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The draft picks and their roster consequences

The NFL draft is one week old today and, personally, I'm still digesting all the meat it served up. As you know, no team draft's in a vacuum. There are reasons teams pick certain players and certain positions. Like elections, drafts have consequences.

Today we study those possible consequences.

We look at each pick and follow the intended fallout to see what it means, not only for the position but for other players who were already on the roster.

First round -- RT Ja'Wuan James.

Consquence: This one is easy because it practically guarantees that Miami will get back on track in putting its first-round pick in the starting lineup from the jump. The Dolphins took a detour from that last year with Dion Jordan, but prior to that, six consecutive first-round picks dating back to 2007 had been starters on Day One. James is Miami's starting right tackle on Day One and so we can get past the idea that often-injured Jason Fox will be Miami's starting right tackle. Sure, there will be a competition. That's the right way to do it. But, um, James will win the competition. And if he does not, something went horribly, horribly wrong.

Second round -- WR Jarvis Landry

Consequence: Landry is immediately an option as a slot receiver but he will have to play special teams like the dickens to be active on game days. Here is the reason for the uninitiated: The first three WRs -- Brandon Gibson, Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace -- get their reps on offense. None play special teams. The fourth active WR has to play special teams. Period. This pick suggests the Dolphins will keep five instead of four wide receivers on the roster. Last year Miami kept only four coming out of camp. Or, failing that, one of last year's four -- Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Rishard Matthews -- is gone. Well, yes, one of the last year's four is gone. As I've explained to you previously, Matthews' days with the Dolphins are numbered. Despite his career high 41 catches for 448 yards and two touchdowns a season ago, Matthews is not a favorite of the coaching staff, particularly head coach Joe Philbin. My column explains why. Because Landry is a second round pick, he is almost guaranteed of making the team. So that means veterans such as Armon Binns, Kevin Cone, and Damien Williams are already at a numbers-game disadvantage -- again, unless the club goes with five receivers on the roster instead of four.

Third round -- G Billy Turner

Consequence: The Dolphins have been undecided about which side (left guard or right guard) Shelley Smith will play. The Dolphins have been undecided about which position (guard or tackle) Dallas Thomas will play. Well, Turner not only looks like a guard to me but feels like a left guard. The fact he's a rookie also suggests sandwiching him between veterans Branden Albert (LT) and Mike Pouncey (C) might be a better idea than putting him next to fellow rookie Ja'Wuan James. But here's the ripple effects of that: Dallas Thomas now becomes more valuable to the Dolphis as a right tackle because he can compete with Jason Fox for the backup role. Or he becomes valuable as a swing G/T. If he's the backup RT, Fox suddenly becomes expendable. If he's the swing G/T, that suddenly puts Nate Garner's roster chances on the line, pardon the pun. Turner on the roster means David Arkin, Thomas, Fox, and Garner are in a scramble for a roster spot.

[Peanut gallery: But Mando, you didn't mention Sam Brenner ... Isn't his spot on the line as well?]

Thanks for bringing that up, gallery. In fact, the Dolphins are viewing Brenner as a C/G option. And because center is a big part of that option, perhaps the biggest part, he becomes valuable because Mike Pouncey still faces NFL sanctions for his participation in last year's harassment scandal. If Pouncey misses time, Brenner is likely the starting center.

Fourth round -- CB Walt Aikens

Consequence: The Dolphins committed two early draft picks to the CB position a year ago when they drafted Jamar Taylor in the second round and Will Davis in the third round. The fact they felt a need to go cornerback so high speaks highly of what they think of Aikens but also suggests they are hedging their bet on either Taylor or Davis -- particularly after they signed Cortland Finnegan in free agency. By the way, Don Jones had an awful draft. Not only did he get caught up in the Michael Sam issue, but if Aikens is a good special teams player he threatens Jones's roster spot. Veteran Jalil Brown also cannot be thrilled.

Fifth round -- TE Arthur Lynch

Consequence: This one really, really interests me. At first I viewed Lynch as another Jeron Mastrud -- a role player whose role is an in-line blocking TE grunt. But the more I talk to people about Lynch, the more I hear he's an underrated pass catching threat as well. No, he's not fast. He's not been dynamic in college. But he's got possibilities. And that should worry a number of guys on the roster. Charles Clay is not one of those. He's just been picked as one of the NFL's Top 100 players by a voting of his peers. (The vote means nothing other than it shows respect for Clay but at the point he's ranked ahead of Dallas TE Jason Witten, the vote loses credibility). Anyway, Lynch's addition should worry Michael Egnew. This kid has basically been on scholarship for two years because he was a third-round pick in 2012. But that was a different GM and a different coach, in that that Philbin could afford to carry some dead weight on the roster his first couple of years but he's coaching for his life now. His job is on the line in 2013. I don't see another scholarship year for Egnew. This pick also suggests the team is not as enamored with Dion Sims, a fourth-round pick last year, as it seemed. Again, Sims was picked by a different GM and, it must be noted, is pretty much supposed to be the same kind of block-first TE that Lynch is. Meanwhile, if I'm Kyle Miller, I see the writing on the wall. Lynch does not close the door on Jermichael Finley (I don't see that) or a return for Dustin Keller (his reps say he's healthy although he's not ready yet) but I can see only a crack of light through that opening.

Fifth round -- LB Jordan Tripp

Consequence: People who live in the clouds will tell you this means Phillip Wheeler is out because Tripp is going to start at Middle linebacker or weakside linebacker, allowing the Dolphins to move on. Well, Wheeler may indeed be out after 2014 but not necessarily because of Tripp. It would have to do with Wheeler's performance. No, this picks should be ringing in the ears of players such as Jonathan Freeny, Jelani Jenkins, and perhaps even Jason Trusnik. This pick is immediately about special teams. And that is primarily where Freeny, Jenkins and Trusnik make their bones. Trusnik, you should know, is a fine special teams player. But he's going into his eighth season and he's scheduled to cost $1,071,688 on the salary cap. He gets cut, the Dolphins save $855,000.

Sixth round --WR Matt Hazel

Consequence: Unless Hazel is an epiphany that shines suddenly and violently out of pitch darkness, he will have a hard time making this team's 53-man roster because for all his gifts -- he's long and relatively fast -- he simply is not ready to beat out the top 4-5 guys right now. Maybe he gets the rookie scholarship and makes it just because he was drafted. That wouldn't say a lot for Williams and Cone. At worst, Hazel is a practice squad possibility.

Seventh round -- DE Terrence Fede

Consequence: The Dolphins seemed to have more defensive ends than they knew what to do with last year. With Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby around, there were hardly enough snaps to go around for then-rookie first-round pick Dion Jordan. So how does Fede fit? Who does he beat out? None of them. I suppose he's insurance in case of injury. I suppose he is practice squad material.


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Posted by: Hydrashock | May 15, 2014 at 02:38 PM

I won't lie and say I haven't thought over the scenario of the tradedown......

If staying @50 I would have picked J.Hill (Off field stuff had us passing but I would have selected)

In 2nd trade down were we gave Hyde to S.F. best of the rest at WR & RB were already off the boards and while others have taken to knocking Landry to death! I myself like the selection and believe when he's contributing some here will eat there words! We'll all see come Dec.!

I really like the athleticism I see out of B.Turner but we gave up a chance to take 2 players this rd to get him and do wonder if Trai Turner and RB T.West in this Rd wouldn't have suited the team more??

Even then I excused it given I felt there was still a bruiser on the boards in Coastal Carolina's Lorenzo Taliaferra who went ot Balt. while we took another DB??

I think missing on taking another RB to groom as POWER RB was a mistake targeting Positions with depth. I will however remind that the constant debating means nothing! It's a done deal and nobody knows how it turns out till Dec. for those yielding early results and as a whole till 2016 on this class with some serious projects on it!

Makes me wonder if Hickey doesn't have assurances of more time??


Mark, problem is this happens every draft.

There will obviously be players drafted lower than Landry that will perform much better than Landry, but we can't use these few, select guys as a way to show that the front office failed. 32 teams passed on all of these lower-round guys more than once, if they predicted they'd be so good they would have drafted them in round 1 or 2. It wouldn't matter what the value was.

Teams, fans, and "experts" have no clue who will be prime NFL prospects after the top 10. No one thought Gronk or Grahm would have been a BEAST at TE in the 3rd.

No one thought Sherman would be a good CB in the 6th.

No one thought Brady would be a good QB in the 6th.

If teams knew their potential they would all be top 10 picks. It's a crapshoot. This pick at least looks to be better then the previous WR picks (unfortunately that can be by default too).

We'll have to wait and see when the season begins.

need a
qb still

What we have learn on this blog is it's all about guessing what will happen with the team. No one knows any thing but the cloud. Bill

I'm not a fan of everyone knocking Hickey for drafting James at #19.

What if we traded down to the late 20s and a team with a luxury pick (meaning their team has minimal holes) picked up James because they had an OL hole. We would be KILLING Hickey if he didn't land a top OL prospect. He HAD TO take James at 19.

Best part is, our team had the ability to pass on BPA and grab James which was a need. We have OL and LB holes - Mosley was gone (helped by an amazing Alabama defense, glad Ravens got him and not us) and so was Zack Martin. Who else was there left to pick at #19 that would have thrilled us?

We have young WRs (albeit not the greatest, but certainly not the worst - young with potential). We have decent RBs (for now, this may be a problem next year). We don't need a TE (resign Clay please). We don't need DBs as long as one of the drafees last year pans out. We don't need secondary help. We don't need DL help. We don't need ST help.

True MD20, but when I'm pickign these guys out on draft day or weeks before draft day and they perform better than the players our trusted GMs pick, that's a problem.

Look at teams like Tennessee, new Orleans, Pittsburgh, KC, etc.

They actually take players wee discuss here and they perform. is it a secret? Now, this part of the job is actually pretty easy. At least to get a good player out of rounds 1 and 2? Any of us can do that with a web site and possibly and excel spreadsheet and a few hours to watch some games.

Yet year after year after year teh Dolphins announce players nobody here speaks of and then we complain about how drafting is a problem - how we don't end up with any stars... and go gaga when a player we drafted actually hits #92 or whatever it was on the NFL 100.

Posted by: fin4life | May 15, 2014 at 03:05pm

Good post fin. I think Trai Turner and Hyde made sense if you are assuming Miami is trying to become a more run balanced offense. Judging by the picks, I don't think that is what Philbin and Lazor are thinking at all.

I see a lot of single back 3 and 4 wide sets with short/intermediate passes to move the ball. I think we will see the occasional handoff, using Landry in motion as an inline blocker.

Billy Turner makes sense with that concept considering he was a dominant pass blocker in college. Putting him at LG means we immediately have no worries on the blindside and he could eventually transition into Albert's successor at LT.


Shht. Let's see how it plays out. My expectation is that it will play out poorly but I hope I'm wrong.


As fans we get a little fickle too. Being Dolphins fans theres good reason but we always assume the others teams are smarter than ours.

On this very sight during the draft there were several of us (myself included)lamenting that we better not draft Marcus Martin as Armando suggested might happen.

Then after the 49ers drafted him there was twice as many talking about what a great pick it was and how we missed out. Some of course who were right there with me before hand hoping we didn't.

need a
qb still

Posted by: 2 watt | May 15, 2014 at 03:12 PM

It takes these morons 3-4 years to realize it. Chad Henne 2.0

Mark, you will get no disagreement from me in regards to Miami's draft history.

In short, we are absolutely awful.

Get us a legit franchise QB though and all of those failed drafts go unnoticed(like what the Pats have done the past 10 years)

Trusnick is gonzo, finally I hope.

I hope your wrong too ETF. Odds probably aren't with us though. Surely the bleeding has to stop sooner or later though.

Rick, I couldn't agree more. It's natural skepticism that our team can't draft. Any player that we picked would have been instantly met with "what are the dolphins thinking!?"

he could eventually transition into Albert's successor at LT.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | May 15, 2014 at 03:17 PM

Here is were his value down the road can't be measured. You watch film on this kid and don't need to be an NFL Scout to see his immense upside. A real great athlete but again I wonder if Hickey (And everybody else) Doesn't have a private assurance from Ross to stick with the status quo no matter the out come unless a 5-11 Yr.?? I see alot of upside on some of these selections and think a few will stick on the active roster but there worth is down the road with there contribution at prestent on ST's.

Great piece, Armando.

Looks like this will be a feeling out year, with lots of disappointing Ireland picks going and draft picks and free agents getting a good look.

On offense, keys are new OC, running game and of course Tannehill, On defense, keys are whether the new "attacking" style will work, including against the run, and perhaps productivity from Jordan and at least one of the rookies.

Forget analytics, let's see who can or cannot play.

Grimes bought his mom a house in Florida....


Perhaps Ireland's best work....


Posted by: fin4life | May 15, 2014 at 03:05 PM

We could wait for some of the new prospects to boom (or bust) on a few years, I have no problem with that.

For example Landry should be able to play (and block!) as expected sometime in the near future, but even if he fails we still have 3 starter WRs in the roster right now. We could always have more WRs, obviously, but even in such a worst-case scenario we already have at least this minimum for coaches to work with.

The ugly thing is that we really needed to draft a solid OG. Not a project, but a starter able to play right from day one. But Hickey failed to provide and right now our offensive line STILL remains an unfinished job...

While the rest of the league is signing its draft choices ( The Bears have signed ALL of them already) Our Miami Dolphins have our guy's doing landscaping. Everybody sing along! Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins #1....

agree with armando, landry probaly wont even be active half the season

I think Lynch is going to push Sims to perform because both are projected to be very good blockers. Going over last years games I saw more impact blocks from Egnew than Sims. Also the longest pass to Egnew was about 5 yards.Sherman had a HO for Egnew and never allowed him to attempt a big play. Hope Lazor is a lot more creative than the old man.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | May 15, 2014 at 03:17 PM

Billy Turner shows potential, but he doesn't have any valuable experience playing as a G and his technique is still too raw for the NFL.

its pretty simple.....they'll carry 3 TEs so its Clay, Sims and Lynch....yeah, Egnew is gone but should be, but I dont see how this is necessarily some knock on Sims--#1, its not like he was so impressive last year to begin with....looked ok and he can improve but he was only a 4th rd pick, so hardly a lock anyway.....#2, whats wrong with continuing to try to upgrade the TE position, by adding decent/young (and cheap) talent? Groom Clay, Sims and Lynch and hopefully they'll turn into a solid trio over time

The ugly thing is that we really needed to draft a solid OG. Not a project, but a starter able to play right from day one. But Hickey failed to provide and right now our offensive line STILL remains an unfinished job...

Posted by: Hydrashock | May 15, 2014 at 03:34 PM

I disagree. Turner and Smith should be able to man the LG and RG without issue. The thing to point is we didn't draft mauling T-Rex type interior guys. We got long armed guys with good lateral speed. I see a very pass happy offense with some pocket movement out of the 2014 team.

I'm not a fan of everyone knocking Hickey for drafting James at #19.

What if we traded down to the late 20s and a team with a luxury pick (meaning their team has minimal holes) picked up James because they had an OL hole. We would be KILLING Hickey if he didn't land a top OL prospect. He HAD TO take James at 19.

Posted by: MiamiD20 | May 15, 2014 at 03:13 PM

We had a trade partner in N.O. @27 which put us behind Az, G.B., Cle.,S.D.,Cin.,Philly and of course N.O.! In this group Az. and K.C. needed the help with everybody speculating that K.C. in particular might have made this pick.

It's a possibility when you see they drafted a player in Dee Ford who was probably the high grade on there Board at a pos. in DE/OLB were they have Ali and Houston but by the same token they did lose Asamoah (Atl) and B.Albert to us and are swinging 2013 #1 Fisher over so they can use a RT. We'll never know given M.Moses was rated higher and is a fit in a Power Scheme they run as well?

I feel the pick of Buchanon by Az was there way of upgrading on the backend to compete in there Div. At the end of the day to many variables with a team F.O. set on fixing the OL before Hickey even arrived!! This is the player the Org. wanted IMO and Hickey had little say in the matter given input from Ross,Aponte and Philbin (Ross said there was a committe approach) a mistake IMO as well.

dusty, landry will be active all year, and then some.....mando didnt say otherwise....he said Matthews's spot is in jeopardy and he's right....ie. Landry will take his place as the 4th receiver.....5th at worst, if Matthews sticks....but Landry is better than Matthews now, and has more upside--he'll push Gibson over time--and Binns sucks, so I dont even know why he's in the conversation....supposedly had a nice camp last year but then was flat out embarrassing in pre-season....felt bad for him, he was so bad

matthews and marlon moore (yikes) took over as our 3 and 4 late in the year, with injuries....and it was brutal....matthews (and certainly binns) dont make the roster of a good team....not even close really

Also the longest pass to Egnew was about 5 yards.Sherman had a HO for Egnew and never allowed him to attempt a big play. Hope Lazor is a lot more creative than the old man.

Posted by: morphin | May 15, 2014 at 03:41 PM

Well, Tannehill cant throw more than 5-10 yds in the air with accuracy. And Egnew isnt a pro player. Hard to believe he's still on the roster.

f4l, there were a tonne of teams that needed a RT

We were the only ones who decided to spend a first pick on one after the cupboard went dry.

Pitt, KC, Carolina... for example

no, its clear egnew cant play at this level....teammates made numerous references to the dude not being able to remember the plays, after quite awhile (ok, so they cant say he's dumb but I can)......and they also made numerous references (beyond references actually) that he flat out wasnt tough enough to hang at this level....so he's basically dumb and a pu%#y....aint gonna cut it

loso204, Only someone with no sense would get rid of a receiver who has caught 1000 yard 2 consecutive years with one that caught 0 yards one tear and 400 the next. Pretty foolish don't think loso204.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | May 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM

Agree on the pass-happy offense but I don't think Billy Turner will succeed on the G spot this season. He has no experience at the position and he is too raw for the NFL. We would see!

Cant wait till D Thomas and M Egnew are off the team.

Well let’s hope the terribly non athletic landry has a better dolphin career than combine studs Randall Hill and Ted Ginn. We hope hickey sees an OJ Mcduffie.

If he is as good as Hartline or Gibson you get cheaper labor if you decide to part ways with one of them in 2015 or even this year.

says they'll keep 4 WRs out of camp (and possibly 5)....then says matthews days are numbered....so its wallace, hartline, gibson and landry...and matthews if 5--and if you watched any of landry's college highlights, the dude has been a destroyer on special teams at times--plays special teams like he plays WR--aggressive, physcial, competitive....at 120%, 120mph

matthews and marlon moore (yikes) took over as our 3 and 4 late in the year, with injuries....and it was brutal....matthews (and certainly binns) dont make the roster of a good team....not even close really
Posted by: benz | May 15, 2014 at 03:48 PM


Finally someone who gets it! I thought I was losing my mind.

Hydra....as to Turner's "no experience" at the G position....he slides over 18 inches and plays the position next to the one he normally plays--the dude was a pretty highly regarded (ie. talented) player, not a 7th rd roster filler....going from T to G is hardly automatic, but its not like you're talking about a plumber to an astronaut....plenty of guys can play all 5 OL positions, so "no experience" at G isnt a dealbreaker necessarily

benz he basically said if he doesnt learn to play st well he could find himself inactive, i agree

mark we picked before car and kc

rick it all sounds good, but landry hasnt done a thing yet in nfl. hes an unknown and will have to excel at st

And what, Dusty?

Why didn't they jump all over Cyrus because he plays a position of need and had a first round grade on him?

cause maybe they wanted james? maybe they had bigger needs elsewhere. i was at the arrowhead draft party and the idiot fans were chanting for m lee when kc was up

ok dusty but apparently he doesnt know that he played special teams at times, well, at LSU....thats a fact.
mando contradicts himself apparently without even realizing it....says landry battles matthews for a spot but then soon after says matthews days are numbered and he's likely out....so wouldnt that mean landry's the 4th WR by default? (he will be)

and of course he's an unknown...but they're ALL unknowns...so what does that mean exactly?

last, and dont underestimate this....REALITY is that landry was a 2nd rd pick, whether you agree with it or not...and in the "GM credibility/reputation" world, that gives him a HUGE advantage in keepint a roster spot over a 7th rder (Matthews) or UDFA (Binns....who sucks)--thats also a fact--the 2nd rounder gets EVERY benefit of the doubt (witness D Thomas, Egnew as a 3rd)....Matthews/Binns dont---Landry sticks....book it

no, KC def didn't draft for need at all.

M Lee would've been a Miami pick if they were in KC's shoes.

I never said their plan was going to work. I just think I understand the their thinking on it. Nothing is a guarantee.

I'm just glad their trying to upgrade the position although the 2nd rd is higher than I thought they would take a WR.



benz come on man quit comparing ncaa to nfl. no comparison. landry was c johnson in ncaa

mark kc said it was a need with hali most likely being cut after season

kc wanted to go wr also, but there man was gone before they were up. wanted cooks badly

dusty.....you (and mando, but mando is just trying to write anyting interesting, to keep things going, in mid may) continue to ignore probably the biggest factor, which I pointed out--landry, as a 2nd rd pick, will be given EVERY opportunity to earn a roster spot over a 7th rder and and UDFA....GMs lose their jobs, quickly, if rookie 2nd rders cant even make the roster....the ONLY reason Daniel Thomas and Egnew are still around is because of where they were drafted (and that might change, with Ireland now gone)--you think either would still be here if they werent high draft picks? (please say no....)

benz never once said landry would be cut anytime soon. course he makes team

yes but you say above that he could be inactive if he doesnt learn to play special teams....but he already has played special teams, plus if matthews and binns are gone, then he cant be inactive because he'll have to be the 4th WR....no?

and, are saying that matthews (or binns....no, please) are better than landry? (realizing that landry is an unknown....but c'mon)

dude, yes he's an unknown, but landry was rated the 50-ish best prospect in the draft by more than 1 reputable/well known source.....was among the "favorite players in the draft" of some of the pundits....was chosen as the Fins "best pick" by 1 or 2 as well--its not like he's some unknown, to say the least


JuWan built houses all thru college!

What a douche he is...

If they had someone to play this year then it's not an immediate need.

They drafted BPA purely.

And yes, Cooks would've been the man ... for a lot of teams ... and probably should've been for us too

Trusnick is gonzo, finally I hope.
Posted by: Darkoak | May 15, 2014 at 03:24 PM

Can probably ad Freeny to that list..

Mark, if the Dolphins wanted to bring in a guy to compete for slot WR duties, Cooks was right there.

Benz, I hope Landry works out. He had great production and I watched some nice highlights. He's just going to have to prove the doubters wrong.

He wasn't the guy I would have picked, but I will now be rooting for him to succeed.

Should Egnew get the axe this season..dollars to donuts Belichek puts a claim on him, turns him into stud/Hernandez

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