The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!
This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.
This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.
To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!
Draft Pick # 19
Team Name: Miami Dolphins
Selection: (LB) Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Why the pick:
Quick.....Who's your favorite Dolphins player of all time? Time's up! If you said anyone other than Larry Csonka, I hope Andy Dick breaks into your house and rinses his underwear in your favorite spaghetti strainer. Twice.
Unfortunately, Miami no longer has the services of Zonk. Or the offensive line that used to block for him. Not to be cruel, but they barely have an offensive line at all. It's been the focal point of most of the Dolphins' troubles and deserves the greatest attention this off-season. That being said, changes in personel have hit the organization hard in several areas, not just with the big butts in front of Tannehill.
Out is Dez Bryant's favorite person in the world, GM Jeff Ireland. In is new GM Dennis Hickey. Out is offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. In is new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Out are CB Nolan Carroll, CB Dimitri Patterson and FS Chris Clemons. In are CB Cortland Finnegan and S Louis Delmas. Out are LT Jonathan Martin, LG Ritchie Incognito, RT Tyson Clabo and RG John Jerry. In is LT Branden Albert, G Shelley Smith and RT Jason Fox.
The Dolphins don't really have a RT in house they can rely on. Or a RG to play beside the RT they don't have. Clabo and Jerry manned the right side last season, but both were asked not to return. Incomers Smith and Fox have only started a handful of games between them in their combined decade of NFL experience. Neither should be considered anything more depth. And that leaves our old friend David Arkin as the only candidate left on the roster to man the inside position to the right of C Mike Pouncey. As you can see, the O-line situation of the Dolphins appears to be horrid. But two things it has going for it are Albert and Pouncey. Despite the desperation hanging in the air above Miami, a solid LT and C are the cornerstones you need to build upon. The team could also use some help at WR.
Brian Hartline is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players in the league.....at any position. Doesn't do anything spectacularly. But executes, as a whole, everything a WR is required to do as well as, if not better, than anyone in the league. Love watching the guy play. After him, it gets a little murky. Miami cracked open the coffers for Mike Wallace in '13, but apparently the romance hasn't blossomed. Wallace brought his speed to the table and dished it out on a regular basis. The problem? He also brought his hands. In all fairness, it would be disingenuous to lay the blame for his disappointing season solely at Wallace's fleet feet. For whatever reason, he and QB RyanTannehill never clicked. They just couldn't seem to find the right page. In light of that, the Dolphin were shopping Wallace's services around the league.
Because of limited interest, he will more than likely remain in aqua for the upcoming season. Behind Hartline and Wallace, Rishard Matthews and Brandon Gibson are competent, but neither have shown enough to assume they could be something special. The Fins also added Damian Williams via FA from the Titans. He's a three-year veteran whose most productive season came in his rookie campaign in 2011. Since then, his numbers have tailed off dramatically. Shouldn't be relied upon to tilt the scales. It's clear Mike Wallace won't be in Miami forever, so grabbing a solid WR early to compliment the eversteady Hartline would be prudent.
There's also a need for a serious play-making linebacker on the roster. Granted, Miami's backers aren't the dregs of the league, but they lack a palpable ferocity. Nothing spectacular, but not horrible. Considering the Dolphins have one of the best rotations of defensive lineman in the league, the LBs should be lighting it up. Instead, they register pedestrian numbers and strike fear in no one. Phillip Wheeler.....Dannell Ellerbe.....Koa Misi....I know, right? A Who's-Who of average joes. Instilling some pop into this group would catapult the entire defensive unit into one of the best squads in the NFL. Would go a long way in taking some pressure off the offense while that side of the ball struggles to find it's rhythm.
A defensive back would be an option as well. Re-signing CB Brent Grimes was an absolute must and Miami pulled the trigger. He gave up zero touchdowns in '13 and is one of the top two or three corners in the league. Signing Finnegan to replace FA losses Carroll and Patterson may have seemed like a solid decision, but I have serious doubts about the controversial CB's ability to live up to the hype. He was less than stellar with Rams last season and proved he wasn't worth the $50 million they layed on the line in '12. S Louis Delmas should replace FA loss Chris Clemons with little drop-off, but SS Reshad Jones could definitely stand to be upgraded.....Hard-hitter but lacking in coverage. Wouldn't be a crime if the Dolphins grabbed one of the top corners or safeties when their clock starts in the first round.
With all this in mind, on to the selection. I picked Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio St.. I wanted like hell to give the Dolphins some first round help along the Oline, but the value just wasn't there. Begged KD to let me trade down. Went so far as to bribe our dreadlocked friend. Even after sweetening the pot with a sleeve-and-a-half of double-stuffed Oreos, season three of the classic '70s sitcom "What's Happening?" ( outtakes and director commentary included ), a ball of my belly button lint I've been saving since my double hernia operation in 2nd grade and a video of Jed doing jumping jacks in nothing but a pink speedo ( don't ask how I got it ), KD still said no. So I was stuck at 19.
I'm not as enamored with Xavier Su'a-Filo as some. I feel David Yankey is a better prospect, and I have a second round grade on him. Gabe Jackson was another option, but again, it would have been too much of a reach. Needed to get the most value I could out of the pick, and it just wasn't there for me on the Oline. I also looked real hard at CBs Bradley Roby and Jason Verrett, WRs Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee and Odell Beckham, and LB CJ Mosley. Was close on Mosley, but the injuries and recent track record of ex-Bama players kinda steared me towards Shazier.
Ryan Shazier's a playmaker. Can step in and start at the Will in Miami's 4-3 from day one. There are no holes in this guy's game. Equally adept at defending the run and pass. A sideline to sideline backer with a rare combination of speed and power. Some may be put off by his lack of size---he's only 6'1"---but Shazier's athletic ability more than compensates for any physical deficiency some claim he has. Ryan will instantly take Miami's defense from good to great. He's a special three-down talent who still has all kinds of room to grow as a player. As good as he is, Ryan Shazier will only get better, while making those around him better, as well.
STRENGTHS: Rangy athlete with terrific closing acceleration and burst. Explosive first step as a blitzer to force the QB from his spot. Very good bend off the edge with momentum to fight through blocks and disrupt the pocket. Flexible ankles and flattens easily. Uses his length well at the point of attack with good take-on strength to deliver a pop, filling hard vs. the run. Eyes are always elevated with good ball vision and anticipation. Breaks down well on the move and gets low, showing clear improvement with his tackling technique. Smart and puts himself in correct position to make plays. Sniffs out the ball and almost always finishes when he's in the area. Never quits working to the ball and relentless in pursuit. Team leader and uplifting teammate with strong personal and football character. Versatile skill-set to drop in coverage, blitz and cover both sidelines. Very productive career with back-to-back seasons with 115-plus tackles, including a conference-best 143 stops in 2013.
WEAKNESSES: Lean frame and lacks elite bulk. Doesn't have the body type to get too much bigger. Needs to continue to get stronger to better shed at the point of attack. Too easily engulfed when attacking the line of scrimmage. Sometimes content throwing his shoulder and not wrapping up. Overaggressive at times in coverage and needs patient and alert. Will lose track of his assignment in man. Needs to stay disciplined and tidy up his timing to avoid late hits and unnecessary flags. Needs to keep his composure and keep his emotions in check. History of minor injuries that have caused him to miss playing time.
Compares To: Lavonte David, Buccaneers - While he's not quite as refined or tough as David, Shazier has a similar body type and movement skills to cover a large area and be a ultra-productive tackler at the next level.
Houston, Jadeveon Clowney,
St Louis Rams, Greg Robinson,
Jacksonville Jaguars, Johnny Manziel,
Cleveland Browns, Blake Bortles,
Oakland Raiders, Khalil Mack
Atlanta Falcons, Jake Matthews,
Tampa Bay Bucs, Teddy Bridgewater,
Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Donald
Buffalo Bills, Sammy Watkins
Detroit Lions, Anthony Barr
Tennessee Titans, Justin Gilbert
New York Giants, Taylor Lewan
St. Louis Rams, Mike Evans
Chicago Bears, Darqueze Dennard
Pittsburgh Steelers, Eric Ebron
Dallas Cowboys, Kony Ealy
Baltimore Ravens, Zack Martin
NY Jets, Calvin Pryor