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I probably could have thrown the TE's in with the WRs, but it's a long offseason, so on to the short section on tightends.
As of right now, the Dolphins have 3 main tight ends, Charles Clay, Dion Sims and Arthur Lynch.
He is still on the roster, but how long will he be on the roster, weeks or years. It's any ones guess right now, but the fact they haven't signed him yet makes you wonder how commited they are to Clay. As a tight end/H-back he creates mismatches in the passing game, he used also create mismatches in the blocking game, but not on the positive side. Clays has got better at blocking but will never be an inline blocker, he does enough to keep the other guy honest though, he will probably get a pretty big payday, will the Dolphins get in the mix?
Sims is the Dolphins traditional style tightend, a large inline blocking tightend that can also go out for some catches. A 4th round pick in 2013, Sims seemed to start getting comfortable around midseason of 2014, playing much more confidently and consistently down the stretch. Sims is a pretty good athlete so there is still room for growth as a receiving weapon. Dion Sims seems to have a long solid NFL career ahead of him.
Lynch is still a project, and is another more traditional style tightend. A 5th round pick in last years draft, he's a big kid who needs to get better in sevearl areas before he starts seeing more play time, and because he is a 5th round pick from last year he'll get at least one more year here to prove he's worth holding onto.
An undrafted free agent last year, Gator seemed to show a good deal of promise but was waived in Dec, will he be picked back up this offseason? There are also a couple of fringe prospects on the roster, no one of any note at this point, which makes me wonder about Hoskins rejoining the mix.
Plenty of questions surounding the tightend position, it all centers around one question though, will the Dolphins resign Charles Clay?
If they do, then there is no imediate need at the position, solid #1 and #2 tightends of different talents, and decent prospects/projects behind them. If they don't, what will the Dolphins plan be, to
A) Go with what they have because they have reason to belive that one or two of the prospects is going to take a step, or just simple cap reasons.
B) Draft one high.
C) Go after a mid to high priced FA.
or D) Go after a couple of under the radar FAs that you feel will thrive in your offense. It's anyones guess at this point.
As the process moves forward towards the 2015 NFL Draft, another major part of the process begins this Thursday with the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. This is a big event for the fortunate college kids that are invited, but it not the end of the world for the kids that were not invited to the combine. NFL teams will have individual workouts and the colleges will have Pro Days that scouts and management personnel will attend.
The Miami Dolphins continue their grind as well, looking at hundreds of possible prospect that will be narrowed down to a group of talented kids that Miami will target via the draft and or undrafted free agents. One area where Miami could look to address via the draft is running back, specifically, a big running back.
While Miami could possibly look to bring home San Francisco RB Frank Gore back home, but Gore has stated that he would like to re-sign with the 49ers. The Dolphins have stated they will not likely look to bring back Knowshown Moreno, and the rest of the free agents running back class does not really do a lot to excite you either. Ryan Matthews, Mark Ingram & Ben Tate lead the running back class. DeMarco Murray is without a doubt the top free agent running back, but Murray is looking to get PAID, Adrian Peterson type of paid. I doubt that he get's that type of money due to his injury history and coming off the 1st year where he did not miss any games this year and having a great year. But he will get more than the Dolphins will want to pay, especially when they have a nice running back in Lamar Miller.
That is why I think Miami could possibly look to go via the draft, because for one, you can get a running back in the draft for a cheaper cost and for a longer period of time. And a young man that I think could be a possible surprise pick at #14 is Georgia RB Todd Gurley.
The only reason he is not a sure fire top 15-20 pick is because he tore his ACL against Auburn back in November. That said, he is that big back that Miami covets, and Gurley is a complete back. He can run inside, has the speed to get the corner and take it to the house and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. He also is a very dangerous kickoff return man as well.
His career numbers are 510 carries for 3,285 yards, which is a 6.4 yard per carry to go with 36 touchdowns. He also had 65 catches for 615 yards and 6 touchdowns. He had 222, 165 and 123 carries in his career while at Georgia, so besides the knee injury that has to be checked to see how he is progressing, there is not a lot of wear and tear on this young running back.
If his knee is progressing well in his rehab, he could be that big running back that the Dolphins could rotate with Miller and give the Dolphins another weapon to add to the team. I bought it up with Mark, aka swerve a few weeks ago and I saw recently that the Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly bought up the possibility as well. Something to keep an eye on.
Come back and joins us at Phinfever next Sunday, as I will reveal my 1st NFL Mock Draft.