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Who will start opposite Maxwell?

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  • Who will start opposite Maxwell?

    When Gase starts thinking about his depth chart – who does he honestly think will play across Byron Maxwell? The Miami Dolphins have a serious need at cornerback and right now, their starting cornerback is not on their roster.

    The hype and belief was there in 2013 when the Dolphins selected Jamar Taylor in the 2nd round of the NFL draft. Many draft experts were even surprised that Taylor was available in the 2nd round as there was talk about him sliding to the first round. That was the hype surrounding this blue chip prospect. The hype has now diminished, similar to Taylor's playing time. To put it in perspective, Taylor was a healthy scratch for the last the 4 games of the season. The Dolphins didn’t even dress him.
    The scary thing about all of this, is if the Dolphins had to line up today Taylor would be the starting cornerback. The assumption around NFL circles is that the Miami Dolphins will be using their first or second round pick to satisfy this position.
    There are three honest options for the Dolphins in the first round:
    • Mackenzie Alexander
      • Based on the game tape alone, Mack will remind Dolphins fans of Patrick Surtain. Mack is the definition of a finesse player. Smooth off the ball, and amazing shadowing skills. He looks like a true shutdown corner. The scouting report will show one serious flaw in his game, and that is his zone coverage and responsibility. Since Vance Joseph will be implementing a press cover 3 scheme, he would have to teach Mack the adjustments that he would require.
    • William Jackson III
      • This kid is blowing up draft charts across every mock that is being published right now. WJ III has the skill set that can be dominant, which he showed off last year in Houston. The overall concern is his body. Vance Joseph wants to play a press coverage, and WJ III will most likely get pushed around against the Brandon Marshalls of the league. At the 13 spot WJ III would be a reach in my opinion.
    • Eli Apple
      • The biggest flaw with Apple is his recognition. The worst highlight on him is when he played against Penn State and was dragged 18 yards down field. Apple reactions tendency need work. However, off the line, great foot speed and his hip movement against the press coverage is exactly what Joseph would be looking for. Is an ideal landing spot for Miami and is starting to look a lot like Trumaine Johnson.

    If the Dolphins chose to wait to the 2nd round to address the cornerback position, only two prospects would be worthy of the selection:
    • Artie Burns:
      • The “U” connection will excite the Dolphins fans base. Burns is an interesting prospect, in that he has mad ball skills – 6 interceptions, and this was when he was playing in rotation. What happens when he plays full time? His biggest strength is his speed, size and ball skills. Flip the script for a second, based on Burns strengths you would think he would be a first round talent, but his lack of game recognition and experience make him a project. If the Dolphins are looking for a day 1 starter it is a risk/reward type of deal. You can play the card and hope this pup has got bite.
    • Xavien Howard
      • Howard checks all the boxes that Joseph is looking for in a cornerback. Howard has the size, skill set and presence that will make him targeted by a few teams in the second round. There are legit concerns about his long range speed, Howard, is very quick but not fast. Which would be ideal in a zone 3 press scheme, which is exactly what the Dolphins will be running.
    If the Dolphins reach the 3rd round without addressing their cornerback, you can only hope that their draft board didn’t fall in place like they wanted it to. The Dolphins would then be wise to look at the free agent market and see who could possibly be available and to be honest, there is only one candidate:
    • Leon Hall
      • The connections seem too good to be true. Hall played under Joseph for the past few years during his tenure with the Bengals. Hall, a former first round pick, has the skill set to come in and start day 1. He is on the wrong side of the 30, but when the Dolphins signed Brent Grimes a few years ago, to a one year contract, he had his best season. I am noting saying Hall is in the same class of Grimes, but if he signed, he would be the most experienced corner on the Dolphins.

    The Dolphins could surprise everyone and repeat what they did in 2009, which was double down on the cornerback position with selections in both the first and second round. By doing so, they would be building a core tandem that they thought they had with Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. A combination of Mackenzie Alexander, Artie Burns and Byron Maxwell adds flexibility, speed and excitement to a depth chart that is lacking excitement.
    Isn’t that what the Dolphins should be doing? Adding excitement?

  • #2
    Leon is a baller and landing him in the 3rd would be a nice pick.. If we go 1st rd CB, Apple would be awesome across from Maxwell...


    • Bahamas
      Bahamas commented
      Editing a comment
      Apple would be my 3rd choice....My main crush is on Mackenzie...I honestly believe he will be the best CB in this draft class and that includes Ramsey

  • #3
    If they could trade back I think they could still land Apple and then double down on cornerbacks in the first three rounds depending on who is available. I think a guard is needed in the first three rounds so if they went CB,CB,G or CB,G,CB that would work for me. I wish they would have addressed the guard position in free agency so they could draft a DE or LB in these rounds but the front office didn't think the guard position was that important. Typical for the Dolphins.............
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton

    “The only thing worse then a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!” - Tennessee Williams


    • Bahamas
      Bahamas commented
      Editing a comment
      I wouldn't pass on Mack brov....Just think about having the next Patrick Surtain on our team for the next 5 years.

    • DolphinsFreak
      DolphinsFreak commented
      Editing a comment
      Not a fan of the Dolphins taking Apple at #13. I think that is a REACH! Mackenzie Alexander is the best cornerback in the draft in my opinion, since Ramsey is probably switching to safety. IF Alexander is still on the board I would be really happy with that pick. I just think he will be gone by #13, which is yet another player that might be there at #8 but won't at #13. Buckner, Elliot, etc.

    • DolphinsFreak
      DolphinsFreak commented
      Editing a comment
      William Jackson is another player I really like, maybe better then Mack. Jackson turns his head around more often and goes for the pick more rather then just the knock down. If Jackson is healthy then he could be the pick.

  • #4
    Bahamas...great writeup and thanks. You seem to know what you are talking about in the defensive backfield, and i surely dont even know what a cover 3 scheme i will take your opinions as valuable insight. My questions and thoughts:

    - what is it about your top 3 guys that is different from Taylor. He had the same mad skills as i recall. Using 20/20 hindsight, any insight?

    - how important is the scheme to the skill at CB? For example, we can seperate the skill sets at safety (FS/SS), and we can really separate the skill sets at LB by position and defensive scheme. But if a guy can "cover" without constant penalty flags, what difference does it make if we play zone or man?

    - FWIW, we doubled down with Davis and Smith, and we would not even be having this discussion or in this draft predicament if we had the courage of our convictions and the leadership talent to recognize a good foundation for our backfield. Those guys seem to have done alright away from the Dolphins, and what exactly were their sins to be let go in the first place?

    - another FWIW. In todays NFL, i would argue that the LB position is more critical and boy do our LBs suck. I would not want to double down and i would be happy wiith one of your guys and an LB. Some of the best and most athletic act like mid field CBs that can also clobber people. CBs, Safeties, and OLBs, but the LB is the first line of mobile Defense. Not sure if there is a guy that fits this description that will be available in R 2 or 3. I have advocated Ragland as the perfect complement to Suh and Alonso, but what if we could get Mackenzie round 1 and Derron Lee in R2?

    - the great debate continues about drafting for position vs. BPA.....whatever the hell that is.


    • Bahamas
      Bahamas commented
      Editing a comment
      What up K

      Hope you are well my friend.

      Biggest difference between Taylor and my top 3 choices - Health. We drafted Taylor, and us, the fans didnt know about his hip or shoulder concerns. Mack, WJ III and Apple are all coming in with a clean bill of health - or at least that is what they are reporting.

      Scheme fit is everything to a CB. Certain players are best suited to play man and zone. When the Dolphins had Surtain and Madison they implored a bump and run. This was due to their fierce Dline.

      The best secondary is the one that plays for the fewest amount of time.

      Now looking at Maxwell - he's not your press corner. He thrives in a cover 3 scheme similar to what made him a star in Seattle and fortunately what Vance Joseph will be running.

      Last thing to mention is the skill set....Surtain and Madison where amazing jamming WR off the line of scrimmage to get them off their routes. You can't ask every CB to do this, as they will get schooled. See Brent Grimes against B Marshall last year.

      Davis and Smith would and should still be our starting CBs...these two kids were legit and have made a name for themselves in this league. Blame Philbin for tossing both of them aside. Apparently he didnt want high character players on his the end of the day, I hope Philbin will look back and understand that was one of his biggest flaws

      The only like three linebackers in this draft class
      Su Cravens
      Jaylon Smith
      Joshu Perry

      I would take any of them in the 3rd round.

      My ideal draft would be the following

      1 - Mackenzie
      2 - Best DE available Nkemidche or Ogbah
      3 - Joshu Perry
      4 - Joshua Garrnett
      5 - Jaylon Smith
      6 and 7 BPA

    • Dolfan1
      Dolfan1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey B, I'm thinking they would have to amputate Smiths leg for him to drop that low. Other than that, I like what you had to say.

    • Bahamas
      Bahamas commented
      Editing a comment
      D1 -

      I wouldn't be surprised to see him fall that low...a la Jaylon Smith.

      Some teams have him off their board all together.. and remember JJ dropped to the 5th because of his knee and that collins kid (G that signed with Dallas) went undrafted because of legal issues...

      It could happen brov

  • #5
    Bahamas - any chance under VJ that Taylor could potentially become a player worthy of his draft position?

    Personally I don't think we need to double down. I really liked what I saw from Bobby Taylor last season, and I would say Lippett may have been the best CB in a phins uniform the final game against NE. I was really impressed how well he played considering how raw he is. Personally I expect on if not both of those two draft picks last season to be VG players for us. Adding O-K to the mix and I don't know that we need to spend both first and second round picks on DB's. Then again what the hell do I know. Not much.. lol
    The Dynamic Duo ! - BOOM! POW!


    • Bahamas
      Bahamas commented
      Editing a comment
      What up brov

      Lippett excites me. I honestly think he's another year away from being talked about...what i Mean by that is he will be talk for a starter position. Ironcially that is the same time Maxwell could be shown the door...and pairing Lippett with Mack sounds awesome!

      As per Taylor - VJ has shown that he can build troubled players back up...Adam Jones is the perfect example. I don't know if the desire is there...he need to want it, and based on the game play last season he didnt show that to me at all

  • #6
    Originally posted by HndRkyaBong34 View Post
    Leon is a baller and landing him in the 3rd would be a nice pick.. If we go 1st rd CB, Apple would be awesome across from Maxwell...
    Leon Hall has signed with the Raiders. It seems like every time we bring up a player's name for us to sign, he signs elsewhere within a few days.
    Last edited by FTLDOLFAN; 04-06-2016, 09:59 PM.


    • Alpha
      Alpha commented
      Editing a comment
      You sure about that? I saw that Reggie Nelson signed with the Raiders....but I didn't see Hall.

  • #7
    Well unless Jamar Taylor finally shows something in training camp and the preseason it looks like whatever corner we draft in the first 2 rounds will start opposite Maxwell. I believe we have to draft a corner in the first 2 rounds. Assuming Hargreaves is gone my first round preferences are in order Apple, then Jackson then Alexander. It would be great if we could trade down and still draft one of those players. The problem is that other than Ezekiel Elliott I don't think there would be another player that a team would want to trade up for and if Elliott is somehow available I would be tempted to draft him myself. As far as second round prospects my preferences are in order Burns, Fuller then Howard.


    • #8
      You are right Alpha, my bad, it was Nelson and not Hall.


      • #9
        Who will start opposite Maxwell??

        Have no clue but it would be cool if we could get someone named House & call 'em Maxwell-House; Good to the last drop!....Or someone named Silver; Bang Bang Maxwell-Silver Hammer!!....How about a guy named Smart; Maxwell-Smart, bringing KAOS to a football field near you!!!....I'm thinking i might have a bit too much time on my hands!!!!


        • #10
          Leon Hall is 31 and made $9M last season. He's another wanting too much money right now. With the signings of IAQ and IEO, I'd be surprised if we went after a pricey vet with the Draft so close.


          • #11
            Originally posted by Driven_Phinsane! View Post

            Maxwell-House; Good to the last drop!....
            Good to the last drop?!..Maybe we should've nicknamed Sean Smith Maxwell House when he was here, lol...


            • #12
              DP - you are killing it today brov


              • #13
                Now with I E-O, on the roster, I'm going to say that Maxwell doesn't win the starting job but comes in as a perimeter Corner on three Receiver sets.


                • #14
                  Then draft MacKenzie. He's good for a drop every time a ball is thrown his way.


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