2012 NFL Draft - Miami Dolphins

Posted Apr 28, 2012

Miami Dolphins - AFC East, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects

Miami Dolphins

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Miami Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Miami Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... all about Ryan Tannehill. Considering what Washington paid to get Robert Griffin, Tannehill was a chance worth taking with the eighth overall pick. The rest of the draft seemed to be to upgrade the playmakers for the shiny new quarterback with OT Jonathan Martin in the second round – a total steal – to protect Tannehill, and with TE Michael Egnew in the third, RB Lamar Miller in the fourth, and a great late pick in Michigan State WR B.J. Cunningham in the sixth.
Best Value Pick: OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford, 2nd round
Worst Value Pick: QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M, 1st round
They Should've ... traded down to take a chance that Tannehill would fall. Opinions were split on Tannehill and others really, really like Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler. There's a chance Arizona would've taken Tannehill at the 13, but no one else would've thought about it until Cleveland's turn at the 22.
Division Draft Ranking: 2
Overall Draft Ranking: 14

First Round

QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M 6-4, 221
Overall Pick No. 8 CFN Overall Ranking: 28
CFN Analysis: Everyone wants to dog the pick and everyone wants to worry about what Tannehill isn't. Yes, the No. 8 pick is a big reach, and yes, he needs at least a year or two of seasoning, but almost every rookie quarterback needs a year or two. He's not going to be Andy Dalton out of the box, but there's tremendous upside if Miami is patient enough expect him to start paying off in 2014. The Dolphins desperately need to finally solidify its quarterback situation, and instead of rolling the dice on the 2013 class, they're going to be a year ahead of schedule in the development. At least that's the hope.

Easily the biggest X factor in the draft, outside of way-too-small 9" hands he has all the tools and all the abilities of a prototype NFL starter. The arm is good enough to put the ball all over the field; there's a nice touch on his deep passes; and he's a great leader who had the respect of his teammates and coaches. Throw in the wide receiver athleticism – he started out his career as one of the team's top targets while waiting his turn – and he has it all. However, his draft status is almost all built around projection. He can't be the starter from Day One if someone wants to win right away, and he's going to need at least two years of lump taking before there's a payoff, if there's a payoff.

Every year there's a player who gets moved up the draft boards because he should be good, but it's almost as if scouts are trying to make him a better prospect than he really is. Yes, he provided a spark in 2010 and saved the season, but he threw way too many interceptions last year and wasn't ever accurate enough or consistent enough. The stats were great, but he was almost never clutch for a team that collapsed in fourth quarter after fourth quarter. He's a huge risk who'll set a franchise back years if he doesn't pan out, but quarterbacks with his upside are hard to find.
CFN Projection: Top Ten Overall

Second Round

OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford (Jr.) 6-6, 312
Overall Pick No. 42 CFN Overall Ranking: 16
CFN Analysis: PHENOMENAL value. He's not a blaster at an NFL level and he might not kill anyone, but he's going to be a pass protector for Ryan Tannehill and he was a rock-solid safe pick early in the first round. Early in the draft process there were many who considered him a lock to go in the top 20, if not 15, and while he was one of the biggest sliders he has found a home on the other side of Jake Long. He doesn't have to be the star of the Dolphin line, but he'll be a very, very good starter with a little bit of time.

He'll be one of the biggest calls of the early part of the draft. The size, tools, and talent are all there to be a franchise pass blocker on the right side of the line for the next decade, but he's probably going to be asked to be a star on the left side. However, he still needs lots of work and he looked great being next to guard David DeCastro, possibly the best blocker in the draft. While he needs refinement and he has to prove he can hold up against the flashier speed rushers, he's ready to be thrown to the wolves after spending his career protecting Andrew Luck in a pro-style offense. Can he be a power blocker? Is he a good enough athlete to work on an island against the star speedsters? There are major question marks and there's bust potential for where he'll be drafted, but there's also tremendous upside depending on the scheme and the work he puts in.
CFN Projection: First Round

Third Round

DE Olivier Vernon, Miami (Jr.) (OLB) 6-3, 261
Overall Pick No. 72 CFN Overall Ranking: 178

CFN Analysis: It's a reach pick for the Dolphins, but there's potential and there's reason to take a shot in the early third round. Miami needed more options at outside linebacker and Vernon is a hybrid who can work as a quick end . Miami Getting bodies on the line was a must and he has the speed to be turned loose as a specialist.

While he could've used another year to prove himself, he almost had to come out early after a rough 2011. Suspended for violating NCAA rules, he missed most of the season and now he has yet to show he can put it all together. A good tweener, he can either be a big outside linebacker or a defensive and could potentially be a major producer at either spot. A pure pass rusher, if nothing else works he could find a role as a specialist with a good burst into the backfield and with the motor to always keep working. A good college player when he was actually on the field, he was never special and could've used another year or two of seasoning. He'll be taken purely on potential, but there's enough there to take a mid-round chance and hope to hit a pass rushing jackpot.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Third Round

TE Michael Egnew, Missouri 6-5, 236
Overall Pick No. 77 CFN Overall Ranking: 68
CFN Analysis: If the Dolphins are looking for a blocking tight end, that's not Egnew. However, they have a young new quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and he needs safety valves. Going after wide receiver is a must for down the road, but Egnew should grow into a role right away no matter who's under center. He's a pure pass catcher who fits the new wave of tight end oriented offensive schemes.

When he had Blaine Gabbert throwing his way, he was a dominant producer and a sure-thing target on short-to-midrange plays. While he was fine last year with James Franklin under center, he was able to change things up a bit and improved as a blocker. Yes, he got better for the running game, but he's not a blaster of a run blocker and he isn't going to do much to hit at the next level. However, he's willing to do whatever is needed, and with good size and speed, he can find a fit in any offense and can be a solid starter for a long time as a receiving tight end. The potential is there to become a whale of a safety valve.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Fourth Round

RB Lamar Miller, Miami (Jr.) 5-11, 212
Overall Pick No. 97 CFN Overall Ranking: 30
CFN Analysis: Fast, fast, fast, he was expected to be a 4.4 speedster before the offseason workouts, and then he ripped off a 4.36 in a workout to cement his place as one of the fastest of all the top backs. With good size, the right frame, and excellent athleticism, he looks the part of a franchise back. It's all there, including the quickness to be a devastating kickoff returner if he's looking to find a role right away outside of the offense. While he was a good collegian, he was underutilized and could be just scratching the surface and could be a whale of a value at some point in the middle of the second round. Can he stay healthy? Part of the reason he didn't get the ball enough was because he couldn't handle the load. He won't power over anyone and he doesn't play nearly as fast or as quick as he times. Even so, all the tools are there to become a terrific piece of a puzzle, especially if he's a part of a good rotation.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fifth Round

OLB Josh Kaddu, Oregon 6-3, 239
Overall Pick No. 155 CFN Overall Ranking: 153

A luxury defender, he's the type of linebacker every coach would love to have, but he'll be one of the last guys to either make a roster or be cut. While does everything with a physical playing style, and he has a great motor to make plays based on hustle, he's also a good athlete who can close on the ball in a hurry. A bit thin, he needs to add about ten good pounds without losing a step. He gets pounded on a big too easily, but he'll stick early on as a key special teamer before finding a role in an outside linebacker rotation. There's plenty of upside for anyone who wants to be patient, but he might not be ready to roll out of the box.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round  
Sixth Round

WR B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State 6-1, 211
Overall Pick No. 183 CFN Overall Ranking: 196
At a school known for cranking out a great receiver prospects, Cunningham was among the most productive of the lot. A go-to receiver in big game after big game, he always rose to the occasion with a nice career. Strong and with nice size and the ability to use it as he outmuscles and fights for plays. A good football player, the raw tools aren't there with average speed and not enough quickness to blow past any good NFL corner. An okay route runner, he mostly relied on being able to push his way for the ball rather than fly into the open. He'll find a job as an inside target who'll make things happen across the middle, but there's a hard ceiling on what he can become.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Seventh Round

DT Kheeston Randall, Texas 6-4, 293
Overall Pick No. 215 CFN Overall Ranking: 126

A smallish nose tackle, Randall has no problems against the run and is strong, tough, and holds up well. While he might not be the perfect fit to anchor the middle of the line, he could carve out a nice career as a terrific backup who can find a home on first down and as a spot starter. A smart leader, he'll be great in the locker room and he'll always be reliable; he'll fight through the nicks and bruises. Not a pass rusher, he's a run defender and that'll be about it. However, he gets blocked a bit too easily. At 6-4, he's tall and he often plays like it getting a bit too upright.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round