Overall Grade- C+
I have my issues with Hickey's draft because the one thing I believed, and we were all lead to believe, was he honest when talking about taking the best player available. Apparently, "Dolphins Value" has some very heavily weighted criterion. Not that I blame him terribly for the misdirection, teams have to do that. Just how conservative he would be at the top of the draft was nowhere in his dialogue for the last few months. Hickey was going to have his Tackle; he was going to fill the need regardless of the trade down option of an additional 3rd round pick. However, who Hickey picked was much less aggravating once the shock of conservatism wore off.
Ja’Wuan James is a plug and play Right Tackle who I liked a lot when researching this draft. He had 49 career starts at the position, no real injury history to speak of, and was all around a very effective pass blocker. I also figured he might have been our second round pick, even if we traded up after trading down in the first. (The trade down could have happened.)
Jarvis Landry looks like a fighter and a very good WR. He wasn't the ideal 6'3+ Red Zone threat I thought the Dolphins would be looking for, but I can't disagree with liking both his production and his style. A common thread amongst all of Hickey's acquired players seems to be hard-hitting guys described as tough but with high characters. Even down to Cortland Finnegan.
Billy Turner is a beast and I liked the pick in the 3rd. I wasn’t a huge fan of trading up for offensive line and giving up a 4th round pick we had just acquired as part of our double trade down in the second. One has to question that in a draft as reportedly deep as this one was if giving up any pick and refusing any trade down in the first were wise choices. However, he very well could be one of our day one OG's. He showed up big at the Senior Bowl, played every position on the O-line and played all of them well. Especially against the "top" competition that no one had seen him play against before. Is he a project at LT in the NFL? Yeah, but he could be a very good interior lineman by the end of summer.
Walt Aikens is the only 6 foot tall Corner on our roster. And he has similar speed to Jamar Taylor. The potential is there to be a star on special teams right away while developing into a very good back-up whom could be pushing for starting time with-in 3 years.
Jordan Tripp is that boom or back-up pick. He can definitely contribute on special teams wit his athleticism, and being a top-prospect from a small school, he has the potential to become a viable starter given the time to develop. I am definitely in agreement with taking late round flyers on small school aces.
Arthur Lynch is a blocking TE for the most part. He seems to be roughly average in the short to intermediate game but could also be used effectively in the red-zone. We now have 3 tight ends 6'5 or taller. One of them should be able to learn to block and catch. Clay is an excellent H-back. And if have one of these others develop into a traditional TE we could be a very versatile team (formation wise) with a standard set of starters.
Matt Hazel I didn't understand but, if Gibson isn't healthy enough to play at the beginning of the season, he could crack the 53-man roster. In that scenario, he is competing in camp against a few vet WR's we grabbed for the last roster spot.
Terrence Fede is another small school player with all the right tools. Maybe he beats out D. Shelbey for the last spot in the DE rotation, or maybe the Fins carry 9 on the D-line with him as a swing DT/DE for Coyle's Nascar Package. He has all the measurables for the NFL.
One thing this draft showed us though is that the staff must feel comfortable with Jimmy Wilson, Don Jones', or Michael Thomas' progression at FS because Luis Delmas is the definition of injury concerns. We passed on all of the Safeties in this class, including the top rated free safety HaHa Clinton-Dix. That and they must be willing to at least see how Ellerbe and Wheeler fair in year two. Jenkins could already be the solution for WLB if he develops. They apparently want to at least try Koa Misi at MLB in camp reportedly. But, just like the overall effectiveness of this draft, only time will tell.