Miami Dolphins 2014 NFL Draft Fact or Fiction
The NFL draft is less than a month away, which means we have less than a month left in the ridiculous rumor incubation period.
The Miami Dolphins have been surrounded by rumors of their own, rumors stretching from who will they draft, who is coming into Miami for a visit with the Dolphins and even trade discussions.
Hearing the rumors can amount to overkill, especially when you're on Twitter and it feels like there's a new rumor out there every day.
Today we're going to look at some of the rumors surrounding this team and try to determine if they are fact or fiction.
Dolphins Will Look to Draft a Running Back (Fact)
After the Dolphins signed Knowshon Moreno, one would think they were done upgrading their running backs since they already had Lamar Miller, Mike Gillislee and Daniel Thomas.
If anything, Miami would get rid of a running back instead. (Note: Daniel Thomas should be that running back; in fact, I'm wondering myself why that hasn't happened yet.)
But according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could still select a running back in the draft.
The Dolphins have had Towson running back Terrance West in for a visit, and as West points out in his draft diary in The Baltimore Sun, he feels pretty confident about the Dolphins: "The Dolphins running backs coach [Jeff Nixon] likes me a lot. He told me I was high on his board of college running backs."
West would also point out that it "would be amazing to be a Dolphin if they were to pick me. That’s a good team. I always liked the Dolphins growing up. They’re building and they need a good running back like myself."
West looks the part of the type of running back Miami would want. He's short and stocky at 5'9" and 225 pounds, and he runs with a good power. At Towson he set school records, running for 4,584 yards and 86 touchdowns during his collegiate career.
So will the Dolphins select another running back? Could that running back wind up being Terrance West?
Fact: Miami will select a running back and will likely wind up picking said back in the fifth or sixth round. Unfortunately, if they want West, they will have to pray that he falls that low, which isn't very likely as NFL.com has West projected to go in the third or fourth round.
Dolphins Like Taylor Lewan with the 19th Pick (Fact)
What will Miami do with the 19th pick? They could trade down (the smartest decision), but one option favored by owner Stephen Ross is to draft Taylor Lewan (if Lewan is available).
According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, the Dolphins would be "happy if they could somehow snag" Lewan at 19, while Stephen Ross "thinks the world of Taylor Lewan," which might be due to Lewan's Michigan roots.
Based off of this information, the only thing in between the Dolphins and Lewan is the fact that he's projected to go much higher in the draft, meaning the Dolphins could miss out on him.
I wouldn't exactly cry over this. I'll admit I'm not much of a Lewan fan, as nothing I've seen of him has impressed me enough to say "I want him as my No. 1 pick."
However, I can say this with confidence: it's a fact. If Taylor Lewan is there, the Dolphins will pick him. I might not be a fan of his, but he could develop and win me over, or I could see something in him that I didn't see before in his film.
The Michigan ties as well as the value he has would be the reason the Dolphins would pick him, as not only would he start from Week 1 at right tackle, but in due time he could move over to left tackle.
A First-Round QB Will Be Available When the Dolphins Are on the Clock (Fact)
This is a rumor I've mostly seen on Twitter, but it's also brought up constantly by Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel.
Kelly answered a question pertaining to quarterbacks in his "Ask Omar" piece, stating that he "was told last week it is a strong possibility one of the draft's first-round quarterbacks will be there when Miami's on the clock on May 8th."
Kelly would go on to mention Teddy Bridgewater as being the quarterback likely to be available. Right now I can assure you that that's fiction.
As Kelly points out, five teams who draft ahead of Miami (Houston, Jacksonville, Oakland, Cleveland and Minnesota) can cite quarterback as a need. Based off of that, you'd think every possible quarterback that can be drafted in Round 1 will be gone before we get to the Dolphins' draft pick.
However, it's feasible that some of these teams could look for talent elsewhere in the first round. My honest opinion is that Buffalo's linebacker Khalil Mack, South Carolina's defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Clemson's wide receiver Sammy Watkins are the three best players in the draft, and I wouldn't be surprised if those were the top three picks. That would knock off Houston and Jacksonville in terms of teams that need a quarterback, and each of those two teams would improve greatly with one of those three players.
That would leave Cleveland, Oakland and Minnesota as the teams likely to pick quarterbacks, and Cleveland might choose to wait until the 26th pick to draft a quarterback, especially if Mack, Clowney or Watkins are available at four (my hunch is one of them will be).
Not only does this show why I believe one of the first-round quarterbacks will be available when Miami picks (placing it as a fact), but it also sets up a scenario that helps the Dolphins.
Some fans might be enamored with picking a new quarterback when one is available in Round 1, but I'm not. I am in favor of feigning a pick at quarterback if one is available so long as it leads to my main goal of trading down to acquire more draft picks.
The Browns would be the team to do it with since it would likely require them giving up their 26th draft pick (formerly held by the Indianapolis Colts), along with either a second- or third-round pick.
I wrote about the possibility in this piece on Cover 32 and feel just as strongly about it now as I did then.
So yes, chalk this one up to fact, a fact that the Dolphins should use to their advantage.
Dolphins Will Draft a Quarterback (Fact)
Going back to the last slide where I talked about Omar Kelly's assertion that the Dolphins could have one of the quarterbacks fall to them in the first round, the next question is the obvious one of will the Dolphins draft a quarterback.
Kelly pointed out that general manager Dennis Hickey has no allegiance to Tannehill, and backup quarterback Matt Moore is in the final year of his contract, which might also necessitate the Dolphins drafting a quarterback.
This is something that I do see the Dolphins doing, but not in the first round. Instead, expect Miami to use a later-round pick on a player like David Fales (highlighted in the video above) from San Jose State.
Zack Martin Will Be the Miami Dolphins' Pick at 19 (Fiction)
Who do the experts have Miami picking at 19?
Notre Dame's Zack Martin.
This was the case before signing Branden Albert, where the justification was that Martin would be drafted as Miami's left tackle.
This is still the case, where the justification is that Martin will be drafted as Miami's right tackle.
I even thought so for a while, but my mind has changed on this, for now I don't see this happening.
The first reason I don't see this happening is I could easily see the Dolphins using their first-round pick on the best player available. There are plenty of tackles in the draft that could be found in the second, third or even fourth rounds. These are tackles that can start right away and make an immediate impact.
The only tackle I could see Miami drafting in Round 1 would be the previously mentioned Taylor Lewan, but it's doubtful he will be available.
In the first round, I see the Dolphins doing this: if Lewan is available, he's the pick. If North Carolina's Eric Ebron is available, he's the pick. If C.J. Mosley is available, he's the pick. That's the order, and if none of those three are available, then maybe they'll have discussions about Martin (if he's available; there's a chance he won't be either), and if Martin is gone, then Virginia's tackle Morgan Moses is the pick.
For now, too many variables are in the air to make me say that Zack Martin is going to the Dolphins with the 19th pick. It's the most mocked pick, yet for how often it's mocked, it really feels like it won't happen.