In the final installment of my three-part look into the Miami Dolphins draft strategy, I'm going to take a look at the third (and for me, final) round and how Miami can use this draft to address the final holes in their roster. As I am not yet a great evaluator, I am not going to attempt to evaluate the fourth through seventh rounds. Maybe next year.
The Dolphins still have one major hole in their roster, the cornerback position, and I have a feeling that this round is going to be where they fill it. They have already made a move in free agency to fill this hole, signing the former Atlanta Falcons corner Brent Grimes, but in today's pass-happy NFL, you need more than just one good corner. Like in round two, Miami has two selections in this round, and with their first selection I anticipate them waiting on the corner and again addressing their desire for a playmaker (as they did in round one by selecting Tyler Eifert. Or as my fiancee' would say Eiffel Tower). For the first selection in the third round, I have Miami drafting the wide receiver from Texas A&M, Ryan Swope.
Miami should be very familiar with Swope, as our offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, was his coach at A&M for several years. In addition to the coaching staff familiarity, he also has a familiarity with our quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Both Tannehill and Swope were wide receivers at Texas A&M during Swope's freshman year. After Tannehill moved to the quarterback position, they further developed a rapport as any good QB/WR tandem should. Not only should this draft selection look good to Miami from a familiarity standpoint, they should also love Swope for his speed. He was clocked at a sub-4.4 in the 40-yard dash in March's Combine. Any time you have the opportunity to add that kind of speed to your roster, a coach should be salivating, and I would be surprised if Miami doesn't at least contemplate this choice.
With their second selection in this round, this is where I see Miami again addressing their need for a cornerback. I have them taking David Amerson, corner from NC State in this slot. The knock on Amerson is that he doesn't project the skills necessary to play in man coverage at the next level. That shouldn't concern Philbin very much since he plays mostly zone coverage, which is an area that Amerson is quite skilled at. For readers who may not know the difference, in "man coverage" the cornerback covers a wide receiver no matter where he goes on the field. In a "zone coverage" the cornerback covers an area of the field, no matter which wide receiver/tight end/running back comes into his area. Amerson's perceived deficiencies in man coverage should not be a big concern for us, and we should be thankful that a corner of his pedigree will slip so far in the draft due to those deficiencies. A corner with Amerson's size and speed who has good man coverage ability would be a sure-fire first round pick.
Well folks, there you have it, my blueprint for success in this year's draft for my Miami Dolphins. I can't wait to sit down in front of my television in less than 24 hours to see just how everything plays out. With any hope, I'll be writing a post on Sunday bragging about just how well we drafted and how right I was in my predictions. We shall see.
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.