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Full 2018 Miami Dolphins Draft Picks & Review

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I figured we needed all the picks in one place to discuss, complain about, etc. I could only embed 5 vids max so I split it into two posts. I also gave my personal mini-review on each.

    R1.11 (11): Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama


    Minkah Fitzpatrick (S/CB/LB)- Three weeks ago, almost every scout in the NFL would have told you that this was the best overall defender in the draft. He plays ultra-fast, sees the field really well and makes big plays in the run and the pass. He can also play almost anywhere on the field since he has an awesome football IQ and a tremendous drive.....this is a team-changing pick that instantly makes us a more complete unit. Fitzpatrick should be a future Hall of Famer and it was the safest pick of the entire draft in my opinion- regardless if we were drafting #1 overall or #32. FANTASTIC PICK!

    R2.10 (42): Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State


    Mike Gesicki (TE/WR)- Gesicki is a big, athletic guy that runs like a WR and can go up to high-point passes at any level. He's always a deep threat since there's usually a LB or safety covering him, which creates a big mismatch for either him or one of our WR's. Some folks won't like this pick because he's not a good blocker, but this is the TE we've been craving for many seasons now. Another FANTASTIC PICK at a position of need!

    R3.9 (73): Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State


    Jerome Baker (LB)- Baker wasn't on a lot of people's radar because he was believed to possibly be too short for an NFL linebacker (I believe he's right at 6 feet). That could be the only thing that kept him out of the 1st round though because he's a pretty complete package. He does have elite speed &
    strength and known for his disruptive play from sideline to sideline; this kid has a chance of being a year one starter and will definitely see plenty of downs this upcoming season. He's not quite the homerun pick like our first two but I see a lot of value here since it makes our defense faster and smarter.

    R4.23 (123): Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame


    Durham Smythe (TE)- If you watch this kid's game film, he loves to hit people and most analysts call him a lineman with hands- his father was an NFL lineman so he has the technique down pat. There's not a lot of film on him either but he caught great at the combine and showed solid athleticism. He's a lot slower than Gesicki but I like every other part of his game- beef him up a little and he's Fasano's eventual replacement. Very good value pick that may/may not see the field in 2018.

    R4.31 (131): Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State


    Kalen Ballage (RB)- The scouts have mixed reviews on this kid- he's a hard-nosed runner with excellent speed but lacks Drake's vision and cutting ability. At the same time though, he will put his head down and run your *** over, so he's certainly a solid short down back that has a chance to break one loose. I don't think he's an ideal pick at RB but he should be a solid contributor in the league.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  2. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    R6.35 (209): Cornell Armstrong, DB, Southern Miss


    Cornell Armstrong (DB)- This one is a bit of an underdog to see field time in 2018 but everyone around him says that he will outwork the other corners in the building to make the most of his opportunities. He's a hard hitter but there's really not enough film out there for me to say much more- so we'll just have to see if he develops. In the 6th round though, I'm not complaining.

    R7.9 (227) (from SF): Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio


    Quentin Poling (LB)- After watching a decent bit of Poling's film, I can see he's a decisive player that seems to be moving faster than anyone else on the field. It's not that he has elite speed...he simply reacts and gets to the football. He also played two-ways in college at LB and WR/TE, so there's potential here for a late round pick. Probably not starter quality right away but this kid will make the roster on special teams. If he does develop, the ceiling is really high since he seems to have awesome instinct.

    R7.11 (229): Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico


    Jason Sanders (K)- Not much to say about kickers other than this kid is highly accurate with a FANTASTIC leg- in college other teams would simply accept the touchback because they knew he was kicking it into the stands every kickoff. He seems cool under pressure as well so there's not a lot here not to like in a value pick- he's obviously our starter.

    Overall Thoughts- I think this was a really good draft with five potential day-one starters....and it could possibly be all 8 if you count special teams. This draft was all about speed, power and athleticism so I really like the versatility in these picks.......I love we took Smythe, for example, one round after grabbing a lock for our starting TE on most passing downs. He brings something completely different to the table though and that's exactly what Gase has promised us- mis-matches to exploit with a ton of different packages.

    I also think this was our best draft/free agency in quite a long time because there are not too many holes left to fill. Yes, someone has to step up and fill Suh's shoes still and yes...our new OL is still unproven. But we unquestionably got better on offense and defense so I'm very excited for our boys to take the field in a few months. This was an awesome A+++ draft for the Dolphins and we nailed it for our needs on both sides of the ball. Our defense is going to be SWARMING the ball and I could legit see us as a top-5 squad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  3. Kud_II

    Kud_II Realist Division Club Member

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    Thanks for posting I'm really busy and haven't familiarized myself with a lot of the picks. I'm really happy with the Minkah pick, I love the Dolphins finally picking up a defender that is all over the field (in a good way) a ball hawk that knows how to tackle.

    I also love a big/tall TE that has hands. We needed somebody that can do what Gronk can do. He may need a year or two of pro polishing but there is good potential in Gesicki. He runs his routes good already for a big boy.
     
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  4. ripper1961

    ripper1961 Active Member

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    Well we loaded up on TE and LB which was a definite need.
     
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  5. Not So Fast

    Not So Fast Well-Known Member

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  6. JoshPh79

    JoshPh79 New Member

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    Thanks for the info
     
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  7. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    I sure like the compete of the southern miss kid.
     
  8. Tin Indian

    Tin Indian Rockin' The Bottom End Club Member

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    They went for smart, fast football players. I like that. Those are two qualities which seem to have been missing recently.
     
  9. muskrat21

    muskrat21 Well-Known Member

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    at the very minimum our special teams unit improved with all the speed it'll have.
     
  10. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Flores & Team Tua

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    I am curious to see how patient Gase is this year with guys and their understanding of the playbook, etc.. They made changes to the coaching staff, and how they are teaching the playbook, so they are holding our coaches accountable, too. We can't go into this season with a dumbed down playbook. We have to have most if not all of it at our disposal to take advantage of the guys we now have. As you all know, I am not an X and O guy. However, it looks to me like we are going to try and get our playmakers in space and let them try and make something happen. I believe all of RB's have good hands and can catch. We have Grant, Stills, Parker on the outside. Amendola and Wilson on the inside. Tall TE's with HUGE wingspans that can catch. One who can block. I mean, ****, we can go in a lot of different directions. I just hope our guys can understand what their responsibilities are.
    On defense, we added the versatile Fitzpatrick at Safety. A speed coverage LB in Baker. Armstrong probably will compete for the nickel. We have work to do, but our defense looks like it's going to be multiple this year. We probably should see dime coverage. If we can play with a lead, I think our defense will be up to the task and hopefully we will see more turnovers this year.
    We didn't draft any interior guys, or a QB, but it is what it is. Sometimes the draft doesn't fall your way. It's not like we didn't need help in other areas, too. Overall, very happy with our draft and excited to see if we can take the next step this year.
     
  11. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Flores & Team Tua

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    Here is one for you, if ya'll haven't seen it yet.

     
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  12. EverFin

    EverFin Active Member

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    This Kalen Ballage Kid seems to be very interesting. The first word comes to mind while seeing him on film is "slippery". He has a very good burst after he decides where to go. Some analysts mentioned, that he has not a good enough vision. I know, Highlights videos are all Highlights but in my opinion his vision ist by far not bad. He sees how the plays develops and reacts very good. Can't wait to see him in a Fins uni.
     
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  13. Csonka Marino

    Csonka Marino Season Ticket Holder

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    I would have picked Rudolph instead of Baker. Drafted Baker in the next round instead of Smythe. The rest of the picks are fine. Fitzpatrick and Gesicki will both start this season if all goes well.
     
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  14. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    ballage in the late 4th isn't bad value and his best football may be in front of him...I think he's soft inside the tackles when it comes to doing the grind work churning out 2 or 3 yards a clip need. I guess the main concern if I had one is he reminds me of a better pass catching version of kniles davis. similar body beautiful test score type who was drafted in the 2nd round mind you which makes it a bigger deal and hasn't panned out as a rb. last I saw him he was essentially a kick returner. this kid has better receiving skills but I think he has similar vision issues. and similar grind it inside the tackles game limitations.

    at any rate I went back and watched the senior bowl games of all 3 of our draft pick participants and came away encouraged. ballage, gesicki, and smythe. smythe in particular more than held his own vs marcus davenport one on one. that kids ready to play in line right now.
     
  15. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    Never watch highlights, watch whole games if you really want to evaluate a player. Ballage does lack vision, and he takes too long to get up to speed and hit the hole. He lacks that vision and quick burst to hit the hole fast that for example ajayi has. Eventhough he is faster than ajayi once he gets to his stop speed, it takes him longer to get there. He is a very good reciever out of the backfield though and his pass blocking is pretty good as well. He looks like a third down back candidate and special teamer to me. Wont be much of a runner though unless we consistently open up huge holes for him.
     
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  16. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    This. Every player has a highlight reel.
     
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  17. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Were my assessments up top halfway close? I don't watch college ball enough to know what I'm talking about, so I just gave critiques based on highlight reels and what the national talking heads had to say.
     
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  18. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    Certainly was not a shot at you, as it was directed towards highlight reels in general. They'll reveal the strengths for certain, and that is a very important aspect b/c it's a coaches job to bring those forth as well. But you also have to familiarize yourself with the prospect as a whole and also be able to understand what their weakness are and overall how they project as an NFL prospect. I haven't looked specifically at the later round picks to make any assessment and again my comment was made as a general remark against highlight reels. There's a good chance you can pick out a player's strengths in those types of flicks and be correct, but it's just as paramount to understand their weaknesses also.

    Just for example:
     
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  19. rackhound

    rackhound Well-Known Member

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    I don't know anything about him other than what Ive read here, and a few other places....I don't follow college ball other than a game here and there, so I haven't seen him in a game, or even heard of him before we drafted him. Everything Ive read said he is incredibly athletic, fast for his size, but lacks vision and burst to the hole. Could that just be hesitation and not accelerating to the hole because he is looking for it? That makes sense to me having played and knowing how fast things play out. If a guy is fast and times well in drills but doesn't play fast....to me that makes sense, and I think even more so at the NFL level. If it is just a not seeing it thing, I would think he can learn.
     
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  20. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Flores & Team Tua

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    Yesterday, when I was in Publix waiting on the butcher, I was thumbing through an Athlon's. I don't know who does their evaluations, but for what it's worth, they had Smythe rated higher than Gesicki. Goedert was the #1. As for Ballage, I wasn't as excited about the pick as others because I prefer a more compact body type. He needs a lot of work. Right now, I am trusting our new RB coach, Studesville, to maximize his potential since we made the pick on his recommendation. I don't have any real strong expectations of our day 3 selections, but will be as happy as any if one of them becomes a steal. We sure could use the help!
     
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  21. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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  22. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    I think all the draft picks make the team with the possible exception being the kicker depending on how he looks in camp and preseason. possible vet add there in camp should things go south for the rook. but the southern miss kid vs mctyer I don't see why he cant come out on top and poling over hull or garvin to me should it come down to that I take the rook to win out. when garvin's played on d he's hold your nose bad.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  23. sunworshipper

    sunworshipper Member

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    I must have not seen that that particular highlight reel of Daniel Thomas because I recall looking at clips of Thomas after we drafted him and being completely puzzled. Because nothing impressed me at all. He seem to just take what the blockers gave him and had no speed and broke no tackles.
     
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  24. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    I think highlight reels are very important. Mainly for what they don’t show you.
    For example, my memories of things that worried me about some highlight reels I’ve watched over the years.
    Mike Hull: His highlight reel didn’t show him getting to the sideline before the runner.
    Dion Jordan: His highlight reel didn’t show him using technique or smarts to overcome a blocker.
    Ted Ginn: His highlight reel didn’t show him making contested catches.

    What I want to see in a highlight reel
    Athleticism
    Defeating opponents through good technique
    Defeating opponents through smarts/instincts
    Perseverance/toughness/not giving up on plays.

    If there is a glaring abscence of one or two of these qualities in the highlight reel then its a red flag for me.
     
  25. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    I like that take. Instead of immediately diving into an entire body's worth of work, use highlights to scope out what possible high end or general talent/skills the prospects may or may not possess by viewing their highlight reel. I dig it.
     
  26. Pandarilla

    Pandarilla Purist Emeritus

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    Perfect picks.

    Ballage is a perfect complement to Drake.

    Minkah same for Jones/McDonald.

    Gesicki/Smythe.Baker/McMillan.

    Perfectly complementary.
     
  27. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    I really came to that view after Ted Ginn.
    At first I wasn’t worried that much about his lack of contested catches because his otherwordly speed got him so open on so many plays.
    It was when I went back and looked at the highlight reel again after he had been here 2 years that it really hit me that there weren’t any contested catches on his highlight reel because he didn’t do contested catches (except for that one game against Buffalo where he had 200+ recieving yards).

    Ever since then I have been very careful to look at highlight reels with a careful eye for what isn’t shown. It’s why I was skeptical about Dion Jordan from day one. It’s why I am generally happy with the quality of players drafted over the last 3 years, the tape usually shows a good mix of players succeeding in a variety of ways.
     
  28. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    Per Barry Jackson if minkah unavailable would have been tremaine Edmunds or a trade down.
     
  29. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I read that yesterday as well, which means we were committed to defense no matter what. I honestly believe that we got one of the top 3 overall players in the first round.
     
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  30. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    reads to me as Edmunds was the primary target not expecting minkah to be there.
     
  31. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I was in the minority on Edmunds, didn’t think he deserved top 10 consideration, and didn’t want to invest our pick in him..
     
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  32. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    Picking Edmunds would be like picking Dion Jordan again. You’d be betting on him to do things in the pros he hadn’t shown in college. NB I do think Edmunds is much closer to being a real NFL player than Dion Jordan ever was or ever will be
     
  33. Hoops

    Hoops Well-Known Member

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    That statement would only make sense if buffalo was using him as a primary edge rusher instead of off the ball lb. which they aren’t. My understanding is he’s been the first team mike since he showed up.

    Buffalo swung for the fences with both it’s top 2 picks.
     
  34. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yeah they have put him at mike, they say he’s looked good so far..

    Too risky for my blood at 11..just not a fan of the kids game.
     
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  35. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    I was referring to the physical talent -v- college production issue not his playing position.
    Personally it’s a risk I would have been happy to take at #11, but Minkah Fitzpatrick has much better college tape and is at least a good athlete even if he is not an exceptional athlete.
     
  36. rafael

    rafael Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't a fan of Edmunds at 11. I didn't see the instincts many claimed. And I thought his athleticism was over-rated. I would have been disappointed if we'd selected Edmunds. I would have had Derwin James as my pick if Minkah wasn't there. I love both Minkah and James as prospects so I I would have been thrilled with either guy. I saw improving our pass coverage as our biggest defensive need and I saw getting a better coverage S as the best way to do that. IMO a S gives you more versatility than getting a coverage LB. And I expect that the Dolphins will be using more dime this year so that further diminishes the value of a LB for us since we'll 6 DBs and only have two LBs on the field a greater percentage of the time. Burke stated that we lacked the versatility in the defensive backfield to use more dime and then we hired a defensive assistant who specializes in dime defenses. Additionally, that's the way the league has gone for a while. All that pretty clearly signals a move to more dime.

    Between Minkah and James, I had Minkah as my slight preference. As I said before the draft, they were both exceptional, well-rounded prospects. I don't see any weaknesses in either guy. I had them both as top 5 overall and in particular for Miami given what I saw as our biggest need. James was the better athlete and Minkah was better on the mental side. Our defense has lacked that great communicator back there that got everybody in the right place and minimized mental errors in the secondary. We were better in 2016 in that regard when we had Isa back there (I'd say about middle of the league or so), but in 2017 after we lost Isa, we were bottom 5). I think Jones is a great S, top 5 when used correctly, but he's not that QB of the defense who gets everybody in position. Neither is TJ. He's a decent S and useful in a pseudo-LB role or as near the line S, but he isn't that QB of the defense guy either. I believe that James could be that guy, but I know that Minkah largely functioned as a coach on the field for Saban. I saw him as a perfect pick for what we needed and the safest pick in the draft for us. And according to camp reports he is exactly as advertised. You can't tell much on the physical side in padless practices, but you can get a feel for how smart a player is and how much he's studying. By the second day of mini-camp we were hearing reports that Minkah was correcting defensive alignments for other players. And also according to reports he led the secondary in INTs. I think we have our QB of the defense.

    I don't think you can overstate how much of an impact minimizing coverage breakdowns and having a ball-hawking S can have in a passing league. IMO the addition of Darren Sharper at FS was the primary difference between 2008 7-9 New Orleans team and the 2009 SB champion New Orleans team. I'm not saying that we should all make SB reservations or anything, but I am pointing out how big of an impact a FS with Minkah's skill set can have.
     
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  37. rafael

    rafael Well-Known Member

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    I fully expected us to take a TE in our first three picks and I thought the second rounder was the most likely spot, but I had Goedert rated above Gesicki as I prefer a more well-rounded TE. That being said, I can fully recognize that Gesicki could potentially be that receiving weapon at TE that Gase has been searching for. I see elite hands and jumping ability. And he's a quick jumper. He doesn't seem to need to gather himself to get up there. Goedert wasn't as dynamic in that regard. I don't think it's difficult to imagine Gesicki being a mis-match in a jump ball situation against any defender. If he can get to a spot, say at a first down or in the end zone, he could literally be an unstoppable weapon. He'll have to know the playbook and timing and be able to avoid/fight through press coverage and understand zone spacing, etc., but if he can get there I like his odds of coming down with the ball.
     
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  38. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    I love the first two picks. In that thread awhile back, before the draft, on who are your top three choices for our pick regardless of their rankings. Minkah was one of mine, but I never thought he'd make it to 11, so I didn't even really consider him as a real option. I've been wanting a good S for so long now and he can play all over the secondary. Good, much needed pick.

    I really like Gesicki. I have mentioned that I don't care if he isn't a great, more classic, inline blocking TE. I don't even think of him that way nor want him in that way. I think of him as bigger, receiver, who can be a match up nightmare for DBs and a go up and get it, red zone threat type of receiver. I have wanted that type of receiver on the team for many years now. I guy like that may not be a good on the line type of blocker, but I'm sure he can be a good downfield blocker. There's a lot of smaller receivers who are good downfield blockers. I love a TE that has b-ball skills and the volley ball stuff can actually be good as well as in having balance and agility and jumping on the move, etc.

    I am really looking forward to seeing these two new young phins play.
     
  39. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Agree with looking at Gisicki as a big receiver only, you really don’t want me to show you what I saw the other day as far as inline goes..
     
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  40. Patster1969

    Patster1969 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Haven't seen any film on Gesicki's blocking or how bad it is but a) it can't be worse than Julius Thomas (particularly at a fraction of the cost) and b) at worst, hopefully the majority of his blocking will be a 'getting in the defenders way' style of blocking & screening off the defender from a receiver/back running with the ball. Also, surely he can learn some basic blocking techniques?
     
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