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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Miami traded back into the 3rd round to add Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo. The Dolphins gave up a 3rd & 4th round pick in the 2017 Draft and a 6th round pick in the 2016 Draft. Leonte is a big, physical WR that was very productive in his career at Rutgers, with a big catch radius and big play ability, as he averaged over 20 yards per catch his last 2 years.
The Dolphins lost WR Rashad Matthews to the Titans via free agency, and I knew the Dolphins had interest in Leonte as they had a private workout with him and he visited Davie as well.
Here is the summary from NFL.Com.
Despite the fact he was losing his quarterback of eight years in Gary Nova (they played together at Don Bosco Prep, as well) for his senior year, Carroo decided to stay in college for one more year. The honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2014 (1,068 receiving yards, 19.7 yards per catch, 10 touchdowns) didnt have quite as much success as a senior (39-809, 10 touchdowns), mostly because a high-ankle sprain and suspension for an assault arrest (the charges for which were dropped by the female victim) kept Carroo from maximizing his productivity. Despite these issues, he earned third-team All-Big Ten accolades from league media due to his playmaking ability.
Has desired NFL size. Targeted by his quarterbacks at a high rate over last three seasons and was up to the challenge. Consistently productive. Averaged over 20 yards per catch over last two seasons and 31 of his 122 catches went for 25-plus yards. Finished with 29 touchdowns over three seasons. Strong ball tracker who can adjust to off-target deep balls and run under them. Can sell cornerback on the vertical route and then break it off suddenly while working back to the throw. Natural, reliable hands catcher who snatches the ball away from his body. Able to make contested catches. Uses plus balance and footwork to accelerate out of his breaks and create separation. Improved his release against press coverage by varying approaches and improving initial footwork. Gets upfield immediately after the catch and has size to finish with an extra yard or two tacked on. Played in scheme that required him to be a willing and competitive run blocker. Team captain. Willing to play with pain. Missed two games due to high ankle sprain, but came back early and played hurt over final three games of the season.
His gaudy yards per catch numbers are a function of Rutgers play-action passing attack more than his speed deep. Rarely outruns cornerbacks and struggles to get over the top and stack them. Is a little too upright into his routes and hip stiffness limits ability to run sharp out-breaking and in-breaking routes. Has had his struggles against physical, press-man cover men with length. Was completely ineffective and nearly shut out in 2014 against Michigan States Trae Waynes. Scouts have concerns regarding Carroo's personal character and reliability. Suspended two games for his role in a simple assault charge involving a domestic dispute and missed the first half of the first game after being suspended for missing curfew.
Rounds 2 or 3
Consistently productive receiver with good size but pedestrian long speed. While Carroo benefited from Rutgers' offensive system, he was still producing at a high level despite the attention that was paid to him. Carroo will need to continue to sharpen his route running in order to improve his separation on the next level, but his size, hands and ability to block in the running game could land him in the middle rounds with a chance to become an eventual starter.
ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **
After Miami let RB Lamar Miller go via free agency to the Houston Texans, they have been trying to fill that void. They missed out on C.J Anderson and Chris Johnson in free agency. Tonight, they filled that void with versatile RB Kenyan Drake of Alabama.
The knock on Drake has been health, as he suffered a broken leg in 2014, and fractured his arm in 2015. But he made it back and was instrumental in Alabama winning the National Championship, as he had a kickoff return for a touchdown against Clemson in the National Championship game. Explosive speed, better inside runner than given credit for and is very good in the passing game, something vital to an Adam Gase offense.
Here is the summary from NFL.Com
Drake's explosiveness as an all-purpose weapon is somewhat tempered by his injury history. He suffered a broken leg against Ole Miss in 2014, and then fractured his right arm trying to make a tackle on special teams this fall. Drake did return a couple of weeks after that injury, however, and flashed his slashing style (averaged six yards a carry for his career). He also provides good hands out of the backfield (12.5 yards per reception). He showed in the national championship game he can be a threat as a kickoff returner, taking one back 95 yards for a crucial score. A healthy Drake could be a great find in the mid-to-late rounds.
Can be exhausting watching him because feet never stop moving -- ever. Able to elude defenders. Features second gear to burst through line and can string together moves in open field. Will press line of scrimmage effectively to set up his blocks. Legs keep churning through contact. Willing to aggressively finish runs. Will gain more yards post-contact than expected. Very quick feet with the lateral agility to escape from heavy traffic and bounce it outside. Used at times as slot receiver and has ability to be effective pass-catcher in pros. Was kick returner, blocked a punt and made several tackles while playing special teams at Alabama.
Can be almost too frenetic. Mind seems to be racing with ball in his hands and he will show a lack of patience at times. Responds to what is in front of him rather than anticipating what is coming. Inconsistent hands with five drops to 44 catches during his career. Can get too dancey when asked to play downhill. Tendency to cut runs toward sideline rather than back into middle of the field. Change-of-pace runner without a go-to value. Suffered broken leg in 2014 and broken arm in 2015.
"He's a player who you have to have a plan for because he's not an every-down back and he's too lean to be in around the goal line. I see him as a third down back with special teams qualities and those guys get drafted in the fifth or later." -- NFC West scout
Drake became the forgotten running back with Derrick Henry's Heisman-winning season, but he has good size, quick feet and can catch the football. Drake's draft stock could depend on whether or not teams envision him as a quality backup who could become part of a committee approach. Drake's physical traits and special-teams ability could make him a good value selection early in the third day (Rounds 4-7).
ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **
One of the biggest, if not the biggest need for the Miami Dolphins going into this draft was cornerback. Miami traded up from #42 to #38 with the Baltimore Ravens to take Baylor CB Xavien Howard. The Dolphins gave up their 4th round pick to make the move up to selct Howard.
New DC Vance Joseph likes bigger CB that can play press coverage, and Xavien fits the bill at 6'0, 201 lbs, . Shout out to my fellow Phinfever Draft Guru Mark Grimm, as he had Howard mocked to Miami in his last mock draft. The Dolphins had a private workout with Howard and their interest in the young man was apparent.
Below is the summary from
After two years of watching the Baylor defense from the sidelines, Howard was enough of a playmaker as a sophomore and junior that he left early for the NFL. He redshirted in 2012, and then had five tackles as a reserve cornerback and special teamer the following year. Howard worked his way onto the field as a sophomore and never left, starting all 26 games over the past two seasons. He used his NFL-sized frame to make 93 tackles as well as led the team in interceptions (four in 2014, five in 2015) and pass breakups (13, 10) in both years, twice garnering honorable mention All-Big 12 notice from league coaches.
40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds
Vertical: 38 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 5 inches
3-cone: 6.94 seconds
Has feet to impede and crowd receivers from press. Short-area accelerator to chase and close on slants and crossers. Has hips that swivel open for easy turn-and-run ability. Asked to be an island corner all game long. Confidence level soared in 2015. Instinctive with ball skills that are undeniable. Uses well-timed head turn to find ball and react. Scrapes, claws, scratches, clubs and tears and the catch point to disrupt. Has 32 passes defensed, including nine interceptions, over last two years. Big and physical in coverage.
Quicker than fast with questionable long speed. Handsy and panics when he thinks he might get beat. Mauls like a bear downfield rather than trusting his technique. Has 14 pass interference and 5 holding penalties against him over last two seasons. Speed tends to diminish when turning to find the ball. Will lose feel for receivers at break point. Allowed seven touchdowns in 2014. Not a "get downhill and attack" run defender and stays glued to blocked.
Rounds 2 or 3
"I love his 'see ball, get ball' attitude. I thought he would run a 4.47 at the combine, so I'll go back and double check the tape, but we value ball skills over speed so my grade won't change based on his 40." -- AFC East scout
Howard's feast or famine playing style makes for very uneven tape and teams will have to weigh his ball production against his pass interference issues. Howard has the size and short area quickness to operate from press coverage, but might need safety help his way while he is weaned from his grabby, collegiate style of coverage. Howard has starter's potential, but must improve his technique and step up his run support to be successful in the league. NFL.Com.
ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **