Trying to understand some of the Dolphins’ 2014 draft class

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With a week of camp under our belts and the first pre-season game less than a week away, I thought it would be a good idea to look at a few of Miami’s draft picks and see how they are doing or even why they were drafted in the first place.

The Ju’Wan James pick makes sense and he has given us what we would expect. He is a rookie, but can start week one. He has been going up against Cam Wake, at first he was having little success but like most rookies, you want to see improvement every day and that is what we have gotten from James.

Billy Turner was also drafted to fix the offensive line, with the Dolphins needing an entirely new offensive line it would make sense that a third round pick would be close to a lock to secure one of the guard spots. That isn’t the case, Turner has been playing with the second team while Daryn Colledge and Dallas Thomas played with the first team.Turner has actually looked pretty good to this point but I’m not sure if Philbin just prefers to have rookies take a back seat to veterans, instead of competing with Colledge and Thomas.

Walt Aikens was originally drafted as a corner but because of his ability and depth at corner he has been getting snaps as a backup safety. Aikens is competing with Don Jones and Jimmy Wilson for the two back up safety spots.

Arthur Lynch is a pick that has had me scratching my head for months now. The Dolphins drafted Dion Sims last year, Michael Egnew the year before and also have Kyle Miller who was thought to have a chance at getting some playing time this year. Undrafted rookie Gator Hoskins has also impressed the coaches so far. That is five tight ends competing for two or three back up spots behind Charles Clay. At best, Lynch could be put on the practice squad for a few years.

Matt Hazel was another pick that still confuses me. The Dolphins already had 7-8 possibilities at receiver and aren’t good enough as a team to draft more players to a position they are deep at. Hazel has the ability to make it as a back-end receiver (5th or 6th) but so does 3 other receivers the Dolphins have in camp. Hazel would be a perfect option for the practice squad but coaches fear that another team would pick him up instead.

It was tough to understand the Dolphins draft plan after the draft and it remains true now. The Dolphins have four of five positions where they have more than enough depth, while other spots where one injury could change the whole season.

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