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So far in the early stages of Miami new GM Dennis Hickey regime, I have liked what I have seen from Hickey.  He has come in and made it a point to communicate with HC Joe Philbin and his staff in regards to players, something that it is apparent that he and former GM Jeff Ireland did not seem to do as much as was needed.  He has embraced Dawn Aponte, Vice President of Football Administration, something that was very key if Miami had any hopes of having a cohesive, working front office.

 

We will not know until the season begins in regards to free agency and how the Dolphins did, but my initial thoughts are that Miami has done a very solid job of addressing needs while doing a solid job of being signing most of these players to team friendly deals.  You knew signing OLT Brandon Albert was going to be a deal that who ever signed him was going to overpay, but OLT is a premium postion and a dire position of need for the Dolphins.  Some have questioned the money that the Dolphins gave to CB Courtnland Finnegan as well, but in my opinion and others as well, Finnegan is a upgrade over Nolan Carroll, who signed with Philadelphia.  If the Dolphins get the player that played for the Titans and his first year with St. Louis, then the Dolphins have a steal.

 

DT Earl Mitchel, OG Shelley Smith, DT Randy Starks, FS Louis Delmas, RB Knowwhon Moreno and CB Brent Grimes all signed deals that are good deals for the Dolphins, and should leave them in good position in regards to the cap.

 

While free agency still continues, the next key stage for the Dolphins and the rest of the teams in the NFL is the 2014 NFL Draft in May.  And in doing research on Hickey in his time with Tampa Bay, it is apparent that Hickey and the Buccaneers have a preference for prospects that have played for BCS schools.  A large majority of the kids draft by Tampa Bay came from BCS schools, with a few exceptions.

 

Here is a look at the Tampa Bay drafts over the last 7 years.

 

2013 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
2 43 Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
3 73 Mike Glennon QB North Carolina State
4 100 Akeem Spence DT Illinois
4 126 William Gholston DE Michigan State
5 147 Steven Means DE Buffalo
6 189 Mike James RB Miami (Fla.)
2012 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 7 Mark Barron DB Alabama
1 31 Doug Martin RB Boise State
2 58 Lavonte David LB Nebraska
5 140 Najee Goode LB West Virginia
6 174 Keith Tandy CB West Virginia
7 212 Michael Smith RB Utah State
7 233 Drake Dunsmore TE Northwestern
2011 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 20 Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
2 51 Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson
3 84 Mason Foster LB Washington
4 104 Luke Stocker TE Tennessee
5 151 Ahmad Black DB Florida
6 187 Allen Bradford RB USC
7 222 Anthony Gaitor DB Florida International
7 238 Daniel Hardy TE Idaho
2010 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 3 Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
2 35 Brian Price DT UCLA
2 39 Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
3 67 Myron Lewis DB Vanderbilt
4 101 Mike Williams WR Syracuse
6 172 Brent Bowden P Virginia Tech
7 210 Cody Grimm FS Virginia Tech
7 217 Dekoda Watson OLB Florida State
7 253 Erik Lorig FB Stanford
2009 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 17 Josh Freeman QB Kansas State
3 81 Roy Miller DT Texas
4 117 Kyle Moore DE USC
5 155 Xavier Fulton T Illinois
7 217 E.J. Biggers CB Western Michigan
7 233 Sammie Stroughter WR Oregon State
2008 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 20 Aqib Talib CB Kansas
2 58 Dexter Jackson WR Appalachian State
3 83 Jeremy Zuttah G Rutgers
4 115 Dre Moore DT Maryland
5 160 Josh Johnson QB San Diego
6 175 Geno Hayes OLB Florida State
7 238 Cory Boyd RB South Carolina
2007 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 4 Gaines Adams DE Clemson
2 35 Arron Sears G Tennessee
2 64 Sabby Piscitelli SAF Oregon State
3 68 Quincy Black LB New Mexico
4 106 Tanard Jackson FS Syracuse
5 141 Greg Peterson DT North Carolina Central
6 182 Adam Hayward LB Portland State
7 214 Chris Denman T Fresno State
7 245 Marcus Hamilton CB Virginia
7 246 Kenneth Darby RB Alabama

 

I think it safe to say that you can count on the majority of the prospects the Dolphins draft will be from BCS schools, with a few exceptions, and one of those could be the young man I am about to discuss and is a prospect to keep an eye on.

 

Dri Archer of Kent State, 5'8, 175 lbs, is a very explosive football player, a game changer.  As a RB/KR for Kent State, Archer was the main weapon for the Golden Flashes.  When I say explosive, I mean big play, he get's a step on you gone type of explosive.  Archer ran a 4.26 40 at the combine, only .2 tenth off of Tennessee Chris Johnson record time of 4.24.  And unlike some prospects that come in and run a fast time at the combine, but don't play at those timed speeds, Archer plays at his time.  He is a legitimate, big play guy, and his versatility reminds me of  Philadelphia RB Darren Sproles.

 

Archer rushed for career numbers 325 carries for 2,342 yards, which is a 7.2 yards per carry with 24 touchdowns.  He also had 99 career catches for 1,194 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Also, a lethal kickoff return man, Archer had 51 returns at 28.2 yards per return and 4 kickoff returns for touchdowns.  Here is a youtube clip on Archer and you can see his big play ability and explosiveness.

 

In my last mock draft I had for Miami, I had Archer to the Dolphins in the 5th round, but Archer is a prime candidate to be drafted higher than he is pegged because of his big play ability.  Miami has shown a good bit of interest in Archer as has the Bengals, and in my next mock draft, Archer will be moving up.  How high up, I am not quite sure of yet, but Miami is interested.  They had interst in former Chicago Bear and now Atlanta Falcon Devin Hester.  Archer can be what Hester was in the return game and more for Miami.

 

 

 

 

 

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