The Miami Dolphins entered the NFL draft with a plethora of needs, most notably at outside linebacker, safety, nose tackle and tight end. They spent their first pick on a defensive end, while pulling the ole switch-a-roo on us and moving Randy Starks to the defensive tackle position. PING! Defensive tackle problem solved.
Then they went apeshit, drafting linebackers like they were on sale in bulk at your local BJs. Then they drafted an offensive guard, probably just to screw with us. Then they nabbed a cornerback -- a cornerback with leg bones apparently made from Styrofoam, but a cornerback nonetheless. They did take one safety. Then went back to taking linebackers. The end.
In all, the Dolphins grabbed five linebackers in the last three days (including Tim Dobbins in a first-round trade with San Diego). That's a lot of linebackers, especially when you clearly have other needs to address. Perhaps Bill Parcells' plan is to get all 13 linebackers currently on the Dolphins roster to combine to form one giant Lawrence Taylor Linebacker Voltron!
Either way, here's our Dolphins' draft rundown, complete with your requisite knee-jerk arbitrary draft-grade analysis:
Day Three Draft Picks:
3rd round, pick 119- AJ Edds, OLB Iowa: Miami gave up two picks (126th & 179th overall) to move up to 119th to draft him. Edds is a 6'3 245 lbs player that will compete to play the inside linebacker position. Clearly this means Channing Crowder's days of jumping into a pile six seconds after the play is over could be numbered.
Here's a highlight video of Epps' playing days at Iowa. You can see shades of Zach Thomas in his game because he has a relentlessness about him, plays scrappy football, and likes to get dirty. But mainly, because he's white.
5th round, pick 145- Nolan Carroll, CB Maryland: Miami got the 145th pick when they traded Ted Ginn Jr. to the 49ers. Carroll is a converted wide receiver who ran a 4.42 40 at his pro day. Most notably, however, is that he broke his leg in the second game of the 2009 season. Carroll broke his leg as a high school senior and missed the Emerald Bowl as a sophomore at Maryland with a hamstring injury. He broke his leg again in 2009. He has had only six starts at corner. Carroll again broke his leg while you were reading this sentence.
6th round, pick 163- Reshad Jones, S Georgia: WE GOT A SAFETY! Maybe. Some had Jones graded as a second or third round pick, so you can make the argument that Miami got a bargain here. Jones is 6'1, 214 lbs. and was timed at 4.51 at the NFL Combine. Jones says he can play both free and strong safety. Here's a highlight video of Jones. It's over five minutes long but it might go by faster if you watch it while listening to the Benny Hill theme song. Just a suggestion.
6th round, pick 212- Chris McCoy OLB Middle Tennessee: McCoy is 6'3, 251 lbs. of man girth. The Dolphins brass told him he would be playing weakside linebacker. They tell that to everyone. In all likelihood, he'll be a special teams guy. But it might help if wore an eye-patch. An eye-patch can make anybody look like someone who shouldn't be trifled with. It's true!
7th round, pick 252- Austin Spitler, LB Ohio State: What this draft needs is MORE LINEBACKER! Spitler is another "good motor" guy that the Dolphins feel can compete for a starting job at linebacker. Also, Spitler is a gym rat who reportedly benched 225 lbs. 32 times at the NFL Combine. No eye-patch needed.
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The one thing these draft prospects have in common, is that they're all "high character" guys. The majority of them were actually team captains for their respective schools. They love football, family and probably call everybody sir and ma'am. I'm not sure whether to cheer for them, or adopt them.
Obviously the Dolphins felt they needed to address the defense, and holy giraffe balls did they ever! This was the first time since 1994 that Miami only selected one offensive player in the draft. Of course, when you add the fact that they traded for Brandon Marshall, it all comes together nicely.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B- Overall, we'd call it a good draft. Not great, but good. Of course we won't really know how this draft class fared until the 2012 season. But that's when the Mayans say the world will end, so it won't really matter. Stupid Mayans ruin everything.