The first round of the 2016 NFL draft is here and with it will be the start of some hectic days for the Dolphins. A lot has been made about who Miami will take with 13th selection on day 1. However, due to this draft being on the weaker side compared to previous drafts, not much is known of who the Phins will target in the later rounds. The Dolphins have typically had more of their success in the later rounds of the draft, with past selections such as Jarvis Landry (2nd round 2014), Jelani Jenkins (4th round 2013) Lamar Miller (4th round 2012) and Olivier Vernon (3rd round 2012) and Reshad Jones (5th round 2010). Of course Miller and Vernon are departed and the other picks were under previous management. Still, with so much pressure to get the first round pick right, the Dolphins have made a living in solid middle round picks. The last two general managers of the Dolphins have had interesting styles of drafting. Jeff Ireland (2008-13) made some real head scratching picks in his years and his draft process was always heavily scrutinized. Dennis Hickey (2013-15) was modest in his lone two drafts for the Phins, oddly, he favored drafting big names from small schools. This approach never payed off as those players have struggled to be leaders on an NFL level.
So now with a new GM and head coach, in Adam Gase, which way will the Dolphins sway? Chris Grier is a former scout and he has been with the Dolphins organization for some time now. With the influence of Vice President of Football Operations, Mike Tannebaum, and Adam Gase, what will the rookie GM’s draft style be? Does he go best player available, position of need, scouted players only, or alternate picks within management? This draft could swing so many ways and Grier has to be ready to make the right decisions with letting too much outside influence get to him. Trusting your scouting reports and coaches needs will be the best way to go for the Dolphins in this draft.
Here are some of the things that the Dolphins must do in this draft to walk away with a better team and more complete roster for Adam Gase to have a chance.
Draft a RB
This is obvious and inevitable, whether it is in round 1 or 7, the dolphins will come away from the draft with a back. Now will that back be a starter on the team? Depends on who and how high. Ezekiel Elliot in round one? yes. Derrick Henry in round two? yes. Devontae Booker, Alex Collins, maybe. The prospects are slim and the Dolphins will have to address this need early. Say round 1-4.
Draft a CB
Another obvious one, after cutting Grimes and trading for Maxwell, the Dolphins need a CB who can start. Though this will likely get resolved in round 1 with a Hargreaves, Apple, or Alexander, don’t be surprised to see multiple CB’s drafted by the Phins. They had a similar approach in 2009 when they drafted Vontae Davis and Sean Smith in the first 3 rounds. The dolphins could use all the help they get at corner an if they want to go for one of those corners in round one and then another in the third, I’m all for it.
Take a leap of faith
The Dolphins are notorious for making dumb draft day trades and I don’t want to see any of that here. Instead I say if you see a chance to trade up for Ezekiel Elliot, you think about it. As long as you don’t lose too many picks it will be worth it. Also, taking a leap of faith applies more to injured/troubled players. The Dolphins have been shy in the past with exotic and injured players as the they were seen a s to risky. That is what cost them La’el Collins last year. This time around don’t dismiss a player so easily just because they had one issue or has an intimidating injury. It could be worth it.
Get a QB
What? The Dolphins have Tannehill, they don’t need…No, I want some quarter back competition for Ryan Tannehill this summer. For the last 4 years the job has always been his and he was never threatened. I think it would be wise of the Dolphins to take QB somewhere in the 4-6 range. Maybe look at a Christian Hackenberg, Cardale Jones, or Dak Prescott. I am sure Adam Gase will want his own QB in there to learn and be ready in case he can’t “cure” Tannehill.
It should be an exciting draft week and I will continue to keep you posted on the latest new out of the Dolphins camp. For more thoughts follow me on twitter and let me know who you think the Dolphins will target in the draft.