Did Miami Dolphins Have Productive 2014 NFL Draft?

By DJ Siddiqi
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Ron Schwane – USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins added eight new players through the 2014 NFL Draft over the past several days. Of the players drafted, the following positions were addressed: OT, WR, OG, CB, TE, LB and DE. The Dolphins spread out their picks almost evenly, making five selections on the offensive side of the ball while making three selections on the defensive side of the ball.

The team’s main positions of need entering the draft were along the offensive line, at linebacker and at safety. Miami addressed those positions with the exception of safety. Among the highlights of the Dolphins’ 2014 draft selections was first-round draft pick OT Ja’Wuan James,  second-round pick WR Jarvis Landry and third-round draft pick OL Billy Turner.

The Dolphins did address their positions of need for the most part, but the question is, did they have a productive draft overall?

With the exception of Landry, Miami didn’t make any “wow” selections. In fact, five of Miami’s eight draft selections come from small, non-BCS schools. The team’s other three selections came from the SEC Conference. Obviously, the Dolphins’ 2014 NFL Draft can’t be deemed a success or failure just a day after the selections were made. It’ll be at least three years down the road before we can properly judge this draft.

The point of pondering this question is to consider whether the Dolphins improved their roster, addressed their needs, and drafted as best as they could given their situation.

Although the selection of James in the first round won’t excite any Dolphins fans, he was Miami’s best option at right tackle as the top four tackles in the draft were already selected by the time the Dolphins selected at No. 19. The Dolphins won’t have to worry about shifting James to RT as his primary position at the University of Tennessee was at the right tackle position.

Landry was a shocking decision not because he isn’t a good player, but because the Dolphins decided to spend a high draft pick on a position where they’re already stacked. The quality of this pick will be determined by whether or not Landry emerges as the team’s primary slot receiver, combined with whether he helps in aiding Ryan Tannehill‘s development as the franchise quarterback.

The team did end up further addressing the offensive line situation with the selection of Turner, who helped North Dakota State win three FCS National Championships. Turner is projected to start at left guard despite spending his collegiate career at left tackle. Other notable picks include tight end Arthur Lynch and cornerback Walt Aikens. Lynch will likely compete to play in two-TE sets in offensive coordinator Bill Lazor‘s system, as he’s best suited to be a short-yardage receiving option. Aikens could end up competing for a starting spot on the defense despite being a fourth-round draft pick.

Though the Dolphins didn’t have an excellent draft, they did address most of their key needs while upgrading at the wide receiver position. It won’t be considered a stellar draft by anyone’s standards, considering the selection of five small-school players, but Dolphins fans should feel good following the team’s selections at the 2014 NFL Draft.

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