6 Risky NFL Draft Prospects for Miami Dolphins to Avoid
With so many holes having been filled over the past month in free agency, general manager Dennis Hickey is really in a good position to look at a bunch of players and take the best talent available.
But as is the case in every draft, there are some players who are being overrated or carry some type of a major red flag. The players on this list have some combination of these factors and would not be good fits in Miami.
These six players should be avoided at all costs by the Dolphins.
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cyrus Kouandjio may have suffered the biggest fall down draft boards after the combine. He looked really slow and out of shape, which is obviously not good.
But even worse were the reports about his bad knees which puts up some legitimately serious red flags next to his name and causes long-term questions about his NFL potential.
While nobody can deny that he was a solid left tackle at Alabama, there's next to no shot that he will play there in the NFL, and while the Dolphins may be tempted to look at him for right tackle, his risk is too great.
A slow prospect with bad knees is not what Miami needs to rebuild its offensive line right now, and even if Kouandjio is there in the second round, he should be passed right over.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
I get where the hype comes from for Kelvin Benjamin. People will talk about things like "big-play potential," "catch radius" and "high ceiling" for a 6'5" underclassman who is clearly physically gifted and had impressive stats in 2013.
But there are some major flaws that don't seem to come up. The first is the misleading "underclassman" label which makes it seem like he has a ton of room to grow. He doesn't, because he's already 23 years old. That makes him older than Josh Gordon, Keenan Allen and Stephen Hill.
For further comparison, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Allen Robinson are all still 20 years old. Jon Moore of Rotoworld created a wonderful "phenom index" that clearly shows Benjamin would be overcoming major odds to be a great NFL player.
The other major downside to Benjamin is how often he drops passes. His drop rate last season, according to Greg Peshek of Rotoworld, was 9.68 percent, which is just unacceptable for a major talent who had Jameis Winston as his quarterback. The Dolphins would make a huge mistake investing a high pick in Benjamin.
Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin
Chris Borland is the kind of prospect you root for, and I think he's a fine player who could find some success at the next level.
That being said, he is not a guy who I think Miami should invest highly in. At this stage, it would likely take a second rounder to get Borland, and he is just not that kind of talent.
People will praise him as a high-character guy with heart, determination and a knack for getting to the football, but those are (still important and admirable) traits that often quickly become obsolete in today's fast-paced NFL.
Borland's 5'11" frame, short arms and limited speed will make him a liability in coverage and give him some difficulty with disengaging from blockers. He also has almost no blitzing ability, and Kevin Coyle loves using those A-gap blitzes to get pressure up the middle.
He simply does not have the kind of athleticism or versatility that Miami needs in a 4-3 linebacker.
Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
While Jace Amaro could be looked at as a great pass-catching option and "safety blanket" for Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins already have guys like Charles Clay and Brian Hartline for that.
Amaro's athleticism and 6'5" height are major pluses, but his actual ability as a complete tight end is incredibly suspect. Peshek has some great tight end statistics that are useful here.
He was featured in an air-raid scheme at Texas Tech that let him get open around the middle of the field and rack up easy, uncontested catches within five yards of the line of scrimmage. He didn't create a ton once he had the ball in his hands.
Amaro also lined up in the slot an astounding 87.5 percent of the time. I would say to go watch some tape to see how bad of a blocker he is...but there is not really much evidence of him even trying.
The Dolphins would essentially be getting an oversized slot receiver with solid hands and decent speed. It's not worth it, considering the other talent that will still be on the board in the second round.
Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
During the season, I looked at Loucheiz Purifoy as a high-risk, high-reward kind of talent after an extremely inconsistent and somewhat disappointing year at Florida.
He was considered such a good athlete that he also got looks at wide receiver a bit for the Gators, and his fluidity, speed and quickness on tape does look pretty impressive.
But his tackling ability is awful, and he doesn't have the functional strength or technique to play up at the line of scrimmage at all. He often loses physical battles with receivers.
He's going to get pushed around in the NFL, but we thought he would at least run with them. So when he had a dismal 4.61 40-yard dash, there was a lot of head scratching.
Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
This inclusion is somewhat unfortunate, because it has less to do with the player and more to do with the Dolphins, the media, Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.
For some more stable teams, Colt Lyerla could actually be a fantastic pick. He's a borderline first-round talent who could be available in the fourth or fifth round.
But Miami simply couldn't handle more negative press right now, and it just wouldn't be worth it to bring in a guy with a rap sheet like Lyerla.
He left Oregon out of nowhere, had been held out of games and practices, tweeted inappropriate and near-insane things and was charged with cocaine possession a few months ago. Mark Saltveit of Bleeding Green Nation outlines Lyerla's history here, and it isn't pretty.
Miami should stay away.