Round one of the 2014 NFL draft is in the books, and there was never a dull moment. From five trades to some of the craziest moments ever seen at Radio City Music Hall, this long-awaited opening round did not disappoint. In all the madness of the 32 selections yesterday, the Miami Dolphins held serve at the #19 pick overall and selected a man GM Dennis Hickey called “the best player for us” and a player they always targeted at their pick in University of Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James. James fills one of Miami’s biggest needs at the tackle position, and already looks to be on track to become a starter opposite newly signed Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert.
But one pick does not make a successful draft. With six more selections entering tonight, one in each of the remaining rounds, Hickey and Co. still have a lot of work to do in order to reinforce a team that was just a few plays away from the postseason last year.
So with James in the fold, what do the Miami Dolphins do on Day 2 of the draft in rounds two and three?
Here’s a couple ways they could go:
Back Up Front: Now that the Dolphins found their right tackle of the future in Ja’Waun James, they could go and search for their final missing piece on the offensive line. On Day 2 you can typically get more value out of drafting a guard, and there are two particular players that have caught my eye that could still be available when Miami comes back on the clock.
Xavier Su’a Filo and Joel Bitonio are both very versatile lineman that could easily fill up one of the guard positions next to Mike Pouncey on the Miami’s line. Bitonio can play any position on the line and is a high character player with a mean streak on the field. Su’a Filo is a technician who is solid in both the run and passing game, and is probably more athletic. Either selection would shore up the Dolphins’ biggest need, and allow Hickey some flexibility with his picks to go with the best player available the rest of the way.
Secondary Look: While the Dolphins did spend their 2nd and 3rd round selections last year on cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, they may look to these rounds once again to bolster their defensive backfield. However, the safety position is the more likely selection, and two Florida State Seminoles may be on the ‘Fins radar.
Terrence Brooks is more of a pure safety, as he’s fluid and plays with great speed and balance in pass coverage. Though his tackling form may need some work, he plays with a sort of reckless abandon in run support which is always useful from a safety. The other Seminole defensive back that could draw attention is Lamarcus Joyner. The key thing about Joyner is his versatilty. Joyner can play any defensive back position, whether it be corner or safety, nickel or dime, or inside or outside. If the Dolphins wanted a swiss army knife to add depth to the secondary, he might be one of the selections on day two.
Stuck in the Middle: There’s a big drop off from the consensus top middle linebacker in Alabama’s C.J. Mosley (now a Baltimore Raven), and the rest of the inside linebacker class, but that may not preclude the Dolphins from taking one on day two. Names like Shane Skov and Chris Borland could be in play, as a middle linebacker pick would allow the ‘Fins to be more creative in some of the defensive packages, allowing Dannell Ellerbe to possibly shift over to the weakside linebacker spot, a position he played in Baltimore to great success.
Borland may be undersized at only 5’11 , but watching him at the Senior Bowl, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has incredible instincts and pursues very well. Skov is more of the prototypical linebacker size, and lowers the boom on opposing ballcarriers almost unlike any other linebacking prospects in the entire draft. If the Dolphins wanted to go defense in possibly the 3rd round, neither of these players would be a bad choice.
Playmakers: One other direction Miami could go on day 2 is drafting an offensive playmaker to add to the already deep crop of pass catchers they have. Adding more of a pass catching option opposite Charles Clay at tight end may be a possibility, as Austin Seferian-Jenkins could provide a big target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. They could also choose to bolster possibly one of their strongest positions in wide receiver, by adding someone like Donte Moncrief, Jordan Matthews, or Allen Robinson, though that prospect is less likely given other needs and the fact that it is the deepest receiving class we’ve seen in years, meaning that’s a more likely Day 3 selection.
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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