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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The 1st week of Free Agency has come and gone, and to say it has been very active and eventful for the Dolphins would be an understatement. The Dolphins started off the week by signing the #1 free agent this year, DT Ndamukong Suh. A few days later, the Dolphins add nickel/slot CB Brice McCain and then add talented TE Jordan Cameron. At this moment, the Dolphins are working to bring back TE Charles Clay, who they put the Transition Tag on. They are in a battle with the Buffalo Bills to retain Clay, and hopefully we should know something in the next day or so.
Miami was also very busy making moves via the trade route. Miami was able to get LB Darnell Ellerbe and his contract off the books by trading him to the New Orleans Saints along with a 3rd round pick for WR Kenny Stills. Stills is a very talented young wide receiver with great speed and play making ability. He had supposedly fell out of favor in New Orleans with one Drew Brees, but then again, the Saints have said EVERYBODY is available on their roster with the exception of QB Drew Brees and WR Brandin Cooks. And the Saints proved that by trading away All-Pro TE Jimmy Graham to Seattle, in one of the bigger trades stunners on Wednesday.
On Friday, the Dolphins traded away WR Mike Wallace and a 7th round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a 5th round pick. It had been known that the Dolphins were not happy with what happened at the end of the season with Wallace pulling himself out of the game against the Jets. Apparently, there were some additional issues with the coaching staff, and it became apparent by mid week that Wallace future with the Dolphins was up in the air for the 2015 season. The trade for Stills made the move to trade Wallace a more realistic matter, and it came together on Friday with the Vikings.
The moves made by the Dolphins in regards to cutting players and trading players has allowed the Dolphins to open up 20.8 million dollars in salary cap space according to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel. If the Dolphins were not to re-sign TE Charles Clay, that number goes up to 27.8 million. We know Miami is not finished in free agency yet, and we are about to get to the 2nd phase of free agency.
The Dolphins still need to look to add a cornerback, an offensive guard, a safety and perhaps a veteran wide receiver and depth at OT via free agency, or perhaps the Dolphins may look to address some of these needs via the draft. There was some talk that the Dolphins had been in talks with Phialdelphia about their veteran OG, Evan Mathis, coming off of 2 very solid years for the Eagles. The concerns are that Mathis will soon be 34 years old, and he missed 7 games in 2014. He is ROCK SOLID though, and adding a veteran OG to this young group would really solidify this offensive line and bring veteran leadership. A possible veteran WR to look at is Greg Jennings, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings. Once the Vikings traded for Wallace, the decided to part ways with Jennings. He does not have that speed he once had, but he is a solid route runner, still good after the catch and HC Joe Philbin is familar with Jennings from his days with Green Bay.
My thoughts are that the Dolphins will look to add a WR via the draft, regardless of bring in a veteran WR or not. I also believe the Dolphins will look to bring in a LB via the draft, and a couple of names to keep in mind is ILB Eric Kendricks of UCLA, ILB Denzel Perryman of Miami and ILB Stephone Anthony of Clemson. Kendricks could possibly sneak into the 1st round and would be a consideration if Miami were to look to trade down. Perryman and Anthony are 2nd round consideration, and the Dolphins have spoke with both recently, as they had both Anthony and Clemson teammate Vic Beasley at the Davie complex.
Some names to look at for Miami in the 1st round at WR are WR DeVante Parker of Louisville, a young man that the Dolphins have had at the Davie complex. WR Armani Cooper of Alabama is high on Miami list as well as WR Jaelen Strong of Arizona State. The big thing the Dolphins are looking for in their wide receivers are guys that are good after the catch, the YAC guys. The 3 receivers mentioned fit the bill of what the Dolphins want. Matthew Cannata of Phinmaniacs.com believes the Dolphins are interested in trading up to get Cooper. Time will tell, but I do feel comfortable in saying I think the Dolphins will look to go wide receiver EARLY.
A couple of wildcard names to consider in the 1st round would be SS Landon Collins of Alabama. Some question if he can play FS, but he is by FAR the best safety in this group. One thing that is a concern is the fact that I have read that DC Kevin Coyle's defensive schemes are VERY complex. They can be very difficult for a 1st year player to pick up. Another name to look at is OT La'el Collins of LSU. Some may not be happy to see the possiblity of another OL taken in the 1st round, but Miami has got to solidify the OG position. Collins had a very good combine and has the ability to be an OLT or ORT, but he has also play at OLG as well, and Miami could look to do what Dallas did with Notre Dame All-American ORT Zach Martin, moved him inside to OG.
We still have plenty of time in free agency for the Dolphins to look to fill holes. As they do, the draft falls more and more into focus.