2015 Draft in Review: Miami Dolphins
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
That’s right every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents. Up now?. Up now is the Miami Dolphins, who came into the draft with some needs to fill on a relatively rounded roster. So how did they do?
Round 1: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
DeVante Parker was one of our favorite players last season, when he had a nation-leading 4.21 Yards Per Route Run against Power 5 teams. The fact that Parker fell to 14th overall makes him a steal, pairing him with Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry gives the Dolphins a strong starting trio of WRs with complementary skill sets.
Depth Chart Fit: Day 1 starter, no other wide receiver on the Dolphins roster has the all-around skill set of Parker.
Round 2: Jordan Phillips, DI, Oklahoma
The Dolphins hit it out of the park with their first two picks, while defensive tackle might not have been a ‘need’ position, adding Jordan Phillips gives them a chance to have a dominating front four to challenge any in the league. Phillips is a raw prospect, a true one technique who will command double teams in the run game due to his size, which might not be possible for opponents to manage with Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake also on the line. Phillips biggest strength is against the run where he had a 9.0 run stop percentage against Power 5 teams, the fifth-best mark among defensive tackles in this year’s draft.
Depth Chart Fit: As a rotational defensive tackle splitting time with Earl Mitchell, but Phillips has the talent to overtake Mitchell by the end of the season, especially on rushing downs.
Round 4: Jamil Douglas, OT/OG, Arizona State
With a huge need at guard, the Dolphins took Jamil Douglas in the fourth round. Douglas struggled in pass protection for Arizona State, where he had a 95.2 Pass Blocking Efficiency, which tied for 80th out of 92 tackles in this class. While Douglas did struggle in the passing game, he was much better versus the run. If the move to guard can hide his struggles in the passing game, the Dolphins might have found a new starting guard.
Depth Chart Fit: As part of the camp competition to start at one of the two guard spots. Even if he doesn’t win the job expect him to see playing time this season, due to the lack of depth at the position.
Round 5: Bobby McCain, CB, Memphis
The Dolphins came into the draft with their biggest needs at guard and cornerback, having added a guard in the fourth, they moved to address their concerns in the secondary in the fifth. Bobby McCain from Memphis projects best as a slot corner. McCain improved over the second half of the season, where he went from allowing 1.35 yards per coverage snap to 0.87 from Week 11 through to the bowl game.
Depth Chart Fit: Most likely as the backup slot cornerback behind Brice McCain.
Round 5: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
Jay Ajayi fell in the draft after concerns about the health of his knee raised questions over his longevity. Yet in the fifth round, it is certainly worth rolling the dice on taking a player with his talent. Fumbling issues are his biggest negative, but he still had the fifth-highest rushing grade in this years class.
Depth Chart Fit: As part of a running back committee with Lamar Miller.
Round 5: Cedric Thompson, S, Minnesota
Thompson had an up-and-down season in 2014. His best game came against Iowa in Week 11, then the week after he struggled against Ohio State. Thompson had too many missed tackles and will need time to develop, but he has a chance to be involved early if he can make an impact on special teams.
Depth Chart Fit: Back up safety and special teams player
Round 5: Tony Lippett, WR/CB, Michigan State
Regardless of whether Tony Lippett played wide receiver or cornerback, he was highly productive. The Dolphins reportedly plan on moving Lippett to corner, he only played 88 snaps on defense so there is a large element of projection involved when it comes to predicting what he can be. He was targeted nine times, with three catches completed for 56 yards, while Lippett displayed his receivers instincts by knocking down four passes.
Depth Chart Fit: Expected to be backup due to his lack of experience playing defense, but if the learning curve moves fast he could challenge for playing time sooner than expected.
Mike Hull, LB, Penn State: Hull graded positively in all areas — had the second highest grade in coverage against Power 5 teams last season.
Zach Vigil, LB, Utah State: Vigil had the 10th-highest run stop percentage at 12.9, thanks to 58 stops in the run game. Second-best overall and run grade for all linebackers in this years draft.
Damarr Aultman, WR, Maine: Aultman made minimal impact when Maine faced Boston College, but tested well enough to earn a shot.
Christion Jones, WR, Alabama: Jones was only targeted on 32 passes, dropping three of them, though he didn’t drop any after Week 2.
Nigel King, WR, Kansas: King had an average depth of target of 16.8 yards. He was targeted over 10 against both Iowa State and Baylor, recording 100+ yards in both games.
Mickey Baucus, OT, Arizona: Baucus had a Top-10 pass-blocking grade, but was in the Bottom 5 as a run blocker.
Dionte Savage, G, Oklahoma: Savage only played on 62.9% of the offensive snaps, but only allowed four total pressures last season.
Michael Liedtke, G, Illinois State: Out of Illinois State, no snaps against FBS opposition
Kendall Montgomery, ED, Bowling Green: 30% of Montgomery’s total pressures came in a two-week spell against Massachusetts and Buffalo.
Ray Drew, DI, Georgia: Drew had the 11th-highest pass rushing grade against Power 5 teams for defensive interior lineman.
Ellis McCarthy, DI, UCLA: On 105 snaps in the run game, McCarthy had seven stops.
Jeff Luc, LB, Cincinnati: Luc had the third-highest pass rushing grade for all linebackers last year. He recorded 10 total pressures on 48 pass rushing snaps.
Neville Hewitt, LB, Marshall: Hewitt had the 11th-best run stop percentage for all 4-3 OLBs at 9.9%.
Matt Darr, P, Tennessee: Darr had 27.3% of his punts returned.
Andrew Franks, K, RPI: Out of RPI, no snaps against FBS opposition.
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