NFL Draft Expert Talks Dolphins Draft Picks
Now that the Miami Dolphins have completed the 2014 season with another 8-8 season, but took steps forward on offense, the team must now focus on free agency, the NFL Combine and the Draft in April. All three will help with the growth of the team and direction the offense can continue on, as well as the path the defense may seek to improve in 2015.
On miamidolphins.com, writers and members of finsiders.com staff gave talked with Bleacherreport.com’s Matt Miller about the team’s needs and which players may help the team the most when it comes time to use the 15th overall pick this season.
“If you talk about inside linebacker, you’ve got Benardrick McKinney from Mississippi State,” said Miller. “He’s 6’4, probably close to 245 pounds, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he runs in the 4.4 (40 yard dash) range. They’ve used him as a pass rusher, in coverage, stopping the run. He could’ve come out as a redshirt sophomore, and probably been a top 20 pick, so he’s definitely a guy that fits that mold.
“Shaq Thompson as an outside linebacker is definitely a guy that has played in coverage. He’s played running back, safety, and linebacker for Washington, so he’s a rare athlete. These (two) are a more athletic, LaVonte David type outside backers.”
Cornerback is another spot that Miller could see the Dolphins going in, but he doesn’t see too much depth at the position past the first couple rounds.
“Corner this year I think is a down year to be honest, but I like Marcus Peters out of Washington,” said Miller. ”The only problem is that he was kicked out of school halfway through the season, so you have to dig deep on him and see what was the issues there…he has top 15 talent. Trae Waynes out of Michigan State, I think he’s a top 20 player. He’s about 6’1, but he has long arms, very physical, and is fluid in coverage. I like him better than I liked Darqueze Dennard last year, who was a teammate of his. Corner there is a dropoff, but you’ve got P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby out of Florida State, who both could be late first, early second round kids who could play right away.”
Switching over to the offensive side of the football, Miller sees one player that could be in the mix for Miami in the first round to help protect Ryan Tannehill, and possibly fill in a spot next to last year’s first round selection in Ja’Wuan James.
“I think there’s one guy, and that’s Brandon Scherff coming out of the University of Iowa,” said Miller. “He played left tackle there, and he’s very, very athletic. He’s going to surprise people at the combine with how athletic he is. I think he’s a lot like Zack Martin was last year coming out of Notre Dame. A guy who played left tackle in college, I think if you put him at guard he can be an All-Pro. He would be the only guy I would consider at #14. But if he’s there, he’s one of those that you put in as a rookie, and you don’t worry about it for 10 years.”
For the longest time, the general talk about the Dolphin was to find a solid running back in the first round, preferably someone like Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin. Now that Lamar Miller has shown he can lead the rushing attack, a runner in the middle of the draft, like a Karlos Williams, may be a better fit. The defensive fell off the ledge this season and will look to reload with speed and agility.
Do not count Vic Beasley of Clemson out of the equation either, as the team looks to find more pass rushers.
Beasley can play on the line as an end in a 4-3 defense or can stand up off the edge as a 4-3 linebacker and situational pass rusher.