Phins defensive draft choices

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Phins defensive draft choices

Post by mercury22nathan on Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:22 am

lots of information...

The Dolphins, with the 22nd overall pick, are likely going to have a choice of a bunch of skilled front-seven defensive players that are similarly rated.

While ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Dolphins selecting UF linebacker Jarrad Davis with the 22nd pick in his first mock draft, other evaluators are advocating Miami select other defensive players that are emerging as strong candidates for that selection:

• NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has the Dolphins choosing 6-5, 243-pound Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt, who had 11.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, one interception and two forced fumbles last season.

“Watt isn't as freaky as his older brother, [Houston Texans star J.J. Watt], but he is a very good football player,” Jeremiah said. “He is ultra-versatile, athletic and instinctive.”

• Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, who covers the college game closely, has the Dolphins selecting 6-3, 255-pound Missouri defensive end Charles Harris (nine sacks, two forced fumbles last season).

“Harris adds a pass-rushing threat after finishing 12th among the nation’s edge rushers with an 88.2 pass-rush grade,” Palazzolo said. “Armed with the best spin move in college football, Harris has been one of the nation’s best pass-rushers the last two years, though there is some work to be done to improve his work in the run game.”

Among other front-seven defenders now emerging as possibilities at No. 22:

• UCLA linebacker Takkarist McKinley. Might not be there. Kiper has him 15th, noting “he took a big leap as a senior with 10 sacks, going from fringe prospect to first-rounder.”

• Michigan end Taco Charlton. Kiper has him 14th. “A big end with the versatility to attack off the edge with his hand in the dirt or standing up,” Miller said.

• Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham, who had 125 tackles and 16.5 for loss but no sacks last season after 4 ½ the previous year. Though ESPN’s analysts don’t consider him a first-rounder, some others do.

He’s 6-4 but needs to bulk up from 230 pounds.

“Cunningham loves to take on blockers and he sheds them well and his nose for the ball led to his 56 solo run stops that led all Power-5 linebackers,” Palazzolo said. “He has the skills to excel in coverage as well, it’s just a matter of getting better as a tackler where he’s missed 34 over the last two years.”

Miller: “Cunningham is a rangy, mobile attacker at linebacker. He's built in a similar mold to Benardrick McKinney and offers the same multitooled game. He's capable of running down quarterbacks, crashing rushing lanes and dropping into coverage to take away tight ends.”

• Alabama defensive end Tim Williams, who had nine sacks in 2016.

Kiper has him going one pick before Miami, noting he’s “a fantastic pass-rushing talent who can be unblockable at times. He had 19.5 sacks the past two seasons. Williams would have to put on some weight [he’s 6-2, 236] to play end in a 4-3, but his talent is undeniable.”

• Tennessee defensive end Derrick Barnett (13 sacks last season). Kiper has him going 31st and it will be interesting to see if he rises.

“Barnett (6-3, 265) is the eighth defensive end or outside linebacker to go in my first round -- this is a great class for pass-rushers,” Kiper said. “He is an all-around defender who beats double-teams and makes plays in the running game, and he's versatile enough to play in a 4-3 or 3-4.”

• Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas (8.5 sacks in 2016). The ESPN analysts don’t rank him as a first-rounder, but Palazzolo has him in Miami’s range. He graded out as PFF’s “best run defender in college football.

“Thomas played mostly on the interior for Stanford, even more impressive considering he’s only 270 pounds,” Palazzolo added. “That projects more to a 4-3 defensive end role on early downs where Thomas can add a strong run-stopping presence before kicking inside on passing downs to rush the passer where his 87.7 grade ranked fourth among interior defensive linemen.”

• FSU end DeMarcus Walker and Alabama end Ryan Anderson are considered more late first-rounders, with the ability to rise. Walker had 16 sacks last season, Anderson 8.5.

• Defensive tackles Montravious Adams (Auburn), Caleb Brantley (Florida) and Malik McDowell (Michigan State). All are possibilities, but ends or linebackers appear the priority.

Incidentally, NFL.com’s mock draft by Chad Reuter’s has Miami picking Alabama tight end O.J. Howard at 22. “Howard can be a safety valve for Ryan Tannehill and a good run blocker on the edge.”

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article128497694.html

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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by white1 on Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:40 am

I only WISH OJ Howard would fall that far. Both he and the TE from Miami (Njuke?) could easily both be drafted in the first before our pick comes up.

Looks like a lot of options on defense, and scouting reports are starting to indicate defensive line is a strength in this draft. Matches up well with our huge need there. There will probably be good talent available even into the 2nd round this year.


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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by JMP on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:35 am

Assuming Howard is off the board by 22 - and he absolutely will be - DE may be the way to go. Taco Charlton would be ideal, but he'll be long gone before 22 IMO.

Other DEs: DeMarcus Walker and Solomon Thomas are intriguing to me. Jordan Willis (Kansas State) could also be in play at 22 if he kills the offseason.

I'm a big TJ Watt fan...just not sure how he fits in our defense. Looks like an ideal 3-4 OLB at his weight. Then again, Jason Taylor was very light and played (mostly) 4-3 DE. Watt definitely has to be on the radar regardless. His versatility makes me think he'd be a great fit for the Patriots if he lasts that long...that would suck!!




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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by Birdmond on Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:21 am

Any truth to the rumor Watt has had surgery on both knees? If so I'm dropping him to round two.

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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by JMP on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:52 am

Birdmond wrote:Any truth to the rumor Watt has had surgery on both knees?   If so I'm dropping him to round two.  

I haven't heard that, but then again I am not in full "research" mode yet. If true, then you definitely have to drop him a bit.

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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by mercury22nathan on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:32 am

Birdmond wrote:Any truth to the rumor Watt has had surgery on both knees?

its not a rumor, its fact.

He injured his right knee in August of 2014 and missed the entire season.

After surgery and rehab, Watt injured his left knee early in the spring of 2015, which prevented him from making a favorable impression on new coach Paul Chryst and his staff.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/college/uw/2016/08/09/tj-watt-continues-his-climb-badgers/88443180/

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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by white1 on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:51 am

Two knees? No thanks.

You would think - EVENTUALLY - even our front office will tire of drafting players with an injury history, only to see them get - surprise - injured. Early and often.


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Re: Phins defensive draft choices

Post by JMP on Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:24 am

Like most people, I really just became aware of Watt this past season, where he was absolutely dominant. I didn't realize he only played 22 games in college. He missed all of 2014 and part of 2015 with knee injuries. That's a major red flag.

Watt started his Wisconsin career as a TE...been a LB for just 2 years. Pretty amazing to see how good he was this past year with so little experience. Big if, but if he stays healthy some team is going to get a steal. Again, I think he's a 3-4 OLB, so expect the 3-4 teams to give him a long look. It would be cool if the Texans took him!

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