The Miami Dolphins have signed former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes to a one year $5.5 million contract. The former Pro Bowl corner was the top free agent left on the market and fills a big hole for the Dolphins. While Grimes is coming off of significant injuries (a ruptured Achilles last season and a torn ACL the season before), he is still a vast upgrade from anything that Miami had on the roster. This move frees Miami up to a number of moves in the draft. We still have several holes that need to be plugged before the start of the season, and with five picks in the first three rounds, we have the ability to fill said holes. How exactly does Miami approach the draft? Do they draft another corner at the 12th selection? Do they draft an explosive play-maker? Do they trade up and draft one of the top three offensive linemen? I have a different approach to the draft that I think would be the best thing for the franchise.
Miami has five picks in the first three rounds, having one first, two seconds, and two thirds. What I think that Miami should do with the first round pick is select a wide receiver. Wide receiver has been a point of emphasis for Jeff Ireland (Miami GM) this off-season, bringing in Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, tight end Dustin Keller and re-signing Brian Hartline. While it would appear that we should be done with this position, I would argue that you can't pass on an opportunity to draft someone with the play-making ability that Tavon Austin possesses. He not only could be lined up on the outside or in the slot as a wide receiver, but he also has the ability to line up in the backfield as a running back that we can swing the ball out to or run screens with. He would fill the void that is left by the departure of Reggie Bush, and I think that he would actually be a better fit in that position than Bush was.
After selecting Austin, I would suggest that Miami puts a package together, trading their second selection in both the second and third round, and possibly a selection in the fifth round, to trade back up into the late part of the first round. I feel like Minnesota would be a prime target for this trade as they have two first round picks with the Seattle trade for Percy Harvin. Once they are back in the first round, this would be where they address their need for a corner opposite Grimes. I would like to see them select either Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Jordan Poyer, or Jamar Taylor here. Twenty-fifth may be a bit of a reach for Poyer, so the pick would likely be Wreh-Wilson if he's still on the board or Taylor. Either one of them would be a good fit for the scheme that Miami would like to run and would be a vast improvement over anything we have on the roster opposite Grimes.
With our remaining pick in the second round, I would like to see Miami select Terron Armstead, the offensive lineman from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Armstead is an offensive tackle with Division 1 talent, yet he chose to go to a Division II school in order to be allowed to also participate in track & field. Armstead has all the tools and skills to be a first round pick. The only knocks on Armstead are the competition he faced at a lesser school and the fact that he could be stronger in his lower body. He can have a tendency to be vulnerable to a bull-rush. If Miami is lucky enough to have Armstead still be on the board in the third round, this would be an excellent selection for us, as his lower body strength is something that can be addressed in our strength and conditioning programs. It would also allow us to get a first round talent without having to pay him first round money, which gives us more freedom to make moves in future years.
Finally, with our remaining third round pick, I would like to see Miami go after the running back from Michigan State, La'Veon Bell. The junior had a great season last year, running for 1793 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is a large back and would provide Miami with a great compliment to Lamar Miller. At 6'1" and 230lbs, he has the size to carry the load, but is also shifty enough to avoid hits if he has to. Unlike Armstead, he put up his numbers against top-flight competition in the Big Ten. The knocks on Bell are that he sometimes runs "too tall" (meaning he has a tendency to not get his shoulders down and protect himself) and exposes himself to unnecessary hits down low. He has also shown a tendency to struggle with pass protection, but both of these issues could be worked on with practice.
So, there you have it, what I think would be the perfect draft scenario for Miami in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft. We'll see if things go this well; I kind of doubt it. But with the off-season that Miami has had so far, I have a reason to be hopeful.
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.