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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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And I know Willie Anderson was the 10th pick in the '96 draft and played his entire career at RT. Pretty good player too. Don't remember anyone saying that was too high to pick. Anyone remember if he player left or right tackle for Auburn?

I bet this draft Class can put a hell of a fight against FIU

because craig, Lewan is an elite talent that will eventually play LT. James is a decent RT prospect

LTs are a more important and more difficult position to fill than C or RT.

It's only our idiotic management team that has a hard time filling these spots while a team like Tennessee shows them how it's done in two short seasons without overspending on anyone.

Plug n play RT in Oher in free agency at $5M per. Grab an elite OG in a water downed draft in the top ten - exactly where he was projected to go. Grabs a C in the third round of said draft. Get Lewan at #11 this year.

That's how it's done.


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

Posted by: Craig M | May 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM

It's called meaningless babble. Anything to make himself feel he's always right.

I do like James but I believe Hickey freaked. Could be wrong, might have been (I doubt it) picked off. But we got a RT and probably a starter.

But where I think he fukked up the most was after that pic. We needed a guard not a LT that they HOPE will be a guard and certainly not a slot guy. And how about a ILB? 5th round OLB? Gimme a break

All the while this was going on....lots of talent slipped thru Hickey's fingers.

here were the top eleven OTs going into free agency per rotoworld, pick one ...surely one of these could've fit the bill? Or is James better than ALL of these guys?

1. Eugene Monroe (Re-signed five-year, $37.5M deal with BAL)
2. Jared Veldheer (Signed five-year, $35M deal with ARZ)
3. Branden Albert (Signed five-year, $46M deal with MIA)
4. Anthony Collins (Signed five-year, $30M deal with TB)
5. Rodger Saffold (Re-signed five-year, $31.7M deal with STL)
6. Donald Penn (Signed two-year, $9.6M deal with OAK)
7. Michael Oher (Signed four-year, $20M deal with TEN)
8. Breno Giacomini (Signed four-year, $18M deal with NYJ)
9. Austin Howard (Signed five-year, $30M deal with OAK)
10. Zach Strief (Re-signed five-year, $20.5M deal with NO)
11. Charles Brown (Signed one-year, $795K deal with NYG)

probowlers? probably none.

but maybe they will make probowlers out of the rest of the team (Tanny, Wallace, Miller, ?clay? /// Jordan, Grimes, Ellerbe, Jones)

no suspension for Pouncey.

2013 draft > 2014 draft

cocoa, I don't think it was a good draft for ILBs - personal opinion only - haven't been for a few years now - could these guys be going the way of the Dodo??

Yippppi more players than aren't any good but they make others good, like that mitchel guy that thanks to him JJ Watts is a monster

Pleeeeeease brother pleeeeewase have mercy


Rather than give me a list, tell me which guy you would have gone after and I'll tell you why it might or might not have worked.

I couldn't be a GM. I am not into scouting current pros or working contracts and what not. BUT I believe I could be a college scout. I enjoy watching film of players and seeing how their game will translate into the NFL.

I think Mark is spot on with his analytics. Drafting BPA I believe is better suited for teams that are there or close and have NO glaring holes to fill.

That is where FA comes in and goes to another point Mark makes about filling those needs so you can go BPA in the draft.

Oher and Giacomini were only good enough to play RT for the super bowl winners... they couldn't play for Miami?

And Mark,

You say 'elite' tackle but where you are wrong is because the experts say he is doesn't mean he will be. Riley Reiff? Jason Smith? Tony Mandarich? Andre Smith? Chris Samuels? Many others.

Theres a ton of assumptions in your theory, Mark, the biggest one being because a guy was a well thought of LT in College, he'll have an easy transition playing RT in the pros.

They were absolutely right not to trade up for Lewan, IMO.

I will take James over Penn this year, he is on the back end of a good NFL career.

Yeah you're right, Mark...Oher was the reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl....I forgot.

If he was SO good, how come Ozzie let him walk? Could it be because he wasn't worth the money? How come the Titans were the only team that showed any interest?

reality is that some guys have skills/traits that peg them at a specific position, and others don't....but can be a good player either way, the latter maybe offers more flexibility but it doesnt necessaril mean "he not good enough to play one or the other"--we see successful hybrid players all the time....and even here, most of us wanted to see Wallace line up in different spots, sometimes wide and sometimes in the slot....so does that mean he's a flanker, or slot reciever?--who cares?

AND, as some here have said, to have a guy who can fill-in at Tackle if needed, if an injury or whatever, is very valuable--but the fact that Turner can play both is a bad thing?

To me the Jets VASTLY overpaid for Giacomini. This is where your logic makes no sense, Mark. You rip the 'phins for signing Shelley Long because hes been a part time starter and yet you want this clown who looked good on Seattle's roster, having started 8 and 9 games the last two years.

I can't wait to see Wake and Jordan have their way with this guy and then see what you say. To me, Giacomini is only slightly better than Clabo. Lets see who's right.


Its not a bad thing he can play both, its a bad thing if he ends up being a back-up to both. He needs to be able to play guard...at a high level imo.

Collins and Howard were the top paid RT's in the free aganecy period at around $6 million per year. HTF can you ask if James is going to be better than these guys ? One could only answer maybe.

James was the best RT available in the area of most need. I don't want to see Thill collapse like last year going down like Bambi because he isn't Russell Wilson who can keep the play alive, get rid of the ball, or outrun pass rushers on a consistent basis.

Clabo and Martin only made our season worse, add to that a pathetic o-line coach, awful OC and weak HC. Addressing the RT was the biggest problem on this team, except QB and Hickey addressed it. Hickey wasn't allowed to bin Thill because Thill is tied to Philbin this year. Another losing season would see them both out the door.

I don't understand why we passed on Carlos Hyde for a D Bess clone ? I thought Lazor would like to run the ball and have a short yardage threat. Drafting Hyde would have taken so much pressure of our need to pass so often and give Thill a fighting chance to develop into a game manager.

Giacomini is not very good.....cant find many (or any, outside of the Jets org) that disagrees--that signing was beyond a stretch

Craig, the physical skills that Lewan has plus his consensus grade of 1st round will tell you he will work and be very good.

His metrics and first round grade put him in the same ballpark as jared Veldheer, nate Solder, Lane Johnson and Trent Williams. No bust in the bunch.

Craig @ 3:25 making comments like that is why people yell at you here.

When did I say he was the reason they won?

I said he was good enough to play RT for the super bowl winners, Giacomini too.

Is Brock Jensen the starting QB yet?

totally agree rick--going by most comments I've seen, that feel that Turner should be able to transition to G....so I'm going with that as the "most likely" scenario (hoping it is, honestly)--just saying that if he can play G at a high/adequate level, its a bonus to have him be able to spell briefly at T if needed--the Dallas Thomas situation is raising plenty of doubts I'm sure, and rightfully so--hopefully Turner is better.

So there was nobody in the top 10 free agents that could play RT for us?

James is better than all these guys?

Craig, you argue just to argue. Even when your argument is based just on your own opinion and no emperical proof at all.

Posted by: Craig M | May 14, 2014 at 03:31 PM

I happen to like that Mark has joined the Dark Side and is now ripping the 'Fins. MUCH BETTER than him being a cheerleader for a crap mediocre team who's shown nothing. Mark's putting them to the test, showing them where they keep falling short.

I happen to disagree about Landry (I think having a WR who catching everything is a plus) but we'll let the Season play out and see what's point.

THE POINT, gentlemen, is that OUR team has 1 winning Season in a DECADE!!! THAT'S a problem.

Anyone see any end in sight?

We'll see, Mark. When they're all stars you can tell me I was wrong.

For the record monroe was never leaving Baltimore and Veldheer is a LT and wanted to be paid like one and play there. We signed Albert, it would make ZERO sense to sign one of the other two for that money and play RT and they would have no interest doing it. Collins wanted to play and be paid like a LT and Saffold was injured and sucks. Penn was injured and on the downside (Hickey would know), we talked about Giacomini and Howard and Oher both suck. Strief was never leaving New Orleans, which leaves us Charles Brown, who I only know from his cartoons. So given the choice of Brown or James, I'll try my luck on James.

what's what. Damn autocorrect.

mid round picks are younger and cheaper than most/all decent FAs....and decent draft picks are the ONLY way to effectively manage the cap


Were you talking about ME or YOU?

Gave you my response to those guys. I gotta agree with the other guy, you would suck as an NFL GM. You want to pay your RT $30 mil plus, most of whom would have no interest adjusting or playing there. LT is the prestigious position, as evidenced by the fact Monroe, Albert and the Philly LT didn't move last year, despite the new guys being top five picks.

Hahaha, there you said it, not one RT option for the Dolphins.

Easy game to play. Just make up some story about every player. Every player that can play RT sucks although professional teams with much more success than Miami signed them to do that exact thing.

Miami has used up all it's goodwill with me, man. They've run out of excuses. The recent track record is when Miami decides to one thing it's usually the wrong option.

So you'll have to excuse me for being critical until they get it right.

Well if i would suck as Gm, then that would fully qualify me to work for the Dolphins then because all these clowns have sucked going on two decades now.

The Ravens weren't happy with Oher last year. That much I know is true.

Like Marco said their was 2 maybe 3 serious RT candidates for us in free agency last year.

My guess is after signing Albert they planned on filling the other through the draft.

Trading up for one of the top would have been too expensive. Martin wasn't worth trading up for. Maybe the could've, should've traded dowm and gotten James where he was projected to go but they didn't want to risk it. Is what it is at this point.

It looks like Philbin and Ross had some influence on the pick to me. Just looking at James being plug and play ready and we know Philbin isn't quick to put a rookie on the field. Then of course theres the whole team captain character thing that was the theme of the draft.


So I don't have it wrong, why don't you explain your comment at 3:22pm better. Obviously I misinterpreted what you were trying to say.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 03:48 PM

LOL! So does this mean you guys aren't going to meet in Detroit this Season and kiss and make up?

Well if i would suck as Gm, then that would fully qualify me to work for the Dolphins then because all these clowns have sucked going on two decades now.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 14, 2014 at 03:48 PM


Can't argue that point.


Who did thESE teams sign to play RT? I count Howard, Giacomini and Brown. Who is is that you wanted that you're mad at the Dolphins for not signing?

I said they were good enough players to play on the best teams in the NFL the last two years running. they weren't such an impediment to offenses running the last two years that they couldn't play for us?

cat fight


I don't know about kissing and making up (methinks you've got Michael Sam on the brain too much) but he is buying beers in Detroit.

I'm cool with, Mark. He's as hard head as me, maybe worse (OK definitely worse), we just see the world differently.

For the record, if Hickey fukked up the draft, I want BOTH him and Philbin gone, and he can take his flunky QB with him. Whats Ryan Mallett up to these days (right, Kris?).

maybe its as simple as Miami is trying to finally build through the draft, like the best teams do....cheaper and younger--instead of overpaying FAs that other teams dont want--maybe?

Craig, I've explained myself many times.

Given you the list of top ten tackles on the market.

If it was such a huge need for us, surely we could've found one and paid him and freed up the pick.

You think right tackles aren't worth paying but they are worth using first picks on?

Come on man...

benz, likely excuses although I don't know many teams that are built on their right tackle....

I'm not talking league average MarK. I'm talking about a WIDE OPEN Mike Wallace where if the ball is thrown to him in stride those are guaranteed TD's. Instead, more often they were INTs. Culpepper and Wallace would have been pro bowlers together. Just toss it deep!

Sure Marc, whatever you want to believe.

You think Wallace was any more open this year than he was the previous year with ben?

yet his #s were pretty darn close...

benz has said it at least twice now...(we paid for LT), gotta draft for RT. cant pay for that position when there are other needs, and better positions that will demand contract extensions.

BPA is great, IF IF IF you can afford it. "ya gotta line up", and right now (then) Fins needed 4 freaking o-linemen.

BPA is Fantasy Football working its way into real football. its not a must-do...unless you are SF who's team is loaded.

Yeah I do, Mark. i'd rather pay for one in the draft, than offer a big contract to a guy who's not a natural RT. You weren't going to get Monroe, Veldheer, Collins, Strief and I'm not sure why you'd want to give big money to any of the other guys.

As you said, 'big need for us'. That's why you put a natural RT there at $2-3 mil a year.

Don't get why you'd complain about the money for Flannagan but be prepared to hand out $30 mil over five years to a guy like Howard. Makes no sense!

"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."

The whole story was good and true. I would like to point out that this is a strange Dolphins trait that's been going on for quite some time. It's not just Philbin and Hickey. It was Philbin and Ireland, it was Sporano and Ireland, it was Cameron and Mueller, not sure about Saban but my question is this, is this just a Dolphins thing or do other teams do it too. Why would multiple coaches and gms from different teams and backgrounds all have the same ideas about moving players to different positions but only when they work for Miami.

It doesn't make sense. It tells me that every team does this. And if we're calling the coaches and gms out for doing things different during the draft we cant then call them out for following suit when it comes to drafting players to play different positions.

Craig, you should feel great about this offseason then.

Me, not really. I think it was very inefficient.

Let's see who's right in a few months.

Posted by: Craig M | May 14, 2014 at 03:58 PM

Hopefully EVERYONE is on the "Fire Them All" kick if we don't win at least 9 games this Season. Not fair to Hickey? WHO CARES! Team needs patience? NOPE! NOT THIS FAR DOWN THE HOLE WE'RE IN. It's either win or go home boys.

But, actually Craig, I did like that kiss b/w Ebony and Ivory. Everytime I see a gay man I get a little chubby, means there's one more less competition for these beyatches!

Remember 2010!!!

I'll concede the 40% would have still been 4 more TD's and 4 less INT's. Probably good enough to win 2 more games and make the playoffs ;)

Again there were really just two tackles I was hoping for after Albert was signed. Howard and Collins. Who's to say they didn't just say no to the Fins.

We know Strief told us to fukk off.

Looking at what the Bucs did for example though I don't know if I would feel any better if I were a Bucs fan. They signed 3 middle of the road free agent lineman. They don't know for sure they will be a good system fit and really gel as a unit??

Hickey did fine in his transformation of the oline. Beginning with:

1. LT Branden Albert

Nothing more need be said.

2. RG Shelley Smith

Young and has the athleticism need to plug and play into a Zone blocking scheme. Can pull too

3. RT Juwann James

Best damn RT available fa or draft. Yet MIT cries like a baby over.

4. LG Billy Turner

Pick 50, Dolphins felt no OG was available that translated better into their zone blocking scheme. So they parlayed this pick into: Jarvis Landry/Billy Turner, and Jordy Tripp. Nice work by Hickey by this alone.

Not to mention he got his day one starter at LG, in Turner. Being a LT, you know he has the athleticism to plug and play into the zone scheme. Not only that, we're getting a very athletic LG, unlike Incognito, who only had enough athleticism not to trip over his own two feet.

Regardless of what Mark Crybaby In Toronto would have you believe. Hickey did a very fine job on this oline rebuild and it all pans out once the regular season begins!

Posted by: Phins78 | May 14, 2014 at 04:09 PM

That's a true fact. I think it all started with Parcells/Ireland. Position flex turned into watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Me? I say do one thing well and if you can do more fine. But don't EXPECT a player to be something he ain't

Nothing more needs to be said except

Albert always misses time

Shelley Long has never started

Pouncey may be facing suspension

Turner has played guard?

Thomas - coaches are taking their time to figure out what he is although they've had him in house for a year

James - nfl rookie

YG - still a sniveling moron. tell us YG, how did that 2nd pick become three players again, fool?

other than that, things are great.

Just glad they signed an excellent o line coach.

he's got work to do.

DC, I'm on board but it better be 10 wins

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