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Week 4: Dolphins at Raiders
My first thoughts on any draft are like everyone elses: "Who are we going to draft first". Last year, Miami jumped up to the number 3 spot to grab Dion Jordan. and everyone's jaw hit the floor. A year later, Jordan still hasn't cracked the starting lineup. As a matter of fact, none of the top 4 picks has really made an impact. You have to drop down to Jenkins in round 5 before you find a guy who actually made a contribution (Jordan made a contribution too but where he was drafted he should've been an impact player). Sturgis beat out Carpenter only to have a so-so season at kicker. The biggest impact came from Don Jones, the last pick. He became a special teams demon.
So what is on tap for 2014? No one really knows but one guy I have my eye on is Johnny Manziel. Why? He's got all the attributes that cause teams to shy away. For starters he's only 5-11. He is the same height as Drew Brees so maybe teams won't be so leary but he certainly doesn't fill out what the NFL desires in pro signal callers. 6-4 to 6-7, 220+ with a laser guided cannon for an arm. What Johnny possesses is a Doug Flutie like pocket presence and a never say die attitude. Those things landed Flutie in Canada. Manziel will likely get a shot and has first round talent. My guess is he's going to drop like a rock and will likely be there when Miami Picks. Will they take him? Doubtful. Ryan Tannehill who does fit that NFL model of the prototypical QB didn't exactly have a bad season last year and should continue to get better. The intriguing part to me: Do you pass on a guy like Manziel if he's there?
Question number 2 in this draft? Well that would be whether Miami will be so focused on team weaknesses, they ignore BPA? There are still gigantic holes in the OL. The word on the street is they're shopping Wallace. I guess the bottom line, last season blew up the OL in the middle of its supposed playoff run. with the departure of one more starter and another still in FA, they have one guy who *might return for them. Center Mike Pouncey. I used the word might because Pouncey is under investigation. So if they're not focused on OL in the draft, maybe they should be.
What all this turmoil has done to me is destroy any expectations going into 2014. I believe RT is talented enough to win 8 games...if he can stay healthy. The OL got him brutalized last season. The last thing Miami needs is David Carr II on their hands. The OL needs to be fixed at any expense. The interesting part in the off-season is how will they do that. They got Branden Albert and Shelley Smith in FA which should solidify one side of the line, but we all saw where half a line took the team down the stretch last year. Look for Miami to avoid BPA and focus heavily on the big, nasties in the trenches. I going to wager no less than 2 will be drafted.