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There is one final leg of talent aquisition in the NFL, and that is the Supplemental NFL Draft, which takes place on July 9th. 7 college players will be part of the draft, Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, West Georgia edge rusher Darrius Caldwell, Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, Connecticut tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short, West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and North Carolina Central wideout and returner Adrian Wilkins.
Of that group, Isaiah Battle is the only player viewed as a surefire selection, as there is always needs for a raw, but talented OLT with his size, quickness and frame. He would be the 1st player drafted since Cleveland invested a 2nd round pick in Baylor WR Josh Gordon in 2012. At 6'7, 290 lbs, he would be a kid that could be bought in and looked at at a OLT of the future for some team, possibly even Miami, as this is probably the only kid the Dolphins could have an interest in possibly along with the West Georgia duo of DT Dalvon Stuckey and DE/OLB Darrius Caldwell.
That said, any time you have kids going via the Supplemental Draft, there most of the times are issues or baggage that you have to be concerned about, and that is the case with Battle. This is part of the story from CBSSports NFLDraftScout.com. a site I like to use a great deal when I prepare for the NFL Draft. Here are some quotes from their story, specifically on Battle.
"Before investing a draft pick, teams will, of course, want to investigate Battle closely. In a statement on Clemson's official athletic website Battle cited family obligations as a reason for his pursuing the NFL early. Battle has also failed several drug tests at Clemson, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.
Physically speaking, however, Battle's combination of height, arm length and easy mobility will certainly intrigue the NFL. He is still pretty raw, showing only average functional strength at this time and too often bending at the waist rather than at the knees, which leaves him vulnerable to the bull rush and counters back to the inside. His size and athleticism, however, could make him a match for a zone-blocking team. Given the season-ending ACL tear suffered this spring by left tackle Ryan Clady, the Denver Broncos could be interested. The Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks are also thought to be potentially interested."
Miami and 13 other teams did also attend the Pro Day of West Georgia DT Dalvon Stuckey and teammate DE Darrius Caldwell, who could be looked at in the late round as possible considerations. Caldwell had 18.5 tackles for lost and 12 sacks with West Georgia, but probably would be considered a tweener, as he is 6'5, 238 lbs. Does he have the quickness to play at an OLB along with the footwork? Stuckey has very nice size at 6'4, 300 lbs, and showed some flashes of being a playmaker inside. He had 40 tackles, 9 for loss and 4 sacks along with 3 forced fumbles.
The one thing to remember about the Supplementat Draft is that if you do take a player, you LOSE that pick in whatever round you selected the player in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Dolphins have not selected a player in the Supplemental Draft since Nick Saban choose DT Manny Wright out of Southern Cal in 2005. I would be surprised if the Dolphins went this route again, but never say never.
SAY "NO" TO EVAN MATHIS
The Dolphins have done a poor job of drafting offensive linemen after the first round, so, we fans are desperate to get Dallas Thomas off the field. Let's not forget that last year's 3rd round pick, Billy Turner had a difficult transition in his rookie season and is projected as the guard on the other side of the line. The jury is out on Turner and there have been positive reports on him so far (remember the pads are still off), but we know what we have in Thomas and he is not starting material (or possibly even back up material).
Enter the fact that many fans wanted the Dolphins to trade for Eagles OG Evan Mathis, and that he just was released by Eagles. Why? He is 33 and wants a better contract. He's the 2nd rated guard in the NFL and he wants to be paid that way. He's caused a lot of friction at Philadelphia over it and the very impatient Chip Kelly had enough of him.
Why should we not go after him hard? Suh. Next year his salary is going to take a big chunk of our salary cap and that does not leave a lot of room for multi-year financial commitments. Evan Mathis is looking for a 3 year, $6-7 million contract and that my friend makes it not feasible to wreck our 2016 season. Unless we can sign anyone to a 1 year contract, we are financially unable to do this. We wanted Suh and that's the breaks of getting someone with his level of talent. We have to do a much better job of drafting offensive linemen after the first round.
Does Dallas Thomas Have Some Dirt on Philbin?
I've been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out why the Dolphins give OG Dallas Thomas so many opportunities to start for the Dolphins. I understand that we have little depth at the position, but It has to be that he works hard trying to succeed. Heck, I'd work hard, too, but you don't want me to protect Tannehill.
Barry Jackson posted this during the first week of OTAs:
Lazor on Dallas Thomas, who has been getting first-team reps at left guard: “I saw improvement as the season went on from the preseason through the season and I expect nothing less because Dallas has been busting his butt. I think everyone is going to be happy with the direction he’s going. Certainly we’re all rooting for him.”
TANNEHILL BETTER THAN CAM NEWTON?
Any Tannehill haters that are still gnashing their teeth over the Dolphins signing Ryan Tannehill to that long term contract extension should take a look at what the Panthers just paid Cam Newton. I'll let Peter King give his thoughts on it here ....
I think you also can’t blame the Panthers for overpaying for Newton. What choice did they have? Quarterbacks are rare in the NFL, even average ones. A team that’s been to the playoffs two straight years can’t plan to let its mid-20-year-old signal-caller leave soon via free agency. The only way to prevent that is to make him one of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the game. That’s simply what an adequate NFL quarterback costs. Newton’s contract is not a testament to Newton—it’s a testament to the price of his position. It was the same with Ryan Tannehill, who got a new deal shortly before Newton did. (And by the way, Tannehill, who has improved each year in his career, is a much better player and long-term prospect than his Carolina counterpart).
What? What?? While I will agree with some of the "haters" in that Tannehill has not willed his teams to victories late in the season as Andrew Luck does, I will also point out that the offensive line has been terrible for Tannehill. He is mentally tough and has a nice short to medium pass, but the only deep passes that he has been able to throw consistently have been to anyone but our deep threat. Keep in mind that Tannehill's contract was a very smart "prove me" contract that he was willing to sign. He wants to be great and he puts the hard work to get in to get it done. We are all hoping that he takes the next step in his development. Unfortunately I expect another "hurried" season from Tannehill as the offensive line still needs a lot of work at the guard positions.
As "Finster" noted on our forum ...
The contract that Tanne signed is an ultimatum contract, he's got 2 years to prove he's worth the big money, it's the most team friendly QB contract your ever going to see, and the Fins have clearly drawn a line in the sand, the 5th league day of 2017, that's the day that 17,5 mil of the 45 mil in guaranteed money kicks in.
While I do not believe the Dolphins drew any line in the sand, I expect Tannehill to more than show that he is a franchise quarterback. The next Dan Marino? Don't be ridiculous. Guys like Dan the Man only come along once in a lifetime. That is why Danny is in the HOF.
LANDRY VS BECKHAM
The former teammates and best of friends square off on December 14th. Alex Marvez had this to say ...
“I talked to Jarvis Landry about this. He said that before the Dolphins play the Giants on Monday Night Football in December that he and Odell Beckham are putting on some type of receiving show during pregame warm ups. Each will try to one-up the other. They’ve been talking about trying to do something really special, really cool, without hurting themselves obviously,” Marvez said.
After being drafted last year, Landry told reporters that he is the "reliable one". Jarvis Landry is off to show people that he isn't just a slot receiver, but can line up on the outside. The good thing is that this allows Greg Jennings to take the slot at times, and this makes the passing offense even more dangerous if Landry can pull this off. All reports on Landry are that he is impressing in camp making one-handed catches, and looking very good in Red Zone drills.
On a side note, WR Rishard Matthews has stepped up during DeVante Parker's absense. "He was all over the field and made several nice grabs, certainly taking advantage of the extra reps. Matthews asked to be traded earlier this year after the Dolphins added several new receivers but he has been in attendance for all the voluntary workouts open to the media and is proving his worth each and every day."