There isn't a single thing new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey could do in the 2014 NFL draft that would surprise me.
I've prepared for it all, analyzed it all because Hickey has no track record, no history, and has given us absolutely no clues.
So far Hickey has got no tells, so unlike Jeff Ireland, who I spent six years studying, it is nearly impossible to read the man in charge of the Dolphins' draft picks.
That's why I'm prepared for ANYTHING, and Dolphins fans need to be as well.
I'm prepared for the Dolphins to select a quarterback (Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater or UCF's Blake Bortles), receiver (USC's Marqise Lee), defensive tackle (Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald), cornerback (Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard), a pass rusher (UCLA's Anthony Barr) and free safety (Alabama's Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor) in the first round.
All of of those nine players are top 20 talents in the 2014 NFL draft, and if Hickey is truly a believer in taking the Best Player Available (BPA) he'll pull the trigger on them instead of selecting the fifth best offensive lineman (Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, who I'm personally not a fan of).
I'm prepared for the Dolphins to trade down. That approach makes a lot of sense for Hickey considering this is his first draft, and he doesn't need to hit a homerun....a couple doubles will do.
I can also see the Dolphins trade up in the first round. The Dolphins could rip some team off like Ireland did Oakland last year when he moved up to No. 3 to select Dion Jordan. There's plenty of talk Minnesota wants to move back, and that the Dolphins might be willing to do a draft day deal.
I'm also prepared for the Dolphins to reach on a position of need in the first round, taking an offensive tackle like Virginia's Morgan Moses or Nevada's Joel Bitonio. Or maybe a guard like Stanford's David Yankey and UCLA guard Xavier Su'a-Filo, or USC center Marcus Martin in the first.
I've personally done film study on all five of those players projected as the draft's top 50 talents, and if the Dolphins pick them at No. 19 I'd applaud it because each will become solid NFL starters right away, and waiting on an offensive tackle is tricky, which I explain in this story.
Isn't the goal about finding solid NFL starters in the draft. Who cares where a player is selected if you LOVE him, and he's ready to contribute as a starting right tackle or offensive guard right away?
Bitonio owned FSU, and Barr during their battles this year. He's got position flexibility just like Zack Martin. Moses reminds me a lot of former Virginia Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown, who was the eight offensive lineman taken in the 2008 draft. Wouldn't you know Brown, a two-time Pro Bowler who was coached by new Miami offensive line coach John Benton, has outperformed most of the offensive linemen picked ahead of him.
It is easy to project that the Dolphins will select North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, Michigan offensve tackle Taylor Lewan, Notre Dame offensive guard Zack Martin, or Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. Those are the safe picks for the Dolphins, but the odds all four will be there when Miami makes the selection at 19 are slim, 50-50 on one at best.
The fun truly begins when none of them are available, and we get our first clue at what kind of executive Hickey plans to be for the Dolphins.
Will Hickey play it safe, be conservative, or will is he gamble?
G.G.G.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun