Miami Dolphins 2011 NFL Draft Review

In 2010 Miami used seven of eight draft choices on defense. The first four of six picks this year went to the offensive side of the ball. The first two picks were used to fill a pair of major needs. Mike Pouncey will not have to leave the state as the Dolphins’ first pick. Pouncey was arguably the best center or guard in the 2011 Draft. He is a violent player who plays with a good base and balance. Running back Daniel Thomas fills a need at running back with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as free agents who may not return. Thomas is a triple threat as a runner, pass receiver, and pass protector. Mike Pouncey is a difference maker according to the Miami brass. He has position flexibility where he can contribute at guard or center. Richie Incognito was re-signed and projected to play left guard or center. Pouncey is a big physical athlete who plays with attitude. He brings quality and stability to an interior line group that struggled in 2010. He can turn a down defender in the run game with strong leg action, body control, and sure hands. He plays with an ornery streak. Daniel Thomas has good size and competitive speed for the running back position. A natural downhill north/south runner he keeps his shoulders square. He is not easy to tackle. An offensive weapon with good running skills and patience, he possesses receiver type soft hands and has lined up at wide receiver in the slot as well as at tailback. He has the talent and skill set to start as a rookie if needed. The Dolphins traded up to the end of the 2nd round on Friday night, trading their 3rd (79), 5th (146), and 7th (216) round picks to the Redskins for their 62nd pick. Edmond Gates did not play high school football, but started 32 games over four years in college. He possesses rare vertical speed and can blow the top off coverage. He impressed Miami with his explosive speed and athletic ability despite turning 25 years of age in June of this year. A slippery athlete after catch, he needs pro route running development. He originally enrolled at Abilene Christian to play basketball. Charles Clay is a versatile four-year starter with outstanding hands and the unique ability to contribute at fullback, H-back, and tight end. Clay’s role in the Dolphin offense is projected to be multi-purpose including lead blocker. He’s a fluid route runner and is quick enough to create space and locate open areas. Frank Kearse is a wide bodied defensive lineman that projects to nose tackle. A three-year starter and a two-time captain, he has developmental talent. On his pro day 3/7/11 his measurables were 6040, 315, 5.31/40, 1.85/10, 22/BP, 30/VJ, 8-7/ BJ, 4.68/SS, 7.80/3 cone. Jimmy Wilson was named the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the week when he intercepted three passes and made 6 tackles in their win over Eastern Washington. It was a personal victory for an athlete who was out of football for three years and spending two years in jail on a murder charge. The charges have since been dropped. Wilson is the third Montana Grizzly to join the Dolphins along with Dan Carpenter and Lex Hilliard. Wilson is a development corner with an ascending skill set. His measurables on his 3/14/11 pro day were 5110, 193, 4.53/40, 1.65/10, 18/BP, 35/VJ, 9-11/BJ, 4.28/SS, 6.93/3 cone. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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