A six-pack of Dolphins notes a day after the draft:
• By drafting Isaiah Ford in the seventh round and adding four undrafted rookie free agent receivers, the Dolphins’ message is clear: Leonte Carroo, Jakeem Grant and Rashawn Scott won’t be gifted roster spots.
Now let’s make this clear: Carroo and Grant remain clear favorites to make the team. None of the five receivers added is nearly as skilled a kick returner as Grant.
But Ford has a legitimate shot to stick. And UM’s Malcolm Lewis, Arkansas’ Drew Morgan, Mississippi’s Damore’ea Stringfellow and Stanford’s freakishly athletic Francis Owusu will have a chance to impress.
The Dolphins haven’t announced any of those free agent pickups or any others, and though those four receivers or their agents confirmed their Dolphins deals, it’s uncertain if all four will be with the team for their classroom-based rookie “workshop,” so to speak, next weekend.
• Here’s what the Dolphins liked about Ford:
“First of all, he’s been productive for a couple of years there,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. “If you watch Virginia Tech, he was a player that was always kind of the go-to guy. It was always the plan to stop him. (We) like he’s a very good route runner.
He’s a very smart kid when you talk to him, so he really understands leverages, coverages, running routes, finding the open spots in zones. So (we had) the opportunity to add a good player that late in the draft. We were surprised he was still there. I know again, he fell, because probably people said how he should have run faster; but at the end of the day, we just like to draft football players. It worked out with Jarvis (Landry). We’ll see if it works out with him.”
• With guard Isaac Asiata, the appeal was not only his size, but his toughness and intelligence.
“He’s very smart with a passion and a love for football,” Grier said. “His life story, he’s had some adversity in his life that he’s overcome, so you’re kind of drawn to those guys. He’s really made himself into a man and how he handles his life. On the field, he’s a nasty [rhymes with stick], and that’s what you like about him. He’s a tough, physical, nasty mauler. We just wanted to add more of that to us.”
• What appealed to the Dolphins about LSU defensive tackle Davon Godchaux?
“He’s a physical run defender,” Grier said. “When you see how he looks, he’s a big square body. He’s tough. He’s played in those wars in the SEC, the Alabama game, those 9-6 games, the Wisconsin game. This guy is a physical, tough guy, that enjoys getting dirty, getting in there and being physical. With him, those were some of the traits we liked about him.”
• And what about Vincent Taylor?
“With Vincent (Taylor), for a big guy, he’s had production,” Grier said. “He’s been a pass rusher there. (He had 6.5) sacks last year, 13 tackles for loss. (He’s) a bigger body guy that can be a one-gap penetrator and create a little havoc in the backfield at times. Those are things, when you’re at the point in the draft, (if) you can get guys with size and production for a couple of years, they are interesting prospects. We are happy to get them.”
• Mel Kiper wasn’t fond of the Dolphins’ draft. On ESPN.com, he gave Miami and a few other teams a C-plus. Only the Rams (C- minus) got a worse grade.
Kiper’s take: “Charles Harris' dropping a few spots and falling into the Dolphins' lap helps them a bit, but I thought he was better suited to go to a 3-4 team. He might be a situational pass-rusher early in his career as he bulks up from his 6-foot-3, 253-pound frame. He needs to improve playing against the run, and that should come in time.
“Miami filled a big need with tackling machine Raekwon McMillan. I was surprised he went off the board before Zach Cunningham, however. Cordrea Tankersley is a big corner (6-1, 199) who had nine career interceptions. The Dolphins traded up for Isaac Asiata, and I gave him an undrafted grade. If they wanted a guard who could play immediately, they could have taken Forrest Lamp in Round 1. Asiata isn't that guy. Davon Godchaux, who has some off-field concerns, and Vincent Taylor
will provide depth along the interior of the defensive line.”
• Besides the Cunningham second guess, here’s another we’ve wondered about: Why did the Dolphins cut Earl Mitchell (now with the 49ers) before determining if they could find a better veteran No. 3 defensive tackle? (They haven’t added any veteran defensive tackle, let alone a better one.) And it’s not like they desperatedly needed the cap space.
Among free agent defensive tackles still available: Dan Williams (released by the Raiders a week before the draft), Arthur Jones, Paul Soliai, Jared Odrick, Jaye Howard (failed his Chiefs physical), Sen’Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Sean Lissemore, Corbin Bryant, Tony McDaniel, Leger Douzable, Kedric Gholston, Devon Still and Ricardo Mathews.
The Dolphins will now get to see what they have in Godchaux and Taylor.
Here are more details on players the Dolphins added after the draft.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz