Only a little over halfway through the 2015 season, it’s easy to notice which rookies have stood out amongst the rest. Though it’s far too soon to put a boom/bust tag on the draftees, players like former Georgia running back, Todd Gurley, who the St. Louis Rams took on a giant leap-of-faith at the 10th overall pick (torn ACL months before draft) has shown to be one of the elite rookies of his class. Even after missing the first three games, Gurley, who exploded on the scene, having four straight 120+ yard games is easily on pace to finish his rookie season in the 1k club. What about the late round picks? Guys like Stefon Diggs or Dolphins own Jay Ajayi, both 5th round players that are proving there are still diamonds in the rough when nearing the end of the draft.
Would you change anything about the Miami Dolphins draft this year, or did Hickey & Co. walk away with their heads held high?
14. DeVante Parker, WR, Grade: C-
Redraft: DeVante Parker
Why: The Dolphins seemed to have their eyes on only two players this season in the draft: Todd Gurley and DeVante Parker. When Gurley was selected at the 10th overall pick by the Rams, it was almost written in stone that if Parkers name still remained on the board once the Dolphins time was on the clock, the talented receiver out of Louisville would be taking his talents to Miami!
Unfortunately, Parker’s training camp was cut short when the rookie elected to repair a screw in his foot. This setback stunted the rookie’s developmental growth, and allowed the emergence of Rishad Matthews which has further taken away from the rookie’s playtime. Miami’s first roundera numbers have been grim this season, but stay patient fans, Parker is the Dolphins receiver of the future, be rest assured his time is coming.
52. Jordan Philips, DT, Grade: C-
Redraft: Don’t trade down pick 48: Denzel Perryman/52. Ali Marpet
Why: A hard-hitting ball hawk/enforcer type linebacker who wants to stay in his hometown of Miami. Sounds almost to good to be true, right? Did the Dolphins get greedy and think Perryman would still be available 4 picks later? Filling the hole at linebacker while also receiving another draft pick, or were the Dolphins truly just not that interested in Perryman? Either way Denzel Perryman perfectly fit the hard-hitting and hard- nosed ideal of what the Miami Dolphins defense so desperately tries to be.
52: Ali Marpet, G- “he truly was the best available player on the board”-Dennis Hickey
Why the Dolphins went and pushed aside needs for the “best available player” baffled many analysts and fans alike. Miami was comfortable on the defensive line, adding Philips was not so much necessity as it was an impulse buy. Philips was considered a boom or bust player whom scouts believed was an underachiever in his time at Oklahoma.
Redoing the 52 pick Miami could have taken Ali Marpet, the young guard out of Hobart. Though only a Division III athlete, Marpet was praised by scouts for his speed, power, agility, and football IQ at the guard position. CBS Sports praised the Division III standout for his extremely high football IQ and NFL readiness, calling Marpet a “true 30-30-30 of the combine.”
Marpet was drafted 61st overall by the Buccaneers, and though the guard had a minor setback with a leg injury, Marpet is easily a starting guard for any team and is quietly making a name for himself as one of the better guards in the NFL. Time will tell what Philips will accomplish in his tenure in Miami, but in the second round the Miami Dolphins should have tried to plug the holes, rather then try and get a new boat.
Best Find– UDFA, Matt Darr, P
When Miami decided to part ways with former Pro-Bowler punter Brandon Fields, undrafted rookie Matt Darr had big shoes to fill. Darr has filled them well; the rookie out of Tennessee has been a bright spot on the Dolphins special teams. Darr is currently ranked 6th overall, averaging a league high 49.1 yards per kick. Matt Darr has shown he is more then capable of filling the role of his predecessor and may very well be on the road to surpassing the Dolphins former elite punter.