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2014 Dolphins Draft Picks
With the 2014 NFL Draft about a month away, let's take a look at how I think the 2014 NFL Draft could possibly play out. A lot will change over the next few weeks, so my mock will change as well. Today, I will give my 1st 16 picks of the NFL Draft.
1) Houston - QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida - John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is pretty plugged in to what the Texans look to do, and he thinks the pick will be Bortles. They certainly have a need at the position with former starting QB Matt Schaub having been traded to Oakland. South Carolina uber talented DE Jadeveon Clowney is also a major consideration, and I would not be surprised if he is the pick. That said, new HC Bill O'Brien is knows as a QB guru, and Bortles fits the mode of QB he likes.
2) St. Louis - Greg Robinson, OLT, Auburn - OLT Jake Long tore his ACL in December, and there is a major question of his availabilty for the Rams for the 2014 season. This is also the 3rd straight season that Long has suffered a serious injury. With QB Sam Bradford coming off a torn ACL, protecting his blindside is crucial.
3) Jacksonville - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina - HC Gus Bradley is a defensive minded coach, and the Jaguars were last in the NFL in sacks with 31. The Jaguars have a need at QB, as 2011 1st round pick and disappointment Blaine Gabbert was traded to San Francisco, leaving Chad Henne as the starting QB. With that said, I believe Clowney is the pick.
4) Cleveland - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson - This is another team that could very well go quarterback, but they have very little talent at the skill positions as well, as WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron are the only legitimate playmakers. Watkins has the hands, size and speed you want at the wide receiver position. He and Gordon would give the Browns a potent duo.
5) Oakland - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M - The Raiders have a need at QB even with the trade for QB Matt Schaub. Manziel is not your prototypical quarterback from a size standpoint, but he is a playmaker, and the Raiders OL is very much a work in progress, so his mobility could be a plus for him.
6) Atlanta Falcons - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo - Atlanta could easily go OLT here, and Texas A & M OLT Jake Matthews has to be a prime consideration as well. But like the Jaguars, the Falcons have struggled generating a consistent pass rush, and Mack ranks very high on a lot of boards.
7) Tampa Bay - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A & M - Tampa Bay just traded the talented but troubled Mike Williams to Buffalo. While they have Vincent Jackson on one side, the Bucs have little else. They could go OL here as well and I have seen Michigan OLT Taylor Lewan mocked here as well.
8) Minnesota - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville - The Christian Ponder experiment has been a failure, and the clock is winding down on THE Elite RB in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. The Vikings have to address the QB position. Bridgewater has been considered the most NFL ready QB, and I am not going to let a sub-par Pro Day showing deter my thoughts on Bridgewater.
9) Buffalo - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina - The Bills just traded for talented but troubled WR Mike Williams of Tampa Bay. The Bills are looking to add a playmaker, and Ebron is considered to be THE top TE in the 2014 NFL Draft. Ebron has the ability to be a threat down the seams of a defense and can makes plays after the catch. He is a work in progress as a blocker.
10) Detroit - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama - Detroit lost S Louis Delmas to Miami, and Dix can be that player to come in and fill an immediate need for the Lions. Dix along with Louisville S Calvin Pryor are considered the top safaties in this draft.
11) Tennessee - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State - The Titans just lost All Pro cornerback Alterraun Verner to Tampa Bay. Gilbert is a talented cover corner and a very good punt and kickoff returner as well. He fills an immediate need for the Titans.
12) New York Giants - Jake Matthews, OLT, Texas A & M - The Giants are coming off a season of struggles from their offense. A lot of those problems can be traced to the offensive line. Matthews is certainly considered one of the top 2 offensive lineman in this draft, along with Auburn OLT Greg Robinson.
13) St. Louis - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville - With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix off the board, the Rams select Pryor to add to the secondary. Big, aggressive and a big hitter.
14) Chicago - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh - The Bears defensive line has taken and hit with DT Henry Melton off to Dallas and DE Julius Peppers cut and signing with rival Green Bay. The Bears add the explosive Donald to help rebuild their defensive front.
15) Pittsburgh - Taylor Lewan, OLT, Michigan - The Steelers offensive line has been an area of concerns for years. Lewan would be an immediate upgrade at the OLT position.
16) Dallas - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State - Dallas defense was a disaster in 2013. They also have lost DE DeMarcus Ware to Denver and DT Jason Hatcher to Washington. The Cowboys have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball, and they start up from with Jernigan.
Join me next week as I will give the last 16 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft.
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|
|2||43||Johnthan Banks||CB||Mississippi State|
|3||73||Mike Glennon||QB||North Carolina State|
|4||126||William Gholston||DE||Michigan State|
|6||189||Mike James||RB||Miami (Fla.)|
|2012 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|1||31||Doug Martin||RB||Boise State|
|5||140||Najee Goode||LB||West Virginia|
|6||174||Keith Tandy||CB||West Virginia|
|7||212||Michael Smith||RB||Utah State|
|2011 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|7||222||Anthony Gaitor||DB||Florida International|
|2010 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|6||172||Brent Bowden||P||Virginia Tech|
|7||210||Cody Grimm||FS||Virginia Tech|
|7||217||Dekoda Watson||OLB||Florida State|
|2009 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|1||17||Josh Freeman||QB||Kansas State|
|7||217||E.J. Biggers||CB||Western Michigan|
|7||233||Sammie Stroughter||WR||Oregon State|
|2008 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2||58||Dexter Jackson||WR||Appalachian State|
|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|
|2||64||Sabby Piscitelli||SAF||Oregon State|
|3||68||Quincy Black||LB||New Mexico|
|5||141||Greg Peterson||DT||North Carolina Central|
|6||182||Adam Hayward||LB||Portland State|
|7||214||Chris Denman||T||Fresno State|
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.