2011 NFL Draft Results: 5 Undrafted Free Agents the Miami Dolphins Should Target
The 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone and while undrafted players can't sign with a team, they at least have an idea of where they would like to go based on opportunities to make teams and get playing time.
The Miami Dolphins addressed some needs over the past weekend but to say that all the holes are plugged would be stretching the truth.
Once a new collective bargaining agreement has been reached or the courts order the league year to begin here are a few names that should receive a phone call from Jeff Ireland and company.
5) Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame
In the 7th round of the draft the Dolphins selected DT Frank Kearse from Alabama A&M.
Prior to that day Miami had not even spoken to Kearse. It's safe to say that he will be a developmental project.
In order to bring a little competition to the table, Miami should look at Notre Dame run-stopper Ian Williams.
While the numbers aren't high for Williams, his productivity is. He is an ideal 3-4 NT candidate and at least a two-down run stuffer.
Williams displays good initial burst and great instincts. He occupies a double team extremely well and does an amazing job at batting down passes and has an interception each of his last two seasons.
Williams needs to add some moves to his arsenal but what Miami is looking for is a gap-clogging NT to free up space for some of their pass rushers to be effective.
Williams has a tendency to play too high and lacks ideal explosion but with Paul Soliai in place for at least another year Williams could learn the game from him and develop or at least compete with Kearse for the a spot on the team or practice squad.
4) Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
For a fan base that was itching for Miami to draft a quarterback, picking up Pat Devlin would be an absolute steal.
How Tyrod Taylor was drafted and Devlin was not has to be one of the questions asked from the 2011 Draft.
Devlin finished with a 42 to 12 touchdown to interception ratio in his junior and senior seasons at Delaware and only had three interceptions in 384 attempts his senior campaign.
He is one of the most accurate quarterbacks of the 2011 class completing 68 percent of his passes as a senior and his throws are to places only his receiver can catch the ball.
Devlin can step up in the pocket, or scramble and reset his feet before throwing in motion. Crossing patterns and slants are his specialty and he is known to lead his receivers in order for them to get good yards after the catch.
Devlin has been known to check down quiet often and showed a lot of game-to-game inconsistency.
He would be a two or three year project and would not compete with Chad Henne for the starting job but could be an insurance policy down the road.
3) Lester Jean, WR, Florida Atlantic
Lester Jean going undrafted was the product of teams having to much time to find faults in players.
In early January, Todd McShay labelled Jean as his sleeper pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Jean stands at 6-foot-3 and an imposing 215 pounds. He is an extremely physical receiver who fights for the ball while it is in mid-air.
As a senior for the Owls, Jean caught 68 passes for 988 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Jean improved each year in college and is an ideal red zone target for any team.
The knocks on Jean are his route running abilities and his run blocking. His 40 time at the combine hurt him too as he ran a 4.65 forty time when he was expected to do much better.
With his ability to improve each year in college and his ideal frame, taking a chance on Jean could provide some depth at the wide receiver position and Mike Wallace and Marlon Moore would feel the competition right away in training camp.
2) Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Why not Mark Herzlich?
Right now at the outside linebacker position Miami has Cameron Wake, Koa Misi, Tim Dobbins, AJ Edds, Ike Alama-Francis, and Quintin Moses.
Besides Wake and Misi none of those players had a particularly stellar year last year for Miami (Edds was placed on the IR before the season started).
Herzlich could bring his intense style of play down to Miami and work on getting back to his 2008 productivity or something close to it.
Before Herzlich overcame Ewing's sarcoma he was a projected first-round pick with 110 tackles and six interceptions.
Herzlich plays fearless and is a natural leader on the field and it came as a shock to many that he was not drafted.
Since his battle Herzlich has last a lot of his speed, has trouble keeping up with tight ends and he doesn't have a big arsenal of pass rushing moves.
Not nearly as productive as his 2008 season Herzlich was still effective for Boston College in 2010 as he managed 65 tackles and four interceptions.
Herzlich already has an NFL type mentality and learning under Karlos Dansby and Cameron Wake could help Herzlich develop into a great project for Miami to have under it's belt.
1) Noel Devine, RB, West Virignia
This is a no-brainer.
The Miami Dolphins are looking for game-breaking speed and while they did manage to draft Edmond Gates in the fourth-round, getting some more speed at the running back position would go along way to complement what looks to be an entirely new backfield for Miami
Not only is Devine lighting fast in the open field but he put up 24 reps of 225 pounds at the combine.
Devine's numbers decreased as a senior going from 6.1 yards per carry to 4.5 but nonetheless he is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
His kick return ability would instantly be an upgrade over anything Miami currently has and he can also be a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield as he totaled 56 catches in his previous two seasons at West Virginia which is more than second-round pick Daniel Thomas.
Devine's main issue is his inability to run north-south, but once he reaches that second level it's most likely a foot race that most won't win against him.
If Miami is truly serious about adding a threat in the backfield and more speed to the offense then making sure Noel Devine is a Miami Dolphin should be priority number one.
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