (prior to a handful of trades), the Cleveland Browns had 115 million more dollars than the South Beach gang.

Therefore. Unlike many of the most recent 3 to 5 years, The Miami Dolphins will not win this years free agency period. Meanwhile, though it's been suggested that they've won those past off-seasons, it hasn't translated to the field (in most cases). So perhaps this forced upon new approach will lead to a different outcome?

This year like no other, the draft will have to be where Miami has to find great success. Though they may come up with enough space to purchase the rights to a few 4 to 5 million dollar veteran prospects. The direction taken come draft day will rely heavily on what other teams do via free agency at the QB position.

Miami needs a stud LB with the 11th pick of the draft. They also (should he be at 11) may have interest in a particular one of the top four draftee QB prospects? Those four are Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Sam Darnold.

The teams that may also be interested in said prospects includes the Browns with the number one pick of the draft. The Browns (who landed their veteran QB through a recent trade) are certain to grab a QB for the future in the draft with pick #1 or #4. Who that QB will be is uncertain, but none-the-less it will leave one fewer of the four QB prospects available for Miami to potentially choose from.

Should the Browns take the top RB Barkley with the first pick? They will not trade pick #4 as this QB class is too good to pass up on the future with a top 4 pick (for those without a star veteran in place).

The #2 picking Colts minus a Barkley could possibly find interest in a QB seeing that Andrew Luck (though on the road to recovery) hasn't played in nearly two years.

#3 Giants also like Barkley and may lean toward Eli Mannings eventual replacement, if Barkley is gone. Though new HC Pat Shurmur suggest that Eli has a few more good years in him. So maybe they go for a protector of Mr. Manning?

#4 Cleveland as suggested have already landed their veteran QB in Tyrod Taylor, and aren't likely to go after any of the FA QB's, but they will indeed grab a rookie QB with pick one or four. If they get their QB with #1, and Barkley is gone at #4? They then may consider trading this pick to a QB hungry Dolphins (who don't really have the ammo), Cardinals, Bills, or Vikings.

#5 Denver will be pursuing a top FA QB, and unless they land the only truly reliable starting FA QB (Kirk Cousins). They too will also be drafting a QB with this pick.

#6 NY Jets, (see Denver), same story.

#11 Miami doesnt at this very moment need a rookie QB for the 2018 season, but they sure could use one toward the future, especially if that one that they like has an IT about him and is available at pick 11.

Miami (if they intend on having an outside chance of landing a top four QB in this coming draft at pick 11)?
They will need Cousins to sign with Denver or the NY Jets, so that one of the two doesn't bother with a first round QB prospect. Whoever spends 25 plus million on Cousins as their future is not likely to pursue a rookie QB in the first round. That particular team will be far more likely to choose protecting their investment with a weapon, blocker, or even a defensive selection.

If one of the QB needy teams below land the one true starting quality FA QB Cousins, or trade up in the draft ahead of Miami's pick at 11? Ball game over for The Dolphins chances at a Mayfield, Allen, Rosen, or Darnold.

#15 Cardinals are a QB-less team at this moment and will be pursuing a FA QB. Depending on which FA QB they land, a first round QB draftee could also be on the agenda. Miami Dolphin fans will be watching the bottom-line ticker during FA while hoping not to see that Arizona, or Minnesota lands Cousins.

Same for Miami as far as it goes with the Bills who have a cow chip load of ammo to move up!! Though if they were to land Cousins, they'd need not trade into the top 10 for a QB draftee. But again. If Cousins goes to a team that picks after 11? At least 3 of the top 4 QB draftee's will be gone by pick six, let-alone by the time Miami's turn comes.

In order for Miami to have an opportunity at a top four QB with pick 11. It all revolves around where Kirk Cousins signs! If he signs with the Bronco's or (Jets preferably) who pick ahead of Miami, and the Cardinals, Bills, and Vikings don't find a way to pick before the Dolphins in the draft? A QB draftee prospect with an IT about him may potentially find his way to pick 11 and the Bakers heat of Miami.

Otherwise.
Miami will far more likely than not land an extremely desirable LB. Watch the bottom line ticker for where Kirk Cousins lands. When that signing becomes official the fate of Miami's ((target at pick at 11)) will be determined. Though they themselves may have a plan of their own to move up?

Of Four.
Cleveland takes one rookie QB.
Hope that Indy & NYG don't.
Broncos and Jets each take one which leaves possibly just one for Miami five picks later. Unless Denver or NYJ lands Cousins which could leave a choice of two QB draftee prospects for Miami at 11. If Cardinals, Bills, and Vikings don't get into the top ten picks!


Hmmmm?
While we were away.
It seems as though that lonely cricket chirping in the South Florida distance has lured a bunch of potential mates, and I've taken the liberty to name the suddenly noisy swarm induvidually.

So forget about all the QB-Stuff above,
but remember that over the next few days Kirk Cousins destination is what will decide Miami's positional target at pick 11 come draft day. (For Now)!!


Here are the names (with a brief synopsis) found to be potentially affordable mates for Your Miami Dolphins. Perhaps one, two, a few, or the likes of such can be gathered at the bottom of Miami's historied bug-zapper?


Line-Backer

4-3 ILB/OLB Anthony Hitchens 6-0, 235, (26) started 48 of 60 career games with Dallas

ILB Preston Brown 6-1, 251, (25) has 62 starts in 64 career games for Buffalo

4-3 LB Tahir Whitehead 6-2, 241, (27) started his last 31 Lions games played

4-3 OLB Nigel Bradham 6-2, 241, (28)  has started 56 consecutive games from 2014 - 2017


Slot-Receiver

Kendall Wright 5-10, 185, (28) has accrued 3858 yards, and 19 Touchdowns over his career

Taylor Gabrial 5-8, 165, (27) with a career 1819 yards with 8 TD's

Albert Wilson 5-9, 200, (26) totals are 1544 with 7 touchdowns

An old draftee favorite Tavon Austin may also hit the market

Personally, I have a good case for our own Jakeem Grant, so we're good minus one of the above!


Safety (some say that TJ McDonald could potentially play OLB) should Miami land a ball-hawking Safety. While we all know that one can never have too many DB's, especially in today's game of arial attack!

Tre Boston 6-1, 205, (25) had five 2017 interceptions in his one year prove it stint for the Chargers with 8 for his career and two touchdowns

Tavon Wilson 6-0, 212, (27) has 8 career interceptions with 3 coming along with 3 sacks in his last 23 starts


Tackle, Guard, Center

Justin Pugh 6-5, 311, (27) has 63 starts in 63 games played at tackle for NYG

Chris Hubbard 6-4, 295, (26) had 10 starts for Pittsburgh at Guard & Tackle in 2017

Senio Kelemele 6-3, 300, (27) has 17 starts at Guard for Saints over last 31 games

Weston Richburg 6-4, 300, (26) has 50 starts in 51 games played primarily as a Center for the NY Giants

Ryan Jensen 6-4, 319, (27) started 16 games at C & G for the Ravens in 2017


Tight-End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (((6-5, 262, 25))) has accrued 1070 yards over his short career with a 10.2 average per catch and 10 touchdowns. He's had some off the field issues with alcohol that have detoured his career, but those concerns are suggested to be history

Trey (initially the lone cricket) Burton 6-3, 235, (26) had 5 TD's in 2017 with just one start for a 10.8 average per catch as a World Champion Eagle


Hopeful, Eventual Dolphin Free Agent Returnees, (if positions are not addressed entirely via FA & Draft)

Safety Michael Thomas
DLineman William Hayes
DLineman Terrance Fede
OT Sam Young
OG Jermon Bushrod
TE Anthony Fasano
RB Damian Williams
LS John Denney
K Cody Parkey


GOFINS!!!


























Ignore Miami Dolphin Smokescreens – It’s Roquan Smith

G-day Shouters! Before our esteemed Kenny V delves into his Miami Dolphin centric draft analysis, I’d like to follow up on Miami’s defensive needs as I see them.

A previous article dissected how Miami’s lack of a potent weapon at TE affected the team’s ability to take advantage of opposing defenses. The same position had a disastrous effect on the Miami Dolphin defense. When thinking about the draft or free agent player acquisitions, in Miami…

It all revolves around the tight end.

Looking at some startling stats, I heard a Bill Parcells echo, “Stats are for losers!” Of course, Bill’s won a couple more Super Bowls than this average writer, so his words should not be taken for granted. Specific stats probably have little value in the big picture, but a distinct accumulation in a single area shows undeniable trends. It would be equally foolish not to heed the warning these tendencies indicate.

Adam Gase said something like, “people (PFF) do not know the defensive call or Kiko Alonso’s responsibility and should not criticize him on things they don’t know. He may be pursuing a guy he wasn’t specifically covering, but without knowing the call, they assume he missed the coverage.”

Those were not his exact words, but pretty close and for the most part, I agree. I don’t know the call, but what I do know is, TEs caught the ball, over, and over, and over again in the middle of the Miami defense.


Making such a statement tells us a couple things; no kudos were given for the defensive scheme, and the other linebackers on the team were not exonerated from responsibility.

On to the facts…

In 2017, ProFootballFocus graded Kiko Alonso as the No. 75 ranked LB in the NFL. Lawrence Timmons ranked 67th at his position and was Miami’s highest-graded LB. Miami ended the season shuffling a mixture of inexperienced players led by Chase Allen, Stephone Anthony and Mike Hull in and out of the line-up. This came after Rey Maualuga was arrested at a downtown Miami nightclub for brawling with bouncers in the wee hours before an early practice.

B-Bye Rey, hope those margaritas were de-lish!

The Dolphins allowed 94 catches by tight ends (most in the league) and 1034 receiving yards to tight ends (only Oakland – at 1038 – relinquished more). Opposing tight ends scored 10 touchdowns against the Dolphins, tied with Cleveland for second-most and behind only the Giants (13).

The six teams that allowed the most yards against tight ends (Raiders, Dolphins, Broncos, Redskins, Giants, and Texans) went a combined 31-65 and all missed the playoffs. Of the nine teams that allowed the most catches to tight ends, all but Buffalo had losing records.

For a sanity check, the three teams that gave up the fewest yards to tight ends (Saints, Panthers, and Vikings) went a combined 35-13…

We can backpedal a little and lament the injuries to Raekwon McMillian and Koa Misi, but honestly McMillian was a rookie and Misi was never very good in coverage.


McMillian will be a welcome addition when he returns, but there’s no telling the effects knee surgery will have on his career. The tendency to count on players returning to their previous form is a dangerous flirtation with the unknown. Misi’s injury appears to be career ending and Miami paid for services rendered in 2017, Misi will not return.

All of this means, Miami must make a concentrated effort to sure up the middle of the defense and find a player capable of covering tight ends. Defenses in the NFL are more diverse than ever.


Claiming to run a 3-4 or a 4-3 is simply a placeholder for player packages based on down and distance. Slot corner Bobby McCain played more snaps in 2017 (662) than every linebacker except Alonso (1008) and Timmons (792).

The relevance of the snap counts comes into play when an opposing offense presents a scheme with two wideouts, a slot receiver and a tight end.


Miami is in a mismatch...

If Miami cannot cover a TE with a LB than the safeties must become involved in the coverage. By moving the TE in motion across the formation, the coverage safety moves with him, or not, in either case the defense is exposed. Man coverage if the safety moves, and zone coverage if he does not.

Yes, that explanation was very rudimentary, but it was also very true…


The next time you yell at the TV wondering how that big ass TE got so open, remember what you just read.

This is kinda what Gase was talking about when he defended Alonso. In a zone defense, Kiko is responsible for an area of the field, not a specific player. The TE runs a shallow cross, a skinny post or uses a legal pick to create space and it looks like Alonso blew the coverage.

He didn’t blow the coverage, he’s just not good enough to play zone or man coverage against a decent TE.

Therefore, if Alonso is the defense’s best coverage LB, it’s a serious issue…

The amount of money Miami is willing to pay for defensive linemen clearly indicates where they expect the pass rush to come from. This also means with four primary DL, the five offensive linemen should be tied up, because if they don’t double team Mr. Suh, most plays are going to get wrecked.

The point is, Miami does not need bruising middle linebackers, like they would in a 3-4, who constantly take on OL. Miami needs athletic, almost hybrid type LBs, that can sneak around behind the huge line and are fleet enough to cover TEs and slippery slot receivers.

As Miami looks forward to fixing the issues detailed in the stats above, it starts at LB. Alonso is not as bad as PFF seems to think. Miami doesn’t pay PFF to use their stats as many other NFL teams do.


No one will come out and say it, so I will… PFF is a paid service and the teams that pay for the service have higher ranked players overall than teams that do not.

No other linebacker on the Miami Dolphins in 2017 should expect to be a starting player in 2018 based on their performance. Timmons and Misi will be gone. If McMillian returns to form and it’s highly likely he will, that leaves Allen, Hull and Anthony fighting for a single position and playing special teams.

Getting right down to it, the defense is really not that far away. It simply needs a true impact player at the linebacker position.

In the coming weeks, you will hear QB talk, Baker Mayfield this and Josh Rosen that… You will hear Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey debated on the offensive line. Calvin Ridley will be thrown in to replace Jarvis Landry. Tremaine Edmunds will soon be the rage. Before it’s done, Derwin Jones will be the player destined to save the Miami defense.

Fa-Get-About-It!!! It’s all a smokescreen…

Roquan Smith is the player you will not hear a peep about from Miami. I’ll leave you with one quote…

“Roquan Smith is an ascending linebacker prospect with elite athletic ability, plus intelligence and an ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs.”

Draft Value is QB for the Miami Dolphins

The first NFL draft was held in 1936 and had 9 rounds. As the sport grew in popularity, the draft followed, expanding to 20 rounds in 1939, then 30 rounds in 1943. Teams began investing in scouting departments, which actually reduced the draft to 17 rounds in 1967. In 1977, drafting as one unified league, the NFL reduced the number of rounds to 12. Finally, in 1994 the current 7 round draft format was adopted and has remained.

The reduction in draft rounds over the years is a direct result of the massive influx of information. In 1936, teams found players from reading newspaper articles and hearsay. Today, the draft has become a season of its own with seemingly more experts than players available!

With only seven rounds, there are unlimited opportunities in the undrafted free agent market, but as scouting has evolved players outside the draft rarely survive long in the NFL.

For this reason, the idea of positional draft value has enabled some NFL teams to acquire more picks. For instance, from 2006 to 2016 over an 11 year span, the New England Patriots had 101 draft picks. An extra two draft picks every season. Over the same period of time, the Miami Dolphins drafted 83 players, just over the allotted 7 players per season. New England drafted 18 more players than the Miami Dolphins.

How does this happen?

The rich get richer by understanding positional draft value… A QB is worth more than a Center.

New England picked Jimmy Garoppolo in the second-round of the 2014 draft with Tom Brady at QB. They got 3 years out of Garoppolo and then acquired a higher 2nd round pick in trade. The thing is, they did not need Garoppolo because they already had Ryan Mallett, drafted in the third round of 2011. They knew the value of the position and drafted Garoppolo anyway. At the right moment, they traded Mallett for a seventh-round pick. That could seem like a small gain, but they got a few years with Mallett as a backup and then a draft pick.

Every draft pick is an opportunity…

Three years and then additional picks over and over again because unlike a guard, a QB has lasting value. Matt Cassel was picked in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft. After three years, the Patriots obtained a second-round draft choice and veteran leader, linebacker Mike Vrabel. There is no adulation here for the Patriots or Bill Belichick, these examples are to prove the point.

BPA is not the same for every position on a draft board. A QB is worth more than a tackle.

There’s a saying in these parts, “keep drafting a quarterback until you get it right.”

The rich can’t get richer unless they’re already rich!

A team must have a great QB before a backup QB has any value. This is why every team in the top echelon of the NFL has a great QB. It can’t be a maybe he’s good, it can’t be a possibility he’s good and he can’t be potentially good… The QB must be great otherwise the back-up has less value.

There is little value in Garoppolo or Mallett or Cassel if Tom Brady is not great…

The question in Miami then is simple, is Ryan Tannehill great?

The answer is emphatically NO!

Miami cannot join the rich at getting richer because they’re not rich!

Drafting into the riches comes once every season, but like most common folk who never strike gold, Miami does not understand positional value. The Dolphins still believe Ryan Tannehill can be great long after greatness would have shown itself. Along the way, they have not even invested in another opportunity. Meanwhile, a team with a great QB, New England, continues to enrich itself at the value position every season and reaps the benefits.

It doesn’t matter if the evaluator is a Tannehill fan or a hater, the question has little do with the Tannehill at all when taken in the proper context.

Is Ryan Tannehill great?

It’s doubtful many would answer yes to that question… “Keep drafting a quarterback until you get it right,” and then draft more because the value is undeniable. It even reflects in the current Super Bowl champions. The Eagles are relatively new in “QB value-stream economics” but look what they’ve done. They made every maneuver possible to jump up in the 2016 draft to obtain Carson Wentz. They saw the value and boldly snatched it up.

To make sure they had an adequate backup, they acquired Nick Foles. When Wentz went down (remember when Brady got hurt) and Foles subsequently finished the season as the Super Bowl MVP, the Eagles joined the club of riches. Whether they are shrewd enough to get the value out of Foles will determine how long they reign amongst the rich.

What is the point of this article?

In a year where there is exceptional QB talent in the draft, the Miami Dolphins have a chance to make the right decision and draft one. As hopefully described above, how we think about Ryan Tannehill does not matter, more is always better!

The mistaken belief of every mediocre team in the NFL is that they are a couple of players away from contention with an average QB. Nick Foles won, it was the Eagles defense, like the Ravens or Bucs before them.

NOT!!!

With perhaps a single exception, only the teams with historically great QBs have maintained sustained success. The Miami Dolphins must invest heavily in the NFL value position or they will always be looking up in envy at the rich guys…

Keep drafting a quarterback until you get it right!

Analyzing Miami Dolphin Positional Draft Strategy

The NFL off-season is sometimes more enjoyable for fans from the 31 teams not basking in Super Bowl glory. For long suffering fan bases like the Miami Dolphins, it is truly fantasy football time. The debates ring, Ryan Tannehill regains his franchise QB form. The road to the Lombardi Trophy is paved in draft pick euphoria. Any attempt at moderation or heaven forbid, negativity, is like slugging your red-headed step sister in the face and stealing her ice-cream.

The term “Best Player Available” or BPA for draftnicks, becomes common vernacular this time of year. In the case of the Miami Dolphins, Mike Tannenbaum and his staff will attempt to fill their fantasy roster with starters across the board. Entering the draft with a starting lineup is sound thinking, because “stretching” or “reaching” for a specific position often leads to draft failure.

Attempts at logic are fraught with trepidation, but here comes some mildly Dolphin centric philosophy that might make sense or probably not!

BPA is not linear across a positional draft board…

What???

Define please!

The best player available is not the same for all positions, meaning, some positions have more value or are harder to find. This is obvious when discussing the QB position, it’s perhaps the most pivotal position in team sports. A QB is worth a lot more than a guard, there’s the simple logic. What’s not simple is when this idea is spread out across the remaining positions on a football team.


This
discussion will start on the offensive side and the defense will be added later…

Try doing this exercise on the offensive side of the ball, rank the positions in terms of greatest importance. It would probably go something like, QB, LT, WR-1, RB-1, C, WR-2, TE, RB-2, RT, RG, LG. Variations on the list of importance are system based, a running team may place the guard higher than a passing team or put the running back in front of a wide receiver.

In this scenario the BPA could be a guard, but the position is not as high in the value ranking. A QB ranking lower in talent, could actually be the BPA over the guard because his value ranking is so much higher.


The point is, BPA is not linear across a positional draft board…

Wait! The greatest conundrum in NFL draft history has not been solved, there are more vital exercises. Remember also, this is based on a Miami Dolphin history the writer is well acclimated with, other teams may produce different results. Take the offensive side of the ball and now rank the position in order of how hard it is for your team to find a great player at that position. QB, TE, LG, RG, LT, C, WR-1, RT, RB-1, RB-2, WR-2.

Notice how the list has morphed, the QB is still on the high value side, but now the TE and guards have shifted over to the value side, while the “skill positions” have devalued. Excluding the QB, this could be construed as success based, meaning Miami is good at selecting (acquiring) certain positions, while not very good at acquiring others. Again, these values are Miami based and will be different for other teams.

Now a third list must be added based on how many good players are available at any given positon regardless of a team’s ability to draft them. This list would place value on the hardest positions to find for any NFL team. The hardest position would have the most value. QB, TE, LT, C, WR-1, RT, RB-1, RB-2, WR-2, LG, RG.

So finally, a number value can be placed on these lists from 11 being the highest value to 1 being the lowest. Add the three values together for each position and Miami’s BPA value chart would look like this. QB, LT, TE, C, WR-1, RB-1, RT, RG, LG, WR-2, RB-2. Using first round picks, Miami hasn’t done poorly based on position, QB, LT, WR and C were picked in recent, still relevant drafts. What stands out somewhat is a couple value mistakes.

What cannot be seen by just the positions on the list, is the drop off of value after the top five positions. After WR-1, the last six positions add up to only 72 of 198 total points. RB-1, RT, RG, LG, WR-2, RB-2 are basically positions that do not have as much value on the draft board as QB, LT, TE, C, WR-1. Drafting a RT early is not wise, this is one of the lowest value positions. Not drafting a TE is also an outlier because in Miami’s case, it’s a high value position.

What’s the point of all this mumbo jumbo?


There’s a reason why RTs, guards, RBs and WRs have dropped off many team’s list of first round picks. They’re easy to find either in FA or later in the draft because the positions have a larger pool of available talent. On the other hand QB, TE or LT are difficult to find because these positions require exceptional talents.

Notice how Don Shula and Bill Belichick always draft(ed) a QB every year. When drafting a tackle, they will always draft a LT and move him to RT or guard if required. In the case of Belichick, he will draft multiple TEs because he understands the value of the position in the modern NFL. These picks are always swayed by the bird in the hand theory. A great TE on the team is better than two in the draft!

This is why BPA is complete nonsense. Any team that picks a right tackle because he is the proverbial BPA does not have their statistics in order. For a right tackle to be the BPA he must be exceptionally better than any QB, LT, TE, C, WR-1 in the draft.


This is also why teams that draft in the middle of the draft, more often draft marginal players. At this point in the draft, the exception talent at the value positions has been picked over and teams are left with the BPA at devalued positions.

For your homework! It would interesting to see what your offensive three lists would look like. We’ll do defense later and put together a complete list.

List 1 – The offensive positions of great overall value.
List 2 – The offensive positions Miami picks well.
List 3 – The offensive positions that are the hardest to find.

Place your list in the comments section and I will compile and let’s see what happens.

Have fun Shouters!!!

Mike Tannenbaum is on a Short Leash in Miami

As the Miami Dolphin 1st round draft mistakes pile up, contract disparities will force the team’s best players into the free agent market. Jarvis Landry is not alone, players like Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller and Rishard Mathews and many others, had to find their way out of Miami to cash in on their talent. The refusal to admit draft mistakes and to make solid first round selections is catching up to the Miami Dolphins.

Jarvis Landry is one of the larger questions looming this offseason. The decision whether to re-sign or let some other team pay his pricey contract demands has ramifications throughout the Dolphin roster. DeVante Parker’s underwhelming performance has again exposed Miami’s complete incompetence in evaluating 1st round talent.

The passing scheme of - Landry as a short yardage monster in the slot; Kenny Stills as the homerun hitter keeping secondary’s honest; Parker as the big target that can win contested throws in critical situations, was a tantalizing thought. Coaching and building off of these players was undoubtedly Adam Gase’s long term vision, but Parker has not developed.

As a first round pick, Miami intended Parker to be a beast. Highly drafted receivers better perform, because as Landry and Mathews have shown, even Miami can draft really good receivers in lower rounds. Mike Tannenbaum certainly does not want to admit he made a mistake with Parker. The Parker Pick came prior to Adam Gase, there’s no telling what Miami would have done differently with Gase’s input.

Many players on the Miami roster have out-performed their draft status, but DeVante Parker is the one making 1st round money. Every team has examples of first round busts, but Miami is in a class by itself. These mistakes are routine and rarely, if ever corrected. Landry should have been signed last year when his price point was much lower. Mike Tannenbaum did nothing and has allowed the situation to simmer to the point where Miami will likely lose one of the team’s best players.

Miami brass decided Jay Cutler was more important than surviving with Matt Moore and paying Jarvis Landry. It turns out they could not have been more wrong. It almost seemed Jay Cutler was Adam Gase’s knee jerk reaction to losing Ryan Tannehill. It was an irrational decision that a good General Manager would have avoided. It will now cost Miami the best wide receiver the team has drafted in years.

It starts with the belief that Parker would finally become the first round beast Tannenbaum thought he drafted. By projecting Parker as a true number one receiver, Jarvis Landry became expendable. It was another poor personnel decision that hasn’t panned out. Miami is still waiting on Parker to develop, while losing Jarvis Landry is a perfect example of managerial ineffectiveness. The Landry situation reeks of Miami’s personnel department being unwilling to admit mistakes.

Ryan Tannehill, 1st round pick, seven years into his career and Miami still does not know whether he’s a true franchise quarterback. DeVante Parker, 1st round pick 4 years into his NFL career and we still don’t know if he’ll ever dominate at the wide receiver position. Ja’Wuan James, 1st round pick 5 years into his NFL career and Miami will likely not pick up his 5th year option and let him go. Dion Jordan, 1st round pick…

Miami drafts pretty good players, such as Landry and Vernon in later rounds, but pays 1st round busts longer than they should and consequently loses these good players. Charles Clay is better than any tight end on the Miami roster, yet the Dolphins let him walk when they should have paid him. These are just examples, and if nothing changes, Miami fans will be looking at mediocrity until Mike Tannenbaum is finally exposed and fired.

Admittedly, there’s still some Jeff Ireland stench in the building, but Tannenbaum has not been able to land a decent first round pick in four tries. How much time does he get Boss Ross? Will Miami fire another coach who is straddled with these inept 1st round busts before the light comes on?

Mediocrity is the worst draft position for a team in the NFL. Bad teams get high draft picks and have a better chance at picking can’t miss players. Great teams draft later, after the talented, but questionable players have been picked by teams like Miami. The Dolphins are constantly picking in the middle of the 1st round where all the busts seem to lurk. Yet in Miami, the mediocrity is blamed on coaches.

The information is available for those who follow the draft. Tannehill had all the tangibles, arm strength, size, great character, athletic, smart, but he was there at the 8th pick because his team lost a lot of close games and he had very limited experience. Truth is, Tannehill would have been there a lot longer had Miami not prematurely pulled the trigger. Tannehill is just good enough to get his coaches fired, unfortunately, the Dolphins are still trying to find a coach that can teach him how to win.

Miami was unprepared for the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft and consequently did not do the diligence needed before picking Dion Jordan. These two picks are on Jeff Ireland and Dion Jordan certainly led to Ireland’s demise in Miami. Tannenbaum is exonerated from these picks and perhaps they were so poor Boss Ross thinks Tannenbaum has done better with his marginal first round picks.

With Tannenbaum as a consultant in 2014, Miami picked Ja’Wuan James at number 19 smack in the middle of the mediocrity zone. James was a right tackle at Tennessee. The pick was suspect immediately because NFL teams don’t pick right tackles in the first round. This is absolutely no fault of James, he is what he is, a right tackle. If he was really good at Tennessee he would have played left tackle.

It’s perplexing that Tannenbaum could not come up with a better option. Miami picked a right tackle from a marginal Tennessee team with the 19th pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Every team in that draft must have chuckled, even Cleveland had to wonder about this ridiculously cautious use of a 1st round pick. This was 2nd round or later talent that Miami paid 1st round money. Since the last collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap floor is 95% league wide. The personnel department is a place with is no salary cap and yet the Dolphins could not evaluate talent any better than this?

The 95% salary floor means Boss Ross is not being generous with free agent money, it means he has to spend this money. If Ross was really interesting in making the Dolphins relevant again he would be spending money paying the best talent evaluators in a department that has no salary cap. Any talk of Ross being generous is bogus, he’s spending money he has to spend on players, while the team is obviously lagging behind in the personnel department.

Now the Landry situation comes full circle back to DeVante Parker… Miami picked Parker 14th, smack in the middle of the mediocrity zone. Parker has one year left on his rookie deal before Miami will have to pick up his 5th year option. It certainly seems Miami is not going to pay Jarvis Landry, leaving a huge void in an already imperfect offense that will now depend on Parker. This is not moving forward, this is moving backward and the reason is simple, horrendous first round picks over the last 6 years.

What is obvious from the outside, is the ego-driven mess going on inside. Landry is better than Tannehill, Jordan, James, Parker, Tunsil and Harris, yet Miami is going to let him walk and keep the first round ineptitude. Do they actually think the locker room does not notice? Is there a separation in the  building? Is Tannenbaum completely disconnected, telling Boss Ross these picks will someday pan out and they should play hard ball with their best player?

The precedent and example Tannenbaum will leave on this locker room by not paying Jarvis Landry will destroy any good Adam Gase will ever do. The players will know, this team is not based on meritocracy, it is based on draft status. Landry is better than the last six first round picks, has been playing much better football for much less money than DeVante Parker. Letting him go will prove Mike Tannenbaum has no clue how to run a football team.

Mike Tannenbaum has one chance to clear the air.

Re-sign Jarvis Landry…