Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dolphins' "Glue Guy" Michael Thomas










Glue Guy! If you’re a fan of Miami sports, I’m sure you’re already familiar with this term. If not, than let me briefly explain. A "Glue Guy" is often the forgotten weapon we refer to as chemistry. At times a glue guy is disguised as a game changer in the most underrated way. He is the one that most General Managers fail to pursue when building a championship team. Shane Battier so eloquently stated that this guy “Must possess a certain Je ne sais quoi”.

For More Clarity on the term Please Read: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/elite-glue-guys-101/

It’s in my opinion that Michael Thomas is developing into this role. I know that I’m not in the locker rooms to verify this bold statement, but from a community and an on-the-field perspective, he is that dude. The young DB jumped onto the scene and became a household name for Dolphin fans with a big-time interception against Tom Brady. From that point on he continued to be a force on special teams and was always ready to step in when needed. This level of preparation proved to be extremely valuable when Thomas was tasked with filling a major void left by Rashad Jones’s season ending injury.





In the community, Thomas is a politician that lets his actions do all the talking. I had the pleasure to watch “First Step”, a video series featuring athletes engaging with communities. This episode shed some light on Michael Thomas dedicating his time towards becoming the bridge between the youth and law enforcement of the Ft. Myers area. The goal was to strengthen the communication between the two groups. This was done in hopes to ultimately build a trust that most individuals never get to experience with the people that’s tasked to protect them.



With Contract talks looming, the 2017 season is going to be big for Thomas as he looks to take the next step in his career. As a fan first, It's in my hopes that he brings certainty to a position that lacks it the most for the Dolphins.  I also hope that he can relish the role of bringing the majority of 53 guys together on and off the field for a championship run the way Shane Battier did for the Heat. Lastly, I hope the front office can discover the value in having a Glue Guy like Thomas on the team.


DolphinsTalk.com Teaming up with Jarvis Landry and Pro Camps

We are proud to announce that we here at DolphinsTalk.com are teaming up with Jarvis Landry and Pro Camps for Jarvis Landry's Youth Football ProCamp on June 3rd and 4th. Use the Promo Code "DolphinsTalk" and Save 10% when signing up for the camp.

The Camp is for boys and girls Grades 1-8 on June 3rd and 4th at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida. For the children who sign up and attend they will receive football tips from Jarvis, a Jarvis Landry autographed item, an official camp t-shirt, and a Team Photo with Jarvis

Be sure to visit the website JarvisLandryCamp.com and use the Promo Code "DolphinsTalk" to Save 10%.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DolphinsTalk.com Teams up with Jay Ajayi and ProCamps for the Jay Ajayi Youth Football Camp

DolphinsTalk.com is proud to announce we have teamed up with Jay Ajayi,  ProCamps, and Tide to  put on the Jay Ajayi Youth Football Procamp. The event is held June 2nd in Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID. If you use the Promo Code "DolphinsTalk" you can save 10%.

The camp is open to all children Grades 1-8 and costs only $99. All children attending the camp will get football tips from Jay Ajayi, a Jay Ajayi souvenir autograph, an official camp t-shirt, and a team photo with Jay Ajayi. For more information and to sign up please go to JayAjayiCamp.com

And remember use the Promo Code "DolphinsTalk" and save 10%


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DolphinsTalk.com Podcast for May 4th with Special Guest Sam Madison

We are joined on this weeks DolphinsTalk.com Podcast by former Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison. Sam talks about his draft day memories, about the first time meeting Patrick Surtain Byron Maxwell, the current group of Dolphins defensive backs, and how in the lead up to Super Bowl 42 when he as a member of the NY Giants that beat the then unbeaten Patriots how the 72' Dolphins and that Perfect Season were in his thoughts all week in the lead up to that game.

An amazing interview where Sam shares gives some great insight and shares some amazing stories. After the interview Tom talks about the Damien Williams situation, the Dolphins picking up the fifth year option on JuWuan James, and the Darrelle Revis rumors.


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Saturday, May 13, 2017

WAY Too Early 2018 Mock Draft & Preview



Well, ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 draft is in the books. A lot will happen between now and next April, but here is a little sneak preview of the talent pool as we head into the 2017-2018 College Football season.

Just to simplify things, I kept the order the exact same as the 2017 version. Who might be donning the Aqua and Orange this time next year? You'll have to read to find out... 

1.       Cleveland Browns: Arden Key – Defensive End – Louisiana State
Quick take: Another Defensive End number one overall for Cleveland? Hear me out! I don’t expect the Browns to be selecting first again in 2018, but I decided to keep the order the same as 2017 as to avoid any hurt feelings. Key is a top 5 prospect and as long as he clears up his issues off the field, he will definitely be in contention for this pick. He has spent some time away from the team this offseason, but appears to have bulked up in the meantime, weighing in recently at 255 lbs. This will only help him as he looks to solidify himself as the nation’s best player.
2.       San Francisco 49ers: Sam Darnold – Quarterback – Southern California
Quick take: After his eye-opening redshirt freshman season and tremendous bowl effort against Penn State, Darnold is widely considered as the top QB prospect heading into next college football season. John Lynch is still looking for a new face to the franchise and why not go with the local guy. This seems like a dream scenario for both sides.
3.       Chicago Bears: Tarvarus McFadden – Cornerback – Florida State
Quick take: The team took steps to improve the future of their offense following the retirement of longtime QB Jay Cutler. However, they almost completely ignored the defense in the 2017 draft. Many had them pegged for CB Marshon Lattimore, but I think McFadden is an even better, more polished prospect at this point. A former highly regarded high school prospect, McFadden tied for the NCAA lead with 8 interceptions in his first full season as a starter for the Seminoles.
4.       Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen – Quarterback – Wyoming
Quick take: Some believe that Allen would have been the top selected QB in the 2017 Draft, had he left school early. He will once again be among the top signal callers available for the 2018 version. The Blake Bortles experiment should finally come to a crashing halt this year, so Coughlin will be ready to find his successor with this 6’5” gunslinger from Wyoming.
5.       Los Angeles Rams: Mike McGlinchey – Offensive Tackle – Notre Dame
Quick take: Rumors are that McGlinchey received a first round grade from the NFL advisory panel prior to deciding to return to school for his senior season. That being said, he will likely be among the first players selected in 2018, barring injuries. Former top picks like Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold have failed and the Rams need a true future blindside protector to succeed big free agent addition Andrew Whitworth.
6.       New York Jets: Saquon Barkley – Running Back – Penn State
Quick take: There are rumblings that Bilal Powell could unseat Matt Forte as the full-time back in 2017 for Gang green. Now, this could be due to Forte’s age, injuries or both. That being said, it appears the Jets will be in the market for a true workhorse following the year and Barkley is a stud. He will likely follow Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott as another top ten selection at the running back position for the third year in a row.   
7.       Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Rosen – Quarterback – UCLA
Quick take: Rosen’s off-field behavior and mechanics leave a lot to be desired, but there is no doubt about his talent at the position. If the Bruin can put it all together in his junior season, he will most likely be looking at a first round selection next April. A top-ten pick can also not ruled out if Rosen performs to expectations.
8.       Carolina Panthers: Minkah Fitzpatrick – Cornerback/Safety – Alabama
Quick take: While James Bradbury has been a pleasant surprise for the team, it will all depend on how quick of an impact fifth rounder Corn Elder can make. Elder and fellow starter Captain Munnerlyn are better suited for slot duties, so Carolina could be looking for a bigger corner to pair with Bradbury on the outside. The team faces no dearth of big receivers in this division like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Mike Evans, so a bigger corner makes some sense here.
9.       Cincinnati Bengals: Orlando Brown – Offensive Tackle – Oklahoma
Quick take: The bloodlines are obvious here, as Brown is the son or former NFL offensive tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown. This is a mammoth offensive lineman with long arms that will probably be viewed as some as a right tackle, but I think he has enough foot quickness and length to make it on the blindside. Cincinnati lost long-time left tackle Andrew Whitworth to free agency, so Orlando fills a BIG hole here.
10.   Buffalo Bills: Derwin James – Safety – Florida State
Quick take: Already drawing a few Sean Taylor comparisons as a big centerfielder type, James will need to prove he can stay healthy this season to live up to expectations. A bigger version of Browns’ 2017 first rounder Jabrill Peppers, James will also need to improve on his awareness and ball skills in the secondary, as he only boasts one career interception. He is a chess piece player on defense, one that moves around and seems to play well wherever he is placed. Health and consistency will be key factors in where James is selected. 
11.   New Orleans Saints: Christian Kirk – Wide Receiver – Texas A&M
Quick take: At this point, the name of the game will be extending Drew Brees’ career and giving the Saints the best chance to win now. Michael Thomas is the big receiver here and Snead is a great slot receiver, but Thomas could use a running mate on the outside with the loss of Brandin Cooks. Kirk is a former 5-star recruit and has been a real weapon for the Aggies since arriving on campus two years ago.
12.   Philadelphia Eagles: Malik Jefferson – Linebacker – Texas
Quick take: The Eagles did a great job this offseason upgrading their talent on offense and grabbing some reinforcements on defense. The team still feels unsettled at the linebacker positon, where Mychal Kendricks seems to be the subject of trade rumors every offseason. He’s owed almost 6 million in 2018, so if the team deems that too pricey, they could look to add his replacement here. Jefferson has played inside and out and could be a nice addition next to fellow Longhorn alum Jordan Hicks.
13.   Arizona Cardinals: Mason Rudolph – Quarterback – Oklahoma State
Quick take: 2017 looks like it could be the last season for QB Carson Palmer, and the Cardinals are very thin on long-term options behind him. The team missed out/passed on all signal callers in the 2017 draft, so they will surely be looking for one early in 2018. Rudolph is a big, strong-armed passer with perhaps the best resume of all quarterbacks on this list, but could slide a bit if deemed a system quarterback.
14.   Minnesota Vikings: Vita Vea – Defensive Tackle – Washington
Quick take: Former first rounder Shariff Floyd’s future is up in the air and the Vikings don’t have much behind Linval Joseph. They used a fourth rounder on Iowa’s Jaleel Johnson, but Vea is a vastly superior prospect all-around. Vea is a monster at 6’5” 322 lbs and moves very well for his size. He would anchor this defense for a long time and could very well be off the board long before this pick. If the Huskie is there, he would be a great selection.
15.   Indianapolis Colts: Sam Hubbard – Defensive End – Ohio State
Quick take: Many pegged Indy to snag a pass rusher early in the draft, as they have certainly struggled there in recent years. However, they decided to go Malik Hooker and the position will likely be a big need again heading into the 2018 draft. Tarell Bashem from Ohio was added in the 3rd, but grabbing a stud like Hubbard would be a no brainer for the Colts here. Hubbard is a polished pass rusher and can also anchor against the run. A poor man’s Joey Bosa.
16.   Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley – Wide Receiver – Alabama
Quick take: The Ravens lost future Hall of Famer Steve Smith and did little to replace him this offseason. It appears as if the team is placing a lot of hope in former first rounder Breshad Perriman to break out. I am skeptical that Perriman can be the true number one that Joe Flacco needs, and adding a playmaker like Ridley could go a long way. Ridley stepped right into Amari Cooper’s shoes at Alabama and has filled them well. He looks like a first round lock.
17.   Washington Redskins: Jordan Whitehead – Safety – Pittsburgh
Quick take: A lot of 2017 mock drafts had Washington selecting a secondary player, most notably former Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers. Whitehead is a poor man’s Peppers, functioning as a two-way player at Pittsburgh. He has made notable contributions as a safety and wide receiver. If he is allowed to focus on defense this season, Whitehead could put together a very nice campaign. An All-ACC 2nd Team selection in 2016, he must prove healthy after missing the final 3 games.
18.   Tennessee Titans: Da’Shawn Hand – Defensive End – Alabama
Quick take: Tennessee could use an upgrade on the strong side at defensive end over DaQuan Jones. Depending on how Hand develops, he could be long gone by this selection. A former top overall recruit, Hand has massive potential. And with the losses of Jonathan Allen and Dalvin Tomlinson, he will finally have an avenue to show his ability in Tuscaloosa. Hand would make a perfect 5-Tech for Dick LeBeau’s defensive scheme and would be a big boost to Tennessee’s front seven.
19.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Connor Williams – Offensive Tackle – Texas
Quick take: Donovan Smith has performed admirably in his first two seasons since replacing Donald Penn on the blind side. However, Tampa could use an upgrade on the right side, where Demar Dotson turns 32 this season. Williams has been a full-time starter since his freshman season and brings a lot of leadership and experience on the offensive line. Some believe Williams could be the first player selected at the position, so he appears to be a bargain at this spot.
20.   Denver Broncos: Derrius Guice – Running Back – Louisiana State
Quick take: Rumors swirled prior to the 2017 draft that Denver was enamored with running back Christian McCaffrey. Part of that could be attributed to Elway’s relationship with McCaffrey’s father, Ed. However, it’s no secret that the team was looking to upgrade as Jamaal Charles was brought in shortly after. A long-term solution is needed and Derrius Guice could be that guy. I have a feeling he steps in as Leonard Fournette’s successor this season in Baton Rouge and doesn’t skip a beat.
21.   Detroit Lions: Christian Wilkins – Defensive Tackle – Clemson
Quick take: Wilkins is a true wild card heading into the 2017-2018 college football season. He possesses all-world ability with his size and speed at the position. If he can put together the dominant season for the Tigers that many expect, he could be long gone by this pick. Detroit needs reinforcements at the defensive tackle position and Wilkins can bring it.
22.   Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Harrison – Safety – Alabama
Quick take: It will be between Jordan Whitehead and Ronnie Harrison to be the second safety selected behind Derwin James. For this exercise, I have Whitehead’s versatility getting the nod. Harrison could very well end up being the best of the bunch, though. He was very good range and great size for the safety position at 6’3”, 216 lbs. He is a playmaker and knows how to find the ball, evidenced by his two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2016, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Harrison also blocked a field goal in 2016 and would be the perfect complement to safety Reshad Jones. 
23.   New York Giants: Martinas Rankin – Offensive Tackle – Mississippi State
Quick take: Add me to the list of pundits shocked that New York did not spend more 2017 draft assets to address their offensive line. For a line that underperformed vastly in 2016, both on the ground and through the air, improvements are badly needed. Former first rounder Ereck Flowers looks best suited for the right side, and that’s where Rankins fits in. Rankins is a more natural fit on the left side with his above average athleticism. He also has load of experience facing off against some of the better pass rushers in college in the SEC.
24.   Oakland Raiders: Bo Scarbrough – Running Back – Alabama
Quick take: While the Beast Mode story is a fascinating one in Oakland, it is likely to be short-lived. This is another team with a long-term need at the position. Scarbrough seems like just the type of bruising back that the silver and black needs. He would do well to complement current starter Marshawn Lynch for a year and take over the lead back duties full time in 2019.
25.   Cleveland Browns (f/ Houston): Jaire Alexander – Cornerback – Louisiana State
Quick take: It seems like Cleveland has been trying to add a decent complement to All-Pro Joe Haden for years. They have struck out badly in 2014 with Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert. He is no longer on the team, and they are still looking for a decent option. Alexander is a sticky cover man for Louisville, who collected five interceptions in 2016. He has decent size at 5’11” and could be the answer at the position that Cleveland has been searching for.
26.   Seattle Seahawks: Bradley Chubb – Defensive End – North Carolina State
Quick take: Chubb barely gets the nod here over fellow pass rusher Tyquan Lewis. The NC State product wears the same number as former top pick Mario Williams and is by far the best pass rusher the school has seen since. He lacks the elite athleticism of his predecessor, but he is a very good defensive end prospect in his own right. He has great size and get off for the position. Chubb also offers a great motor and offers similarities to current Seahawk Michael Bennett.
27.   Buffalo Bills (f/ Kansas City): Deon Cain – Wide Receiver – Clemson
Quick take: Buffalo receives this pick as compensation for the Kansas City draft day trade for Patrick Mahomes. Cain is another stud receiver in a long line of Clemson pass catches to enter the NFL in recent years. It’s only fitting he slots in here to replace former Tiger Sammy Watkins, whose option for 2018 was declined recently by the Bills.
28.   Dallas Cowboys: Derrick Nnadi – Defensive Tackle – Florida State
Quick take: Dallas continues their re-tooling and youth movement on the defensive line here. With the selection of Taco Charlton, the Boys appear to finally have some depth on the edge. However, there is not much depth to speak of behind starters Maliek Collins and Cedric Thornton on the interior. Nnadi is solid against the run and was a terror rushing the passer last season with six sacks. He would add some real juice to the Dallas defensive line.
29.   Green Bay Packers: Tyquan Lewis – Defensive End – Ohio State
Quick take: Lewis is one of many blue chip prospects on the Buckeye’s defensive line this season. Lewis may not be as well-rounded as fellow rusher Sam Hubbard, but he could very well be the better pass rusher of the two. Lewis racked up 10 sacks and 34 hurries last season and would add some nice edge depth behind starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry for the Pack.
30.   Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Smith – Linebacker – Southern California
Quick take: The Steelers lost long-time starter Lawrence Timmons this offseason to Free Agency and fellow starter Ryan Shazier is injury-prone. The team is going to give long-time backup and former Seminole Vince Williams the first shot at replacing Timmons. Williams hasn’t proved to be anything more than a backup-level player in his career, so a long-term starter inside could be needed. Smith is a physical linebacker and team leader in the Brian Cushing mold. He is exactly what the team needs at this position. 
31.   Atlanta Falcons: Quenton Nelson – Offensive Guard – Notre Dame
Quick take: Nelson is one of many intriguing prospects on a star-studded Notre Dame offensive line this season. He would likely have challenged as the top player at this position in 2017 and will once again compete for that spot in 2018. He’s a tenacious run blocker for the Irish and moves very well for such a big man. He would be a perfect fit inside to clear pathways for stars Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
32.   New England Patriots: Harold Landry – Linebacker – Boston College
Quick take: Landry is just the type of well-rounded pass rusher that New England could look to add to their defensive unit. Breakout star Trey Flowers provided a nice story for the Pats last season, but they could certainly use some depth at the position after losing Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long to free agency. It is my suspicion will out-play this selection by draft time, but he appears to be a nice fit here for the Patriots if available.

There you have it folks. Proof that it's never too early...

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Never Take the Foot out of Football

The 2017 draft has come and gone and this Dolphins team will look  very different this upcoming season in many areas. The defense has been revamped and the addition of many new players will be evident come training camp. On offense the offensive line has some new faces that will be competing for playing time this upcoming season as well. The one area Miami hasn't addressed and said they won't is kicker and this may be a mistake that comes back to bite them later this fall.

Everyone remembers the one big kick that Andrew Franks made on Christmas Eve last year in Buffalo to send the game into overtime that Miami then went on to eventually win. That was a big kick no way to spin it but in all honesty it was the only big kick Franks made all year and in reality the only big kick of his career.  And if we look back at some of his misses they were very costly.

Week 1 in Seattle Franks has a late field goal blocked because he kicked it very low and into the line of scrimmage. The kick was under 40 yards and very makeable for most decent NFL kickers. A made kick there and the Dolphins probably win that game to be honest.

Week 6 Miami is playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and they won so nothing to be worried about correct? WRONG! Franks misses two field goals that let Pittsburgh hang around for most of the game until Jay Ajayi and the offensive line put the victory away late in the 4th quarter. Again, one of the kicks Franks missed was under 40 yards and very makeable.

Week 13 Miami is on the road vs Baltimore and Baltimore drives down to get an early touchdown. Miami gets the ball and answers by getting into field goal range and Franks misses the field goal and with that one miss you literally saw the entire Dolphins team deflate in front of your eyes and Baltimore went on to blow out Miami. Now, if Franks makes that kick does Baltimore still beat Miami? Most likely yes. But Franks took Miami out of that game minutes into the first quarter by just taking the wind out of the Dolphins sails early on in that game.

If you go back to 2015 his week 2 miss vs Jacksonville most likely also cost Miami a win or a chance at winning the game vs a bad Jaguars team.

All kicks aren't created equal folks. Field goals under 40 yards must be made at all times. Kicks vs playoff caliber teams and good teams (ex. Baltimore) must always be made if you want a chance to beat a good team. Time after time Franks came up short last season and he has had his worst moments in some very big spots.

I'm not here telling you Andrew Franks is the worst kicker in the league, he clearly isn't. I am saying the Dolphins front office shouldn't sit back and just hand him the starting kickers job heading into the 2017 season which is what they have done. They have publicly said they aren't bringing in veteran competition for him which I do not agree with at all. Miami will bring in some rookie undrafted kicker nobody has ever heard of as we get closer to July and August and that person will hang around for a few weeks of the preseason but will be gone in the blink of an eye.

We constantly hear the coaching staff, hell Clyde Christenson said it this week about the offensive line and the guards, that competition in practice for spots raises everyone game. This doesn't hold true for the kicker position though? Andrew Franks hasn't earned the right to be handed a starting kickers job in this league. One big kick on your resume shouldn't get you that in this league. In Miami though it has and I think it is a mistake.

There are many veteran kickers out there on the open market and Miami should sign one to come in and push Franks and may the best man win. There are guys on the open market who have made big kicks in big NFL games that have a resume better than Franks. Let Franks earn it, let Franks beat them out, that will make Franks better in the long-run. And if he can't beat them out then we know we have an issue at kicker and get ahead of a potential problem that could really hurt this team in a big game later in the season.

The Dolphins front office has done a tremendous job on improving this roster and the depth of this team this offseason through free agency and the draft. But let's call it like it is, they have ignored special teams and the kicker position and I think it may be a big mistake heading into 2017.


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

VIDEO: 2017 Dolphins Draft Pick Video

DolphinsTalk.com Contributor Delson Jeanvilma has created this video of all of the Miami Dolphins 2017 Draft picks. Check it out.





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Monday, May 8, 2017

What Nick Buoniconti Means to the Franchise

Image result for nick buoniconti
Miami Dolphins legend Nick Buoniconti is struggling with his health, as it was reported earlier today.  In the last few days, the family released a video of Nick, poolside, struggling to put on his t-shirt.  Nick suffers from a degenerative brain disease, which is linked to his playing days, even though that is not fully determined at this time.  This is a reminder the dangers of football and the effects it can have on people, long after their playing days are over.

For many, he will always be a vital part of this franchise and its history.   
For those who do not know Nick Buoniconti, he was drafted out of Notre Dame in the 13th round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Boston Patriots.  After he spent 6 season with the Patriots, he then moved on to the Miami Dolphins via trade.  At 5'11, 220lbs, he was considered at the time, and even in today's NFL, too small to play in the league.  He moved to linebacker and made an immediate impact.  After he arrived, it changed the Dolphins.
He became an immediate leader with the team.  In 1972, he backed the team to an NFL best 12.2 points per game, having only given up 171 points in 14 games.  Of course we know what happened that year.  In 1973 and 1974, they followed up with 2 more Super Bowl appearances, having won in 1973.  In 1973, Buoniconti helped the Dolphins get even better to 10.7 points per game. 
After his playing days ended in 1976, he practiced law for a short time.  He helped with the research with smokeless tobacco, and whether mouth cancer occurred from doing it. As he fights for his life, we are reminded of everything he did for the Miami Dolphins during his time there.  He is a 2 time Super Bowl champion, 2 time pro bowler, 6 time all AFL all star, 5 time first team AFL, he is even in the New England Patriots hall of fame. He continues to be a big part of the franchise.  He is there for pretty much every ceremony commemorating the 1972 and 1973 teams.

His small stature didn't matter, it was his big heart.  I hope he continues to use what he did throughout his career and continue to fight.  Thank you Nick, for all that you did to put the Miami Dolphins on the map. 
@ternisse13

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Meet new Dolphins guard, Isaac Asiata

A few days removed from the 2017 NFL Draft and a surprising selection seems to be making Miami Dolphins fans swoon. In a Draft that saw Miami select Charles Harris in round 1, Raekwon McMillan in the 2nd and Cordrea Tankersley in the 3rd - the name making the most buzz amongst Dolphins fans is Utah Guard, Isaac Asiata.

Position: Guard

School: Utah

Drafted: 5th round, 164th overall




Positives:

Asiata is a versatile, experienced Offensive Linemen who played predominantly LG at Utah but also played as C, RG and RT. He's a short, stout Linemen who played in 45 games, making 43 starts (39 straight) and was a two-time all-conference offensive guard selection and won the Pac-12's 2016 Morris Award (Offensive Linemen of the year).

Asiata is an extremely strong run blocker who has a great first-step burst and explodes from a low base to gain leverage. His powerful initial surge makes him perfect for a zone-blocking scheme. In pass protection he is able to anchor and hangle interior defensive linemen blow-for-blow on bull rushes and has the foot speed required to slide and shut down speed moves to the inside.

He's a big body on the interior and plays with outstanding aggression. Asiata described himself as a "hard-nosed football player" and his tape shows a player who relishes the physicality of operating in the trenches. He's aggressive and powerful with the ability create caps for running backs in a power or zone-blocking scheme. He posted an NFL combine best 35 reps of 225lbs on the bench press.


Negatives:

Despite a combine best on the bench press, Asiata recorded the slowest 10-yard split (1.97 seconds) of any guard at the combine. This below average quickness indicates that while he looked ok pulling in college, at the NFL level he is unlikely to operate far from the line of scrimmage. He has a tendency to lead with his upper body in the second level which leads to him losing his balance and missing his block.

Despite all his physicality and toughness, from a measurables stand point is small for an NFL guard at 6'3", 323lbz with 32" arms. His aggressive style of play, although fun to watch, carries over beyond the whistle and penalties were an issue during college.


How will he fit in Miami:

He is an experienced guard who I believe will battle with free agent signing, Ted Larsen, to start at LG week 1 for the Dolphins.

He's a snow plough in the run game and after watching the tape it's easy to envision him, LT Laremt Tunsil and C Mike Pouncey's ploughing opposing Linemen out of the way and opening up holes for star RB Jay Ajayi. If Asiata can develop into the physical run blocker I believe he can potentially become, it'll be fun to watch him, Pouncey, Tunsil and TE Anthony Fasano (PFFs No.2 ranked run blocking TE in 2016) blocking on outside zone plays.

In the passing game he can be an asset at a position Miami has routinely struggled to address. Asiata has seen a lot of football and his high football IQ shows up at he is wise against stunts and other movements and plays with an excellent pocket awareness, not sinking back too far when anchoring.

Miami may have struck gold on the 24-year old rookie who served a 2-year Mormon mission in Oklahoma. He's the type of tough, physical guard that Miami needs to beat up opponents and open holes for Jay Ajayi. If Miami can establish themselves on the line of scrimmage and get their running game going - it makes life a whole lot easier for Head Coach Adam Gase to get creative with QB Ryan Tannehill and Miami's young and talented receiving corps.

We will not know whether this pick pans out until 2-3 years down the road, however, right now it looks like Miami struck gold for a position most believed they would have to give up a 1st Round pick to address.

For more from the author, follow him on twitter @TonLikeNFL

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Dolphins Draft Grades


Below, I have taken the liberty of breaking down each Dolphins’ Draft pick for 2017. The Grade will be determined based on the value available at each selection combined with how quickly these players can contribute to the team during the 2017-2018 season.

1.      Charles Harris – Defensive End – Missouri

·         The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson noted a week ago that “the Dolphins this year told one high-end front seven defender that they didn’t need to use one of their 30 visits on him because they feel good about his ability without bringing him in.” It appears that player was Charles Harris. Harris was one of 5 players I had pegged on Thursday that could be available at 22 and I would have preferred for Miami. That being said, Miami did pass on some players with slightly more value like Reuben Foster and David Njoku. In the end, Harris fills a slightly bigger need in the pass rush department and the value between the three is negligible at best. This was likely the final determinant in who the selection was going to be. Harris was highly productive as a pass rusher at Missouri (18 sacks in 3 seasons). While he is not an elite athlete at the positon, Harris is a real technician of the game. He vows to learn everything he can from fellow defensive end Cam Wake and appears to love the game a great deal. Final Grade: A

2.      Raekwon McMillan – Inside Linebacker – Ohio State

·         Another player that made my short list for the team at selection number 54. McMillan is a tackling machine, evidenced by his 275 stops in three years starting for the Buckeyes. He has tons of experience in the middle and if Chris Grier’s post-draft press conference comments are any indication, that is the position he will man for Miami. Many pundits projected Zach Cunningham as a better value at this draft slot, but I give McMillan the nod as the better selection and fit overall. With McMillan’s above average athleticism at the position (4.61 40 and 33-inch vertical at the Combine), this gives the team newfound flexibility at the linebacker position. I was very pleased with this pick and fellow Dolphins fans should be as well. Final Grade: B+

3.      Cordrea Tankersley – Cornerback – Clemson

·         The Dolphins’ third round selection was another solid one. Tankersley is the big boundary corner the team was looking for. While he struggled in the broad jump and vertical jump, the big corner managed a 4.40 forty at the combine for a 6’1” cover man. He is exactly the type of corner that Miami is looking for to pair with and maybe replace Byron Maxwell following the 2017-2018 season. The Clemson product had a bit of a down year by his standards in 2017, but he was also targeted far less with the graduation of former second round running mate Mackensie Alexander. He lacks the desire in run support and tends to grab receivers a little more than you would like. That being said, he has excellent size and ball skills for the position and was a tremendous value pick at number 97 overall. Final Grade: B

5.         Isaac Asiata – Offensive Guard - Utah         

·         The team’s fifth round selection was based greatly on a combination of need and value at the 164th pick. Asiata was valued much higher than where the team got him and I have a feeling they are very grateful that he was still available. Asiata fills another big need for this team and will likely compete with free agent addition Ted Larsen at Left Guard. He is an absolute mauler in the run game and that should bode greatly for running back Jay Ajayi. A phone booth type at the guard positon, Asiata was the strongest player at the combine, managing an absurd 35 reps at 225 lbs. Final Grade: B+

5.         Davon Godchaux – Defensive Tackle – LSU

·         The first of two mammoth defensive tackle picks for Miami. Godchaux is a high-upside, high-motor selection at the position and gives the team a nice rotational piece behind starters Suh and Phillips. Coach Orgeron spoke very highly of Godchaux and this appears to be a player with his best football in front of him. The LSU product was a highly ranked DE prospect coming out of high school and provides above average athleticism at the defensive tackle position. Final Grade: C+

6.         Vincent Taylor – Defensive Tackle – Oklahoma State

·         The second of Miami’s two defensive tackle picks in this draft may be the most exciting. Taylor has vines for arms (34 ¾ inches) and racked up seven sacks as well as an FBS-leading four blocked kicks. Taylor should really shine in pass rush situations for the team and figures to play early in these situations and on special teams. Plays a little high but has some serious upside with the right coaching. Final Grade: B-

7.         Isaiah Ford – Wide Receiver – Virginia Tech

·         A favorite of the draft community prior to the season. I had Ford pegged as a possible first rounder going into the season. Doesn’t play very strong or physical and could have a little trouble with bigger corners in this league. Ford also disappointed at the Combine, only turning in a 4.61 40-yard dash. This is not totally indicative of his athleticism; however, as Ford was a star basketball player in high school and turned in a 35 inch vertical in Indianapolis. This was another nice value pick for the Dolphins regardless. Final Grade: B

This draft may not have been the flashiest, but it may have been the most solid one I have seen in a long time. Quality players were selected at positions of need at every one of the team’s selections. There is also considerable upside with each of the picks the Dolphins made and only adds to the youth and potential this team already had. There is also something to be said for the conviction the team showed during this draft process. The front office identified the players they needed at each position and were decisive in each selection they made. It seemed that each time the Dolphins were on the clock, their pick was in before the crowd had settled from the previous draft choice. It is clear there is a direction for this team and that is the biggest lesson learned from this offseason and draft process.

Overall Draft Grade: B+




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