Updating Miami Dolphins' 1st-Round Big Board Post-Combine

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Updating Miami Dolphins' 1st-Round Big Board Post-Combine
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan would be a great fit for the Dolphins in the first round.

The 2014 NFL scouting combine has come to an end which means it's time to update the Miami Dolphins' first-round big board.

The prospects are ranked on the big board based on a combination of talent and overall need for the Dolphins.

For example, Jadeveon Clowney is widely considered to be the best overall prospect in the draft, but because defensive end isn't a need for the Dolphins, Clowney isn't as highly ranked as he would be for a team like the Atlanta Falcons.

However, it would be foolish to not rank him at all, as it would be impossible to pass up a talent like Clowney just because there isn't a pressing need for him.

With that said, considering the Dolphins own the 19th overall pick, it's very likely that most of these players won't be available when they make their selection.

But that doesn't change the importance of ranking everyone, in the off-chance the team was to trade up (as they did last year) or had some players fall to them on draft day.

Without further ado, here are the top 25 draft prospects for the Miami Dolphins following the scouting combine.

 

1. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Matthews is considered the most NFL-ready offensive lineman in the draft and for good reason.

He is extremely polished and sound in his pass protection and is quick enough off the snap to deal with even the most elusive pass-rushers.

At 6'5" and 305 pounds, Matthews is very athletic and is capable of stepping in right away and being the centerpiece of a rebuilding offensive line.

 

2. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

A physical specimen, Robinson turned a lot of heads with his performance at the NFL combine.

Despite being 6'5" and 320 pounds, Robinson flashed his incredible athleticism, running a 4.92 40-yard dash, second best among offensive lineman.

He also showed off his strength with 32 reps in the bench press, tied for eighth best overall. While Matthews is projected to be the top offensive lineman taken due to his NFL readiness, Robinson is widely considered to have the most upside.

 

3. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

After starting 48 games at left tackle over his collegiate career, Lewan is capable of stepping in on day one and being a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Much like Robinson, Lewan is incredibly athletic despite his massive size.

The 6'7", 315-pound former Wolverine lit up the combine this past weekend. He ranked as the top offensive lineman in the 40-yard dash (4.87) and the broad jump (9'9"), while also finishing third in the vertical jump (30.5") and fourth in the three-cone drill (7.39 seconds).

While he isn't as polished as Matthews, Lewan has proven to be very effective in slowing down both speed- and power-rushers and has a massive amount of potential.

 

4. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock has raved about Mack over the past week and with good reason. The outside linebacker out of Buffalo is a huge playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, jumping off the screen when you watch him on film.

Mack is capable of playing in any scheme and at 6'3" and 248 pounds, he is very fast for his size, as evident by the 4.65 40-yard dash time he put up at the combine.

He is the type of player you can build your defense around, thanks to his great pass-rushing ability and dominance in stopping the run.

 

5. Sammy Watkins, WR

Widely considered to be the best receiver in the draft class, Watkins is an explosive player who is capable of scoring on every single play.

At 6'1" and 205 pounds, he is versatile enough to line up in the slot or on the outside. He has extremely good hands, runs strong routes and is very elusive in space. 

Providing he can hold up against physical defenders, Watkins is a do-it-all receiver who will be a game-changer the first time he steps on the field.

 

6. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Arguably the most talented player in the draft class, the 6'5", 266-pound defensive end is an absolute freak of an athlete.

He has the speed and quickness to get to the quarterback on nearly every dropback, and he has the power to lay down massive hits on ball-carriers.

The big question surrounding Clowney is his motivation and his will to be great. If he is willing to dedicate himself to being the best player he can be, Clowney has future Hall of Famer written all over him. 

 

7. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

At 6'4" and 305 pounds, Martin is quick and skilled enough to stop speed-rushers on the outside, but he is also strong enough to stop power-rushers on the inside.

Over the course of his collegiate career, in which he set a Notre Dame record with 52 consecutive starts, he showed the ability to excel at both guard and tackle. He appears capable of being a Pro Bowl-caliber player at either position in the NFL.

Martin is the player most draft experts have the Dolphins taking in the first round. 

 

8. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

A former running back, Barr is an explosive playmaker with the ability to blow up plays all over the field with his speed and agility. 

At 6’5” and 255 pounds, Barr is an athletic player who ran a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash while also being one of the top performers in the three-cone drill as well, finishing it in 6.82 seconds. 

He isn't as NFL ready as Mack, but he is still more than capable of being a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball from the moment he first steps onto the field.

 

9. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

At 6'2" and 345 pounds, Nix has a rare combination of size, power and quickness. He has a very effective swim move and is very explosive off the snap, which allows him to wreak havoc on opposing centers and guards.

He is virtually unstoppable to block with just one guy and is likely to demand double-teams on nearly every play. 

With both Paul Soliai and Randy Starks questionable to return to the Dolphins, Nix is more than capable of stepping in and filling their shoes as the anchor in the middle of the defensive line.

 

10. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

At 6'4" and 245 pounds, Ebron is a major weapon and is a walking mismatch every time he steps on the field. He is a terrific athlete and is an all-around playmaker with outstanding leaping ability and receiving skills.

Ebron has great hands and is also quick for his size, as evident by his 4.6 time in the 40-yard dash.

He is also a deadly player over the middle of the field as there are very few linebackers or safeties in the league who can cover him. Ebron also can do a lot of damage once he gets into space thanks to his elusiveness.

 

11. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

Gilbert has the ideal build to be an elite cornerback in the league. At 6'0" and 200 pounds, he is extremely athletic and is an incredible playmaker.

He is very quick in jumping routes, and as he showed with his 4.37 time in the 40-yard dash, he is fast enough to keep up with nearly any receiver. Gilbert also has great hands and outstanding ball skills that makes him capable of changing a game on any given play.

He is also very explosive and agile in the open field, making him a dangerous kick returner as well as an elite cornerback. 

 

12. Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Pryor is an extremely physical player who has great instincts and is an explosive tackler. 

At 6'2" and 208 pounds, he is a very strong run defender and has tons of athleticism.

As a rangy safety that can make plays all over the field, Pryor is a big difference-maker who is intelligent enough to lead a defense both on the field and off.

 

13. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

At 6'5" and 225 pounds, Evans is a very physical player who at the college level used his massive frame to repeatedly take advantage of smaller defenders

He is a very effective red-zone target with strong hands and a great leaping ability. He is also very fast for his size, running a 4.53 40-yard dash.

The big knock on Evans is that he hasn't shown an ability to beat his defenders off the line of scrimmage consistently, and it's questionable if he will be able to outmuscle NFL cornerbacks as easily as he did in college.

 

14. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

The best inside linebacker in the draft, Mosley is always around the ball and is an elite playmaker. He is incredibly versatile, as he can excel in coverage nearly as well as he stuffs the run.

Playing in Nick Saban's defense, Mosley demonstrated great awareness and instincts and was a fantastic leader for Alabama. He is an extremely efficient tackler and very rarely makes mistakes on the field.

At 6'2" and 234 pounds, Mosley has all the makings of a perennial Pro Bowl-caliber player in the NFL. 

 

15. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

A physical and athletic safety, Clinton-Dix is a very instinctive player who has good hands and excels in coverage. As a run defender, he is great tackler who showcases impressive playmaking ability.

At 6'1" and 208 pounds, Clinton-Dix is big enough, fast enough and versatile enough to match up with both tight ends and receivers at the next level.

 

16. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

The 5'11", 199-pound Dennard has all the tools to be a lockdown cornerback in the NFL. He can blitz the quarterback and can also defend the run at a high level.

Dennard didn't excel at the scouting combine, running a 4.51 40-yard dash, but he is still a quick and strong player who excels at press-man coverage.

He's also an instinctive player who anticipates very quickly and displays terrific timing when jumping routes. At Michigan State, Dennard made game-changing plays on a routine basis. 

 

17. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT

At 6'7" and 322 pounds, the Alabama junior isn't as polished as some of the other top lineman in the draft, but he still has enormous potential.

However, Kouandjio is coming off a terrible combine performance which will very likely hurt his draft stock. Aside from not looking good in the drills, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Kouandjio had failed several teams' physicals for an arthritic knee.

Kouandjio has quick hands, is very explosive off the ball and can be an elite offensive tackle in the league if he is healthy. But health already appears to a major question mark for him.

 

18. Aaron Donald, DL, Pittsburgh

Despite the fact that the 6'1", 288-pound Donald isn't as big as typical defensive tackles, he makes up for it with his incredible quickness and great first step.

Donald put up one of the most impressive performances of the combine week, ranking among the top defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (4.68), three-cone drill (7.11) and bench press (35 reps). He also flashed his speed, quickness, agility and strength in the positional workouts.

Donald is capable of being a hybrid, excelling at both defensive tackle and defensive end.

 

19. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

At 6'6" and 310 pounds, Hageman has all the tools to be a dominant defensive tackle at the next level. He is very athletic and has a great combination of size, speed and technique.

Hageman ran a respectable 5.02 in the 40-yard dash but showed his impressive strength with 32 reps on the bench press.

His biggest problems are experience and consistency; the former tight end has been playing on the defensive line for only a couple of years and is still learning the intricacies of the position.

 

20. Marqise Lee, WR, USC 

Lee exploded onto the college scene as a sophomore in 2012 but fell off last year thanks in part to injuries and uncertainty at quarterback.

However, the 6'0", 192-pound receiver is still blessed with elite athleticism and big-play ability. He is very elusive with the ball in his hands and has a very good burst and acceleration.

Lee is a dynamic weapon with the potential to be a star, but injury concerns may hold him back.

 

21. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

The 6'5", 265-pound Amaro is coming off a season in which had 106 receptions and set an NCAA record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,352).

He is a very dangerous weapon and is capable of being a dominant red-zone target. He is also tough to bring down after the catch.

Amaro has very good hands and impressed many at the combine with his strength, recording 28 reps on the bench press. However, he still must improve on his blocking ability to become more than just a receiving threat.

 

22. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Jernigan had only 16 starts for Florida State but showed tons of potential in his limited time.

He is extremely explosive off the line and can fill gaps very quickly. Although he is slightly undersized at 6'2", 299 pounds, he makes up for it with brute strength and athleticism. 

While he isn't as NFL ready as guys like Nix or Donald, Jernigan could realize his tremendous potential were he to land in the right system and get the proper coaching.

 

23. David Yankey, G, Stanford 

With 40 starts under his belt over the last three seasons, Yankey is the type of player who can step in and contribute from day one.

At 6'6" and 315 pounds, Yankey is a powerful player with very good fundamentals. Although he did play left tackle at Stanford, he is projected as a guard in the NFL, a position at which he can put his natural power and great run-blocking ability to good use.

While he is also a solid pass-blocker, Yankey could excel as a puller in a power-rushing attack.

 

24. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Anyone who watched the scouting combine would have seen the type of playmaking ability that Cooks possesses. 

The explosive receiver put up the best 40-yard dash time among all receivers with an impressive 4.33 and also flew through the 20-yard shuttle (3.81 seconds) and the 60-yard shuttle (10.72 seconds).

Cooks has the ability to score a touchdown on every play and is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. His size (5'10", 189 pounds) may cause him to struggle against physical cornerbacks, but once he gets into the open field, he is nearly impossible to bring down thanks to his speed and elusiveness.

 

25. Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Richardson didn't have a very good weekend at the scouting combine. He was first reported to be having some knee issues by NFL Network Media Analyst Charles Davis and didn't show much in his drills.

The man nicknamed "Tiny" is far from it, standing at 6'6" and 336 pounds. Many looked at him as a first-round candidate, but his stock has likely fallen quite a bit.

Although he played left tackle in college, Richardson will likely thrive more on the right side where he can take advantage of his size and strength against less talented pass-rushers. 

 

Andrew Tornetta is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his B/R archive and follow him on Twitter @AndrewTornetta.

Load More Stories
Miami Dolphins

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.