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Hot Take - OL Prospects

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by tirty8, Apr 2, 2024.

  1. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    I think that it is no secret that the Dolphins' o-line is a work in progress, and there is a very real possibility that this position could be addressed early on in the draft process. It goes without saying that just about everyone on this board would be ecstatic with Jackson Powers-Johnson. That being said, I would not be surprised if they had a prospect ahead of him.

    I really would not be surprised at all if that prospect was Graham Barton from Duke. I really think that Mikey tends to prefer leaner, more athletic linemen that can move. Just from a physical standpoint, Barton looks closer to the mold. One thing that I know about Chris Grier is he absolutely loves linemen with position flexibility - often to the point in which it drives me mad. Liam Eichenberg, Austin Jackson, Michael Dieter, and Robert Hunt were all touted for their ability to line up across the line, and whether it be by design or happenstance, most of them have contributed in multiple areas on the line. Finally, there is the intelligence factor of playing at Duke that would probably viewed as a big plus especially for Mikey.

    I am not necessarily saying that this is a good or a bad thing. I love JPJ and would be ecstatic to have him on the squad, but I do think that Barton is a pretty solid prospect in his own right. If you are bored and looking for something to do leading into the draft, I would encourage checking out his film.
     
  2. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    Here’s what I know from my 50 years of watching football. Championships are won and lost in the trenches. When you absolutely need to convert that 3rd & 1 or 4th & 1, you have to have a line that’s going to dominate its will over the opposing line. It’s really that simple.

    Our line has lacked that dominance for years…decades even. I’m all in on JPJ but I know he’s not going to be there at 21. He’s just that good but if by some miracle he is, and we don’t pull the trigger on him, it’ll just reaffirm my belief Grier considers the most important unto on the offensive side of the ball as a mere afterthought.
     
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  3. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    I definitely feel that. I think that 4th and 1 situations are the situations that I fear the most. I also get nervous in goal line-ish situations where the field is shrunk. We really don't have a size guy where we can toss up a jump ball - maybe Jonu Smith could be this guy.

    I just don't think we have the personnel for these situations, and JPJ would really be a big step in this direction. I even feel like all of our running backs (minus Brooks who is not a roster lock) are all variations of the same kind of guy. They are all speed backs, and I would love to add a power back.
     
  4. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I said a few weeks ago that Barton would be who I want if the Dolphins pick an offensive lineman at 21. JPJ only started one year, a very good year, but Barton started playing as a true freshman and was named the starter in his sophomore year.

    Then Barton went and blew everyone away with his showing at his NFL pro day. My fear is he will be picked before 21. However, I'm still seeing reports that he's being undervalued (at least as far as I'm concerned) and that he's not even a first round talent. I disagree. Best bet is that other teams don't think that highly of him, the Dolphins can trade back a few spots, pick up a 3rd round pick, and still get Barton. After his showing, however, part of me thinks it's a smokescreen and he'll go mid-1st.
     
  5. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    I think we have a very good year to have a later pick.

    Here are guys that I 100% think will be taken before 21 -

    1. Caleb Williams
    2. Jayden Daniels
    3. Drake Maye
    4. Marvin Harrison Jr.
    5. Malik Nabers
    6. Rome Odenze
    7. Joe Alt
    8. Dallas Thomas
    9. JJ McCarthy

    Here are guys that I think it would be highly probable that will be off the board before 21.

    10. Brock Bowers
    11. Olumuyiwa Fashanu
    12. Quinyon Mitchell

    At this point, we are 9 picks away. Bo Nix is a wildcard too just because there are a lot of teams in need of a quarterback. Center and guard are not priority positions that teams typically look to draft early.

    I foresee three distinct possibilities that really could happen:

    #1 - Miami chooses to shore up the line. This could be JPJ or Barton, and there is a real chance that a solid tackle could be there as well, and they just move to the interior for a year. Mims from Gorgia is a name I could see them going with. He has not played a lot, but he has the tools to develop into a pro bowl type player. I could see him take over for Armstead in a year.

    #2 - Miami drafts a WR. I think that this is a sweet spot of the draft. They might not get a top tier WR, but they will have the pick of the litter from the next wave of receivers. This would put us squarely in win now mode with an eye to the future without Tyreek.

    #3 - Too good to pass up. This is a situation that absolutely will happen. Play around with the mock draft simulators and look at other people's mocks. The quarterbacks are gonna push other guys down the board. Mark my words, there will be a guy at 21 that should have been gone long ago. This may not be a position of need but a great find in terms of value. I don't envision us having a lot of early picks in the draft going forward, so we may want to simply acquire top talent when we have the chance.
     
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  6. dolphin25

    dolphin25 Well-Known Member

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    I think Nix will be really good.

    Lots of really good WR, so we could get one of the "top" WR's.

    I do like the OL pick.
     
  7. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Starting to see Bowers fall into the 20s in lots of mocks (after he was mocked falling into the teens). Having a hard time seeing us passing on him if he is indeed there. I think otherwise I am 100% on board with your top 12.

    Outside of Bowers, I think the dream would be either Fashanu or Fuatanu to fall to us. If we sit tight at 21, I'm just not sure Grier and McDaniel prioritize a straight guard enough to take them there, be it JPJ or Barton. I could see either a defensive lineman (edge or tackle) or a WR as big options. And I wonder if that speed display by Worthy might elevate him.
     
  8. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    Gonna keep this simple to avoid being attacked. If we draft an offensive lineman, hopefully he does well for us.
     
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  9. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I do agree that someone will overdraft Nix. Hopefully the Jets because he’s going to be a bigger bust that Fields.

    I agree that 21 isn’t an awful spot to get someone the Dolphins want/need. I really hope they get one of the offensive linemen though.
    Trading back and picking up another 2nd or a 3rd round pick while getting the o-lineman they want would make me ecstatic.
     
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  10. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully, it's a good player. Of course someone will delve DEEP into analytics to show us all how said player has a specific low percentage that relates to his performance while wearing Adidas shoes when the climate reaches a certain temperature on the Tuesday afternoon before the upcoming game later in the week. It'll show a reliable +/- chart factually stating things with a bar graph to prove it. Better not draft that guy....He'll suck.
     
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  11. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I'm sure you're correct. Whomever Grier drafts will be an automatic bust. Until they play well and if the Dolphins don't overpay them while some other team does then Grier will be an idiot for not only drafting badly, but also allowing a top player to leave the team. lol

    It's always a lose-lose with some people.
     
  12. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    I having a little thought experiment with a couple of my buddies, and I asked them a relatively simply question: Assuming your favorite team was in need of a TE, and you could take any TE in the league in exchange for a first round pick, list all of the TEs you would be willing to give up a first for.

    The most common response was "none." One of my buddies said he would be willing to do it for Sam Laporta.

    TJ Hockenson is a reasonable comparison for the sake of discourse. Hockenson was highly touted coming out of Iowa and was elected 8th overall in the draft. He went on to become a pro bowler and was traded to an interdivisional rival for a 2nd, a 3rd, and they sent back two 4ths to the Lions.

    Kyle Pitts was significantly more freakish and athletic than Bowers, and I would be horrified to see what his value would be if he hit the open market today.

    This begs a series of questions that are interesting to think about. Is drafting a TE like buying a new car? The second you drive them off the lot, their value goes down. Let's assume that your list did a few TEs that you would be willing to give up a first rounder for. Should you really be spending a draft pick on a position where zero to three guys (generously speaking) are worth a first round pick? If there are 80 TEs in the league, and two of them are worth firsts, that feels like a bad value proposition.

    Unless you are getting someone like Travis Kelce or Tony Gonzales in their prime, it might not be worth it.
     
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  13. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    These people are just pointing out "the truth."
     
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  14. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    TE's are a weird group, and in the top 10 that's a risky pick. However, nearer the back end of the first round I think it's absolutely worth the risk for the right player, and by many accounts Bowers is that player. Pitts really isn't a good comp because that's an entirely different player (who I also think was hugely hampered by QB impotence and a penchant for Arthur Smith to ignore his best players). He's the kind of guy you really can't replicate and provides unique potential. Then compare that to something like a standard guard. Is Barton an excellent guard prospect? Yes. Could he elevate the offense in the same way Bowers could? No.

    That said, if Bowers is gone, I would be good with Barton though would prefer a trade down.
     
  15. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    We need help on the OL. I don’t think there would be much argument about that, but it sure seems Grier has failed drafting O Linemen.

    I hate to say it, but if JPJ is available at 21 and Grier doesn’t draft him, I’m going to have to say Grier drafted a bust.
     
  16. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Staff Member Club Member

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    Even if the guy he drafts ends up being Probowl level?
     
  17. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I'm not totally buying into the first part. Yes, there are some misses like Eichenberg. But he also drafted a guy who just got a massive contract in Hunt. He drafted Tunsil. He brought in Williams and had him convert to center. Jackson took time but is a solid RT.

    Could be smoke, but the smoke is there regarding JPJ being more of a fan favorite than NFL favorite. That's not to say he's suddenly bad, but maybe a guy now looking at late 1st, early second as opposed to mid first. I'd be fine taking him at 21, or Barton, or several others ... but I think what we do see is that Grier and McDaniel don't necessarily believe in putting major resources into interior OL. We see that they aren't necessarily upgrading the starters from last year, but rather the reserves.

    Personally, defensive line and WR seem the most likely options at 21.
     
  18. JJ_79

    JJ_79 Well-Known Member

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    Grier is alright in drafting in the first three rounds, not so much after that. I agree and would be surprised if they‘d take OL at 21 unless someone falls and is a bargain at that position like Tunsil was back then.
     
  19. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Staff Member Club Member

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    Would you risk a first-round pick on a player with no obvious position and just eight career starts? If you’re the Miami Dolphins, you might if the player is as naturally gifted as Amarius Mims, the Georgia right tackle who could be available when Chris Grier is on the clock at pick No. 21.
    Miami Dolphins Draft Preview: Get To Know Georgia OT Amarius Mims
    The Basics
    • Age: 21
    • Height: 6’7″
    • Weight: 340 pounds
    • Position: Offensive Tackle
    • School: Georgia
    • Current Year: Junior
    • PFN Big Board Ranking: No. 22 overall, No. 5 offensive tackle
    Why Amarius Mims Is a First-Round Talent
    Mims is a top-30 prospect more on his pedigree than his body of work. Mims’ ability is not debatable. If that ability can translate into consistent, dependable production is.

    The former five-star recruit languished on Georgia’s deep bench his first two seasons before getting his shot in 2023. But nothing really went to play in Mims’ college experience, and his final year was the same. He needed surgery to fix an ankle injury that limited him to just seven games. As a result, he lacks the accolades of many of his peers. But if his luck improves at the next level, there’s reason to believe greatness lies within.

    “Physically, Mims has one of the highest ceilings in the 2024 NFL Draft’s OT crop,” PFN Draft Analyst Ian Cummings writes in Mims’ draft profile. “At 6’7″, 340 pounds, he’s a dominating specimen with high-end athleticism both in space and in short areas, and he has suffocating strength and deadly power capacity. “As one might expect, Mims is still relatively raw, but there are a few soft skills at tackle that he already performs well. For his size, he’s already fairly natural at acquiring and maintaining leverage, getting depth on his kick and properly aligning his base.”

    How Mims Would Fit
    Finding a home for Mims might be a bigger concern for the Dolphins than his inexperience and injury history. If Miami isn’t convinced he can handle at least one year at right guard, there’s no rationale for drafting him.

    The Dolphins are good for now at tackle with Terron Armstead, Austin Jackson, and Kendall Lamm as their top three options. Where they need immediate help is at guard. Mims has the build of a mauling right tackle. Can he play in tighter spaces?

    But that’s only one issue. The other big one: What’s his long-term position?

    Jackson plays right tackle and is under contract through 2026. So for the Mims pick to make sense, the Dolphins would either need to play him on the left side in 2025 or move Jackson (who struggled at left tackle early in his career) there. “I’m going to be honest with you, as you play right tackle or left tackle in college, you are a tackle,” Mims said. “I feel like you have to be ready to play both, because you don’t know what might happen. You can get drafted, play all your snaps at right, and the next thing you know, in the league you’ll be a left tackle. So you’ve got to be ready to play both, honestly.”

    A Commonality With Tua Tagovailoa
    Mims and Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa both suffered high ankle sprains during their college careers. Both returned to action sooner than they otherwise would have by electing to undergo tightrope surgery.

    Mims ultimately reinjured the ankle in Georgia’s SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama, which would be his final collegiate game. He made a full recovery over the next three months and participated in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine.

    “I know I don’t have the amount of starts and snaps as many of the guys here, but I feel like I’m just as prepared and just as good here as everybody else here in the entire class,” Mims said in Indianapolis.

    Kirby Smart’s Case
    While Mims doesn’t have the body of work you’d want out of a premium pick, he’s not exactly inexperienced against the nation’s best.

    He went against some of college football‘s top defensive linemen in practice for three years.

    “What does that matter if you’ve blocked Travon Walker, Nolan Smith, Robert Beal your whole career,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said recently, per Dawg Nation. “What does eight starts matter? Would you rather have someone who started 27 games and played against nobody, or somebody who played against first-round draft picks every day in practice? I know which one I’m picking.”
     
  20. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    For me, the biggest issue with Mims is that he's not going to see the field this year. We need first rounds who come in and play immediately. But we have our tackle spots sorted and I just can't see a 6'8" dude playing guard in the McDaniel system.
     
  21. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I’d hate to be Grier if Mims is available at 21. I agree with what you’re saying, but passing him up would be difficult. His ceiling is sky high.
     
  22. Fishhead

    Fishhead Well-Known Member

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    Which top tier guys at each of those positions do you think will still be there at 21?

    PS. I think there will be some good options at 21 this year, thanks in part to the 4 (and maybe 5, if the late surge in interest in Penix is to be believed) QBs that will go in the top 15.
     
  23. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I see that, but dang we need players after getting nothing from the first few rounds the last few years. We have everything "covered" in the sense that each position has acceptable bodies though, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. Might depends on how secure Grier feels he is.

    Murphy and Newton at DT. Latu, Verse or either Robinson at DE. Like half a dozen possibles at WR. Some might be gone, but not all.
     
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