The first draft of the Dennis Hickey-era has come and gone, and the results from around the league show what averages out to be a B+ draft for the Miami Dolphins.
Draft grades however are for gasbags who have nothing better or more original to write, even gasbags like me.
This won’t be your typical gasbag article where we draft the Miami Dolphins’ 2014 NFL Draft. The link to that piece was posted above. This is a look at the pros and cons of each Miami Dolphins draft pick.
First Round, Pick 19–Ju’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
Pros: The Dolphins got their starting right tackle in Ju’Wuan James, which was one of their goals of the draft. James, unlike other players in the past, won’t have to go through the transition from left to right tackle and back.
Because of this, James can focus on playing right tackle and remain at the position throughout what should be a long and fruitful career.
Cons: Value, did the Dolphins get the proper value of the 19th picks in James? If James is a starting right tackle for a long time, this won’t matter, however we do know that after the pick, the Arizona Cardinals switched picks with the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a third round pick.
Was such a deal available for the Dolphins? General Manager Dennis Hickey did say that the Dolphins turned down deals, and I see the logic in that, however it should be noted that no offensive lineman was drafted in Round 1 after James.
James will turn out to be a very good pick, but James with a third round pick for the 19th pick would’ve been even better.
Second Round, Pick 63–Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Pros: A wide receiver who will go up and get the ball when it’s thrown in his direction and who isn’t afraid to get down and dirty and block. Tremendous route-running abilities and an Anquan Boldin-style of play that passing games need to thrive. I love this pick.
Cons: Yes, there are cons: Landry isn’t the fastest receiver, nor is he very big. OK I’m done, I love this pick too much.
Third Round, Pick 67–Billy Turner, Tackle/Guard, North Dakota State
Pros: Billy Turner is a big and athletic mountain that can play both tackle and guard. He was dominant against his opponents, including Kansas State in September of last season.
Cons: Turner will be a guard, which he can play, but thus far hasn’t played a lot of yet (he played left tackle and right tackle in high school and college). How will he adjust to a new position while also adjusting to a different game speed?
Fourth Round, Pick 125–Walt Aikens, Cornerback, Liberty
Pros: Aikens is a big and physical boundary corner, the type that the Dolphins currently don’t have on a roster filled with good but short corners.
Cons: How will Aikens’ game translate to the NFL after spending time at Liberty? Has he learned from his time at Illinois?
Fifth Round, Pick 155–Arthur Lynch, Tight End, Georgia
Pros: A big red zone target who looks straight from the old-school that can block well, but don’t sell his pass-catching abilities short, for at times Lynch reminded me of a bigger Charles Clay.
Cons: Lynch can do a lot of things, but he’s not elite at anything. He’s good, not great, but can be a valuable weapon.
Fifth Round, Pick 175–Jordan Tripp, Linebacker, Montana
Pros: Great athleticism and talent, Tripp can play both MIKE and WILL linebacker positions and can excel in special teams in his rookie season.
Cons: Miami’s linebackers need help, can Tripp provide that help immediately, or will we have to wait on his development?
Sixth Round, Pick 190–Matt Hazel, Wide Receiver, Coastal Carolina
Pros: Hazel has good size for a receiver who will fight for the ball and has good speed. It will be a fight for a roster spot for Hazel in a crowded position, but it will be a good one.
Cons: Is Hazel ready for the NFL primetime after playing college ball at Coastal Carolina? Can Hazel make himself stand out ahead of Armon Binns, Rishard Matthews and Damien Williams?
Seventh Round, Pick 234–Terrence Fede, Defensive End, Marist
Pros: He’s big, and did well against small school opponents. Has good speed and coverage skills.
Cons: Marist College isn’t a football powerhouse in the lower levels of collegiate football. The only reason I’ve heard of Marist College prior to the Dolphins drafting Fede is due to the fact that I went to a Marist-run high school.
Overall, I like the Dolphins’ draft class, let’s see if they can be more productive than the 2013 draft class filled with promise but cursed by injuries.
Follow Thomas Galicia on Twitter, @ThomasGalicia.