2012 NFL Mock Draft: Jeff Ireland's Miami Dolphins Cheat Sheet for Day 2
Wow, what a ride. I don’t remember a first round that fast. It’s been almost a full day, but I’m still dizzy from the sheer number of trades.
With the No. 8 pick in the draft, the Miami Dolphins select…
Ryan Tannehill. Even though he has his shortcomings, Tannehill has the physical attributes to play the position in the NFL, and there’s no denying that the Dolphins had a need at the quarterback position.
Most importantly, at least for me, is that Dolfans can finally move on. It took 29 years, but they finally pulled the trigger. Hate him or love him, Tannehill was taken eighth overall and he is the quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Now the fun begins.
They still have to address several positions of need. The Dolphins need a pass-rusher to play across from Cameron Wake, a receiver who can create separation, a fleet-footed lineman to protect the QB and zone block for Reggie Bush, and a defensive back to replace Yeremiah Bell, our leading tackler, team leader and an essential part of the secondary.
So, what will the Dolphins do in the second day of the draft, you ask?
Well, fasten your seat belts, 'cause here’s a sneak preview.
Second Round, Pick No. 42
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Andre Branch, DE/OLB, 6'4", 260
The Dolphins need a pass-rusher to complement Cameron Wake. Jason Taylor made a career of pestering Tom Brady, but Taylor just retired. Brady is a surgeon unless flustered. The Dolphins need to sign someone who can help keep him rattled.
Andre Branch reminds me a lot of Taylor. He’s explosive and can get off the snap in a split-second. He is a finesse player who uses a variety of moves to get to the quarterback. Branch was inconsistent and a bit of a one-year wonder at Clemson, but he can be developed into something really special.
This would be a very solid pick for the Dolphins.
Other options at DE/OLB: Ronnell Lewis, Vinny Curry, Mychal Kendricks
Third Round, Pick No. 72
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Mohamed Sanu, WR, 6'2", 210
The Packers’ West Coast offense under coach Joe Philbin was predicated on having several receivers who can run great routes, create separation and pick up yards after the catch. Sanu is that kind of receiver and could fall to the third round. If he does, the Miami Dolphins have to pull the trigger.
He catches anything thrown his way, he’s quick, and he is an absolute playmaker. He doesn’t have the speed to stretch the field, but that’s why the Dolphins selected Clyde Gates in last year’s draft.
This is an absolute steal. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins jump the gun and select him as their second-round pick. I hope they bide their time and land him as a phenomenal pick in the third round.
Other options at WR: Marvin McNutt, Brian Quick, Nick Toon.
Third Round, Pick No. 73
Brandon Brooks, G/T, 6'5", 345
After years of drafting and shuffling linemen around, the Dolphins still have issues on the right side of the line. Lydon Murtha is slotted to become the team’s right tackle, but there’s still a hole at right guard.
Vernon Carey did a decent job there last year, but he lacked certain attributes scouts look for in a good offensive guard, such as speed, athleticism and finesse. Brandon Brooks is the perfect fit to replace him.
Brooks didn’t perform at the combine, but he excelled at the East-West Shrine game. He followed that with an extraordinary pro day. He comes from Miami of Ohio, a relatively small program, so he didn’t always play fierce competition, but he has the right measurables. He’s big. He’s fast. He’s also the next right guard for the Dolphins.
Other options at G/T: Kelechi Osemele, Brandon Washington, Amini Silatolu.
Al Bello/Getty Images
The second day of the draft is incredibly important for the Dolphins. General manager Jeff Ireland usually hits homers in the early and late rounds, but strikes out in the middle. This will be a real test for him. He needs to make some solid picks today. If he doesn’t, he might be finding himself on the hot seat.
Don’t worry, Jeff, Here’s your cheat sheet. You can thank me later.
What do you guys think? Let me know. Also, don’t forget to read tomorrow’s article! I’ll be projecting who they’ll target in the later rounds.
Until then, enjoy the draft.