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Turner played OT in college, must be G in NFL

One of the problems the Dolphins have had with player development the past few years is they don't always have a clear vision about their talent.

Just prior to this draft, the Dolphins weren't sure if they were going to use 2013 draft pick Dallas Thomas as a guard or a tackle. So a year after picking him, having him in training camp and, indeed, getting him started in this year's offseason program, last year's third-round pick didn't know his position. (He should be a guard, folks).

Dannell Ellerbe, signed to a big-money contract to play middle linebacker last year, may be moving outside this year because that work he did at MLB was no bueno.

Koa Misi was drafted as a 3-4 outside linebacker but he's been taking repetitions as a middle linebacker now -- an experiment that has been tried multiple times during his time with the team. Jared Odrick? Drafted as a 3-4 DE. Now a 4-3 DT.

Dion Jordan? Is he a defensive end? Is he an outside linebacker? What's the vision for him?

And that brings me to Billy Turner, a Dolphins third-round selection in this most recent draft.

Turner played left tackle at North Dakota State as the Bisons won three consecutive FCS (small school) championships. Some teams projected him as a right tackle prior to the draft.

The Dolphins have not said where they want him to settle in.

Here's an idea: The Dolphins should settle Turner in at guard and ...




The Dolphins drafted a right tackle in the first round in Ja'Wuan James. They signed left tackle Branden Albert to a huge contract in free agency.

They have a hole at guard.

Turner, by all accounts, has a nasty personality on the field. He plays with good (should improve) pad level. He's a guard, folks.

The Dolphins do not need him competing with fellow rookie James at RT. It's a waste of repetitions. It asks too much to have him learn both spots right now. It doesn't maximize his chances to contribute early.

If I'm the Dolphins, I do with James and Turner what Don Shula tried multiple times in the 1990s: He picked Richmond Webb to play left tackle and Keith Sims to play left guard in 1990 and that's what the two rookies did every single repetition in practice and every single down in the preseason.

Voila, offensive line issues solved.

Shula tried a similar approach in 1995. He picked Billy Milner to play right tackle and Andrew Greene to play right guard. He didn't mess with position flexibility. He had a vision for both and gave each a chance to maximize at the positions they were selected to play.

It didn't work. Greene was not a brilliant guy or a very hard worker. Bust. Milner's talent was not up to par and he was gone from the team a year later.

But the point is they failed based on their talent level rather than a lack of vision or difficult circumstances created by the team plugging them in here or there.

The Dolphins have picked offensive tackle Billy Turner this draft. Make him a guard. Stick with the conviction. Now, release the hounds.

Let Turner hunt.



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Last time the Pats lost a season opener was 2003 2 watt. You can praise Tannehill when he beats them this year, just like last year.

Last time the Pats lost a season opener was 2003 2 watt. You can praise Tannehill when he beats them this year, just like last year.

Posted by: NeMo | May 14, 2014 at 02:12 PM

Thats correct and you can roast him when he loses to Thad Lewis twice, (as he did last year).

Sam, only 4 RTs in college were selected in teh first round ever to play RT for their team in the modern draft era. james is the 4th. COngrats to him.

The longest, most atheltic lineman plays LT for his college team the heavy majority of the time.

Most of the NFL teams have college left tackles as their right tackles?

Why is it James didn't play left?

Marco, its the offseason. Be optimistic !

Not sure if its been talked about on here today but I'll be the doofus to bring it up. Andre Johnson is unhappy in Houston. There are rumblings that Wallace is unhappy in Miami. What about a swap?

OK, before I get roasted for it, just think it through for a second. I get that Wallace is younger, faster and that he's signed long term. Johnson is older, has had injuries lately and is only signed for one more year. But what if Johnson's contract could be re-negotiated for another year or two? Set to make about $12 mil a year this year. Lets say something like $24 mil over the next three years. Whatever...they can make the numbers say what they want. I'm not convinced its going to work with Wallace here. Might be a way for the 'phins to get out from under his contract and get a guy who is re-energized for another year or two. Unlike Wallace, Johnson is a guy who will go up and get the ball and win his share of battles.

Just thinking out loud here.

We know why DJ Fluker didn't play left? He was a heavy footed mountain of a man.

Juwaun James has been praised for being athletic and having great feet.

So why didn't he play left tackle?

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM

Mark, there are good reasons why players are ranked the way they are. Are they wrong sometimes? Yes but as I have said, you go with the odds. And the higher you pic, the more success you will have.

Trading up is something I wouldn't have done simply because we needed a G almost as bad as a RT. But you can't tell me Hickey passed up a lot of talent trying to get lower round pics that have lower odds of making it.

Both Hickey and Philbin are D league. They'll both be gone after another crap season.

Every year people clamor for excitement an optimism.

What has this team done in 15 years to deserve that?

What pieces were added that are going to make it more exciting to watch? a slow WR? a slow RB?

RT ain't gonna do it. Sorry folks, this season will be a repeat of every year in the past 10

Craig, contracts and age diff would be the two things I imagine.

However, Andre Johnson may just be too athletic, big, and explosive for Philbin. Might confuse him...

cocoa, for sure he did.

I think in both the first and 2nd round he left a lot on the table.

He may get something out fo the first two picks but the guys he left behind ... oh man...

Has Coyle been named the interim HC yet?

I have to agree that it was a lousy draft. Don't see any improvement at all.

Posted by: SAM I AM | May 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM

Opinions vary on guards but give me a true guard over a LT that 'might be' a guard. Same goes for any positions....sick of 'player flexibilty'. More like Jack of trades, master of none

If anyone can shed light on how Hickey turned the original 2nd pick into three players like YG originally said, please help.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM

Oh.....that's EASY Mark! You just have to use "The Special" math ;)

This team HAD a big bodied receiver that fights for the ball. Brandon Marshall. Does anyone remember that?!

will never join a team
that finnegan is on

Nemo, Iam optomistic about certain aspects of this team. I think the draft was decent, but we still have no power runner or ILB worth a damn.

Hickey has done a pretty good job so far and he had the o-line in a better, younger, less stupid shape. The coaching staff looks to be slightly better with a new OC and OL coach, much to Philbins outrage.

The D kept our best D two players in Grimes and Starks. We picked up a great DT and Aikens is a hitter and solid pick.

All very nice and we could also hope for a few gems in the shakeout from the rest of the teams as they shed out expensive stars for cheaper fresher rookies.

All that being said we still have Philbin and a massive question mark over the future of young Thill, with no competition.

Wallace deserves a better QB

Marco @ 2:32 fair enough. I'm guessing both Tannehill and Philbin will sink or swim based on how this year goes.

Marc, the mistake with Marshall is they got him before they got a QB. Henne made him go off and Moore didn't do much more the help.

YOu can mock Tannehill all you want but Tannehill would've got him the ball.

He gets max out of Hartline, Clay, Gibson, anyone that will go out and fight for a pass.

It would've been a different story. Still marshall pizzed all over the Dolphins at that Pro Bowl so he can go fukk himself.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:28 PM

Yeah you know I sat thru rounds 1-6 and I kept seeing good players go to other teams and when Hickey selected...I'm going who?

Any case, I've been wrong before...we'll see

Keller says "No Mas" to playing with Tannehill again.

Why is it James didn't play left?

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:23 PM

The simplest answer to this question is possibly that no one else on the team proved they could play RT as well as James. Or even close. So, may the coaching staff felt the better swap off in play was to keep James at RT and the other guys may have played LT far better than they played RT.

We always have to consider, just like many RT's do not play LT well. There can be cases LT's do not play RT well either. Not saying this is the tell all reason why James never played LT, but it is food for thought.

Specifically to get the answer for your question, I suggest you call up Les Miles. :)

Good football talk today. OK to disagree but I hate the insults and trolls.

Uh oh, probably jinxed it

Cocoa, hard for me to be optimistic when I see as their 5th round pick as the player who has the best shot to be a pro bowler caliber player someday.

RT would have killed Marshall as well. He said all the right things until the pro bowl where he simply stated the obvious. Look what I can do with a real QB. Which MIA still doesn't have...

Sam, forget that business, left tackles do indeed play RT well. Or else ~ 80-90 % of pro right tackles would not have been left tackles in college.

And I'm not buying your explanation - unless the Qb is left handed, the best tackle on the team plays left - always...


I think James played Right Tackle because of Antonio Richardson. Richardson was a top recruit and was looked at as the 2nd coming.

James slowly upstaged Richardson, especially the final year.

Still can't believe Richardson went undrafted.

Now, odin, that's the answer I'm looking for.

Because Richardson was better...

Richardson unfortunately had a degenerative knee. That's why he wasn't drafted.

Marc, i don't buy it. Tannehill has maxed out Hartline for two years now.

He's got the ebst out of every single receiver he's played with other than Wallace - who I remind you didn't get 1,000 yards in his last year with Ben either so he has to bear some of the blame there too.

Aside from Albert, no certain upgrade anywhere and not a shadow of a true playmaker

If you do not agree with that fact you are a homer. Simple


I have to disagree, I don't think ANY of Miami's picks have a shot at pro-bowls. You are being a little too optimistic.

This was a very mediocre draft. The only position Miami got better in was OL. And that is because we had no one there to begin with.

Maybe there's a conspiracy within the NFL and Miami to get the team moved. Once they are out of fans in Miami they will move to LA.

Raise your hand if you truly wish James would be our 1st round pick

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:41 PM

For me, it all comes down to what we needed the most. RT, G, ILB. I know, I know....but past drafts left us with no choice. Knowing this, why not get the best you can get your hands on. Forget fringe players who have lower odds making a impact or 'might' contribute a few years from now. BPA? Yes at needed positions

Raise your hand if an under 6 feet tall and 4.6 wr was your wish for the 2nd round PRIOR to the draft

Cocoa, hard for me to be optimistic when I see as their 5th round pick as the player who has the best shot to be a pro bowler caliber player someday.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:41 PM

Difficult to draft "PRO BOWL CALIBER PLAYERS" when oline has MULTIPLE URGENT NEEDS. Because they have to be addressed HIGHLY on your draft board.

Hickey even had to dissect the 2nd rd multiple times as a partial answer to this. In 2013 the KC Chiefs had 8 PRO BOWLERS and did not come to close to sniffing playoffs.

Proof enough just having pro bowlers alone isn't the perfect formula for championships or even making playoffs period. Pro bowls are INDIVIDUAL HONORS. playoffs and championships are TEAM HONORS.

They both need to work hand in hand with each other to achieve GREAT SUCCESS. Not just one working ALONE.

Some blame? Fighting for the ball isn't Wallace's game! Never was! Anyone can clearly see Wallace was severely underthrown on the bulk of the deep passes.

Raise your hand if even my mistake you ever heard any player selected from the 3rd round on

Looks like I've got an impersonator at 2:29pm. Get a life son!

ok, Texas, not going to argue too hard. Like i said at the time of the draft and my worst realized fearsleading up to the draft was this was going to be a repeat of 2010.

When we got solid players in Odrick, Misi et al and our best pick was going to be our fifth rd pick in Rashad Jones. In the meantime several stars went in the first two rounds and a bit beyond.

Exact replay.

After reading your hundrends of mock drafts post and wishes for hundrends of players, if no one has risen their hands it is either because of one of you knows anything about football or this draft wasa complete failure

Which one is it my Dolphans brothers?

Marc, if the 10 or so errant long passes is what you are referring to, fine.

But keep in mind he was targeted 120+ times and he had his share of fukk ups too.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:44 PM

I also posted call up Les Miles if it bothers you so much James didn't play LT. Your always all worked up about little to do with totally nothing. You take yourself far too seriously at times. Then, at times yo're totally aloof.

Those are some "bi-polar" symptoms you know. :)

Mando, I sure hope the staff over at Dolphins' camp are reading your blog post. You make total sense to me but I have a feeling Philbin and crew will start off experimenting as soon as these guys arrive.

cocoa, I never even believe at drafting for position. I think you take the ebst talent period and make it work. There is only one position on the Dolphins I wouldn't have drafted and that was DE - and perhaps QB because you have to give a young Qb a certain amount of time as long as he shows you something. Everything else was fair game. No other position had class players who's starting job should be unquestioned.

I think Pouncey gets off without a suspension. I really hope so anyway.
Good news against New England is Browner will be suspended and Gronk might still be out. That would definitely help our chances.
Posted by: NeMo | May 14, 2014 at 02:05 PM

I hope you're right with no suspension, but that tweet during the draft didn't help. Meanwhile, Ray Rice KO'd his now wife and nothing happens.

That's 10 more TD's MarK. Hardly something to scoff at

And for the record, I think it was a disappointing draft also.

But no season was ever decided in April or May. I remember all the guys who wet themselves last year after what we did in FA and the draft. Wallace, Ellerbe, Wheeler and Jordan. Got us EXACTLY ONE more win in the standings.

Face it fellas, much as we like to think we know it all, we don't. Theres a reason we're on the outside looking in. Team will either succeed or they'll fail and people will be held accountable.

One thing I don't want to hear is excuses for Tannehill. He either steps up this year or its time to start looking for his replacement. Hes got EVERYTHING he needs now to have success. He steps up or we go shopping.

Yeah Mark, I can see this being 2010 all over again. Hopefully it plugged some holes though and the 2012 draft can step up.

I still have big hopes for Jordan and Taylor and to a lesser extent Davis and Jenkins.

Not arguing at all Mark, joking around.

As the draft was going on and our picks coming up I kept seeing all these players available to make Miami a better team. I thought there's no way Miami passes on these guys. Time after time Miami took a pass on getting better.

Miami did improve the OL with the James pick alone. IMO they could have got OG later in the 3rd to improve that position. Miami could have had a OG in the 3rd at the spot they traded up from and still got Bryant at their spot they gave away to trade up for Turner.

It was a really sad display of how to run a draft by Hickey. I just hope if he is around another season he learns from the mistakes.

les Miles never coached James and if anyone is bi polar here man....

And the RT problem that was so urgent? Could've easily been solved in early free agency and free up the first pick. Never had to come to that.

That's bad management.

Imagen a rt in FA and Johnny football in the 1st round

Right or wrong, wouldn't that alternative gotten your pulse beating faster?

Think Riley, Lebron, bosh

And then think hickey, James, Landry

How do you feel?

Well marc, the avg league completion rate on those passes is around 40% so it's more like 4 more tds.

cocoa, I never even believe at drafting for position. I think you take the ebst talent period and make it work.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 02:58 PM

Exactly why you'll never get a call for a GM opening. MIT, the difference between you and the rest of us draft bloggers here. Its more pass time for us, you actually believe that you should be an NFL GM.

Actually, wished you could. Just so it could finally be proven, you would be the worst in NFL history. Making Matt Millen and Jeff Ireland seem like "MOTHER TERESA" in comparison. :)


Where I don't your logic is this idea that it was wrong to take Pouncey at 15 but it was OK to trade up for Lewan to lets say 10, costing us a second round pick and likely more. A first and a second for Lewan tp play RT for the next 2-3 years, a position he's never played before or James and Landry. To me thats an easy one.

I believe Landry will become a good number two in the NFL. I have no problem where they picked him.


You keep saying RT could have been solved early in FA but I've yet to see you name names. Who were you thinking?

Tamba must be kicking theirselves in their asses for letting hickey go and not have this outstanding divisio II draft class

Mark In Toronto,

You do not do people well at all. If you were our GM this year, we probably do not sign even the fa's we did, because no none want to sign because of your smug, think you know it all attitude.

Ecverything's so black and white with you in a world of color. Im sure you haven't a clue of what that means, just like youre so clueless about many other things. You'll always be clueless, because you think you already have all of the answers.

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