Miami Dolphins 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

Alessandro MiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

Miami Dolphins 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

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    The 2013 NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror.

    Jeff Ireland made the draft's first bold and unexpected move when he moved all the way up to the No. 3 spot in the draft. Instead of taking an offensive tackle, however, he rocked the draft world by taking pass-rusher Dion Jordan out of Oregon.

    They followed that up by waiting things out and selecting a highly-touted cornerback with the 54th pick they kept in the second round.

    The rest of Ireland's draft has gotten mixed results, starting with the selection of offensive line tweener Dallas Thomas all the way through Miami's pick of Caleb Sturgis.

    How have Miami's picks graded out? Click through to find out.

Round 1, Pick 3: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

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    In a shocking turn of events, Jeff Ireland moved all the way up to the No. 3 spot. Lane Johnson was the predicted pick until Roger Goodell uttered the words, "Dion Jordan."

    Out of all the draft day scenarios, moving up to select arguably the best pass-rushing prospect in the draft was certainly not a popular one. Ireland just gave up pick No. 42 in the deal, quite the coup for the embattled general manager.

    In terms of draft value, Ireland absolutely underpaid to move up this far to the top of the first round. According to the traditional trade value chart, the move from No. 12 to No. 3 was worth 1,000 net points, while the No. 42 pick was worth just 480.

    In other words, Ireland paid less than half the price he should have to make the move.

    The chart is a bit outdated, and the new CBA changes those values, but it is difficult to say Ireland didn't get excellent value given how much teams have given up to make other moves. Remember that Washington gave up a second-round pick and two future-first rounders to move up four spots last year.

    Jordan will now join forces with Cameron Wake to terrorize opposing quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see how well he fits in as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme—he was projected to be an outside linebacker coming out—but he will certainly be a handful for opposing offenses.

    There has been some backlash against the move because of Jon Gruden's criticism of the pick, namely because Jordan was on the field for relatively fewer snaps than other pass-rushing prospects.

    The Ducks lined Jordan up as a defensive back for big chunks of many games, which would be a major reason why his production is down. He did play fewer snaps than ideal, though some of that has to do with the fact Oregon blew so many opponents out.

    The fact Jordan pressured the quarterback so often on plays where he actually rushed the passer is key—he did it a lot.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

    Dolphins fans celebrating the pick at Sun Life Stadium instagram.com/p/YjFKb3qlBZ/

    Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 26, 2013

    Very very proud of one of our MMA Athletic participants @dionj96 to Dolphins. Guy is an avatar

    — Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 26, 2013

    The Dolphins see Dion Jordan as another Jason Taylor.

    — Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) April 26, 2013

    Wrote a couple weeks ago about Dolphins swapping cover ILBs for blitzers to come after Brady. Jordan pick keeps it going.

    — Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) April 26, 2013

    Two draft value charts say the Dolphins came out ahead on the trade with the Raiders. Football Perspective says Raiders got the edge.

    — Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) April 26, 2013

    Wow. The #Dolphins only gave up the No. 42 overall pick to move up from 12 to 3. Raiders were clearly desperate to trade down.

    — Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 26, 2013

    Maybe the Dolphins want to play Dion Jordan at cornerback? Unconventional, but I like it.

    — NFL Mocks Crew (@NFLMocks) April 26, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: A-

    The Dolphins get an A- for this pick only because it wasn't a top priority—they now have less flexibility to address the offensive line. It is still bold stroke of ingenuity that wound up costing less than it would have in prior years.

Round 2, Pick 54: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

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    There would be no trade for Branden Albert in Miami. At least not one involving the 54th pick.

    Jeff Ireland let the board fall perfectly, selecting highly touted cornerback Jamar Taylor out of Boise State. The former Bronco was a borderline first-round pick across the draft community.

    Miami bolsters a position of need with the pick. The Dolphins now have Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson to go along with the rookie. This could be the prelude to Patterson's exit, which would save the team $4.5 million this year.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    I think the #Dolphins might have my favorite draft thus far...

    — Josh Liskiewitz (@JoshLiskiewitz) April 27, 2013

     

    2012 numbers on CB Jamar Taylor: 51 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 4 INT, 3 FFs, 9 pass breakups. Solid figures. #Dolphins

    — Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyNBC6) April 27, 2013

     

    Thought this pick would end up going to KC for Albert, but Jamar Taylor is a steal for the #Dolphins at 54. Physical, athletic starting CB.

    — Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins got two of my favorite players. Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor.

    — Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) April 27, 2013

     

    "I've got a chip on my shoulder," Jamar Taylor said about his college career.

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins selection of CB Jamar Taylor made with the pick acquired for Vontae Davis. That's a good trade.

    — Alain Poupart (@apoupartFins) April 27, 2013

     

    Another favorite, Jamar Taylor, goes to the Fins.Really hard to watch some of my favorite prospects go to rival teams...damn.

    — Mike O'C (@OConnor_Jets) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: A

    Miami upgrades their secondary with a player nobody expected to be there at No. 54. Hard to argue with that. Has Jeff Ireland actually nailed a second-round pick?

Round 3, Pick 77: Dallas Thomas, OT/OG, Tennessee

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    Jeff Ireland's momentum died a bit when he picked Dallas Thomas with Miami's first pick of the third round.

    The Dolphins just missed out on athletic offensive tackle Terron Armstead, who went to the Saints just two picks before Thomas was selected. The former Volunteer does not seem to be a particularly palatable consolation prize.

    Thomas played left tackle for three years in Tennessee before they moved him inside to left guard. His versatility will be useful along the offensive line, but the pick does little to address the problem at tackle. Would Miami trust a third-round rookie to play left tackle?

    He could wind up winning the starting job at right guard, a position that has given the Dolphins fits in recent years. He is certainly more athletic than the hulking John Jerry.

    Of course, Thomas will have to beat out Lance Louis, who is recovering from season-ending surgery. Thomas is coming back from his own injury, unable to participate in draft season events because of a shoulder issue.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    Dallas Thomas is an ole fashion Jeff Ireland pick

    — Marc Kohn (@KohneysKorner) April 27, 2013

     

    Re: OL Dallas Thomas, Mayock: I like him at guard, some NFL teams like him at tackle. Charles Davis: I think he is a guard

    — NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) April 27, 2013

     

    Tennessee's Dallas Thomas started at LT in 2010 and 2011 before shifting to guard in 2012, where he looked more comfortable to some

    — Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013

     

    Dallas Thomas, rated No. 69 on FRG Scouting Big Board, goes 77th to #Dolphins. Nice, technically sound lineman. #nfldraft

    — Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade) April 27, 2013

     

    Dallas Thomas & Dion Jordan will spend long hours with #Dolphins medical staff. Both rehabbing torn labrums. Both had surgery in February.

    — Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyNBC6) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: C+

    The sexiness has finally worn off in Miami. It was bound to happen, though Thomas could wind up being a solid lineman for the Dolphins.

Round 3, Pick 93: Will Davis, CB, Utah State

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    It is finished. Brandon Marshall was traded for Michael Egnew and a little-known prospect out of Utah State.

    The Dolphins traded back from 82—gaining an additional fourth-round pick from the Saints to do it—only to move back into the third round by trading fifth- and seventh-round picks to the Packers.

    What did Miami get for the trade gymnastics? Well, they added yet another cornerback named Will Davis.

    With offensive tackle still a need and their only real slot receiver off to Cleveland, this pick is a curious one. Miami still has two fourth- and fifth-round picks left, and there is certainly talent left on the board, but moving back up for a cornerback when there is good depth seems out of whack.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    In Will Davis' senior season he contributed 64 tackles and 5 interceptions. He had a stunning 17 pass deflections.

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    "I was shocked," Will Davis said. "I always felt [it] would be the Dolphins for some reason....I'm ear to ear smiling right now."

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    Was a Will Davis fan based on his in-season play. Not so much at the Senior Bowl.

    — Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 27, 2013

     

    #Dolphins did really well in adding Jamar Taylor and Will Davis. If Grimes is the same guy post injury, very good DB core.

    — AP (@ap575) April 27, 2013

     

    I liked Will Davis on tape but he struggled mightily at the Senior Bowl.

    — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 27, 2013

     

    Will Davis of Utah State is the pick...not a bad pick but, *sigh* wanted Swope or Patton #alwaystomorrow

    — Thomas Galicia (@thomasgalicia) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: C+

    This was a bit of a head-scratcher given Miami's pick of Jamar Taylor in the second round. The Dolphins will almost certainly cut Dimitri Patterson as a result, but that was on the table whether they took Davis or not.

    They did do well to jettison some of their later-round draft picks, however—there are only so many roster spots, after all.

Round 4, Pick 104: Jelani Jenkins, LB, Florida

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    The Dolphins continued their defensive-minded draft by taking Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins with their first fourth-round pick.

    Miami nabbed this draft pick in the Davone Bess trade, swapping picks with the Browns.

    Jenkins has upside at the linebacker position. The biggest reason he wasn't more highly touted was his injury history, though.

    Jeff Ireland continues his mission to make the defense faster and better-equipped to cover the increasingly dangerous offenses in today's NFL. If he can stay healthy, Jenkins could have a future as a cover linebacker for Kevin Coyle's defense.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    If Jelani Jenkins stays healthy, he'll prove to be an excellent value in the 4th round...big "if" though #Dolphins

    — Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 27, 2013

     

    Fins' fourth round pick Jelani Jenkins (UF LB) was limited to 9 games last year by injuries. 2 sacks, 1 pick last year.

    — Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013

     

    As much as I despise the Gators, Jelani Jenkins is a guy I wanted on the Phins. Their draft is sneaky good and defense stacked.

    — LouieG (@LouieG023) April 27, 2013

     

    Love the #Dolphins pick of Jelani Jenkins. Physical linebacker to compete for the starting job.

    — Tommy Licurgo (@TommyLicurgo) April 27, 2013

     

    Mike Mayock on Jelani Jenkins " This kid is going to make a living on special teams "

    — Daniel Eliesen(@PhinsDaniel) April 27, 2013

     

    I'm a big Jelani Jenkins fan. Only question is health. Great coverage linebacker.

    — Wes Stueve (@WeStueve) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: B

    The Dolphins needed to add some depth to their linebacker corps, and Jenkins is a great upside pick. They missed out on adding a solid receiver, though, especially considering Ireland just traded Davone Bess away.

Round 4, Pick 106: Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State

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    Picking nearly back-to-back thanks to trade shenanigans on the second day of the draft, Miami finally takes the tight end many fans have been clamoring for in recent weeks.

    Only it wasn't one that fans necessarily expected.

    Dion Sims heads south to Miami from Michigan State, a bit of a forgotten prospect in a fairly stacked draft class.

    Miami spent a third-round pick on Michael Egnew last season, but he was a big disappointment as a rookie. This pick could be insurance, or it could be part of Miami's plan to bring tight ends along while Dustin Keller keeps the seat warm for a year.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    Dion Sims missed '10 season because he was suspected for his involvement in a theft ring involving laptops & Detroit PublicSchool system.

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    Dion Sims will offer more blocking support than as a pass catching threat, however still fills a need #Dolphins

    — Phins Phocus (@Phins_Phocus) April 27, 2013

     

    Dion Sims is a nice fit in Miami with Dustin Keller already there.

    — Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) April 27, 2013

     

    Dion Sims gives the Dolphins a chance to run a lot of two-TE sets, with Sims in line and Keller separated from the formation. -JD

    — SiriusXM Fantasy(@SiriusXMFantasy) April 27, 2013

     

    There goes the best blocking TE in the draft who can also contribute in passing game, Dion Sims

    — DraftPanthers (@DraftPanthers) April 27, 2013

     

    I really like that Dion Sims pick. Plus Jelani. Dolphins having a really good draft IMO.

    — Eric Stoner (@ECStoner) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins took Dion Sims to dinner the night before the MSU pro day, Dan Campbell worked him out. Terrific pick.

    — Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) April 27, 2013

     

    Dion Sims, Fins' other 4th round pick, averaged 13.1 per catch last season for Mich. State.

    — Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013

     

    Love the Dion Sims pick. Dwayne Allen/Alge Crumpler upside. My scouting report: bleacherreport.com/articles/16160…

    — Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: B+

    Miami is getting a lot of well-deserved praise for this pick. They took care of any depth issues at the position, and they got a guy with upside to compete for a backup job right out of the gate.

Round 5, Pick 164: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida

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    Daniel Thomas is officially on notice.

    The running back position was one many suspected the Dolphins would address during the draft, and they have done just that by taking Florida's Mike Gillislee. It could come at Thomas' expense.

    Gillislee is an excellent addition to Miami's roster, a three-down back who will come in and challenge Thomas for the backup role right away. The Dolphins waited as the running backs collectively fell in the draft and still nabbed a good one at the end of the fifth round.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    Gillislee's vision is ridiculous. Great fit for a zone scheme. Not a HR guy, but good 2nd gear. Lamar Miller is definitely the guy though.

    — J.P. (@PhinsRock) April 27, 2013

     

    Mike Gillislee offers #Dolphins offense a new dynamic. Cheap alternative to Reggie Bush; better hands than Thomas/Miller. Good compliment.

    — Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) April 27, 2013

     

    Another Gator: Mike Gillislee averaged 4.7 yards per carry in 2012. Mayock: "Does everything well without one spectacular trait."

    — Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013

     

    Liked what I saw from Gillislee at Senior Bowl. Followed blocks, had good burst, good hands. Always fell forward. Pierre Thomas-like.

    — Dave Richard (@daverichard) April 27, 2013

     

    Applause breaks out as the #Dolphins take Gator RB Mike Gillislee. Awesome pick. Grinder. Over 1,100 rushing yards this season.

    — Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyNBC6) April 27, 2013

     

    Mike Gillislee can be a feature back in the NFL. Great Round 5 value for the #Dolphins. Promising stable of young RBs with Thomas + Miller.

    — Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: A-

    Jeff Ireland waited to address the running back position and it paid off. This pick was excellent value, one that is going to pay immediate dividends.

Round 5, Pick 166: Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida

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    Miami has turned into University of Florida South.

    The Dolphins followed up the Jelani Jenkins and Mike Gillislee picks by taking Florida's kicker, Caleb Sturgis. It was not an unexpected move.

    Dan Carpenter is set to make $2.68 million this year. He was on the hot seat heading into the draft, and it seems like he is on his way out with this pick.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    Dolphins send message to Dan Carpenter, use 5th-rd pick on Florida K Caleb Sturgis. Teams don't draft kickers without intent to keep them.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2013

     

    Caleb Sturgis was on the 17th green when the call came from Miami, drafted by the #Dolphins. Didn't finish the round. Hilarious.

    — Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyNBC6) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins grabbed K Caleb Sturgis about 10 mins ago. Had heard the Jets really liked him.

    — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 27, 2013

     

    Reported this offseason that #Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi was in love with Sturgis and thought he was best K in draft

    — Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) April 27, 2013

     

    Now the run on specialists is getting ridiculous. Caleb Sturgis was a good college kicker but a Round 5 pick? Over Dustin Hopkins? #Dolphins

    — Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 27, 2013

     

    So by the transitive property, drafting Sturgis was like picking up a new kicker and signing OT Eric Winston for free. #NFLdraft

    — Austin John (@Phinfanalyst) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: C+

    While picking up Sturgis will free up some cap space which Miami can utilize toward addressing the right tackle position—Eric Winston is still available, after all—it's hard to find the value in this pick.

    Miami was without a sixth-round pick and their seventh-round pick is compensatory—it cannot be traded—so they were stuck having to take Sturgis a bit earlier than ideal, lest they lose him to another team.

Round 7, Pick 250: Don Jones, DB, Arkansas State

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    Miami wraps up their 2013 draft by selecting yet another defensive back.

    This time it comes in the form of hybrid safety Don Jones out of Arkansas State. The Dolphins might have a glut at the cornerback position at this point, but that cannot be said about the safety position.

    Jeff Ireland has had some good luck with seventh-round picks in recent years—Jimmy Wilson has been a big contributor out of the seventh round in that secondary—so it is quite possible Jones will find himself on the roster this fall.

     

    Reactions Around Twitter

     

    Don Jones is 5-11, 191, but he runs a 4.35 in the 4.41 in the 40.

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins just drafted "Don Jones" which is a pretty clear indication they just wrote a name on the card so they could go home.

    — Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) April 27, 2013

     

    Arkansas State safety Don Jones was one of the Dolphins' 30 visits. Very fast kid with upside at safety.

    — Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013

     

    Dolphins 7th round pick Don Jones is a strong safety, not a cornerback.

    — Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

     

    Pick Grade: B+

    Grading seventh-round picks is like tasting a batch of beer during the wort stage. It is difficult to say what kind of impact, if any, Jones will make, but the Dolphins addressed a position of need with the pick.

     

Final Grade

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    The Dolphins came into the draft with several clear needs, and they addressed most of them.

    Jeff Ireland made a bold, unexpected move up to select the draft's most versatile pass-rusher, giving Cameron Wake some help and adding monstrous athleticism along the offensive line. But he did so at the expense of Miami's own offensive line, which did not find a new starting tackle.

    There was some questionable value with Will Davis and Caleb Sturgis, though the moves are understandable within the context of Miami's constraints and big board.

    Miami's "off-field" stuff dings them a bit here, too.

    Stephen Ross had a couple of poor PR moments throughout the weekend. He immediately gloated about the price Ireland had to give up to the Raiders in the move up to No. 3. That sort of thing is best left up to  bloggers and fans, not the owner of the franchise.

    He later lambasted Tony Sparano, blaming him for the team's dysfunction. Why Ross would feel the need to throw a coach who has been gone for over a year under the bus is a mystery. Perhaps he was simply trying to defend Ireland, but there is no defending the general manager at this point—he will sink or swim with his decisions this year.

    All in all, it was a pretty good draft haul for Miami. We won't know the true grades for each pick until 2015 or so, but it was solid in relative terms today.

     

    Overall Grade: B