At the request of GBN reader ED it’s time to take a look at the DOLPHINS Draft effort. Names have changed a bit at the top of the Miami pecking order but rest assured that the major voices are now MIKE TANNENBAUM & ADAM GASE.
Round 1 LAREMY TUNSIL/OT/OLE MISS 6’5/310 5.00/40 10″H/34 1/4″A
With a great degree of Soap Opera fanfare the DOLPHINS took the gamble on greatness and selected TUNSIL to hopefully solve their LT problems for the next 7-10 years. Technically speaking this is a great get at the Pick. There is no questioning TUNSIL’s ability and athleticism, but there is also no mistaking his lack of maturity and his decision making challenges. He needs to get in better condition and live in the weight room, rather than recreating with his posse. Let’s hope the DOLPHINS can TUNSIL from becoming best buds with existing problem child DION JORDAN. This pick feels scary to me, which will be most unfortunate if this mega-talent flames out.
Pick # 13 GBN Rank: 2 Ourlads Rank: 8 PP Rank: 1
Round 2 XAVIEN HOWARD/CB/BAYLOR 6’0/201 4.56/40 31 1/4″A/9 1/2″H
The knock on HOWARD is his 40-time, but most teams felt he improved that number enough at his Pro Day to assuage those concerns. He has nice size and good ball awareness. In 2015 he had 5 INT & 10 PBU to his credit. More than a few folks feel he has a lot of RICHARD SHERMAN to his game, which would suit the DOLPHINS brass real well. In recent years MIami has tried to make a go of things with undersized guys in the CB position. Overall, they have been OK in that mode, but this is a clear indication that size does matter and they are ready to go in that direction. He could win a starting job as a Rookie if Camp goes well.
Pick # 38 GBN Rank: 88 Ourlads Rank: 54 PP Rank: 50
Round 3 KENYAN DRAKE/RB/ALABAMA 6’0/210 4.38/40 31 3/4″A/9 3/4″H
The team is scrambling to replace LAMAR MILLER and DRAKE is likely to be one of the key pieces in doing so. His speed was elite for RB at the Combine,especially fill sized ones. CHances are he’ll be part of a 3-back rotation and given his soft hands he may be the long yardage, later down guy. I would expect he’ll also get some turns as a Kick Returner. He showed some unsettling propensity for brittle bones in college, and the Dolphins can only hope it’s just a run of bad luck. I thought the 3rd Round was right about where he should be drafted.
Pick # 73 GBN Rank: 96 Ourlads Rank: 82 PP Rank: 94
Round 3 LEONTE’ CAROO/WR/RUTGERS 5’11/217 4.49/40 9 5/8″H/31″A
CAROO has a serious chance to be a better pro player than he was as a collegian. The Rutgers QB position was greatly challenged during his career there, and he was by far their best receiver. He has very soft hands and snatches the ball well away from his body. In fact stats indicate that he had the lowest drop rate in D1 last season, at 4%. The DOLPHINS have a solid receiving corps of talented young players right now and CAROO should round out the unit nicely. He was a team captain at Rutgers, and can take the top off of a secondary.
Pick # 86 GBN Rank: 91 Ourlads Rank: 111 PP Rank: 76
Round 6 JAKEM GRANT/WR/RS/TEXAS TECH 5’6/165 4.30/40
This little guy is dynamite in a bottle. He may be the fastest/quickest combination guy in the Draft class. He is explosive and elusive. The catch will be finding just the right amount of potential touches each week to allow him to make some big plays, without getting broken in half. I watched him in several TECH games last season and he runs wild at times. Finding him and then tackling him can be quite a challenge for defenders. They do not have a guy like this on their roster presently, so why not give him a try, even though most experts had him unranked and undraftable. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Pick # 186 GBN Rank: RR/346+ Ourlads Rank: NR/300+ PP Rank: nr/300+
Round 6 JORDAN LUCAS/S/PENN STATE 6’0/201 4.55/40
LUCAS was not a highly regarded player coming into the Draft season. But clearly someone in he Dolphins organization saw something to work with and he got himself drafted. He has decent size, OK speed and played a lot of football in Happy Valley. Clearly his biggest initial value would be on Special Teams for them. But perhaps lightning can strike twice for a Penn State S. Last year ADRIAN AMOS, was not exactly a hot prospect, Round 5, yet the BEARS drafted him and he was an adequate Rookie starter for them by season’s end. The DOLPHINS do not look extra talented or deep in their S corp so he will surely get the chance to show he belongs.
Pick # 204 GBN Rank: 191 Ourlads Rank: 300+ PP Rank: NR/300+
Round 7 BRANDON DOUGHTY/QB/W. KENTUCKY 6’3/213 5.18/40 9 1/4″H/31 7/8″A
This might be a clear indication that the team is hoping for a developmental QB on their roster and the reality is that their coaches don’t see much on the roster behind TANNEHILL right now. DOUGHTY led a high powered Offense at WKU and improved his numbers every year. As a senior he threw for 48 TD and only 9 INT in 2015. He needs to bulk up a bit and learn to take snaps under Center, but he has a solid arm and seems to have natural QB instincts. He’s a classic pocket passer, and cannot offer a running option. If GASE is truly unimpressed with THOMAS/DYSERT as his young back-ups then DOUGHTY gives him a decent project to work with. Might have enough going for him to be a decent career NFL back-up.
Pick # 223 GBN Rank: 242 Ourlads Rank: 225 PP Rank: 257
Round 7 THOMAS DUARTE/TE/UCLA 6’2/231 4.71/40 10″H/33″A
The DOLPHINS don’t have a true FB on their roster, so looking at his size I would surmise they will try to beef him up a bit and he’ll see most of his opportunities to play as an H-B, if he can improve his blocking a bit. He might line-up best in the slot, especially in the Red Zone. His height is a limitation for him as a true TE, but he might grow into multiple roles. His hand size and arm length are attractive for the pro game. He’ll have to make a Training Camp mark on Special Teams… of course.
Pick # 231 GBN Rank: 171 Ourlads Rank: 234 PP Rank: 285
It’s not a blockbuster Draft, but if they can turn TUNSIL into the potential that his size and athleticism point to, then he’ll make their effort a success. If he’s another problem guy like DION JORDAN, then this could fry TANNENBAUM’s golden boy image with Owner Stephen Ross. Good luck guys.
PS If you have a favorite team you want me to profile then send me a note like ED did. We aim to please.