May 08, 2015

Miami Dolphins rookie camp roster here (free)

The Miami Dolphins are on the field now. Well, their rookies and undrafted free agents and tryout guys are.

Here's the list:

Name                     Pos.               Ht.    Wt.       Birthdate          Exp.     College            Hometown                   Acq.

Baucus, Mickey        OL                 6-8     293       2/13/92             R          Arizona '15        Mundelein, Ill.                FA, '15

Darr, Matt               P                   6-1     220       7/2/92               R          Tennessee '15    Bakersfield, Calif.           FA, '15

Drew, Ray               DE                 6-5     276       9/24/92             R          Georgia '15       Thomasville, Ga.            FA, '15

Franks, Andrew        K                   6-1     205       1/11/93             R          RPI '15              Carmel, Calif.                FA, '15

Hull, Mike                LB                 6-0     232       5/25/91             R          Penn State '15    Canonsburg, Pa.            FA, '15

Jones, Christion       WR                5-11   187       12/20/92           R          Alabama '15      Adamsville, Ala.             FA, '15

King, Nigel              WR                6-3     210       10/9/92             R          Kansas '15         Raleigh, N.C.                 FA, '15

Liedtke, Michael      OL                 6-3     305       1/15/92             R          Illinois State '15  Woodstock, Ill.              FA, '15

Luc, Jeff                  LB                 6-1     256       2/14/92             R          Cincinnati '15     Port St. Lucie, Fla.          FA, '15

McCarthy, Ellis         DT                 6-5     325       7/13/94             R          UCLA '15          Monrovia, Calif.             FA, '15

Montgomery, Kendall DE                 6-5     262       7/27/92             R          Bowling Green '15          Miami, Fla.        FA, '15

Savage, Dionte        OL                 6-4     343       2/10/92             R          Oklahoma '15    Flint, Mich.                    FA, '15

Vigil, Zach               LB                 6-2     240       3/28/91             R          Utah State '15    Clearfield, Utah              FA, '15

Walker, Aundrey      OL                 6-6     315       1/15/93             R          Southern California '15 Cleveland, Ohio             FA, '15

 

May 07, 2015

Entire Dolphins draft class is signed

It was getting a little repetitive breaking news of Dolphins draft picks signing, one after another.

So I am reporting the entire Miami Dolphins class of 2015 is now signed.

All of them.

First rounder DeVante Parker, second-rounder Jordan Phillips, fourth rounder Jamil Douglas, and fifth rounders Bobby McCain, Jay Ajayi, Cedric Thompson and Tony Lippett.

The team has confirmed the signings.

All are expected to attend this weekend's rookie minicamp which begins Friday.

That is undoubtedly a team record for speed of getting all the picks signed. And, yes, getting these deals done in today's NFL is a predetermined certainty.

But it often doesn't happen until June or even early July for some teams. At least, that's how it has been with the Dolphins in recent years.

It cannot be mere coincidence this is happening for the first time in the first year Mike Tannenbaum has taken over as Miami's executive vice president of football operations.

 

Second round pick Jordan Phillips contract done

The Miami Dolphins are working overtime on contracts today.

Second round pick Jordan Phillips is close to agreeing to terms with the team, The Miami Herald has learned.

[Update: A league source tells The Herald the deal is done].

First-round pick DeVante Parker agreed to terms earlier today.

This is good policy by the Dolphins. The rookies begin a mini-camp on Friday. It is better for the new guys to be thinking about football rather than worrying about possible injury during a camp.

Phillips, the 52nd overall selection, gets a four-year deal.

Miami Dolphins, DeVante Parker close to deal

The Miami Dolphins are not waiting for July to get their draft picks signed.

Per a source, the team and first-round pick DeVante Parker are close to reaching agreement on a four-year deal. The two sides are agreed except for minor language. Beyond that all this really requires is a signature, which should be done by Friday.

The money part is set. The deal will be worth close to $11 million with a $6.2 million signing bonus.

This could be the quickest the Dolphins and a first-round pick not picked first overall come to an agreement in the salary cap era.

Parker, the No. 14 overall selection in the first round, is expected to vie for a starting job with the Dolphins in the base package and certainly in the three-wide set.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Collins to Cowboys

The courting of La'el Collins is over if a report by the Fort Worth Star Telegram saying he is signing with the Cowboys is correct.

Collins, an undrafted free agent offensive lineman, visited the Cowboys along with his mother on Wednesday. There was a report earlier he would be visiting other teams, including the Dolphins.

That apparently is not going to happen.

I have not been able to independently confirm this report. But any deal Collins signs is for three seasons.

[Update: It is indeed true. Collins is a Cowboy].

If this report -- authored by a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America president -- is correct, the Cowboys offensive line will boast four players who were either drafted in the first round or could have been (Collins) based on talent.

Tom Brady discipline: 'everything is being considered'

Two notable topics dominate the NFL landscape now and both affect the Miami Dolphins to varying degrees.

The small tidbit of news I can offer is that the NFL is weighing a suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady that could span up to one season. "Everything is being studied, everything is being considered," an NFL source with knowledge of the disciplinary procedure told me Wednesday night.

The source said it would be wrong to think a season-long suspension will absolutely be the punishment doled out because that decision had not been finalized at the time of our conversation. But he also said it would be wrong to dismiss such an extended and seemingly improbable length of time as the ceiling for discipline.

The source declined to give a discipline floor, or the most lenient discipline Brady is facing. Interestingly, the source did not mention possible discipline for New England coach Bill Belichick or owner Robert Kraft.

It is clear the NFL is expecting to hand down some sort of discipline on #deflategate following the unveiling of the Ted Wells report at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The process is in the hands of NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and others.

(Yes, the Troy Vincent who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, and also played for the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles).

ESPN has reported the NFL would respond to this Wells Report (there was another, you may recall) within days, not weeks.

That time frame is correct. 

Obviously, if Brady misses the entire season, the AFC East is up for grabs. Indeed, this has implications beyond the division.

The last time a team other than New England won the AFC East was 2008 when the Dolphins won the division in a year Brady was injured the first regular-season game and missed the rest of the year.

Even a lesser suspension for Brady could affect the division. New England's backup quarterback is second-year player Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has thrown 27 NFL regular-season passes.

The second matter involving the Dolphins is the ongoing courting of undrafted free agent player La'el Collins by dozens of teams.

The offensive lineman is going to start making trips to various interested teams. Multiple reports Wednesday said the Dallas Cowboys will be the first trip he takes. There is a report by a New Orleans TV station that Collins will visit the Dolphins within 24 hours. I have not been able to confirm this report.

Baton Rouge police confirmed Wednesday that paternity tests said Collins was not the father of the unborn child his ex-girlfriend was carrying when she (and the child) were shot and killed in late April.

Of interest in the Collins matter is whether the Dolphins can offer him a chance to play offensive tackle, something his representatives want because it would maximizes his earning potential for his second contract.

Would the Dolphins do that?

Miami's left tackle is Branden Albert. Miami's right tackle is Ja'Wuan James. The team went to great lengths to get both in 2014 -- paying Albert $46 million in free agency and drafting James in the first round.

What the Dolphins really need is a left guard.

But as Albert is still recovering from knee surgery and James is solid but not great, the thinking here is the Dolphins can always pitch to Collins an opportunity to start at tackle if he is the best player at the position.

They can point to the fact Mike Pouncey, a Pro Bowl center, played right guard last year because Samson Satele surprisingly was the best fit for the team at center.

Most teams, however, are also likely to offer similar opportunities to play tackle if Collins is the best fit available.

Collins visited the Dolphins prior to the draft. Dolphins players went to visit, support, and yes, recruit Collins in Louisiana Tuesday afternoon and evening.

May 02, 2015

Dolphins fifth-round (D) pick: WR/DB Tony Lippett

The Miami Dolphins wanted receivers with bigger catch radius and they got that with their fourth draft pick of the fifth round. They also want bigger cornerbacks.

They might have one or the other here.

The team picked Michigan State WR Tony Lippett, who had 65 catches and 1,098 yards in 2015. That's 18.4 yards per catch average. He scored 11 TDs.

Lippett, 6-2 and 192, was first-team all Big 10. He was the team MVP on a club that also had CB Trae Waynes, who was a first-round pick.

Lippett has interesting position flexibility in that played cornerback at times at Michigan State and can project as a defensive back in the NFL.

Dolphins fifth-round (C) pick: Cedric Thompson

The Dolphins re-signed Louis Delmas to play safety this year but they just drafted a player for the position for the future.

Miami picked Cedric Thompson with their third pick in the fifth round. Thompson, 6-foot and 208 pounds, was a three-year starter. He's a good communicator and good tackler.

He had 83 tackles and two interceptions last year. He ran a 4.5 at his Pro Day.

He took two-hour bus rides to high school to stay away from gang violence in Los Angeles. He obviously has bus riding ability.

 

Miami Dolphins fifth-round (B) pick: Jay Ajayi

The Dolphins didn't get Todd Gurley but today got another running back with a medical red flag.

The team drafted Jay Ajayi of Boise State.

Ajayi, born in England to Nigerian partent, is 6-foot and 220 pounds. He played soccer long before he played football, but obviously he's caught on with the American sport.

He is the only player in FBS history with 1,800 yards rushing and 500 receiving in a single season. 

Ajayi had 50 career TDs. He ran a 4.57.

Ajayi tore his ACL in 2011. He is said to have a bone-on-bone issue with that surgically repaired knee. That's the reason he fell to the fifth round.

Ajayi was projected as a second round pick but obviously fell.

He was off some team's boards entirely because of flunked physicals during the pre-draft process. But obviously the 149th overall pick is not exactly a high investment in such talent.

Dolphins Fifth (A) pick: CB Bobby McCain

The Miami Dolphins have added to their cornerback competition this afternoon by drafting Memphis cornerback Bobby McCAin.

McCain, 5-9 and 195 pounds, ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at the combine. He had a 130-inch broad jump. He is said to have a good leaping ability.

McCain is a playmaker. He had four interceptions returned to touchdowns during his career.

He is a good scheme fit with off-man and zone ability.

"I'm really smart," he said. "I'm not the tallest guy, I'm not the fastest guy. But I'm not going to back down from anybody."

McCain also has return experience. He had a 25.1 kickoff return average last season.

Dolphins Fourth round: OG Jamil Douglas

The Miami Dolphins finally filled a need on the offensive line in the fourth round of the NFL draft today by pikcing Jamil Douglas from Arizona State.

Douglas, 6-4 and 304 pounds, was a first-team All-PAC 12 selection. He was a guard and moved to left tackle as a senior. He is a left guard prospect in the pros.

Douglas is said to be athletic and have a great lower body. He started every game the past three years so durability is a strength. He also is said to need a motivating force behind him to raise his level of play.

"I'm a versatile player, I'm an athletic player," Douglas said. "I'm strong at the point of attack. I'm an explosive player. I'm a disciplined player as well. I'm a smart guy. I can figure things out. I can adjust on the fly and those are all things that come with my game."

NFL.com projected Douglas as a fifth or sixth-round pick. Douglas was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of burglary but the charges were later reduced to trespassing.

"Very interesting prospect," Hickey said. "He's a very athletic, versatile lineman. We're going to put him at left guard."

Hickey said Douglas is especially good on pull blocks and combo blocks.

May 01, 2015

Miami Dolphins pick Jordan Phillips

The Miami Dolphins have selected Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips in the second round of the NFL draft.

And that is interesting because, well, Phillips is a defensive tackle.

And the Dolphins just spent an ungodly amount of money on DT this year when they signed Ndamukong Suh. And they signed Earl Mitchell as a DT in free agency last year.

And the team has needs at cornerback, and offensive guard and linebacker.

Interesting.

Phillips is a giant. He's 6-5 1/4 and 329 pounds.

But his production has never matched his size or athleticism. And he did have conditioning issues at times.

This feels like a boom or bust pick.

 

 

Miami Dolphins exchange second round pick with Philly

The Miami Dolphins traded their second round pick, 47th overall, to the Philadelphia Eagles tonight for their second round pick and other picks.

The details of the trade:

Philly gets No. 47 (2nd round), No. 191 (6th round).

Miami gets: No. 52 (2nd round), No. 145 (5th) and  No. 56 (5th round).

Miami Dolphins ready to 'get wild' tonight

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross just walked into the team's practice facility with a confident Vince McMahon strut and big smile. He walked up to General Manager Dennis Hickey, shook his hand and asked, "You ready to get wild tonight?"

"We're ready," Hickey responded.

And then he turned to me and said, "We're going to try some things."

Ross is obviously feeling good about the Dolphins right now. He's obviously feeling good about Day One of the draft when the Dolphins got receiver DeVante Parker.

And he obviously believes his team has big plans for the second and third round tonight, which begin at 7 p.m.

About that: The Dolphins have the 47th overall selection in the second round. They do not have a third-round pick because they traded it away for receiver Kenny Stills.

So it stands to reason perhaps the Dolphins are expecting to trade back in the second round and gain a third round pick. Or perhaps if they stay at No. 47, they'll try to use other resources to try to trade into the third round another way.

Either way, there is an air of confidence at Dolphins camp now.

Starting with the owner. 

Suddenly the need to improve OL is more obvious

My column in Friday's Miami Herald explains why much of what we saw (and didn't see behind the scenes) with the Miami Dolphins in the first round was mostly about quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Please check it out.

And please, Miami Dolphins, don't stop. Keep going. Finish the job.

You see, as the first round closed on Thursday, it offered a move by the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots that matched a move in the top half of the draft by the New York Jets.

The Patriots improved their defensive front by drafting Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. It was a good pick at No. 32. Brown is a run-stuffer extraordinaire but also can provide some pass rush from the interior of the line and he does fill the sizeable void left by the departure of Vince Wilfork.

The Patriots also have Dominique Easley up front and he's expected to make a jump in his second season. And, of course, their pass rushers include Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones and free agent acquisition Jabaal Sheard. Yes, they have issues in the secondary. But their front seven is good.

The New York Jets on Thursday also improved a very good defensive front by adding USC defensive end Leonard Williams to a group that already included Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples. Yes, coach Todd Bowles is going to bring pressure.

Buffalo GM Doug Whaley said of Williams today: "We thought he was the best defensive and probably the best player in the draft."

The Bills didn't pick anyone but they added Rex Ryan this offseason to coach a defensive front that has featured three players with 10 sacks or more the past two seasons. Until somebody surpasses that, the Bills have the best defensive front in the division and perhaps the NFL.

So quarterbacks in the AFC East, including those facing the Dolphins by the way, had better find a way to get these monsters up front blocked.

That leads me to the continuation of the current draft.

Answering that onslaught of defensive line talent with Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner at guard is not exactly a great plan. Wait. Wrong. Turner gets a pass. He is allowed to prove himself in his first real shot to win a job at right guard.

Thomas gets no such pass. He is currently penciled in as the starting left guard. And as plans go, that's right up there with the Napoleon's strategy at Waterloo. Bad. Terrible idea. It is a prescription for disaster. (Nothing personal against Thomas, just basing this on what my eyes have seen).

And so the Dolphins, which helped Tannehill by getting him DeVante Parker in the first round, had better be thinking of adding a guard here in the next round or two that is able to rewrite the depth chart at left guard.

It must happen, in my opinion, or the Dolphins are going to be searching the free agent scrap heap for help at that spot the rest of the offseason and going into training camp. And unlike past seasons when bridge guards were acceptable (not really, but they weren't horrible) the fact the AFC East is loaded with defensive line talent demands an answer that is more than mere afterthought.

Look, I'm no draft expert. Yeah, keep your snide remarks to yourself.

But among the guards that are still available that are upgrades over Dallas Thomas, I would include:

South Carolina's A.J. Cann.

FSU's Tre Jackson.

Maybe (eventually) Hobart's Ali Marpet.

There are probably others. And the Dolphins personnel department likely knows all the candidates, of which there may be a handful more. The point is guard is absolutely a need for Miami. It was a need going into this draft. It is moreso following a day in which two of its three AFC East rivals made their good defensive fronts even better.

NOTE: Check back throughout the day again today for updates.

April 30, 2015

Miami Dolphins select WR DeVante Parker

DeVante Parker is a Miami Dolphin.

The Dolphins just selected the Louisville wide receiver with the No. 14 overall selection.

He was the best combination of best available player and filling a need.

The Miami wide receiver corps now consists of Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews and Parker, the rookie.

Gurley to Rams; Waynes to Minnesota, Parker still available.

The Miami Dolphins war room has suffered its toughest setback in the 2015 NFL draft after running back Todd Gurley was picked by the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams picked Gurley with the No. 10 overall selection.

That after the Dolphins hopes the Georgia running back would be available with the No. 14 overall pick. Gurley was the favorite of multiple Miami people, not the least of which was owner Stephen Ross.

Damn you, Jeff Fisher!!!!

The Minnesota Vikings followed by picking cornerback Trae Waynes, another presumed Miami target.

Three names emerge as most likely Miami Dolphins picks

Of all the possibilities the Miami Dolphins are juggling in picking No. 14, with those expertly outlined here, I am told by sources three names have emerged as the most likely picks this evening.

DeVante Parker.

Todd Gurley.

Breshad Perriman.

Apparently in that order.

Parker gets the slight nod over Gurley because, well, he's healthy and Gurley is not quite there yet. Gurley, who had knee reconstruction surgery in November, is said to be at around 75-80 percent in his rehab work without doing full lateral movement yet. He is expected to miss the season's first month (conservatively) but the player is shooting for being ready for training camp.

But as there is at least a significant possibility Parker will be gone by the time the Dolphins pick, Gurley is more than just a name I've been pushing in this space, on my twitter or on numerous radio interviews I've done.

He is legitimately a consideration at No. 14 for the Dolphins. This is for real.

Indeed, outside NFL sources are telling me Gurley is so talented, so impressive when healthy, he might be gone before Miami picks at No. 14, also. He is a hot name today and several people I speak with are saying you pick him for the long-term rather than the first month of his rookie season.

Perriman, the UCF wide receiver and son of former Detroit and Miami wide receiver Brett Perriman, is in the conversation as well. He ran that sub 4.3 time at his Pro Day. And the Dolphins are convinced talk of his inconsistent hands is mostly that -- talk.

They are increasingly comfortable with his hands and believe they will improve even more.

One caveat: If Gurley/Parker/Perriman or two of the three are there at No. 14, the Dolphins may be tempted to auction the pick as long as they are convinced they can get one of the players in the trade back.

Miami Dolphins 2015 draft: More debate, disagreement than usual

Everyone has an opinion this time of year when it comes to NFL prospects and strategy and overall decisions to be made in the NFL draft.

And apparently the Miami Dolphins are voicing those opinions more this year than in the past.

"I can't remember when we've ever had as much debate and disagreement voiced since I've been with the team," one Dolphins source said this morning. "It's been more than ever from what I've seen and heard and that's going back pretty long while."

The source went on to say there was "not a lot of disagreement" when Bill Parcells first became the Dolphins football czar in 2008 and through 2010. He said Jeff Ireland allowed for more debate than Parcells but not a lot. And he said last year did not offer too much debate because there was a lot of agreement in new general manager Dennis Hickey's first year.

"I can see a difference this year," he said. "I'm not saying anyone takes a disrespectful approach. So don't go crazy and make this a controversy. But it has gotten a little heated at times."

And new football czar Mike Tannenbaum has made that point that, hey, that's awesome!

"Again, the good news is we’ve had a lot of disagreements," Tannenbaum said multiple times during the team's pre-draft press conference. "I think that’s what we all want is to have robust debate." 

And ...

That could be very good.

Or it could be very bad.

Look, professionals paid to give their opinions drawing on their expertise and making it known is healthy. It adds layers to a decision that will shape the future of the franchise.

But I can also see where the folks who disagree on certain decisions and lose the debate could later absolve themselves from the decisions that do not work out favorably. We could get an every-man-for-himself approach.

Time will tell. But ultimately, what often happens is the good decisions have many fathers and the bad ones, as John F. Kennedy once noted, could become orphans.

2015 Draft day: Possibilities everywhere

The 2015 NFL draft begins in earnest this evening and the Miami Dolphins should be on the clock sometime around 10:20 p.m. And although the Dolphins (and five other teams) come to this draft with only six picks -- tied for the fewest -- the local club is awash with possibilities.

Here are some scenarios that are possible tonight:

1. Louisville's DeVante Parker, considered the draft's third best wide receiver prospect, lasts until the Dolphins pick at No. 14 overall in the first round. And the team that believes him a value at that spot picks him.

2. Despite depth in the WR class that will last into the third round, the Dolphins understand that Parker is likely to be picked before No. 14 and have other plans. Those plans can include trying to move up to get Parker. Or doing nothing and hoping Parker falls -- which, as I've reported, is a gamble because multiple scouts have told me he'll be gone before No. 14 with the Rams (10), Minnesota (11) and Cleveland (12) being pressure points for the pick.

3. If Parker is picked and the Dolphins remain at No. 14 because they deemed moving up too costly (remember they don't have a surplus of picks) then there are multiple players that will interest Miami. Those players:

A. Todd Gurley. The Georgia running back is a "top 7-10 pick all day long" if he were not recovering from reconstructive knee surgery so he would clearly be a value at No. 14 for Miami. Multiple mock drafts have the Dolphins picking Gurley. I have the Dolphins picking Gurley. I want the Dolphins to pick Gurley. 

Why?

World class speed -- he returned kickoffs for the Bulldogs -- in a 6-1 and 224-pound frame. He was productive. He played at the highest level of the college game against top competition. And he's a good person, according to multiple sources, which is important.

Look, the Dolphins are picking No. 14. An elite prospect is there, they should pick that prospect and start working on the second round. Period. Dare to be great.

Interestingly, if the Dolphins decide running back is a luxury because offensive coordinator Bill Lazor uses them only 10-15 times a game far as we've seen, they can auction the pick for the right to pick Gurley.

San Diego, picking No. 17 and needing a running back, might be a partner. The Chargers might also try to get ahead of the Miami for fear the Dolphins might pick the running back.

At any rate, do not be surprised if the Dolphins come away with a running back at some point in this draft.

4. If Gurley and Parker are gone or if Parker is gone and the Dolphins are going to pick for need rather than best available player, then the pick might be at cornerback. The Dolphins value Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson.

Why is cornerback a need? The team has no proven asset to start opposite Brent Grimes. Jamar Taylor is inconsistent when he's healthy and even at that, he's rarely healthy. Same for Will Davis. So who exactly is going to win that spot?

Remember: Last season, general manager Dennis Hickey picked to address the team's greatest need in the first round. He picked for need.

5. An NFL source insisted to me Wednesday that the Dolphins are high on Breshad Perriman from UCF. This was echoed by a source close to Perriman. All that may be true, but at No. 14? Seems high to me.

6. In trade-back scenarios into the late teens or 20s, watch for LSU's La'el Collins as a guard prospect despite the swirling issue surrounding him. Watch for U-Conn cornerback Byron Jones. Personally, I like Laken Tomlinson, the Duke guard -- and I don't mean point or shooting.

I predict this draft will see trades galore. Teams are looking to unload players while adding picks.

The Dolphins were looking to trade Dion Jordan but, um, well, that's ruined.

San Francisco is reportedly making OG Alex Boone available. Expensive. A rental unless he's signed to a contract extension.

Philadelphia is making their entire roster available. OK, maybe not the entire roster. But cornerback Brandon Boykin is available. OG Evan Mathis is available -- although the Dolphins have shown no interest. And ILB Mychal Kendricks, which makes sense for the Dolphins, is available. The asking price is expected to be a mid-round pick for each of these players, although the Eagles are asking for better than that.  

The one that should interest is Kendricks. I believe he would be an upgrade over Koa Misi at MLB and it allows the Dolphins to move Misi back outside where he is probably more comfortable and has more experience.

There were reports the Bears are making TE Martellus Bennett available. This is a move that would be hard to fathom for Miami because he wants a new contract (read big new money) atop the draft pick it would require to get him.

NOTE: Come back throughout the day and during the entire draft for updates and newsy tidbits and insight and, well, you get the drift.