Grading Miami Dolphins 2014 Draft
1st Round-Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
The Dolphins needed Offensive Line help badly and with prospects such as Zack Martin and C.J Mosley off the board they felt they needed to reach and select Tennessee OT Ja'Wuan James. Many projected Ja'Wuan James as a second round pick but the Dolphins filled a major hole with this selection. Ja'Wuan James is a very athletic OT and with 49 starts at RT he is well experienced and should excel in the Dolphins zone blocking scheme from day one. Even though the selection of Ja'wuan James was not a sexy pick at the end of the day the Dolphins filled their biggest need with a player who should hold his own at the next level.
Metaphor of why selecting Ja'Wuan James at 19 is a solid pick even though it was a reach.
2nd Round-Jarvis Landry WR LSU
It seemed as if the Dolphins were never going to make a selection in the second round as they traded down twice to acquire extra draft picks. The Dolphins finally made a selection and with the 63rd overall selection of the draft they went with WR Jarvis Landry from LSU. Jarvis Landry is a great route runner and he catches the ball at the highest point with his great hands, however he is not the tallest WR at 5 foot 11 inches and he only has decent speed. The problem with that is that Jarvis Landry may not see the field much as a rookie since he will more than likely be limited to playing in the slot and not to mention he will more than likely be buried on the depth chart behind players such as Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson (coming off knee injury), and Rishard Matthews. Even with that being said the Dolphins still drafted a solid WR even after moving down in the second round twice.
Jarvis Landry Highlights
3rd Round-Billy Turner OT North Dakota State
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the Dolphins to make their selection in the second round Dolphin fans did not have to wait long in the third round as they traded up to the 67th overall selection (third pick in third round) to acquire OT Billy Turner from North Dakota State. Even though Billy Turner played OT for North Dakota state the Dolphins more than likely drafted him to play Guard for them as they have free agent pickup Brandon Albert and first round selection Ja'Wuan James manning the tackle spots. Billy Turner does come from a small school but he held his own at the senior bowl and impressed many teams including the Dolphins. Billy Turner has good size and enough athleticism to play in the Dolphins zone blocking scheme, but he does have flaws. Not only does he need to improve his footwork but as well as his strength so that he is able to move to the inside and play guard at the next level.
Who is Billy Turner?
4th Round-Walt Aikens CB Liberty
The Dolphins needed more size in the secondary and they got that in CB Walt Aikens from liberty as he stands at 6 feet tall. CB was not the most pressing need the Dolphins had as they have pro bowler Brent Grimes and former pro bowler Cortland Finnegan on the roster along with youngsters Jamar Taylor and Will Davis (both drafted in 2013 draft). Walt Aikens is more of an athlete than a football player at this point in his career, but that is okay since he will more than likely be at the bottom of the depth chart for a year or two while he develops. Walt Aikens is a high risk high reward pick, but that is okay because this is what the later rounds in the draft are all about.
Walt Aikens Highlights
5th Round-Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
The Dolphins needed a TE who could block and they got that in Arthur Lynch from Georgia with their first selection in the 5th round. Not only can Arthur Lynch block but he can also be a factor in the passing game and more specifically in the red zone with his big 6 foot 5 258lb frame. He is no Vernon Davis however as he is not a fluid athlete and has shaky hands. Pair him up with Charles Clay and he gives the Dolphins a decent TE duo.
5th Round-Jordan Tripp OLB Montana
The Dolphins waited until the fifth round to address the LB position with the selection of Jordan Tripp from Montana. Jordan Tripp is exactly what the Dolphins needed at the LB position as he can diagnose plays quickly and is a true sideline to sideline player. Jordan Tripp also has extensive special teams experience as he was the starting long snapper for four years at Montana. If I had to describe Jordan Tripp with one word it would be intense as he has a high motor and a great worth ethic and it shows when he steps onto the football field.
6th Round-Matt Hazel WR Coastal Carolina
As if the Dolphins did not have enough competition at the WR position they went ahead and drafted Matt Hazel from Coastal Carolina. Matt Hazel is not a burner but he has more than enough speed to create separation and get open. Even though he is a little small (6 foot 1 198lbs) he displays toughness and is a willing blocker. He needs to work on his route running but he has potential to develop into a solid WR for the Dolphins down the road.
Matt Hazel Highlights
7th Round-Terrence Fede DE Marist
With their final pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Dolphins select DE Terrence Fede out of Marist. Terrence Fede has good size for a DE at 6 feet 3 inches and 276 lbs. He is also a good athlete as he ran a 4.76 40 yard dash at his pro day to go along with his 33 inch vertical. Terrence Fede has 30.5 career sacks which is a program record for Marist. Terrence Fede is either going to simply be a camp body or a depth guy for the Dolphins since they are quite stacked at the position.
Terrence Fede Highlights
Dolphins overall Draft Grade
In my opinion Dolphins new GM Dennis Hickey had himself a solid draft as he filled positions of need and added plenty of high character guys to this football team. Almost every single one of the Dolphin's draft selections was a captain for their team, so hopefully this solves the issue of leadership in the Dolphin's locker room. What we learned about Dennis Hickey is that he is not afraid to be aggressive and make trades and he also does not mind selecting players from smaller schools evident by the selections of Billy Turner(North Dakota), Matt Hazel(Coastal Carolina), Terrence Fede(Marist), Jordan Tripp(Montana) and Walt Aikens(Liberty).