With the NFL combine underway player’s draft stocks are coming into focus and some are changing. This year the Dolphins have 5 picks within the first 3 rounds of the draft come April 25th.
- 1st round pick #12
Last year the Dolphins picked up quarterback Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M in the first round, this year I believe they will turn to the defensive side in the opening round. Depending on the resigning of corner back Sean Smith, the Dolphins may chose to draft corner back Demarcus (Dee) Milliner. Dee was an an All-American in his senior year at Alabama, and also was a 2-time National Champion with the Crimson Tide. Milliner led the nation in passes deflected last season, and also 34 solo tackles, proving he can also defend the run. Milliner provides height, physicality, and speed, which is hard to come by in NFL corner backs. However, it is confirmed that Milliner will undergo shoulder surgery on a torn labrum after the combine.
- 2nd Round pick #11
The Dolphins have 2 picks in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft, one at pick 11 and another at pick 24 (from last years Vontae Davis trade). With a variety of tight ends on the Dolphins squad, last season lacked a breakout year by any of them. With Anthony Fasano #1 on the depth chart in tight ends last season, the Dolphins may look to pick up a young tight end to possibly stir things up in that position. Entering the draft here lies Notre Dame‘s big man Tyler Eifert. Standing tall at 6’6″, Eifert amounted to 50 receptions and 4 touchdowns in Notre Dames breakout season. Before his senior season started, Eifert was named a 2nd team All-American, and later won the John Mackey award (most outstanding tight end). During the NFL Draft Combine, Eifert impressed scouts today (2/23/13) with his 4.68 40 yard dash time, and headlined the combine with his performance.
- 2nd Round pick #24
With the 2nd pick in the Dolphins second round I have them picking up Robert Woods, a talented wide out from USC. In Woods’ 3 years with USC he grabbed 252 footballs, for 32 touchdowns, and was also a talented kick returner. Coming out of high school Woods was a USA Today All American in 2007, then later was a consensus All American at USC in 2011. After a disappointing season for the Trojans, Woods declared for the NFL draft a year early. Standing at 6’1″ Woods possesses a big play mentality receiving kicks and catching footballs. Another speedy wide out may be exactly what QB Ryan Tannehill needs to be an elite quarterback, depending on other moves for wide receivers the Dolphins make this off season.
- 3rd round pick #15
In the 3rd round of the draft, the Dolphins have another two picks, one at pick 15, another from the Brandon Marshall trade at pick 20. With Cameron Wake holding down the left side of the Defensive line, the struggle to find a consistent pass rusher on the right has become apparent. With Jared Odrick obtaining responsibilities at right end last season, the Dolphins may look for another D-end who can quickly get to the quarterback. With the 77th pick in the draft, I have the Dolphins picking up the dual positioned DE/OLB out of Auburn, Corey Lemonier. In Lemonier’s junior year at Auburn he recorded 5.5 sacks and 34 solo tackles. Lemonier passed up his senior year at Auburn to enter the NFL Draft come April. With the speed of an outside linebacker, and the physicality of a defensive end, Lemonier provides similarities to Dolphins star Cameron Wake. Although arguably an under the radar pick, Lemonier provides potential for any pass rush.
- 3rd round pick #20
Topping off the 3rd round for the Dolphins I have Justin Pugh from Syracuse taking his talents to South Beach. Pugh was an offensive tackle at Syracuse where he played his 3 years of collegiate ball. Pugh is 6’6″, 292 pounds, and is a versatile pass blocker. After graduating from Syracuse his junior year, Pugh was cleared by the NFL to play in the Senior Bowl. Here at the Senior Bowl, Pugh impressed scouts with his blocking and raised his draft stock from a late rounder, to a mid 3rd rounder. Depending on whether or not the Dolphins resign star LT Jake Long, Pugh could provide support at virtually any position on the offensive line.