With the 2014 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, it’s once again time to pick the brain of another draft expert to potentially garner a better understanding of what the Miami Dolphins might do come Thursday, Friday and Saturday. My exclusive interview with Shane P. Hallam, president of DraftTV.com, is below.
Question: If the draft’s top four OTs are gone, is there another tackle worthy of the Dolphins’ No. 19 overall pick?
Shane P. Hallam: I think there are a few that would be seen as reaches, but be VERY solid OTs at 19. Virginia‘s Morgan Moses has better tape than even some of the top prospects like Zack Martin and even Greg Robinson, plus he is very light on his feet in pass blocking. An ideal RT candidate with a lot of intelligence and a positive locker room influence, he could be ideal despite the “reach” tag. One of my favorite offensive linemen in this class, Joel Bitonio of Nevada, would be a nice pick at 19 as well. He is definitely a zone blocker and could play RG or RT.
Q: Alabama‘s C.J. Mosley is a favorite to land in Miami. Would you you consider him a safe pick?
SPH: Safe, yes. He will be a contributor at the NFL level. The medical with Mosley is unknown as he has some knee issues that NFL teams have looked at. I’m also not of the mind that he is a special prospect, but a safe one. Very similar to A.J. Hawk awhile back. Mosley should be a player who can do his job, cover the middle of the field against TEs and RBs, but never give you super flashy results. Is that worth the No. 19 pick? Depends how you look at it.
Q: Who is likely to be the best remaining OT when the Dolphins are on the clock in Round 2? Can that player be a dependable RT come Week 1?
SPH: There should be dependable RTs in Round 2, but they have to be chosen correctly. For example, two players who would fit the scheme very well are Tennessee’s Ja’Wuan James and Stanford‘s Cameron Fleming. James has a powerful upper body and violent demeanor to match his athleticism, though he makes a lot of mistakes especially in his knee bending. That being said, he appears to be a great ZBS fit. Fleming is a bit more of a lunch pail type of OT, but I’ve seen him pull enough to think he can fit. If I were the Dolphins, I would lean toward these players over the bigger names such as Cyrus Kouandijo or Antonio Richardson, who would have to slide inside.
Q: Do you believe the Dolphins are more likely to trade up or down during the first round of the draft?
SPH: Trade up. If the target is one of the OTs (Zack Martin specifically) or C.J. Mosley, it likely will require a trade up over a trade down. Considering how close they were to the playoffs last year, I can definitely see trading up being the thought of upper management to push the team over the top.
Q: The Dolphins have shown interest in drafting a WR. Who would be your ideal fit?
SPH: WR may be a bit strange, but there are plenty of options at both 19 and 50 for the Dolphins. At 19, a player like Odell Beckham of LSU or Brandin Cooks of Oregon State would achieve two things. First, they give an immediate slot threat after Wallace/Hartline to give speed against slot corners and play more of the middle of the field. Second, they give options to replace Mike Wallace if he isn’t working out when his contract gets astronomical. Beckham is the more polished all-around WR, though Cooks has more upside despite his size.
Q: If you were Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, who would be your top realistic target with the No. 19 overall pick?
SPH: I’d attempt to move down five spots or so to select a lineman like Moses or Bitonio. I think those OTs are going to be very good and are excellent fits for my coaches. If I can pick up an extra third or so in the process, then I would jump on the opportunity. I think I would reach and take one anyway if I couldn’t move down.
For more draft coverage of the Dolphins and all 32 franchises, visit Shane’s site DraftTV.com and follow him on Twitter (@ShanePHallam).
Follow Cody Strahm on Twitter.