« Jeff Ireland address Friday night's Dolphins draft picks; Stephen Ross speaks out | Main | Tuesday update: Fins bringing in three more tackles; NBA announces Heat date; Canes »

Analysts break down Fins' draft picks; How Cavs' move affects LeBron;Canes decline overtures

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

What the evaluators are saying about the Dolphins’ Friday and Saturday draft picks:

### ESPN’s Mel Kiper rated Jamar Taylor fourth among all cornerbacks and said “he went from a fifth-round to a second-round pick on his performance this season. One of the stronger cornerbacks you’ll find. Plays the ball well. Good instincts.”… CBS’ Rob Rang: “Every bit as impressive in zone, press and off-man coverage as well as run support.”…

ESPN’s Todd McShay: “Will be a really good player.”… NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: “Consistent on every tape I studied. Rock solid.”… Pro Football Weekly: “Short arms” but “desirable speed, cover skills. Can play outside or inside” and will “become a solid No. 2 corner.”.. Had four picks, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2012.

### NFL Network’s Mike Mayock had only a fifth-round grade on third-round cornerback Will Davis. “I kept getting mixed messages,” NFL Network’s Charles Davis said. “One guy liked him a lot. Next guy, not so much.”… Rang compared him to Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall, in that both have good coverage skills “and may only need greater physicality to emerge as a starter.”….

Pro Football Weekly: “Finesse corner. Needs to get stronger to jam stronger receivers and shed blocks. Average timed speed. [But] should contribute immediately in sub-packages before developing into a No. 2.”… Five picks, 17 pass breakups last year.

### Mayock and Davis agreed Tennessee’s Dallas Thomas is better at guard than tackle. If Dolphins coaches agree, he could replace Richie Incognito in a year…. Mayock: “If they think he’s the answer at tackle, I would disagree.”… As an example, Davis said Thomas “played appreciably better” at guard than tackle against Florida….

The good news: Thomas did not allow a sack either at left tackle in 2011 or at left guard in 2012. But Rang said he is “vulnerable to outside speed rushers” at tackle…. More Rang: “Explosive punch, which he often uses, to knock defenders back in run game.”… Pro Football Weekly: “Clear starter potential” but “looked more comfortable at guard” than tackle. He graded out at 98 percent at left guard in 2012.

### Kiper said Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins is “a good cover guy, can run. Durability concerns. He could have been a first- or second-rounder if he returned to Florida. You added Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe at linebacker, and you have Koa Misi. Incredibly strong in the upper body.”…

Mayock: “Jenkins is going to make a living on special teams.”… Pro Football Weekly: “Agile, smart and good closing speed. Can run with backs/TEs” but “lacks ideal height [6-0], length and bulk. Poor body fat (18 percent) raises questions about conditioning. Can be overpowered facing inside runs.”

(Jeff Ireland, by the way, said tonight Jenkins "has a chance to be a starter" in the future.)

### Kiper said tight end Dion Sims “can stretch the deep middle, which is rare for a kid this size. Ryan Tannehill will like his big frame and soft hands and ability he brings in the pass offense.”… Twenty nine of his 36 catches in 2012 went for first downs or touchdowns.

But evaluators disagree about his blocking skills. McShay said “he’s going to have to improve as a blocker” and Kiper said “I’d like to see him dominate more as a blocker.” But Mayock said: “He and [Cincinnati’s Travis Kelcie] are the two best in-line blocking tight ends in this draft.”… Pro Football Weekly also said he needs to improve his blocking technique but he's "a load to bring down after the catch. Three-down potential, given size and athleticism.” But he has “concentration drops” and “immaturity could be limiting.”

### Mayock calls Mike Gillislee “an underlooked, bigger back that does everything well without one spectacular trait. Will pass protect. Catches the ball well.” … Davis: “You know what I love most about him? His odometer is low. One year as a featured runner.”… Has a sterling 5.3 career yards-per-carry average, with four fumbles in 421 touches…

McShay: “Some guys have a nose for the end zone. He does [11 touchdowns last season].” Perfect change of pace back."... Kiper notes he has some kickoff return experience, with modest results…. Pro Football Weekly: “Lacks ‘wow’ factor and top end finishing speed. [But] good instincts, vision… Very consistent across the board in every area and has tools to become a very dependable backup. Could prove to be a better pro than college player.”

### Pro Football Weekly on kicker Caleb Sturgis: “Excelled from distance. Experienced, dependable kicker whose strong leg and consistent accuracy give him the look of a longtime pro.” Missed only four of 28 field goals in 2012, but three were blocked…. Was 17 for 22 on field goals of 40 or more last two years. Ireland said it will be a competition between Sturgis and Dan Carpenter.

###### Kiper called Arkansas State safety Don Jones "underrated." (In fact, he was the first under-the-radar prospect I mentioned the FIns were looking hard at more than a month ago.) He has 4.4 speed in the 40 and an impressive 42-inch vertical jump, and the Dolphins will use him at corner, likely in the slot. NFL.com's Gil Brandt said he projects as a fifth or sixth corner. It won't be surprising if he makes the team as a seventh rounder, like Jimmy Wilson did.

CHATTER

### As of last week, Miami hadn’t offered Eric Winston anything more than a one-year deal at very low money, but Winston remains an option unless Miami and the Chiefs revive talks on Branden Albert. The Dolphins and Chiefs discussed the 54th pick, but Miami ultimately decided not to offer it, though they did reach a financial understanding with Albert had a trade gone down.

Jon Gruden said Winston’s play was a “disaster” last year, but keep in mind Pro Football Focus ranked him a solid 26th of 80 tackles (allowed three sacks, 25 quarterback hurries). By comparison, Albert was 25th (1 sack, 12 hurries). Miami hadn't called Bryant McKinnie as of last week and also hasn’t called former Falcons starter Tyson Clabo, among the best free agent tackles left.

### The Fins are giving a tryout next week to Duquesne DB Zach Richert, who is Dan Marino's nephew... The Fins added several undrafted receivers: Arkansas State's Taylor Stockemer, Mississippi State's Chad Bumphis, Northern Iowa's Terrell Sinkfield and Mount Union's Jasper Collins.... Arkansas OLB Alonzo Highsmith, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, also signed with Miami after the draft. He's the son of the former UM great, now a Packers executive.

### Though he was a good team guy, a Dolphins player said Davone Bess grew frustrated at times the past two years after some games when he wasn’t involved as much in the offense as he would like. Bottom line: If he hadn’t been traded, being a fourth receiver likely wouldn’t have sat well with him.

Ireland said tonight he's comfortable with what Miami has at the position. The Dolphins see upside in Rishard Matthews and Armon Binns, who will compete with the undrafted rookies and former practice squad members Jeff Fuller and Brian Tyms for the No. 4 and No. 5 receiver jobs. With Miami using a lot of two tight-end sets, the fourth receiver could end up playing less than last year (16.6 percent of offensive snaps last season for the No. 4 receiver).

### A friend of LeBron James said Cleveland’s re-hiring of coach Mike Brown doesn’t hurt the Cavaliers’ chances of luring James back in 2014 but doesn’t tilt the odds toward Cleveland, either. “He left Cleveland with good feelings for Mike and speaks highly of him [privately],” the friend said.

James’ friend makes the Heat the front-runner to keep him when he can become a free agent in 2014, but also said Cleveland cannot be ruled out because of “his love for Akron – how special it is to him. I’d be very surprised if he considers anywhere but Miami and Cleveland.”

### James, by the way, surprised teammates by giving each of them a new pair of snazzy headsets before the playoffs. Rashard Lewis said that’s the sixth gift he has given teammates this season.

### Remarkable: Chris Andersen has 31 points and 19 rebounds in 42 playoff minutes, and the Heat has outscored the Bucks by 37 points during those minutes. That means he’s averaging a ridiculous 38 points and 22 rebounds per 48 minutes. For perspective, Joel Anthony averaged 8.0 and 7.9 per 48 minutes in a similar role last postseason.

### UM declined overtures to open the 2014 season against LSU at Houston’s Reliant Stadium – smart, considering it will be the first game for Stephen Morris’ successor at quarterback. UM doesn’t need him opening against a usually-stout LSU defense.

### Though Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco said previously he expects to be traded at some point, no team had inquired as of late this week and the Marlins expect talks won’t heat up until the summer, when a contender needs a starter. The Marlins, on a historically anemic pace offensively, hadn't actively looked to trade for a hitter as of Friday.      

### Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

QUIJOTE

Herald's Walter and Greg confirming inevitable reality that large, public universities sustain long term traction and growth...

"...Remembering when UM used to be all over the first round, not Day 3 scraps. FIU equals Miami with two picks: safety Johnathan Cyprien (2nd round/33rd) to Jaguars, and defensive end Tourek Williams (6th/179th) to Chargers..."

"...For the Miami Hurricanes, the 2013 NFL Draft pales in comparison to the program’s glorious past, and it can’t stack up to the number of premium picks used this weekend to draft players from Florida State, Florida or even FIU..."

FIU PANTHERS ON THE RISE.

...Cue dUh haterz...

Juan

Like the draft, but wish they could have gotten tackle. Tannehill is going to be on his butt a lot.

Fred

Worried that Jordan won't live up to hype. Sack numbers weren't impressive.

NaplesFin

without a left tackle they're screwed.

benz

Jordan was back in coverage a fair amount.....which hurt his sack numbers

Marios

Can't say I'm too thrilled about this draft, we got better but still no red zone threat which was our main problem.
We got better like everybody else but with all the picks we had it wasn't impressive with so many trades.
It was okay, but I would have preferred:
1- Eifert
2- Jamar Taylor
2- Keenan Allen
3- Dallas Thomas
3- Damontre Moore/Corey Lemonier
4- Shamarko Thomas
5- Brandon McGee
5- Mike Gillislie
6- Dustin Hopkins
7- Jordan Poyer
7- Don Jones or OLB

But I support the offseason moves and hope we have closed the gap on New England. I suspect we are underestimating the improvement of Martin at LT and Yeatman might be ready to compete in right side, Garner was good enough, we're good to go.

Beans

Yes, Mike Brown should lure LeBron James back to Cleveland. That should do the trick. How about surrounding James with talent in Cleveland first? The Cavs weren't even a playoff team in the weak East for crying out loud. So now the Cavs are going to be playoff bound by the time LeBron become a free agent? The only thing holding LeBron James back from staying in Miami is simply the city and the fans. The fans in Miami aren't exactly real sports fans.

Georgeh'

Everyone who is clamoring for a left tackle has to remember Jonathan Martin was drafted out of Stanford to be the LT if and when Jake Long was gone. Martin, mind you, was projected by some to be a top 15 pick overall last year so Miami really "stole" him in the second round last year.

The issue with Martin has nothing to do with his technique, discipline, footwork, etc. It isn't to say he doesn't need any improvement at all in those areas, but the main issue with him was his strength. You can add strength. Now that Martin has one offseason, I think he will turn heads and be a good starting LT. In limited games last year he performed relatively well at LT despite having to readjust to the position after spending the entire year at RT and he went up against some petty good competition.

I'm not saying Martin is going to be an ALL-PRO LT but I think we should give him an opportunity to prove his worth. He has had one full offseason to add some strength and he is entering year 2 in his young NFL career. Let's give him a chance. If anything, the Phins should sign Eric Winston to a short-term deal and place him at RT. I think the line will be much more solid than some people are expecting.

Doobie

I thought the canes would play anyone ...anywhere ?

loneoutcast

"FIU PANTHERS ON THE RISE.

...Cue dUh haterz..."


...second to last among the pathetic pansies of the Rainbow Belt...yeah, sure you are.

chuck

The dolphins should pick up ray ray as rokkie free agent

Miami Penguin

I want headsets!

Reality Bites

Aside from Tackle, the Fins got what they needed inthe draft. Pass rusher, corners, another TE, RB, LB and kicker. Not bad.

LBJ going back to Cleveland to play with a bunch of scrubs is ludicrous.

FIU did better in the draft than the canes. So did most ACC and SEC schools.
Canes ducking LSU, just like they duck FIU. Golden boy will only play pansies from now on. Usual ACC pnsies and only OCC pansies. Only plays 2 good teams this season. FSU cause he has no choice and UF cause it was penciled in years ago. If he is still around next year he will only play 1 good team in FSU. That's the only way he can have a winning season. Pathetic.

Jmike

chuck, you're kidding about Ray Ray right. Why would you think he would help. Have you even looked at his workout times. Very slow, and very weak.

Barry Jackson

To those commenting on Armstrong: Ray Ray's father told me that his son expects to sign with the Rams.

Matt

Cavs have Kyrie Irving. Not a scrub.
Anderson Varejao. Not a scrub.
Tristan Thompson. Not a scrub.
Dion Waiters. Not a scrub.

I'm not even a fan of either team and I can point this out rather easily

rboud

Sturgis was a great pickup for the Fins. Carpenter has been good, but this kid will take his job. I'm not sure why the Fins chose Gillislee with Ellington from Clemson still available. Gillislee is a tough back, however, who knows how to play the game.

gocanes1

cannot understand the lack of interest for Clabo

Bo Brown

Love the Sturgis pick,im cool with the Jordan pick,I love the picks of the three Florida guys(my college team)but wouldve taken Ellington with one of those picks.Not sold on Thomas,he was taken to early.But all in all Our DOLPHINS did GOOD!HERE WE COME YALL,WE ON OUR WAY BAAACK!!

Marios

Fins D.Line is better suited for a 3-4 D, we can stand up Wake on one side and Jordan on the other, then if we want to go 4-3 we plug in Vernon for Jordan, our front 7 may be the best in the league if Jordan pans out. We can also cover TEs better now with Jenkins. Much improved. Hope Sims can help in the red zone and even Rishard Mathews should be an improved player as will Martin. Wouldn't mind a tackle.

MJZ

LeBron James is not going anywhere, he wants to win championships and Miami is where he can do that.

Wade is playing another 5 years, yeah, reduced minutes each year going forward but so what, he'll show up for the playoffs.

Riles will keep adding the players LeBron needs to win once Battier and Ray Allen retire. Whenever that is cause both guys look like they have visited the fountain of youth. Ray is 38 in July, I give him 3 more years and Battier just 35 in Sept.

LeBron could not ask for a better supporting cast than what he's got in Miami.

green

UM declined overtures to open the 2014 season against LSU at Houston’s Reliant Stadium – smart, considering it will be the first game for Stephen Morris’ successor at quarterback. UM doesn’t need him opening against a usually-stout LSU defense.
-- barry jackson

bring it on ...
what happened to anytime, anywhere ...
where the outcome in doubt ...
a far cry from yesteryear ...
would rather lose than run from competition ...
that, my friend, is the yellow-bellied gaturd way ...

DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE

green

Another bad loss today by UM baseball, 3-2, to BC. The Eagles had lost all 20 ACC games this year before winning 2-of-3 from UM this weekend
-- jorge milian

BROKEN RECORD

Reality Bites

Compared to Miami's roster, the Cavs are a bunch of scrubs. Heck compared to the other 8 playoff teams they are still a bunch of scrubs. That is why LBJ left why would he go back? To even think about that is asinine.

Little green pea that is the Golden plan, to run from competition. He can't afford to keep losing. I see you are as delusional as a good ole cane, the Gators played the top 5 toughest schedule last year and play in the best conference in the world. Gators play the best and keep winning. You play the worst and keep losing. I mean you sissies have tried it all, cheating, paying in the soft Big East and now the softer ACC, and now scheduling pansies OCC and running from competition. Who's the yellow belly Ibis?

green

FIU equals Miami two picks

FIU PANTHERS ON THE RISE.

...Cue dUh haterz...
Posted by: QUIJOTE | 04/27/2013 at 11:40 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Miami_Hurricanes_in_the_NFL

The University of Miami's football program has set multiple records in producing players who go on to the National Football League. The Hurricanes hold the record for most players selected in the first round in a single draft (6, in 2004), most first-round draft picks in a two-year period (11, from 2003 to 2004), most first-round draft picks in a three-year period (15, from 2002 through 2004), and most first-round picks in a four-year period (19, from 2001 through 2004). For a 14-year period, from 1994 through 2008, Miami had at least one player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Miami Hurricanes are also 10th overall on the NFL's all-time number of draft picks with 311.

As of the 2012 NFL season, UM had the most players active in the NFL of any university in the nation, with 53, including players on NFL Practice Squads and Injured Reserves.
-- wiki

INCOMPARABLES DE TIJUANA

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.