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NFL Miami Dolphins

Predicting the Impact of Every Miami Dolphins 2014 Draft Pick

Predicting the Impact of Every Miami Dolphins 2014 Draft Pick

Jarvis Landry
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Now that there's been ample time to digest the work GM Dennis Hickey and company put in during the 2014 NFL Draft for the Miami Dolphins, it's time to prematurely predict the impact each new addition will have. Here's my take on which rookies will boom, which rookies will bust and which rookies will fall somewhere in between.

Ja'Wuan James, RT (First Round)

Ja'Wuan James
Via @JaWuanJames70 on Twitter

Ja'Wuan James, RT (First Round)

Ja'Wuan James
Via @JaWuanJames70 on Twitter

The Dolphins took the safest route possible when they selected Ja'Wuan James with the No. 19 overall pick. He's the plug-and-play right tackle the offensive line was void of. His ceiling, however, doesn't appear incredibly high. But, value aside, the Dolphins don't need it to be. They simply need a tackle they can trust protecting Ryan Tannehill come Week 1. That's James, and should be for a long, long time.

Ruling: Above-average starter

Jarvis Landry, WR (Second Round)

Jarvis Landry
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jarvis Landry, WR (Second Round)

USATSI_7487031_149008644_lowres
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jarvis Landry might already be one of the most polarizing players on the team. His measurables, particularly his less-than-ideal size and speed, concern some. But his ability to play receiver, with savvy routes, sure hands and grittiness, excite others. I side with the latter group. The Dolphins have talent at receiver already, so Landry likely won't start as a rookie, but he'll produce immediately.

Ruling: Productive No. 3 now, starter later

Billy Turner, OG (Third Round)

Billy Turner
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Turner, OG (Third Round)

Billy Turner
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Turner is quick enough to excel in pass protection and athletic and nasty enough to become a road grader for the run. Simply put, he has Pro Bowl potential if he can fine tune some minor technique issues. I predict he'll start from day one and become one of the team's most reliable players over time. A possible stud inside who is capable of moving to left tackle in the future, Turner was a steal in the third round.

Ruling: Boom

Walt Aikens, CB (Fourth Round)

Dolphins helmet
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Walt Aikens, CB (Fourth Round)

Dolphins helmet
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor projected to see snaps on the boundary in 2014, contributing as a rookie will be a tall order for Walt Aikens. The opportunity presents itself as Grimes is the only solidified starter, but considering corner is such a difficult position to play early on, Aikens will likely wait until 2015 for a significant role. His size and speed give him potential on the boundary.

Ruling: Quality backup

Arthur Lynch, TE (Fifth Round)

Arthur Lynch
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Arthur Lynch, TE (Fifth Round)

Arthur Lynch
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

After Charles Clay, the Dolphins are weak at tight end. Dion Sims struggled mightily as a rookie and Michael Egnew has been a big disappointment over the past two years. Thus, a tight end like Arthur Lynch, a fifth-round pick who is a capable blocker and receiver, should contribute right away. Although capable, Lynch doesn't excel inline or catching passes. He's just another player until he proves otherwise.

Ruling: Mediocre backup

Jordan Tripp, LB (Fifth Round)

Jordan Tripp
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Tripp, LB (Fifth Round)

Jordan Tripp
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Tripp has been labeled a steal by some. If true, Philip Wheeler should begin looking over his shoulder. Aside from being a productive blitzer, Wheeler was terrible in every way in 2013. Tripp has enough range and athleticism to potentially steal some snaps. More than likely, though, Tripp will be relegated to special teams duty in year one. Montana to a starting NFL lineup is a big jump for a fifth-round pick.

Ruling: Quality backup

Matt Hazel, WR (Sixth Round)

Dolphins helmet
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Hazel, WR (Sixth Round)

Dolphins helmet
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Small school or not, Matt Hazel has some impressive tape. He possesses a solid combination of size and speed, and accompanies it with ideal body control. But the Dolphins are arguably deeper at receiver than any position. Obviously, the team isn't content with that depth -- there's no other explanation as to why it drafted two receivers and is still signing pass catchers after the draft. But Hazel is still a long shot.

Ruling: Practice squad

Terrence Fede, DE (Seventh Round)

Dolphins helmet
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Terrence Fede, DE (Seventh Round)

Dolphins helmet
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Marist product Terrence Fede has some intriguing measurables and was perhaps only available so late in the draft because of the small-school label. But with all of the talent and depth the Dolphins have at defensive end, it's difficult to envision Fede cracking the 53-man roster this summer. It's plausible Fede can develop into a contributor in the future, but the practice squad is likely his fate in 2014.

Ruling: Practice squad