For this year’s mock we are proceeding with the idea that Joe Philbin will not suddenly become Vince Lombardi, and that whatever intangible fire that may carry our SoFlo Sea Mammals into the postseason probably won’t come from him.
No, it will come from the players. It will hopefully come from Ryan Tannehill, who we’d like to see take charge of the huddle the way the greats do. He could use a little bit of nasty to go with that choir boy persona, and hopefully that will come. On defense, we have added one of the great tone-setters in the game. Suh is an intimidating beast, and his presence on the line will have a fantastic ripple effect on our D, both from a strategic and inspirational standpoint.
So, our annual mock tends toward players who fill a need, but also have potential to add the kind of on the field “swagger” that can hopefully transcend an index card-reading, inexplicably-extended, queasy coach with a tendency toward cowardly football (sorry, did that sound negative?).
ROUND 1. TODD GURLEY, RB, Georgia – We think even Breshad Perriman will be gone here as far as wideouts go. The good news is that perhaps the greatest single tone-setting offensive player in this draft falls to us at 14. Remember that brief glimmer last season when Knowshon had the entire offense playing with a strut? Imagine that for the next decade, only bigger, and faster. Lamar Miller is in a contract year, and has had his moments. Hell, we like Damien Williams too. But if the board falls the way we think, “Burly” Gurley will be the highest impact player on the board.
ROUND 2. SAMMIE COATES, WR, Auburn – A wideout with a knack for the big play, and a whole lot of swagger, Sammie’s yards per reception were off the charts against the best competition college football has to offer, and he put up his numbers with a QB that the pros are making audition as a defensive back. Sammie needs to work on his routes, but has #1 stuff. Landry in the slot. Stills as the speed guy. Coates as the emerging total package. Jennings as the Yoda of the corps. This is a passing league. Teams that realize it and act accordingly will see the results. Spread the field with WRs who win their matchups, toss Jordan Cameron, Todd Gurley and a QB with wheels into the mix? This team will score points, and 8 of the top 10 scoring teams in the NFL made the playoffs. The Eagles missed out but were 10-6. The Saints were a 1/2 game out of the dance, but had the 32nd ranked D in the league. Score, score, score.
ROUND 4. JEREMIAH POUTASI, OL, UTAH. This 6’5″. 335lb behemoth played LT for Utah, and was surprisingly agile. At the next level he’s expected to kick inside and play guard. We think he’ll do so for the next decade. At only 20 years old, Poutasi has room to improve. It would be nice to slot a beast with pass protection chops in there where we currently start Dallas “The Turnstile” Thomas. Not to mention his left tackle experience could be useful if the rehabbing Branden Albert experiences a setback. *Note, there is a chance that we acquire guard Evan Mathis during the draft for a pick somewhere down here, which would of course scramble things, and be a great boon to our o-line for the next couple of years.
ROUND 5. MIKE HULL, LB, PENN STATE. Simply put? A football player. Seen as plodding by some analysts, Hull showed up and ran a 4.68 at the combine. He was everywhere for Penn State, a tough, blue collar guy with potential to quarterback our defense. 110% effort on every play and at every practice. Hull could become a leader on this team faster than most.
ROUND 5b. STEFON DIGGS, WR, MARYLAND. Diggs is too big a playmaker to pass up here. The blue-chipper has battled injuries as a Terp, but is lightning in a bottle. You can’t have too many guys like him. A burner with return skills, Diggs could also replace the hugely important Landry and give our special teams a boost. We would expect Diggs to push Coates for playing time as a rookie. His ability far outweighs where he’s being drafted.
ROUND 6. JUSTIN COLEMAN, CB, TENNESSEE. Coleman is an aggressive corner who honed is skills over a long career in the SEC. A strong tackler with solid ball skills. We don’t have the ammo to plug all of our holes in one draft, but nabbing a CB with Coleman’s experience and moxie is a strong find this late in the draft. He will line up opposite receivers and fight tooth and nail.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose