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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Even with the 2016 NFL Draft ending yesterday, the acqusition of talent to add to the roster continued while the draft was going on and immediately after the draft ended. The following players were added after the draft ended.
Lafayette Pitts, CB, Pittsburgh, 5'11, 195 lbs
Marshall Koehn, P, Iowa, 6'0, 200 lbs
Tyler Gray, OLB, Boise State, 6'3, 238 lbs
Akil Blount, ILB, 6'2, 243 lbs. Akil is the son of Hall of Famer Mel Blount
Rueben Carter, OG, Toledo, 6'3, 305 lbs. Started his career at Florida State
Brandon Shippen, WR, Temple, 5'11, 195 lbs
AJ Hendy, S, Maryland, 6'1, 207 lbs
Gabe Hughes, TE, Florida Tech, 6'4, 240 lbs
Rashawn Scott, WR, Miami, 6'2, 205 lbs
Farrington Huguenin, DE, Kentucky, 6'4, 282 lbs
James Burgess, OLB, Louisville, 5'11, 227 lbs
Ryan DiSalvo, LS, San Jose State, 6'4, 253 lbs
The 2016 NFL Draft has come and gone, and as usual, teams will leave feeling good about what they accomplished, and Miami is no different. Time will tell how well the teams drafted. Teams tend to attack the draft the same, some will attack it in a different manner. It's apparent that Miami went into the draft looking to attack the offensive side of the field, with 6 of the 8 picks being on the offensive side.
Any time you have a new Head Coach, they want to come in and change the culture of an organization, and while it will not happen in one year, you begin to lay the ground work in Year 1. Adam Gase has come in and is attempting to change the culture of the Miami Dolphins. One change that you saw was how the Dolphins looked at players, as they drafted very scheme specific players.
One example of that was the drafting of CB Xavien Howard, the CB out of Baylor. DC Vance Joseph, who will also coach the defensive backs, wants cornerbacks that are physical, bump and run players that can also play off coverage as well. He wants bigger cornerbacks, and Howard fits at 6'0, 201 lbs. The Dolphins traded up 4 spots to get him in the 2nd round, and some question the wisdom of this move, as it cost them a 4th round pick, but the Dolphins identified Howard as their guy and did not want to lose him. Now, I do believe losing that 4th round pick probably cost them Clemson ILB B.J Goodson, a kid they brought in to Miami for a private workout. This is probably a lesson that will stick with new GM Chris Grier going into the 2017 Draft.
Switching back to the offensive side of the ball, Adam Gase is a coach that believes in creating mismatches, and the players that were drafted will help create those mismatches. One example of this is RB Kenyan Drake of Alabama. He is an ideal fit for a coach that wants to use RB by committee, and he also is tremendously versatile and explosive. In the passing game, he is good enough that you can swing him out and line him up as a WR, which means you will likely have a LB or safety swinging out to cover him. WR Leonte Carroo, TE Thomas Duarte, WR/KR Jakeem Grant all can be matchup nightmares for a defense.
Some have raised the question of Miami doing more on the defensive side of the ball, as I mentioned earlier, they only drafted the 2 cornerbacks. It has been reported that Miami would have taken UCLA OLB Myles Jack at #13, but no one could see Ole Miss OLT Laremy Tunsil dropping the way he did. Once it became apparent that Tunsil would indeed be there at #13, Miami grabbed the best OLT and Top 3 player in the draft. Miami desperately wanted to move up to get Jack in the 2nd round, and thought they had put together a strong enough package to get it done, but in the end, the Jaguars offered more and Miami missed out on Jack. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that 4th round pick that was used to trade up to get Howard probably would have been used on Clemson ILB B.J Goodson. I do also know from reading reports from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the Dolphins look at CB Byron Maxwell and ILB Kiko Alonso, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia earlier this year as part of this draft class.
I do believe that the Dolphins will add Detroit DE Jason Jones, as they had been in talks with him heading into the draft, and recently, it was reported that the Dolphins will also look to sign CB Leon Hall, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals. Adding those players would help bolster the additional signings in free agency of DE Mario Williams and DE Andre Branch, S Abdul-Quddus Isa among others that were added.
Another concern raised was the trading of future picks in the 2017 Draft. The one thing that I had read and believe the Dolphins took into account when making those moves was the fact that Miami is expecting to get a 3rd, 5th and 7th round compensatory picks in 2017. That said, I am want that likes having as many picks as possible, so while they will probably have their full allotment of picks in 2017, I am always one that wants MORE PICKS.
Overall, I thought Miami added talent on this team that will help them move forward and help them establish a new identity, a new culture for an organization that badly needs a change in culture. Miami took chances on kids, very talented kids, as GM Chris Grier refered to the kids, Alphas. How well did the Dolphins do? Let's talk in a couple of years.