Miami Dolphins Draft Stock Watch: 8 Players Rising and Falling Down the Board
It's that time of the offseason where the focus goes from the big named free agents to the possible draft picks.
For the Miami Dolphins, this is a crucial time. Despite filling holes on their offensive line and on defense, they're still in need of a right tackle, right guard and linebacker.
A spare safety, wide receiver and tight end wouldn't hurt them either.
How can Miami fill those holes? Where will they fill said holes? What players are in play?
Here's a look at the stock report for some possible Dolphins draft picks and whether they are trending up or down towards going to Miami.
Rising: Zack Martin
Despite Miami filling some holes along the offensive line, Zack Martin is still a fairly popular pick in many mock drafts for the Dolphins, as you can see in this mock draft tracker from SI.com, as well as this mock draft from Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com.
The fact that Martin can play both guard and tackle is one reason for that, as Miami would value his versatility.
He could start at right tackle from Day 1 if drafted by the Dolphins, and eventually succeed Branden Albert at left tackle.
Those are good reasons to select Martin, which is why you see him going to Miami in many mock drafts.
My question: Do the Dolphins need to draft Martin when there will be plenty of right tackles available in the second and third rounds, considering they still have needs at other positions?
Falling: Taylor Lewan
A lot of mock drafts don't have Michigan's Taylor Lewan lasting until the Dolphins pick at 19, and that's a good thing.
Lewan has NFL talent and would make a great right or left tackle for some team, however he's not the type of character the Dolphins need to have on their offensive line right now.
Per David Jesse of The Detroit Free-Press, Lewan is facing assault charges stemming from a fight outside of a Columbus, Ohio bar on Dec. 1 of last year.
Could this be chalked up to immaturity? Definitely, but it's a risk the Dolphins likely won't want to take this season.
Despite where he's projected to go in most mock drafts, expect Lewan to continue to drop even past the Dolphins in this April's draft.
Rising: C.J. Mosley
The Dolphins need a linebacker in a bad way.
Currently the Dolphins have three linebackers that can play on the outside, but no true inside linebacker that can be the quarterback of the defense.
Alabama's C.J. Mosley would fit that role for Miami from the start of training camp. With Miami's defensive line creating holes for Mosley, he'd be an effective force against the run and versatile against the pass either as a pass-rusher or in coverage.
Mosley also provides a linebacker that already has plenty of experience in a pro-style 4-3 defense, which is a major bonus on top of his talent.
He's worth a first-round pick for Miami, and would be my choice at 19.
Falling: Cyrus Kouandijo
If the Dolphins are leaning toward drafting an offensive lineman in Round 1 and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandijo is the best one available, I'd pass.
There's a lot about Kouandijo that concerns me, and should concern any NFL scout.
I watched the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma mainly to see what Kouandijo could bring to the table, and found myself disappointed. He was owned throughout that game by the Sooners defensive line, which played the game of their lives that night.
One game doesn't make a player, but medical history does fill in some blanks. According to NFL.com's Chase Goodbread, a lot of NFL teams are concerned, as he wrote:
Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain told NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport he understood that several clubs graded Kouandjio with a 4 on a 1-5 scale used to evaluate medical examinations at the NFL Scouting Combine, with a grade of 1 being best. A grade of 4 represents a draft prospect whose injury history indicates no short-term problems, but potentially long-term ones.
The medical grades mixed in with an underachieving season scream "stay away" for Kouandijo.
Rising: Morgan Moses
I like Morgan Moses and could see the Dolphins picking him in Round 2.
I wouldn't be surprised if they chose him in Round 1, though, especially since he has history with Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor from his time at Virginia.
It's been a few years since Lazor coached Moses, but he should have a good amount of information on him.
That's not the only reason you might see Moses go to Miami, another is the fact that he is versatile; he played right tackle at Virginia up until 2013 when he was switched to left tackle.
His play didn't drop off, and he even improved in 2013.
Moses' steady improvement and versatility makes him a fit in Miami. Much like Zack Martin he could play right tackle for a few years before making the transition to the left side.
Falling: Kelvin Benjamin
I knew I wanted to say something about Kelvin Benjamin going to the Dolphins.
No one is mocking him there, but as of a month ago I was intrigued by the possibility of Benjamin on the Dolphins. He seemed like the perfect red zone threat for the Dolphins offense, and I do think the Dolphins are in need of that type of receiver to complement Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson.
With that said, I've cooled on him in the last month, so really the stock is falling with me.
Here's why: As big as he is and as great as his hands may be, I don't like his speed.
For a wide receiver he comes off as being a bit slow, meaning he'd have to rely on how precise he can run his routes.
Unfortunately, I don't see that precision in his route running, if he had that, I'd be totally sold on him.
The Dolphins likely wouldn't have taken him in Round 1 anyway, but I don't see Benjamin as a first-round pick at this point. Expect him to go in Round 2.
If he is available when the Dolphins are on the clock in the second round, then I'd consider the pick.
Rising: Ryan Shazier
On Twitter I've noticed a few Dolphins fans suggest Ryan Shazier as a possible draft pick, with the Dolphins moving Koa Misi to the middle.
I don't like that idea. I don't know how Misi will play in the middle considering how up and down he has been as the strong-side linebacker for the Dolphins throughout his career.
I do like what Shazier can bring to the table at linebacker for the Dolphins, though, and see the potential and the tools he has.
Long term, he might even be a better pick than Alabama's Mosley, as Shazier holds the edge in athleticism and speed.
I like what I see out of him enough to say that my stock in Shazier is rising, and would see positives in drafting him.
Falling: Jace Amaro
I'm a big proponent of the Dolphins adding a tight end in the draft, and at first I was on board with the possibility of adding Jace Amaro.
Then I read up on him more and watched him play. He's not a very good blocker (he's not used as one much) and not really a good fit for the Dolphins' offense.
He's Michael Egnew, basically, and Miami already has one of those.
Here's further proof that Amaro is practically on the team already under the alias of Egnew, the NFL scouting report for Amaro:
Was used as an inside receiver and lacks the bulk, base strength and body power to match up with NFL defensive ends. Is unsudden (average acceleration) and lacks elite top-end speed. Upright, unrefined route runner -- shows hip and ankle stiffness in and out of breaks. Struggles to consistently separate. Fairly straight-linish after the catch. Ordinary run strength. Production was inflated by scheme and poor pass defenses.
Now here's Egnew's scouting report:
As a converted receiver, Egnew has struggled blocking defensive linemen. It is tough for him to get a free release off the line when attached to a tackle, and he is much better working off the ball. He can be physically outplayed by some bigger linebackers and could have trouble playing on the line of scrimmage at the next level.
Watch film of both and you'll notice how eerie the similarities are. Miami already has one Michael Egnew, they can't afford another. If they do pick a tight end, he better be able to block and catch.