2011 Dolphins NFL Draft Review

July 15th, 2011
Daniel Thomas Miami Dolphins

Can Daniel Thomas be a dominant runner for the Dolphins?

Just how well did the Miami Dolphins do in the 2011 NFL Draft?

Mike Pouncey – C/G – Univeristy of Florida (15th pick overall, 1st round)
I have to be honest….at first, I hated this pick. The thought of spending a pick in the top half of the first round of the Draft on an interior offensive lineman just doesn’t get you excited as a fan. But, after thinking about it, the pick does seem to make sense. The Dolphins interior offensive line was a revolving door in 2010.

I lost track of all the different guys that they tried (a lot of them at both guard positions as well as center), so getting a guy in Pouncey seems to be a safe bet, however “unsexy” it may be. After all, this is a position which undoubtedly calls for a player who can think as strategically as Party Poker, as well as being able to demonstrate remarkable physical skill. Pairing him with All-Pro Tackle Jake Long and Vernon Carey should help to anchor Miami’s offensive line for the foreseeable future.

Daniel Thomas – RB – Kansas State University (62nd pick overall, 2nd round)
Now this is the type of pick I can get down with. Yes, the Dolphins gave up a good amount to move up here (a 3rd, 5th, and 7th rounder), but Thomas is clearly a guy that they were targeting all along. With both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams set to be free agents and not likely to be re-signed, the Dolphins need to look to the future at the running back position.

Thomas is a power running back which is what the Dolphins try to pride themselves on. He won’t outrun anyone but at 6’0’’ 230 lbs, good luck trying to bring him down. He was initially recruited as a QB to Kansas State so he could provide the Dolphins with some versatility to reinvent the Wildcat Offense should they so choose. I expect Miami to bring in a free agent RB to compete with Thomas but don’t be surprised to see him get the bulk of the carries in 2011.

Edmond Gates – WR – Albeline Christian (111th pick overall, 4th round)
The Dolphins corps of receivers has developed pretty well the past few years. Brandon Marshall (acquired via trade from Denver last offseason), Davone Bess (undrafted free agent), and Brian Hartline (2009 draft pick) have blossomed into a good young group. However, all three of those guys are more in the mold of possession receivers, and the Dolphins really don’t have a guy that can stretch the defense.

Enter Gates. He is a speedster and had an outstanding senior year and a great combine. Many experts compare him to Chicago Bears WR and fellow Albeline Christian alum Johnny Knox. Gates will step right in as the return man and will likely see a lot of time as a slot receiver in Brian Daboll’s new offense.

Charles Clay – TE/HB/FB – Tulsa (174th pick overall, 6th round)
I thought this was a great value pick this late in the draft. Clay was one of the most versatile players in the entire draft. He can line up in the backfield or at tight end and is a reliable runner and pass catcher. He gives the Dolphins a nice complimentary option to incumbent starter at the tight end position Anthony Fasano, who is more of a run blocker than a pass catcher.

Frank Kearse – DT – Alabama A&M (231st pick overall, 7th round)
The Dolphins have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and Kearse will just help add to that if he makes the team. He has the size and ability to play in the NFL. He’s probably a longshot to make the team just due to the number of guys on the team and the depth the Dolphins have, but look for him to possibly grab a spot if free agent to be Tony McDaniel decides to leave Miami.

Jimmy Wilson – CB – Montana (235th overall, 7th round)
This was one of the more interesting picks in the entire 2011 draft. Wilson was acquitted of murder charges in 2007 after spending over 2 years in prison. However, now that that is behind him, Wilson is ready to take his shot at the NFL. Wilson is a hard hitting defensive back but also doesn’t lack the ability to succeed in coverage. The Dolphins will likely look to use him at the safety position.

Tags: 2011 NFL Draft

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