May 13, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Miami Dolphins

#70 Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

Miami Dolphins
Division: AFC East | Last Season Record: 8-8

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: Two words... offensive line. Ryan Tannehill was the NFL's most sacked quarterback this past season. They signed Brandon Albert, but they needed to find a starting right tackle, and a starting guard in this draft.

Targeting a pass catcher early to make Ryan Tannehill's job either would have also been a good idea. Maybe adding another running back too.

They should have targeted a linebacker to "push" Dannell Ellerbe and/or Philip Wheeler. They could have also added another defensive back for depth purposes.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

19. (19) Ja'Wuan James, OT
Experience: Senior | School: Tennessee
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 311 lbs.

Round 2

31. (63) Jarvis Landry*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Louisiana State
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 196 lbs.

Round 3

3. (67) Billy Turner, OG
Experience: Senior | School: North Dakota State
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 314 lbs.

Round 4

25. (125) Walt Aikens, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Liberty
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 203 lbs.

Round 5

15. (155) Arthur Lynch, TE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Georgia
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 256 lbs.

31. (171) Jordan Tripp, OLB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Montana
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 235 lbs.

Round 6

14. (190) Matt Hazel, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Coastal Carolina
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 203 lbs.

Round 7

19. (234) Terrence Fede, DE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Marist
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 276 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

Jordan Tripp, OLB (Round 5, Pick 31)
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Montana
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 235 lbs.

Analysis: Jordan Tripp was not supposed to last until the end of the third round. The value was too good to pass up, and I'm glad the Dolphins recognized it. I think Tripp can start at any of the three linebacker spots.

Most Questionable Pick:

Ja'Wuan James, OT (Round 1, Pick 19)
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Tennessee
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 311 lbs.

Analysis: This may have been the biggest reach of round one. Yes, James projects as a pretty decent starting right tackle, but he was a third round pick at best in my opinion.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Anthony Johnson*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Louisiana State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 311 lbs.

Analysis: Maybe it was due to inconsistency. Maybe it was due to a failed drug test at the combine. Either way, Anthony Johnson could be yet another UDFA steal. He's a day 2 talent. I think he ends up making the 53-man roster.

Other Free Agent Signings

Brock Jensen, QB, North Dakota State
Demetrius Wright, S, Southern California
Gator Hoskins, FB, Marshall
David Hurd, OT, Arkanasas
Shayon Green, DL, Miami
Trevor Mims, DE, USF
Evan Finkenberg, OL, Arizona State
Deion Belue, CB, Alabama
Garrison Smith, DT, Georgia
Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State
Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma
Ryan Lankford, WR, Illinois
Tariq Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
Steven Clarke, CB, Vanderbilt
Marcus Thompson, OLB, Rutgers
Anthony Fera, K, Texas

Draft Review:

Analysis: Though I did not like the Ja'Wuan James pick in the first round, it's a good sign that the Dolphins front office recognized how important protecting Ryan Tannehill is.

In the second round, they got a good football player in Jarvis Landry. As expected, he didn't test well at the combine, but it wasn't too long ago when draftniks were claiming that Landry was the best receiver at LSU.

I had Billy Turner as a 5th rounder, so I wasn't as high on him as most. They already have the tackle position solidified, so Turner likely kicks inside to guard and starts in the best case scenario.

Walt Aikens provides decent depth at corner, while Arthur Lynch was a good value pick in the 5th round. He should compliment H-Back Charles Clay well.

Jordan Tripp was one of the steals of day 3. He's so versatile. I think he's an immediate starter, and a potential upgrade at outside linebacker.

6th round pick Matt Hazel could, and should stick as a decent slot receiver. Terrence Fede out of Marist had 13 sacks in his senior season. Another solid depth guy.

The Verdict: I didn't love Miami's draft. Almost every player they drafted was a reach in one way or another. The few major needs they did have, they addressed, but they just didn't get enough value. The only pick I loved was Jordan Tripp in the 5th round. Every other pick was "meh".

Overall Grade: C-