It’s been a long time friends, and the last Ask Mike probably had some scathing words for our team after they decided that our divisional foes from NY and NJ were just far too good for us to compete with. So, all we had to look forward to until we start banging heads again was the draft. I had some high hopes now that Ireland was dismissed, and Dennis Hickey took over after working in the shadows in Tampa Bay. Who knew that I would barely be able to distinguish whether it was Hickey or Ireland who made the picks! OK, on to the questions . . . . .
Q – Squeal! The draft is over. It took so long to reach it and it ended so quickly.
I know you aren’t overly excited about the results. I particularly thought day 3 was unimpressive.
What do you think of the offseason in terms of addressing the OL?
There aren’t a lot or people that would not call the OL the weakest link last season.
I feel like we successfully reinvented the OL and not much else about the team. Do you agree?
I think we did a great job of adding talent to our O-line. I was all over the Ja’Wuan James pick, and actually called that pick on our draft board. Ja’Wuan James was the OT most ready to come in and start day 1 at RT, and that’s exactly what we needed. By adding Branden Albert in free agency to play LT, that now meant that both perimeters and the C spot were taken care of. We brought in G Shelley Smith from the Rams in free agency, and we drafted OG/OT Dallas Thomas last year in the 3rd RD. Hickey continued to work on the O-line with a surprise trade up move in the early 3rd RD to get OT/OG Billy Turner from North Dakota St. So far a 1st RD pick, #19, and now a 3rd RD pick, #67, just 4 picks after we selected WR Jarvis Landry at #63.
Here’s my problem with this. I think we have a lot of guys on this blog that watch a lot of college ball, and also study the players to find matches for our team. Not saying that anyone here is a scout, but I’m telling you that not once did I hear anyone say Jarvis Landry before the draft. He was rated as the 11th best WR prospect by NFL.com and the 12th best by NFLDraftscout, 10th by Walter Football, 12th by Draftcountdown. Draftsite doesn’t have rankings, but called Landry “A reach in the 2nd RD”. Keep in mind, had we not traded back from pick #50, WR’s Davante Adams (GB #53), Cody Lattimer (DEN #56), and Allen Robinson (#61 JAX) were all available, and universally ranked higher than Landry. The 2 trade backs had netted us (2) 4th RD picks, and (2) 5th RD picks. Also keep in mind that WR Donte Moncrief was still available, and wasn’t drafted by the Colts until pick #90. So we trade back twice, miss on Adams, Lattimer and Robinson, and then take Landry at #63. Then 4 spots later take Billy Turner. Hickey should have taken Billy Turner at #63, and Landry would still be available at pick #81 (Our original pick in the 3rd RD). Very questionable there. I know, you’re all going to say that Landry was the guy he wanted all along, and therein lies the rub.
It seemed clear to me that Hickey was targeting TE Jace Amaro. When the Jets took Amaro, we immediately bailed out of the #50 pick, because he was the guy we wanted. Good move picking up that extra pick! Bad move to squander the picks though and take a guy who likely would have been available at your next pick, and force yourself to trade up to the OT you wanted FOUR PICKS LATER! Just take Turner at #63!
from Bill (Phindog)
Q – Mike E.
What is your opinion on Arthur Lynch ?
Ha! I’m thrilled to add Dion Sims II, albeit the white Dion Sims to the Miami Dolphins. I always say, you can never add enough slow TE’s your roster who can’t catch. After all, this isn’t a passing league, where you want a TE that can outrun a LB or S, we want a guy who can blaze 5 yards upfield as Tannehill is already on his 3rd target in his progression, and let him check off to the big TE, only to have it bounce off his hands. Oh well, he was a 5th RD pick Mike E, whaddaya expect???? I don’t expect much TBH, despite David’s protestations that he’s a complete TE and all that stuff. Despite Tim lauding the pick, but forgetting it’s not 1975, and everyone else who defend it.
Point is, how many freaking times are we going to wait for the top TE’s to be drafted, and then take the sloppy leftovers??? We do it almost every year, and that, in and of itself tells you it doesn’t work! Egnew was taken after Coby FleenAH and Dwayne Allen. Sims was taken after Tyler Eiffert, Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar, Vance McDonald, Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed. Oh, and before Egnew, we HAD Fasano, who is everything Lynch can ever HOPE to be, and guess what, we let him go. Someday, this team will make TE a priority, and finally get a guy that defenses fear, as quality TE’s remain the hardest players in the NFL to cover. We know, we can’t cover ANY of them, but do we need one? Apparently not!
Q – Be honest Mike E
Would you have traded up for Amaro?
And if you had would you be listening to me bitch about trading up for a TE?
I didn’t love Amaro, but again, it sure seemed that Hickey did. Of course many will cry “Speculation”, I’m just guessing that. Of course I am, but it sure did appear that way, and no, we’ll never know. I think If Hickey did want Amaro, he should have realized that the Jets needed a TE, so a move up a couple of spots would have done it, and likely would have cost a 5th RD pick. Given the choice of drafting Amaro in the 2nd and giving up a 5th for Amaro or using the 2nd and 5th to draft Landry and Lynch, I’d choose the former. 7 days a week my friend. We could have had Amaro and Moncrief, but likely lost out on Billy Turner.
from Rob (631)
Q – What do you expect from Mike Wallace this year?
Assuming that the O-line if fixed, and working together a functional, professional NFL O-line should, then we will be running the ball much better, and pass protecting a lot better. Running the ball effectively gives you better play action pass opportunities, teams will have to respect the run in ernest, and that will help Wallace’s production tremendously. Wallace can get a step on a DB quickly, so add in the hesitation of play action, and Wallace will be open. I’m hoping Tannehill, with better pass protection will be calmer, and will actually hit Wallace more often in stride. I think Wallace has a much more productive year. I don’t expect many more receptions than the 73 he had last season, maybe 5 more, but I expect a big increase in the YPC, which was a low 12.7 for a speedster like Wallace. I’d expect more like 15-17 YPC this season, with double the TD’s (10). I think Wallace shows his worth to the team this year, and Wallace complaints go by the wayside. If Egnew emerges as a receiver this year, that will also help Wallace. If Lynch ever sees the field, most likely as a 6th OL, maybe he can keep Tanny’s jersey clean and help a little too. (LOL!)
Q – What are the 3 main things that need to happen for the Dolphins offense to make a significant jump out of mediocrity.
Thanks, #88 😉
OK, the most obvious one first. We need to cut #88 (JBBJK) #1 – We need to block up front. We need to run the ball better and increase our TOP, and we need to pass protect better. Tannehill needs to have time to make more accurate throws, and be hit on every play.
#2 – The defense can’t be so generous letting teams move the ball down the field so easily. yes, they were a bend but don’t break, and didn’t allow an excessive amount of points, but so what? The defense gets exhausted in the process doing that. Time to be stingy from the get-go. How about 3 and outs. How about NOT letting inferior teams convert 3rd and long! That’s got to stop. The LB play must be better. They need to make more tackles for loss, and and 2 yards downfield rather than 6-7 yards downfield. Ellerbe and Wheeler have a lot of pressure to improve, and Misi needs to do more as well. I think our secondary should be as good or better with Grimes being healthy the entire year, and either Finnegan or taylor at the RCB spot. We have good depth at CB, although we lost Patterson, he couldn’t stay on the field, so Grimes, Finnegan, Taylor, Davis, Aikens seems solid. Having Dion Jordan step up to another level would make our already solid D-line even better and more effective. I want Jordan to be a pass rush terror. Send him at the QB from every spot, RE, LE, ROLB, LOLB everywhere. I also hope Wake plays a full season where he makes in impact on a regular basis, and doesn’t get shut out like he did last year too often.
#3 – Not necessarily in this order, but Tannehill has to become a better QB. He needs to start seeing when guys are open quicker, get rid of the ball quicker, and make decisions quicker. I think those things will naturally progress. He did improve in a lot of ways even when playing under duress most of the season when facing pressure from opposing defenses constantly. He did increase his TD/INT ratio, so the next step is better accuracy, more completions, and less mistakes. I think Tannehill is capable of doing all of the above, especially if our revamped O-line affords him better protection, and allows the RB’s to keep the chains moving. #4 will be for next year, to finally draft a top TE!!!! 🙂
from Dan Marino
Q – Hey Mike
Long time no question. Glad you are doing well btw.
So, we were 7-1 when we scored 23 or more and 1-7 when we scored <23 in ’13. Does FA, this draft and getting last year’s class back healthy have us scoring 23 points in more than 8 games and getting us over the hump to the play-offs in ’14?
My contention is we have upgraded the O line significantly (not hard), got another sure-handed possession receiver (opponents can’t cover those 2 and Wallace?!?) and got Moreno to help with max protect and play-action/screens. Throw in a little Lazor magic and we may be dink-n-dunk++ to keep the chains moving until we unleash the new Kraken …… Lynch the red zone TD machine.
What’s not to like and what have I missed?
It seems as if we definitely upgraded the O-line, and certainly if we haven’t, it wasn’t for lack of effort. I think James will be our RT for a long time. Solidifying that swinging garden gate it has been the last 2 years is huge. Colombo and then Clabo, (Glad James doesn’t end in an “o”), they were awful, and Tannehill had to have his head on a swivel, and even then he couldn’t avoid the pressure. Not sure that Billy Turner beats out Dallas Thomas, and I believe they are very similar players. I know some think Turner is far better than Thomas, but we haven’t seen a bulked up healthy Thomas yet, so it’s tough to say that Thomas who now has a year of NFL experience, even if he didn’t play, will be easily beaten by Turner. Most likely it will be . . .
Albert – Thomas – Pouncey – Smith – James, although it’s possible that Smith is the LG and Thomas the RG.
As I’ve said before, I wasn’t thrilled with the Landry pick, I thought we left better, bigger receivers on the board, although I think Landry is a guy who might easily prove me wrong. I preferred Allen Robinson, Davante Adams and Donte Moncrief, because of their size and speed, but Landry is likely the better player now, perhaps with less upside than the others.
I’m hoping Lazor does have some magic, namely for #84, or as I affectionately call him “Reek, the sad and confused Ostrich” Egenew has been mind F’ed mercilessly by Sherman as Theon Greyjoy was by Roose Bolton’s bastard son Ramsay. I hope Lazor can resurrect the Mizzou TE to what he was at Missouri, a fine receiver. Let him line up either in the slot or on the LOS, and he should be able to beat most LB’s and safety in the seam. I just hope Lazor sees potential in him, and doesn’t discard him before the reclamation even has a chance.
Knowshon Moreno will be a huge help to this team. Just his pass blocking alone is an asset, but his tough running inside will be big as well as his pass catching ability.
Did you say “Lynch the red zone machine, aka The Kraken”? Are you kidding??? Arthur Lynch??? The last “Kraken” we had was a mental case (Brandon Marshall). Lynch isn’t worthy of such a title, as at best, he’s a willing blocker, and a TE known for not making the catch. He still has to beat out Egnew and Dion Sims from last year, who to me are nearly the same player. I have a feeling you’re just having fun and have seen my lack of love for Lynch. If not, maybe you were smoking Kraken! 🙂
Wait for it . . . . .
And now, for the BOTW!