Re-Drafting Miami Dolphins' 2013 Draft
Only one player from this draft class (Caleb Sturgis) would win a starting job with the Dolphins—and he was very inconsistent.
I've wondered why this group turned out to be so unproductive, especially since the Dolphins had nine picks in last year's draft.
Did Jeff Ireland truly pick a stinker of a draft class, did this class have its fair share of bad luck, did this coaching staff (a staff that has shown itself to be stubborn beyond the point of improvement) not give the players the opportunity on the field or was it a combination of the three?
In this piece, we're going to go back to a year ago and re-pick the 2013 NFL draft for the Dolphins and see if there are any improvements that can be made.
In this piece, each Dolphins' draft-day trade will still be made, meaning who the Dolphins pick will remain the same as it was last year.
Round 1, Pick 3 (via Oakland): Dion Jordan, DE—Oregon
I'm not changing this draft pick nor am I changing the trade.
I blame Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle (along with some injuries prior to training camp) for Jordan's lack of production.
Lack of production came from a lack of snaps, but when Jordan was on the field, he made a big impact.
I expect Jordan to have a big season in 2014, making the same jump that Olivier Vernon made from year one to year two.
Round 2, Pick 54 (via Indianapolis): Larry Warford, Guard—Kentucky
I was a big fan of the Jamar Taylor selection when it was made, and I am still a fan of Taylor now.
I expect big things from that kid in 2014; however, I would've fortified the offensive line in the draft last season by selecting guard Larry Warford.
I was a big fan of Warford's 2013 season, selecting him in one of my mock drafts, after the Senior Bowl.
Warford would've been a great replacement for John Jerry at right guard who could've moved over to left guard after the Dolphins lost Richie Incognito—that is, if the coaching staff would've given him the same chance that he had in Detroit.
Round 3, Pick 77: Logan Ryan, CB—Rutgers
Here's your Jamar Taylor replacement, Rutgers' Logan Ryan.
Ryan had five interceptions last season for New England, to go along with 35 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Now, despite Ryan's great year in New England last year and how well he played at Rutgers, I still think Taylor's career has more upside than Ryan's. Ryan is only the pick because in the second round I went for Warford.
Round 3, Pick 93 (via San Francisco Through Green Bay): Will Davis, CB—Utah State
Much like the Dion Jordan pick, I'm not changing this selection. Will Davis has plenty of upside at a nickelback and could potentially start for the team down the road.
Davis was boom or bust for the Dolphins last year, and that is who he is. He'll either create a big play or have one created on him, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.
Round 4, Pick 104 (via Cleveland): Jelani Jenkins, LB—Florida
Bold prediction: Jelani Jenkins will start for the Miami Dolphins in 2014.
Jenkins got in some time with Miami at the end of last season, mainly due to the horrid play of Philip Wheeler. If Wheeler's horrid play continues (which sadly I expect), Jenkins will likely take his job in training camp and become a permanent part of the rotation.
Jenkins also played well in special teams, which is another reason why I'd still make this pick.
Round 4, Pick 106 (via NYJ Through New Orleans): David Bakhtiari, LT—Colorado
The Green Bay Packers selected David Bakhtiari in the fourth round expecting him to be a developmental project.
This developmental project could still use some work in run blocking; however, he rated well on Pro Football Focus in pass blocking (allowing only eight sacks all season, compared to Tyson Clabo, who allowed eight sacks in six games) and started all 16 games for the Packers.
This isn't a critique of who the Dolphins drafted with this pick (Dion Sims, who could still turn out to be a good pick) but rather a position that was never addressed in last year's draft: tackle.
Miami only spent one draft pick on an offensive lineman; in this mock, I'm spending two on linemen, which the Dolphins should've done last season and should do this season.
Round 5, Pick 164 (via San Francisco Through Cle.): Mike Gillislee, RB—Florida
I still want to see what Mike Gillislee is capable of in the NFL.
Maybe he needed a year to develop, but I'd like to see him involved in the offense a bit more.
Round 5, Pick 166: Caleb Sturgis, Kicker—Florida
Caleb Sturgis' inconsistency was maddening to say the least, and it's easy to argue that he cost the Dolphins at least two victories last season.
Despite that, I'd still make this pick. Dan Carpenter was making far too much money (and coming off of an inconsistent season of his own where he cost the Dolphins at least two victories) and in the final year of his contract.
As for Sturgis, I see him kicking his way out of his issues in 2014.
Round 7, Pick 250: Joseph Fauria, TE—UCLA
Fauria is great at creating mismatches, how could someone who comes in at 6'7", 255 lbs not create a mismatch? He's not the fastest tight end out there, but he's a good one, and in Round 7 would be a bargain for the Dolphins.
Along with that glowing review I wrote about the UCLA Bruins tight end, I also called him the player to watch for the Dolphins in the East-West Shrine Game. His size made him a great red-zone target, and despite the fact that while at UCLA he seemed to have a different quarterback every couple of games, he was productive.
Fauria went undrafted, not just by the Dolphins, but by the rest of the NFL. He'd wind up in Detroit as an undrafted free agent, where he only had 18 receptions, 207 yards and seven touchdowns.
Read that last number again: seven touchdowns.
Would this have translated to the Dolphins? Who knows. In fact, who knows if any of these players would've performed differently with the Dolphins. The coaching staff almost went out of its way to not play the drafted players, even when they showed some signs of productivity (see Dion Jordan).
Some players were hurt last season (Jamar Taylor and Will Davis), but they should play better this year. My question is, will the coaching staff use these players (and Miami's 2014 draft class) properly?
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