MDD Assistant Editor: Chad Pullen
After going through some of the potential offensive lineman the Dolphins could take a look at in May, we now begin to focus on another premium position the Dolphins could look to address, the Cornerback spot. Our first glance will be at someone who began the year as a consensus top corner, fell down a few notches with uneven play, then appeared to rebound with a strong combine showing which should help him hear his name called in the first-round two months from now.
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St 5’11” 195 lbs.
Top line speed, has all the tools of an elite cover corner with quick feet, quick change of direction, turns his hips quickly, make up speed, decisive in breaks, solid ball skills and has played in both man and zone schemes. On top of his coverage skills, he is a willing tackler and does not shy away tackling like a Deion Sanders would early in his career. Roby has also played special teams and excelled at it. Has 24 starts in his two seasons of playing before declaring early for the draft. Plays with a chip on his shoulder, believes he’s the best player on the field. Has definite hops as shown during the combine with a vertical jump over 38 inches. That sort of leaping ability should help make up for his lack of height against the taller receivers in the NFL.
Has a few red flags off the field, nothing too severe, but worth noting. Struggled against Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis who is a little bigger than Roby and runs precise routes. Roby was burnt on double moves a few times due to him watching the QB rather than his receiver. Though not small by any means, he does mix it up pretty good in the run game and could take unnecessary punishment that way. Does well following his man, but does not control his receiver or jam him at the line well enough to disrupt his route/timing. Competition at QB in the Big Ten his last two years could lead to some questioning of the level of competition, never truly challenged or threatened in college like he would have been in another conference.
If Jeff Ireland was still the GM, Roby would easily be on his radar as Ireland showed a love for Corners in the 5’11” 190-195 pound size range. Roby can do everything you need as a corner, he just had a few mental lapses where he seemed to not blanket his man like he should. That may be from scheme or play calls, or just be simple mental lapses now and then. If he had cleaned that up in college, he’d be rated much higher off his skills alone. A cover corner that can also help contribute to the run game as well as on special teams is a valuable commodity. If Miami were lucky enough to work through a lot of their Oline issues in free agency, it might free them up to draft best player available in round one, rather than for need. After re-signing Brent Grimes for four more years, and the uncertainty of second year players Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, adding Roby would deepen the secondary for Miami without demanding Roby excel right away. Once Roby adjusts to the NFL game, he should be able to stick on the field and become an additional playmaker for the defense and possibly special teams and provide a higher ceiling at corner than Taylor or Davis can reach.