The Bottlenose’s 2014 Dolphins Mock Draft

7 May

Thanks to the NFL for the inexplicable wait for the 2014 NFL Draft. What were they thinking? At any rate, here’s our best shot at mocking Miami’s latest rookie haul.

Round 1. ZACK MARTIN, OL, Notre Dame – Mosley is an injury risk. Lewan should be gone. Hell, Zack might be gone too, but I’m gonna let him fall to us. Other linemen will be stretches here, which could warrant a trade down. The Sea Mammals stick to the biggest area of need, and they should be thankful Martin is there at 19. Should slide in at right tackle, but worst case he’s an interior lineman you can lock in for a decade. Gets dicey after him. It’s important to remember how adversely our offensive line play impacted our team. Moreno is a great blocking back. We’ve imported Albert and Shelley Smith. Pouncey is fantastic. Throw Martin into the mix too and Tannehill should be smiling a whole lot more going forward.

Round 2. CHRIS BORLAND, ILB, Wisconsin – All intangibles with this guy. The undersized Borland will overachieve in Davie, like a kid named Zach Thomas did for so many years. He will be a tackling machine, and help Dolfans forget the free agency linebacker debacle spearheaded by Jeff Ireland last season. I think Borland has “fan favorite” written all over him. Dude’s a football player, plain and simple.

Round 3. DONTE MONCRIEF, WR, Ole Miss – This pick ain’t about phasing out Mike Wallace, whose value will become apparent once our quarterback has time, and now that we have (knock on wood) a less, well, offensive offensive coordinator. This pick is about Brian Hartline, the solid, handsomely paid #2 wideout whose contract isn’t guaranteed past next season. Make no bones about it, the Fins would prefer two receivers who strike fear into opponents hearts. Moncrief is a beast, and will be someone’s bargain bin gem in this draft. The receiver depth in this draft class is insane, and with the NFL becoming more of a passing league by the second missing out on those riches would be a mistake.

Round 4. DAKOTA DOZIER, OG, Furman – The small school guard more than held his own at the Senior Bowl, when suddenly facing blue chip competition. Didn’t wow on the stopwatch, but we like Dozier’s potential as an interior lineman. We wouldn’t be surprised to ultimately see Dozier join Zack Martin as rookie starters on the right side of the line.

Round 5.  JERICK MCKINNON, RB, Georgia Southern – The converted quarterback lit up the combine and impressed at the senior bowl. A bowling ball with great measurables, his upside is well worth a fifth rounder, especially with Moreno being probably just a temporary fix.

Round 6. DEION BELUE, CB, Alabama – A cornerback with some upside, who’s played at the highest levels of college ball. I mean, if Cortland Finnegan is going to start for us we should pay some attention to the position, right? They’ve all got imperfections at this stage of the draft, but a ‘Bama kid is usually well-prepared for Sundays.

Round 7. COLT LYERLA, TE, Oregon – When a player with Pro Bowl ability is sitting there this late it’s hard not to pull the trigger. The physical freak has it all, including a possible cocaine habit. Still, that’s what drug testing is for. If he keeps his head on straight, we could see both Moncrief and Colt become big time contributors with only a 3rd and 7th spent.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

Dolphins Simply Can’t Skimp at Left Tackle

4 Mar

The truth is, though Jeff Ireland presented several reasons to doubt his ability over the years, the straw that broke the prostitute mom’s back was his inability to address left tackle last offseason.

Dennis Hickey must not, cannot, put Ryan Tannehill out there, in his make or break third season, with another Swiss cheese offensive line. The SoFlo Sea Mammals weren’t lousy enough last year to have an elite draft pick, which leaves this writer hoping either Branden Albert or Eugene Monroe wind up in Davie.

Albert is, simply put, a known quantity. Is he elite now? No. But if we’ve got the cap space to protect the blind side with a proven guy, we simply have to land one. Monroe is intriguing. If you’re going to back the Brinks truck to a guy’s house, age is a factor. Pro Football Focus had him in their top 10 overall tackles last season, at just 26-years of age.

Great first move nailing Grimes down. Hickey now has to reverse course on our tragic o-line situation. It seems that putting that cap space to use on a left tackle is the smart money. Where we’re picking there will be elite prospects elsewhere on the line.

But skimping again on the blind side would most likely be disastrous. Here’s hoping Hickey knows our recent history, so we aren’t doomed to repeat it.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

The Morsel of Hope I’m Clinging to for Next Season

27 Jan

“The number one factor in how we do it and specifically how it looks is going to be the ability of the players we have.” – Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

It’s a simple enough sentence, and a simple enough idea. Yet why did former offensive coordinator Mike “Snooze Bar” Sherman have so much trouble grasping it?

How many times did defenders burst through our Swiss cheese offensive line and we didn’t have a running back popping out behind them for a screen pass? How many times did we keep our 4.65-40-running, former wideout QB in crumbling pockets instead of rolling him out and giving him the option to use his legs?

The Dolphins knew. They knew once discussions about Branden Albert ceased that we were going to be rolling the dice hugely at left tackle. Jonathan Martin graded out poorly there in Jake Long’s place in 2012, and sure enough was a human turnstile this past season.  But if they knew, how in the world didn’t they adjust the offense accordingly? Roll him away from the pressure? Make aggressive defenses pay with screens? Buy receivers a little more time by moving your freakishly athletic gunslinger? We barely did any of that.

In the 39 times Tannehill ran, he averaged more per carry than Kaepernick, Wilson, Griffin and Newton. The dude has legitimate wheels. Half of his college highlight reel was him running, and ironically Mike Sherman witnessed it all first hand.  Tannehill’s ability is strangely ideal for a team with crappy pass protection. However, guys like Sherman are often married to their plans. Calcified. You would’ve thought we had Broncos-quality pass blocking by the frequency with which we left Ryan back there like a statue. It’s a near miracle he wasn’t badly hurt.

So what a breath of fresh air it is to hear our OC say (gasp!) that the offense will be tailored to the strengths of the players. Did anyone sense that philosophy in Davie last year? Felt like a whole lot of “square peg round hole” on the offensive side of the ball. We’re reminded of an SNL sketch with Christopher Walken. It was a “Top Chef” spoof that started with this:

“So for tonight’s quick-fire challenge, you will all be required to take one of the most well-known Chicago staples, the Deep Dish Pizza… However there is a catch. You may only use the following ingredients: Beets, couscous, frozen yogurt, medicine, a paper bag, stale Peeps, and this gum.”

So, amid a mess of an offseason, and the chorus of grumbles around the Dolphin Nation, that Bill Lazor quote is what we’re clinging to like a life preserver. Perhaps he’ll deploy our guys based on their strengths.  And perhaps, for the first time in way too long, we’ll have something cooking in that side of the ball.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

Updated Dolphins Power Structure Chart Includes Equipment Manager and T.D.

26 Jan
This should simplify things for next season.

This should simplify things for next season.

The Fibbing Fin: Ross to Name Operating System GM

19 Jan

– MIAMI GARDENS, FL

Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross emerged from a Saturday matinée of the new Spike Jonze film ‘Her’ hellbent on replacing former General Manager Jeff Ireland with a computer.

“I realized that an operating system could easily cross-reference every online scouting report and expert mock in the universe, then make picks and free agent acquisitions just as well as Jeff did,” Ross announced.

Experts hailed the move, citing the fact that a bundle of wires, plastic and data should be more infinitely more personable than Ireland.

The one time purchase of the operating system is expected to save the team roughly $3million, with no human’s salary to pay, a $755 price tag, and an estimated $87 in electricity costs per year.

“It’s really the perfect choice,” Ross explained., “A computer won’t mind being fired along with Joe Philbin 11 months from now. Not nearly as much as a human would. It’s more of an unplugging procedure.”

As of press time no name has been chosen for the new cyber-GM, although sources say Ross is choosing between “The iPunt” and “Lil’ Dawn”.

– BS NEWSWIRE

Philbin’s Survival Smacks of Sparano Part Deux

8 Jan

Allow us to tinkle on the Jeff Ireland firing parade for a moment…

We’ve blocked much of it from our memories now. It’s too painful. Tony “The Mad Fistpumper” Sparano had logged two straight mediocre, 7-9 years. Stephen “The Mad Waffler” Ross tried to have it both ways, sniffing behind Sparano’s back for potential replacements and embarrassing the franchise. Instead of moving on, which some part of Ross’ mysterious brain clearly wanted to do, he extended Tony, who had clearly lost the team. Miami had scored just over 13 points per game during a lifeless 1-5 home stretch. But Tony was back in 2011, at least long enough to waste another Dolphin season. It was confirmed that he had lost the team. That small, decisive segment of Ross’ cerebellum had been correct, though it was overpowered by the rest of our trusty owner’s mystifying noggin.

So here we are, after two mediocre years of Joe “Phlatline” Philbin, and genuine regression on many counts in year two. With the playoffs within reach, at the absolute worst time, Philbin’s Fins didn’t even get off the bus. These games were against two losing teams, with a trip to the playoffs on the line. Was it Jeff Ireland who had our squad playing like guppies at crunch time?

Forgive us for not doing any dances following the overdue jettisoning of Ireland and Sherman. This franchise just had a chance to boldly turn a page, to commit to a new direction and dangle a true clean slate at some of the bigger fish in the job pool.  Instead Ross has kept us in that soggy middle ground he seems so fond of. A coach hanging by a thread will greatly impact the quality of candidates we can attract. We’re shopping in the bargain bin, folks.

Here’s hoping our trip to the 99 Cent Store yields some inventive coordinating, and some better personnel moves. Truth be told the odds of Joe Philbin suddenly igniting this locker room are slim.

Maybe if he pumped his fists a little more often? Sigh.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

Stock Report with Fins Postseason Up in the Air

28 Dec

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as the bipolar Dolphins face the Jests.  (572.1 -82.0)

RISERS

NOLAN CARROLL (NASDAQ: CARL) +1: Throwing the Sea Mammals a bone here and naming a riser after last week’s debacle. Nolan had a sack and a pick, so if there’s one Fin who deserves a golf clap it’s him.

TUMBLERS

JOE PHILBIN (NASDAQ: PHIL) – 11.25: Sorry JP, but when your team doesn’t even get off the bus in a game this big much blame goes the Head Coach’s way. What the hell was that? Who’s to say we’ll even beat the Jets? Get these guys motivated.

MIKE SHERMAN (NYSE: SHERM) -27.5: To put up zero points, ZERO, against a losing team with the playoffs on the line was a joke. Daniel Thomas is shite. He just is. And it’s not like he can block much better than Lamar Miller anyway. They both get bulldozed, so why not have the big play guy in there? Three touches for Miller? Three? And Sherm’, your use of Tannehill is a joke. A more inventive OC would have a field day with Ryan’s physical gifts. We hardly move him at all. Seven sacks? Not one designed rollout? Maybe one screen pass the whole day? If you make adjustments at halftime, they’re never apparent. We could go on and on.

JEFF IRELAND (NASDAQ: FIRE) -33: This offense is 28th in the league. This defense is 20th in the league. The offseason was largely much ado about nothing. We are left with just as many questions this coming offseason as last year. We have precious little confidence in Jeff, and if we squeak into the playoffs we will extend precious little credit in Ireland’s direction.

SUMMARY

Yet with all the negativity, we may make the playoffs tomorrow. How in the hell? One reason, and it’s why we aren’t prepared to put him in the tumblers section despite an awful stat line against Buffalo. Ryan Tannehill has improved greatly. He can be downright dangerous when deployed correctly. We have no idea what to expect game plan-wise tomorrow. We have no idea if we’ll keep him cemented in the pocket for the Jets to blitz him into mush, or if we’ll show some different looks. But if we falter after a “two wins vs. losing teams and we’re in” scenario, doesn’t that warrant changes? Could we honestly call this season a quantum leap over last year’s 7-9 campaign? It’s hard to know which Dolphins team will show up from week to week. At their worst they break our hearts. At their best they’re pretty dangerous. If they make the dance they might be a tough out.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

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