This will be fun to watch. Maybe not so much for Ryan Tannehill.
Heading into Thursday evening we were nowhere near the territory where “the big three” left tackles were expected to leave the draft board. Then, suddenly, with the clock almost expiring on the Raiders, our new logo appeared. We were on the board at three. Ireland had done it. With Branden Albert talks at an impasse, Jeff had taken advantage of a buyer’s market and jumped up for Lane Johnson.
Only we hadn’t. Dion Jordan’s phone rang, and the Sea Mammals had punched the freakishly athletic defender a ticket to Davie. It was of course, one of those “wow” moments. After considering the fruitless search to generate pass rush opposite Cameron Wake, and the fact that the road to our division title leads through Tom Brady, we bought in. Wake and Jordan may meet at a lot of QBs for the foreseeable future.
But along with the excitement was the belief that Miami and Kansas City would still be burning up the phone lines about Branden Albert, the 28-year old, disgruntled tackle who was ranked Pro Football Focus’ 7th best pass blocker in 2012 (9th in 2012). At the end of round 2 we would have added a unique force to our already 7th ranked scoring defense, as well as protected Ryan Tannehill’s blind side.
That trade never happened, for either salary or trade compensation reasons, depending on who you follow and trust on Twitter. Possible targets Menelik Watson and Terron Armstead off the board, our second rounder went to secure explosive cornerback Jamar Taylor to go opposite newcomer Brent Grimes (we get it, stop Brady, win the division). The draft continued. We grabbed Tennessee tackle/guard combo Dallas Thomas, who is projected to be either an interior lineman or right tackle at the next level.
From the look of it a very productive draft (we’ll review ALL the newcomers after the undrafted class is signed), with one humongous, glaring asterisk. Some are classifying the Branden Albert talks as “dead”, but who expects that situation to get better before getting worse? We expect that drama to only intensify, and we’re on record as the main suitor if and when the dung hits the fan in Chief Land. Other options may emerge of course.
Is there a sliver of hope that Jonathan Martin can somehow play left tackle at a sufficient level against NFL talent? Sure. To hope is human. However, he was generally eaten alive there last season. To be fair, he was a rookie, but we’re not prepared to go into the season depending on him. The many discussions with the Chiefs lead us to believe that Ireland’s not too comfy with that idea either.
As the dust settles, we’ve added a potential sackmaster to the ranks. Of course in doing so we may have exposed our own gunslinger. It’s sack or be sacked in Davie, and if Jeff Ireland doesn’t pull a rabbit from a hat at left tackle? Well next season’s last sack may go to Stephen Ross.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose