RD 1, Pick #14
WR Devante Parker – Louisville 6’3” 209
With our first pick, the Dolphins added the big playmaking WR Devante Parker to an already impressive WR corps. Parker joins 3rd year pro Kenny Stills (Saints trade), 2nd year pro Jarvis Landry (2nd RD #63), veteran receiver Greg Jennings (FA), and 4th year pro Rishard Matthews, and a few WR’s fighting for roster spots such as Matt Hazel, LaRon Byrd, Michael Preston and Tyler McDonald.
Devante only played in 7 games as a Senior, after breaking his foot early in the season, but if there were any doubts about lingering problems with the foot, Parker squashed them quickly by having an outstanding 7 games! Parker brought in 43 receptions for 855 yards with an impressive 19.9 (CALL IT TWENTY!) YPC average, along with 5 TD’s.
So what can we look forward to with Devante Parker here in Miami? I doubt he “starts” right away, but I’m sure he will play in every game right from the start. I honestly expect Jennings and Stills to be the starters on the perimeter with Landry in the slot, but Parker will get plenty of opportunities. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point, maybe halfway through if Parker is playing at a high level and has firmly grasped his responsibilities, that he will push Jennings and eventually replace him as the starter, possibly by mid season, or shortly afterward. Even if he doesn’t, as long as he contributes to the team, and can help our team, that works for me. Parker brings the size and catch radius we don’t have at WR. He should be a redzone threat every time he’s on the field, due to his size, and his ability to locate and snare passes at the highpoint.
I’m looking forward to seeing this exciting addition to our offense!
RD 2, Pick #52
DT Jordan Phillips – Oklahoma 6’5” 329
The Dolphins traded back a few spots in RD 2 from #47 to #52 with the Eagles and selected the big DT from Oklahoma. Most consider Phillips a 1st RD talent, and like Danny Shelton, a true NT. Obviously, we play a 4-3 defense, but Phillips will be in as a run stuffing DT. Earl Mitchell will compete with Phillips, and will likely hold on to the starting job for a while, unless Phillip really surprises and shows up very quickly. In any case, Phillips is probably a 2 down DT, and even if that’s the case, think of how much more effective Earl Mitchell will be coming in fresh on passing downs.
This was an important pick. I’m sure the Dolphins were well aware of the uncertainty we have on the O-line with possibly 2 OG spots up for grabs, and Pro Bowl LT who is still recovering from a devastating knee injury and hasn’t even yet begun to run. I’m sure it came down to the fact that they simply had Phillips rated higher than any OT or OG on the board, even if I didn’t. Last I looked, I’m an Optician, not an NFL scout or HC or GM. Still, I thought the O-line was more of a priority, but you have to draft talent when it’s there, and I believe that’s exactly what we did, despite the fact that I believe OT Jake Fisher and Ali Marpet OG will be starting on their respective teams, the Bengals and Bucs.
Suh will be the one guy getting the Lions share (Did I just say that?) of snaps on the DL, and then depending on the team and situation, Mitchell, Phillips, Anthony Johnson and AJ Francis will share snaps, along with the speed package which might bring in an extra DE inside like Terrence Fede or Derrick Shelby.
So what can we look forward to with Jordan Phillips in Miami? Phillips, like Parker probably won’t start, but the D-line is kind of like one big rotation anyway, with the objective of keeping bodies fresh. War in the trenches is exhausting work, and Suhperman will certainly be the snaps leader, but he’s 28, so I don’t expect them to burn Suh out, so I’d bet he plays less snaps this season than he did last season, and hopefully, that’s because some of the other guys begin to emerge like A. Johnson and AJ Francis. The hope is that Phillips strengthens the run defense, and I’m sure that’s exactly what he will do. Hopefully, he makes the job of our LB’s a little easier by keeping them clean, so they can just tackle the ballcarrier, and not have to wrestle with a 320 LB OG or C.
RD 4, Pick #114
OG Jamil Douglas – Arizona St. 6’4” 304
Jamil Douglas played LT his Senior year at Arizona St. switching from LG to LT. Douglas is a 4 year starter, playing his first 3 seasons at LG. Douglas is a first team All-Pac 12 player. An athletic OL, he moves fairly well, but the general consensus seems to be that he’s more of a finesse player, which largely fits the ZBS anyway.
Before the draft, he wasn’t considered a top 10 OG prospect, but every team and their scouts see things differently, and the Dolphins were obviously impressed with Douglas
So what can we look forward to with Jamil Douglas in Miami? At this time, he will compete for a starting OG spot, most likely LG with Dallas Thomas. There is also a possibility that we pick up a proven veteran G, or maybe even win the La’el Collins sweepstakes, but for now, he’s in the running for a starting job.
RD 5, Pick #144
CB Bobby McCain – Memphis 5’9” 195
Bobby McCain was a 4 year starter at Memphis. In 4 years, McCain had 12 INT’s, with 6 his Junior year, and 5 his Senior year. In addition, McCain scored 4 TD’s on those INT’s, and added 16 passes defensed, 1 FF. McCain is around the football a lot, but his size makes him more likely to play nickel corner than out on the perimeter, but then again, there is Brent Grimes, so . . .
McCain also returned kick offs and averaged 25.3 yards per return in 3 years.
So what can we look forward to with Bobby McCain in Miami? Besides us singing “Me and Bobby McCain”, I expect him to compete for the nickel corner spot with recently acquired Brice McCain from the Steelers, and possibly to even compete for a starting job opposite Brent Grimes. If there’s one thing we’re sure about with our CB’s is how unsure we are.
RD 5, Pick #149
RB Jay Ajayi – Boise St. 6’0” 221
Sometimes, strange things happen in the draft, and this was one of those strange things. Generally considered a 2nd RD talent, RB Jay Ajayi took quite a tumble in the 2015 NFL Draft, all the way to the 5th RD! With our 2nd pick in the RD, which shows even we were a little leery about selecting this stud RB, we finally could wait no longer, and pulled the trigger on what could easily be one of the biggest steals in the draft. Due to a medical red flag, Ajayi fell about 3 rounds due to a knee injury he suffered back in 2011. I’ve heard the “bone on bone” thing, and in general, the consensus medically is that there’s not a lot of cartilage left in his knee. OK, enough of WHY he slipped, and more of WHY he’s a 2nd RD talent
Ajayi was injured in 2011, 3 years ago. in 2012, after coming back slowly from injury, Ajayi rushed 82 times for 548 yards and 4 TD’s, and a 6.7 YPC avg.
In 2013, Ajayi all the way back now, rushed 249 times (33 more rushes than Lamar Miller last season) for 1425 yards, 18 TD’s. Last season, Ajayi’s Junior year, he rushed 347 times, (which is 52 less than the entire Miami Dolphins team last season) for 1823 yards, 28 TD’s. TWENTY EIGHT! Also, he added 50 receptions for 535 yards and 4 TD’s for a total of 2,358 yards from scrimmage, and 32 TD’s. BTW, Ajayi is the first college RB to rush for over 1800 yards and have 500 receiving yards in a season. Just amazing.
So what can we look forward to with Jay Ajayi in Miami? While Ajayi isn’t really Marshawn Lynch, he’s another quality back that can give us some pop in the run game. He’s not a beast mode back, but he’s a guy that can effectively go through traffic and runs with power. He’s also a shifty back, and can wiggle out of tackles too. Ajayi is a former soccer player and has great feet. He’s kind of like a swiss army knife at the RB position, he can run between the tackles hard, and can run well in open space and make defenders miss with good footwork and moves, and is a good receiver out of the backfield. I expect Ajayi to compete with Miller and possibly steal a fair amount of carries from Miller. If the reports are true on his knee, Ajayi’s shelf life in the NFL isn’t a long one, so I expect the Dolphins to try and get what they can now. I think he’s a good complement to Millertime, and I believe Miller will look more explosive next to Ajayi. Miller is the faster back, and hits the hole as quick anyone, and gets down the field fast. Ajayi may be the better between the tackles runner, who can create when there doesn’t seem to be any room. I really look forward to seeing Ajayi in our offense.
RD 5, Pick #150
FS Cedric Thompson – Minnesota 6’0” 208
Thompson was a 3 year starter at Minnesota. He played mostly at S, but also played some CB. He was not invited to the NFL combine but ran well at his pro day. Thompson ran a 4.48 and 4.50, had a 40.5” vertical, 10.2” broad jump, ran the 3 cone drill in 6.96 and put up 21 reps of 225 lbs. He’s obviously a good athlete, it’s just a matter of putting that on the field in his game. As a Senior, Thompson had 2 INT’s and 2 FF’s. In 3 his year career, Thompson had 5 INT’s and 3 FF’s.
Scouting reports state that Thompson has below average instincts, but hopefully we can help him out some by teaching him how to be in the right position, and maybe he can improve.
So what can we look forward to from Cedric Thompson in Miami? Best case scenario for him is that he wins the starting FS spot opposite Reshad Jones, but realistically, he’s competing for a roster spot and depth at the S position with Walt Aikens, Jordan Kovacs and backing up Louis Delmas and Reshad Jones.
RD 5, Pick #156
CB Tony Lippett – Michigan St. 6’2” 192
Two way player at Michigan St. , Lippett was used mostly as a WR. In 4 seasons, Lippett caught 149 passes for 2247 yards and 15 TD’s. As a DB, Lippett has 9 passes defensed, no INT’s.
The Dolphins intend to play Lippett exclusively as a CB, and at 6’2” 192, he gives the Dolphins defensive backfield some much needed size. He ran a pedestrian 4.61 at the combine, but improved slightly at his pr day with a 4.57 and 4.59. As a WR, it would seem that he’s able to catch the football, and actually, Lippett is described as a good hands catcher and one with good leaping ability to highpoint the football.
So what can we look forward to with Tony Lippett in Miami? I wouldn’t rule out another position change for the Amazing Mr. Lippett. I’m sure they’ll try to wring out as much as they can as a DB from Lippett, but if that fails, I think he may be given a shot at WR, where he did well for Michigan St. Lippett was his team MVP, so he’s a high character guy you want to stick around. I’m sure he’ll be a factor on ST’s, as will Cedric Thompson and Bobby McCain.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
WR Damarr Aultman – Maine 5’11” 202
OT Mickey Baucus – Arizona 6’6” 298
P Matt Darr – Tennessee 6’1” 220
LB Mike Hull – Penn St. 6’0” 237
WR Christion Jones – Alabama 5’10” 182
OG Dionte Savage – Oklahoma 6’4” 347
LB Zach Vigil – Utah St. 6’2″ 240
UDFA’s are always long shots, but I think Mike Hull is one guy who may make the roster. Hull was a very productive player at Linebacker U, and although his measurables are on the small side (As most of the LB’s in this draft), I think he’ll make it.
Hull ran 4.68, put up 31 reps (top performer) of 225, 6.99 cone drill (top performer) and an 11.52 60 yard shuttle (top performer)
Hull had 140 tackles (75 solo) his Senior year and 10.5 TFL’s, along with 1 INT, 5 passes defensed and 1 INT, and 2 FF’s. He should be a good ST’s at the very least, and provide some depth at LB.
Zach Vigil was another very productive LB at Utah St. Vigil had 156 tackles (79 total) and 20.5 TFL, along with 9 sacks, 1 INT, 4 PD’s and 1 FF.
UNDRAFTED AND UNSIGNED FREE AGENTS
While there are many, there is only one in particular that concerns me.
OT La’el Collins – LSU 6’4” 305
As many of you know, I wanted to draft Collins at #14, but bizarre and unresolved circumstances led him to go undrafted. A double murder, of Collins’ ex girlfriend and her unborn child. At this time, The police still don’t consider Collins a suspect, and he was questioned recently about the case. He has, however, not been cleared as of yet. If he’s guilty, then obviously I hope he’s punished to the fullest extent of the law, even death. I do hope he’s innocent, and if he is, I want him on our team.
I think this player, as much as any player we drafted this year, would be a huge part of our success in 2015 and beyond. I consider La’el Collins the missing piece to the puzzle of getting into the playoffs and maybe all the way. We solidified the defense with Suh and Phillips. We totally overhauled the WR corps adding Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and subtracting Mike Wallace, and adding in the draft Devante Parker. I believe overall, a major improvement at WR. We added a very talented RB in Jay Ajayi. Maybe Jamil Douglas is the real deal and can win the starting LG spot. Maybe Dallas Thomas is ready to take that next step, and maybe Billy Turner is ready for prime time now. On the other hand, there is no question at all in my mind that if we somehow get La’el Collins, not only does he start, but I think he’s the difference maker on the offensive line. He can play G or T, but what wonderful insurance if Branden Albert isn’t healthy. If Albert IS healthy, all the better, and Collins is our starting LG, with Turner and Thomas to battle it out.
It’s a longshot, and when you bet a 32-1 horse, you don’t stand around the cashier with your ticket expecting to cash it in. If it does win, it pays big, and La’el Collins would pay us some big dividends, all the way to the playoffs baby!
A guy can dream, right?