Miami Dolphins: Grading all 8 draft picks

Ask any Miami Dolphins fan and they can tell you they either felt like this was a good year of drafting for the Dolphins, or that it was a “so-so” type of draft. No matter how you look at it, the Dolphins took at least a small step in the right direction. Here is a look at the players the Miami Dolphins selected in this year’s NFL Draft:

First Round; 19th overall pick: OL Ju’Wuan James (University of Tennessee)

The Dolphins obviously needed to fill in holes on the offensive live, and drafting Jones fills many of those holes. At 6-6, 311 pounds, Jones is easily recognized as one of the biggest lineman in this year’s draft.

I’m giving him a “B+” only because he was a “reach” for the Dolphins. Dennis Hickey passed on the three best available lineman to draft James, but I can see what Hickey was looking at when he picked James, who is considered the ideal image of the perfect right tackle to most.

One thing that I can say when looking at film on him, he has good hands and quick feet. Miami doesn’t need him to sit behind a starter and develop as a player, his development comes into play at the start of mini camp so he can become an immediate starter and have an impact right away.

Second Round; 63rd overall pick: WR Jarvis Landry (Louisiana State University)

Landry is a 5-11, 205-pound receiver that is not afraid to pick on kids that are bigger then him. He was a 1,000+ yard receiver at LSU and averaged 15.5 yards per reception with 10 touchdowns. He is also a willing blocker receiver that will lower the boom when you least expect it. He is a possession receiver with good hands that gives Ryan Tannehill another weapon to work with.

I give him an “A-” just because Miami did not really need to fill up the receiver depth chart but he is an overall good receiver.

Third Round; 67th overall pick: OL Billy Turner (North Dakota St.)

Just like Ju’Wuan James, Billy Turner fills in much needed holes on the offensive line. At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, he has the obvious size to play the position but lacks the discipline of consistency when playing fierce competition. Coming from North Dakota St, an FCS program, you can assume the lack of intense competition in comparison to teams that you watch from the D1 level which leads to a grade of “B+”. I originally had him at an A-, but a weak kick slide on pass protection and taking plays off drops his grade.

Fourth Round; 125th overall pick; DB Walt Aikens (Liberty)

At 6-0, 205 pounds, Aikens is a solid player that plays decent press coverage and can be used as a nickel back. In this day and age, in order to be a successful defensive back in this league, you have to have good footwork in man coverage and break in and out of your cuts as fast as man in front of you. The one thing that does stand out about Aikens is that he is a sure tackler and can fill running lanes without any hesitation. I give him a “B-” because he sticks his nose in the run game, but needs to improve on his technique.

Fifth Round; 155th overall pick: TE Arthur Lynch (University of Georgia)

Remember a tight end named Anthony Fasano? Well Arthur Lynch can help bring some of those memories back to Dolphin fans. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Lynch is a big body that is a preferred blocking tight end but can also be a reliable option in the passing game. He can manhandle any defender that he puts his hands on. Lacks big play ability and is slow off his break which leads to a minimal separation from defenders , but is a good insurance policy as your standard short yardage tight end. “B+” for me.

Fifth Round; 171st overall pick: LB Jordan Tripp (Montana)

Tripp is a 6-2, 234-pound linebacker that doesn’t give up on a play when he is on the field. In his senior year at Montana, he tallied up 100 tackles and also had 3 picks during his senior year. He plays with a high motor at all times, but he can have mental lapses at the position.

I give him a “C” because he is not very flexible, can get caught up in traffic and plays overly confident. One good thing is he brings leadership to a leadership-needy team because he was a captain at Montana.

[Miami Dolphins offseason overview]

Sixth Round; 190th overerall pick: WR Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina University)

I personally really like this pick. Matt Hazel is 6-1, 198 pounds with plenty of room to get stronger over his time in the NFL. He has good hands while displaying good football athleticism and having smooth technique when running routes. He is known as a finesse wide receiver that can run by you without you realizing he was even there. The only problem with being too finesse in the NFL is that these types of players are vulnerable to big hits, which makes them look soft. With getting stronger in the NFL, it can also help build toughness. My final grade is an “A”.

Seventh Round; 234th overall pick: DE Terrence Fede (Marist)

This is probably the only pick that I do not like. He is 6-4, 278 pounds, so the size is there, but did not play against any notable opponents in college. He is going to have a hard time finding his way into the rotation just because our defensive line is already pretty wealthy as it is. He put up record numbers in college but don’t look for him to make an immediate impact. Practice squad is the most realistic option. “D” is his grade.

  • Fraziel

    Could not disagree more. Awful draft form start to finish with reach after reach. 5 small school ” prospects” A rech in round 1 when we could have traded down or even got him or Moses is the second, a 3rd and 4th round pick for Turner, passing on elite franchise talent like Carlos Hyde to take a small slot receiver who is good but no better than what we have, a blocking TE when we took one last year and need a seam threat, a DE when its the strongest position on the team. The CB could be good but is a prospect and Tripp again could be decent if he develops but leaving addressing LB until the 5th round was not clever. Out of the draft i expect only 1 to start full time, James. You seen the new power rankings and what the Jets have done in the off season and the draft? Unless Tannehill moves to elite as we all hope we will not even finish 2nd in our division. It pains me to say it but it looks like 8-8 or 7-9 again. Philbin to be gone by Christmas and hopefully Hickey with him. I think this draft showed every inch why he was about to get fitred by Tampa and was our 7th choice for the job. I was prepared to give him my support and have some faith but not after this draft. C- from me.

    • Fraziel

      Please excuse the spelling. Typing fast on my phone.

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  • Enrique Paradoa

    I liked your assessment. I think both linemen will get a chance to start. the Wr in the second round is insurance on the guys at Wr who had knee injuries last year lets see how they bounce back and will make the team and contribute. the linebacker will be a special teams player. the rest will see how they pan out. Either way its hard to really grade it you have 2 give it 2 years to really see what you got in this draft.