Miami Dolphins: Complete 2014 NFL Draft Wrap-Up and Analysis

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Miami Dolphins: Complete 2014 NFL Draft Wrap-Up and Analysis
J Pat Carter/Associated Press
GM Dennis Hickey introduces Ja'Wuan James

The 2014 NFL draft is now complete, and the Miami Dolphins were able to take advantage of what has been called the deepest draft class in a decade.

Entering the draft with seven picks, one in each round, new general manager Dennis Hickey parlayed the picks into eight players, by trading down multiple times. The extra pick allowed Miami to bolster the roster even more, adding to a strong draft class.

The Dolphins were rumored to be interested in linebackers early in the first round, but they selected the best player at the biggest position of need on the roster—new right tackle Ja’Wuan James, from Tennessee.

After filling a crucial need, the Dolphins selected players of great value for their respective draft slot, and added valuable depth to a roster that needed it. Hickey spoke at length about finding great values, and then looking at the best players available. After looking at the results, he put his philosophy to use well.

This draft featured a little bit of everything, which is a nice change for Dolphins fans that grew weary of the predictable, unproductive drafts underneath former general manager Jeff Ireland.

We saw a total of three trades throughout the draft, all occurring on Day 2. This led to flexibility and value picks for the Dolphins, which will not only benefit the team in the immediate future, but also the long term, which is one of the first steps in building a sustainable winner.

This draft was one of the most important in franchise history, as the Dolphins were on the brink of making the playoffs, despite having an offensive line that couldn’t keep their budding young quarterback upright. With stakes high for many players (the Dolphins will have as many as 24 free agents after the 2014 season), and a coaching staff entering a crucial third season, the Dolphins had to land impact talent in the draft.

In this slideshow, we’ll breakdown and analyze what Miami did, and the expectations in the wake of the 2014 NFL draft.

 

All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Contractual information courtesy of Spotrac.com. Additional draft information courtesy of NFL.com.

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