Miami Dolphins: Early, Early 7-round Mock Draft

In one short week the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will face each other in the Super Bowl. For the other thirty teams of the NFL thoughts have already shifted to the upcoming NFL Draft.

After a season of college football games followed by Bowl games and ultimately the National Championship game college prospects hoping for a career in the NFL often participate in the post season all-star games. Namely the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. It is the last chance for these players to show their wares against live competition. Next up will be the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

I like to take a look at these players before the facts and figures come in from the Combine. Think of it as something of a rough draft. Just kind of a taste of players that I already like before some workout warrior wows all of us.

So here goes. Eight picks over seven rounds…starting now

1. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Even if Brent Grimes returns next season(nothing is guaranteed) the Dolphins desperately need a solid corner on the other side. With impressive body control and great play recognition Hargreaves could easily be penciled in for the next decade. He is an impressive playmaker who does not shy away from defending the run.

2. Nick Martin, G, Notre Dame

If the name seems familiar it is because Nick Martin’s older brother is Zack Martin the two-time pro bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys. I am not claiming that he will be as good as his brother but he should be a solid guard for the Dolphins. Something they have needed for several years now.

3. Scooby Wright, ILB, Arizona

Beyond belonging on the all-name team Scooby is a former Bednarik Award winner-given to the nations best linebacker. At 6’0 and 246 lbs he has good size which is complimented by excellent instincts and good athleticism. While he is coming off an injury plagued season(torn meniscus) he finished the season strong in the New Mexico Bowl with 11 solo tackles and two sacks.

4. Sean Davis, FS, Maryland

Strong safety Reshad Jones made his first appearance in the Pro Bowl this weekend. That does not mean that help is not needed on the other side. Davis provides length and athleticism while being an aggressive run defender.

5.  Anthony Zettel, DE/DT, Penn State

Zettel first jumped off the screen for me two years ago as a distruptive defensive tackle. This year he slid outside to end. And did not lose a step. The position flexibility reminds me of former Dolphin Jared Odrick. But Zettel is far more athletic than Odrick ever was and the need may be there depending on what happens with ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

6. Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin

Yes this draft is heavy on defense and after the performance last year I think that is necessary. Schobert showed special teams ability in the Senior Bowl and he has the ability to play on the outside.

7a. Michael Caputo, SS, Wisconsin

Known primarily as a run stopper Caputo showed range and playmaking ability in the East-West Shrine Bowl coming down with two interceptions. He could not ask for someone better to learn from that Reshad Jones.

7b. Glenn Gronkowski, FB/TE, Kansas State

The Dolphins have not used a fullback recently,  however new coach Adam Gase has been know to use one. Gronkowski(youngest brother of Rob) has shown ability at fullback, tight end and H-back. During the Senior Bowl he caught the ball with ease. That position flexibility may help Glenn to stick on the 53.

This is just an early snapshot at what they may do come the draft. Things should start coming into focus over the next couple of months.





The Miami Dolphins and a man named Suh.

Originally published on

Hunting season is almost here. The NFL Free Agency season opens Tuesday at 4pm.

Like most years there is one marquee player grabbing most of the attention. This year that player is Ndamukong Suh. He is the white whale this offseason. Franchises will put it all on the line to sign him.

Suh is the $100-million dollar man this week. The San Diego Chargers just threw their name in the ring, joining the Oakland Raiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chicago Bears, his former team the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins seem to be the frontrunners. They are going big-game hunting again. This is not the first time they have gone after the biggest name during the offseason. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Mike Wallace all come to mind.  While they have had some success the Dolphins have also been used to drive up the price on free agents who never intended to sign with the storied franchise.

Suh is absolutely worth the money. He is clearly the second best defensive lineman in the league-sorry but J.J. Watt is still number one. Talent has never been a question. Watching him at Nebraska in college it was clear he was a man among boys. Even his occasional on-field penalties should not give any team pause. Still the price tag is daunting.

$17 million a year. That is what we are talking about on the low-end. That is elite-quarterback money. That is Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady money. It is scary. For that money you can sign two or three very good players, maybe even pro bowl players. For that kind of money you have to be sure or it can cripple a franchise.

Miami has the money. Question is do they pull the trigger?

This week I considered what to do with the defensive tackle position with or without Suh. I came up with three ideas I like.

Scenario #1:

Sign Ndamukong Suh and Jared Odrick. Bring Odrick home. He has been the best interior defensive lineman for the Dolphins for the last few season. Pairing him with Suh would solidify the middle for years to come.

Scenario #2:

Sign Suh and Dan Williams, the free agent nose tackle from the Arizona Cardinals. At 6’2 and 327 lbs, Williams can eat up space in the middle while Suh, Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon terrorize opposing offenses.

Scenario #3:

Sign Odrick and Williams. Yes they miss out on the shiny signing of Suh. That is ok. The defensive line is still strengthened and you have a chunk of cap space available to address other needs.