Why Chad Bumphis Could Be an Undrafted Free-Agent Steal for the Miami Dolphins
An intriguing name to look at on the list of the Miami Dolphins' undrafted free agents is Mississippi State's Chad Bumphis.
Bumphis fills a need that Miami didn't have before draft day, but then came up on Day 2 of the draft.
It was clear to me that the Dolphins needed a wide receiver after they decided to deal Davone Bess to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round pick and the swap of Miami and Cleveland's fourth-round picks (Miami also gave up a seventh-rounder, per Cleveland.com).
My own hope was that the receiver would likely be Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton, and Miami's failure to draft Patton is a reason why I gave this draft an A- instead of an A (especially since they gave up the chance to draft Patton to move up to get Will Davis, who must step up as a starter-quality corner in order to justify the trade).
However, those hopes were dashed when not only did the Dolphins pass on Patton, but then saw the San Francisco 49ers take him with their fourth-round pick.
Maybe I'm still a bit bitter about the fact that my favorite overall receiver from this draft will not be with my favorite team, but I do try to look at the positives of the situation. Davis can be a starting corner who could prove he was worth a third-round pick—while the Dolphins can find their suitable Bess replacement in Chad Bumphis.
The two do have similar stories. While Bess was an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii when Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells signed him in 2008, Bumphis is an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State.
When it comes to the conference comparison between the two, Bumphis wins out there. Always take the SEC over the WAC.
But this isn't just a compare and contrast between Bumphis and Bess (which would be unfair since Bess is a pro, whereas nothing is guaranteed with Bumphis); this is a look at how Bumphis could help the Dolphins.
Currently, Bumphis will likely be looking up at Rishard Matthews, Jeff Fuller and Armon Binns on Miami's pre-training camp depth chart, with Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson locked up as the top three receivers (with tight end Dustin Keller able to lineup as the fourth receiver at times). The fight for the fourth and fifth receiver spots will be a tough one, but one that Bumphis has the ability to win.
Despite his small size, Bumphis is a good run-blocker, which is a quality that Coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman will surely love. Bumphis is also a fairly good blocker downfield, which could help on screen passes and springing the other receivers free.
But you don't sign receivers specifically for their blocking ability; you sign them for their speed and catching ability.
Bumphis' speed isn't exactly great, as he ran a 4.50 40-yard dash at Mississippi State's pro day (per NFLDraftScout.com), which while decent is fairly far from great. But his hands are pretty good, especially when trying to snatch a ball in traffic.
Odds are, Bumphis will be at his best in the slot, which isn't ideal for the Dolphins (who want versatile receivers), but is at least a replacement for the role Davone Bess would've had if he remained with the Dolphins. But up the middle, Bumphis was great at Mississippi State.
Bumphis might not be the steal at wide receiver that Buffalo got in Da'Rick Rogers, but could be a steal on his own, reminiscent of somebody that we used to know.
Then when he proves himself to be that steal, Miami could always send Bumphis to Cleveland for a middle-round draft pick.
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