After a busy and work-filled Senior Bowl (and Shrine Game) travels for myself, it’s time to re-visit what the Dolphins may do after looking over the top senior prospects as well as evaluating the juniors that have declared.
With free agency still to come, I’d speculate that they don’t focus on getting more than one “non-star” receiver, and primarily look to add depth without spending too much in the market. Also, I’d assume they re-sign Jake Long or sign Andre Smith in free agency to play right tackle.
1st Round, Pick 12th Overall – Keenan Allen, WR, California
Some may view as the Dolphins taking a receiver at pick 12 overall a “reach”. Value-wise, that may be the case. However, with as talented in the early 2nd round as this class is, at least ONE of the 10 likely top two round receivers should be a multiple Pro Bowler, and it’s on the Dolphins to find THAT one to work with Tannehill for the future. With his great body type, ability to make plays after the catch, and his extension away from his frame in traffic, Allen has the talent to be the best receiver Joe Philbin’s ever coached, including in Green Bay.
2nd Round, 11th in Round – Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Finding a defensive end opposite Cam Wake is a secretly important need this year, as keeping the pass rush a strength can help what may be a young/lackluster cornerback part of the roster. Kicking Jared Odrick back inside, Alex Okafor has the great hand usage and activeness on the outside to attack and transition as a rusher inside and out, giving defenses more of a strong-handed, inside-out rusher to complement the speedy Cam Wake.
2nd Round, 24th in Round – Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
While from my perspective is that Poyer likely shouldn’t be here because of his value, reports are that he may not be as highly viewed by members of the NFL. If that’s the case, it’d be a fantastic fit for the Dolphins to grab Poyer, a potential starter thanks to his great timing, anticipation, and adequate athleticism to play the cornerback spot and replace Sean Smith, who likely will be departing in free agency.
3rd Round, 15th in Round – Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State
After an impressive Senior Bowl, Harper is a “sleeper” no more, and has the size, hand strength, and physicality to draw comparisons to Anquan Boldin on more than one occasion. Adding Keenan Allen in the 1st, bringing another physical, short area receiver to develop with Ryan Tannehill instantly takes this team from a weakness to a strength at receiver.
3rd Round, 20th in Round – BW Webb, CB, William & Mary
After getting their 2nd receiver in this draft, getting another defensive back should be next on the hit-list. Webb doesn’t appear on many big boards, but the explosive, consistent Webb would give this team two smaller yet physical cornerbacks that are both capable of starting early in the NFL. Having these two battle with Nolan Carroll and a veteran (brought in) would be the best case scenario.
4th Round, 14th in Round – Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida
Adding a weakside linebacker would be an under-rated pick-up for the Dolphins, and if Khaseem Greene is there in the early 2nd round, he’d be the selection. With that a long shot, grabbing the solid coverage, future weakside linebacker Jenkins in the 4th could be a steal. Not needing to start right away (but could situationally), Jenkins is a dream fit to stay in Florida and be a Dolphin.
5th Round, 13th in Round – David Quessenberry, OG, San Jose State
Trying to find a starter this late isn’t easy, but Quessenbery could soon develop into a starting guard for the Dolphins, who may very well need two for the future. Not only that, but his experience at both tackle and center at worst mean he’s a great depth lineman and saves a roster spot to add another WR/TE like Philbin would likely really want to do.
7th Round, 11th in Round – Matt Brown, QB, Illinois State
With Matt Moore and David Garrard likely gone in free agency, the team will be forced to evaluate Pat Devlin as the team’s “backup quarterback of the future”. While signs were in the pre-season he was starting to develop, it never hurts to add competition. Finding Tannehill’s backup is important for the Dolphins, as they are slowly developing a talented-in-all-areas offense, and should have a back-up plan the way the Redskins and Seahawks do if their star goes down.
7th Round, 18th in Round – Ray Ray Armstrong, S, Miami (FL)
Odds are, Ray Ray has a great Texas vs. Nation week of practices and vaults himself firmly back to the spotlight as one of the more talented safeties in this class after a year out of football. I’ve heard from Faulker university that Armstrong hasn’t been out of football, still helping the team in a coaching role and staying in shape, so he could impress when he finally puts the pads on again for NFL teams. Regardless, the Dolphins taking a former Miami stud with great upside could at least generate stiff competition and potential depth in the 7th round.