The NFL will continue this year its tradition of having current and former players announce draft picks, and a former Dolphins Pro Bowl regular and a current member of the roster will be doing the honors.
Six-time Pro Bowl selection Richmond Webb will announce the Dolphins’ second-round pick, which will be the 48th overall, and current running back Kenyan Drake will announce the third-round selection (78th overall).
Webb was a first-round pick in 1990 when the Dolphins made the offensive tackle the ninth overall selection out of Texas A&M. Drake was the first of two Dolphins third-round picks in the 2016 NFL draft when he was the 73rd overall selection.
Dolphins Hall of Famer Dwight Stephenson announced tight end Mike Gesicki as the team’s second-round pick last year, while safety Reshad Jones announced the selection of linebacker Jerome Baker as the Dolphins’ third-round pick. Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team announced the picks on the third day of the draft, from Rounds 4 to 7.
Tip of the hat to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, who put out a terrific piece this morning highlighting what ails the Miami Dolphins and how to fix it. As Salguero points out, there’s no magic pill, secret sauce or grand scheme that will bring Miami back to the top of the mountain.
The team’s execution in talent acquisition needs to improve, plain and simple. The trade up for Dion Jordan, the targeting of Mike Gesicki followed by zero plan to implement him effectively, the Charles Harris selection – there’s a laundry list of offenses in recent years that should be cause for concern. But there’s also hope, with Chris Grier fully in control of the decision making.
Eliminating other variables (an Executive VP or a meddling head coach, for example) allows a singular focus on the task at hand. Too many cooks in the kitchen can create conflict, which in turn waters down efforts to excel at the task at hand: drafting good football players.
Considering the variability of the NFL Draft, getting an average of two strong starters per draft class is a good start. We don’t know what influence others in the building have had in these picks, but generally speaking Miami’s direction in talent acquisition (minus the Charles Harris pick and potentially the Mike Gesicki pick) has been strong enough to be optimistic with a master plan that involves focus on added draft capital.
The signing of Walford adds yet another tight-end to a unit that has two returning rookies from 2018, Durham Smythe and 2nd round pick Mike Gesicki as well as Nick O’Leary. Last week the Dolphins also added former Patriots TE Dwayne Allen as a free agent.
Miami opted not to tender A.J. Derby or Marquies Gray who was coming off a season ending injury sustained during the Dolphins 2018 pre-season.
Walford is entering his fifth NFL season. He played his first three seasons with the Oakland Raiders before joining the Jets in 2018. He played in one game with the Jets.
Over his career he has 70 receptions for over 700 yards and six touchdowns.
It will be intersting to see what direction the Dolphins take with their tight-ends in 2019. Chad O’Shea who will run the offense is used to the two tight-end sets that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels use in New England. If the Dolphins are going to attempt to run that style of offense they will need to quality tight-ends.
In 2018 Mike Gesicki was not very impressive. Most TE’s struggle in their first NFL season and Gesicki was no different. Whether the result of the NFL learning curve, poor play, or poor inclusion in the offens by Adam Gase, the Dolphins need Gesicki to be much better.
The signing of Dwayne Allen to a two year deal made some sense. He is a very good blocking tight-end that could help with the development of Gesicki and Smythe. The signing of Walford is ineteresting as it clearly wasn’t a need for the Dolphins. The lack of experience at the position is likely more the reason than anything else. Combined the three holdovers from last season have five years experience.
Ryan Tannehill’s days in Miami were numbered when the season ended and today they ended for good. Miami has traded the oft maligned and greatly criticized quarterback to the Tennessee Titans.
The Dolphins will ship Tannehill and a sixth round draft pick in 2019 to the Titans for a 4th and 7th round draft pick in 2020. It is a decent deal for the Dolphins that is at least comparable to the trade Denver made for Joe Flacco.
In Tennessee Tannehill will not likely be given a chance to start but given the injury history of Marcus Mariota, Tannehill will likely see plenty of opportunities to play with the Titans. Over the last seven years Tannehill was an iron man until the end of the 2016 season when he tore his MCL/ACL on a hit against Arizona.
Tannehill missed all of 2017 and missed five games in 2019 due to a shoulder issue. He returned but was not the quarterback he many had hoped to see. Tannehill was never able to take the next step in his development.
Last year head coach Adam Gase said that Tannehill had yet to reach his ceiling. The comment brought a lot of jeers from the fan base and a lot of laughter but one thing is certain, Tannehill left everything he had on the field. His short comings were more a result of bad coaching, bad line play, and talent that was never realized.
The Dolphins are obviously moving in a new direction but where the Dolphins turn to find their next quarterback is anyone’s guess at this point. We will have more on this over the weekend when I am back in the country.