Man Crush Monday: My Favorite Impact Players for Miami in First Round of the NFL Draft
Which players in the 2015 NFL Draft could help Miami continue to establish the attitude I believe they desperately need?
Man Crush Monday is not an occasion usually linked to the NFL Draft, but we do things a little bit differently here at The Deep End. Everybody goes into draft day with favorite players, and prays that their team will select at least one of those “pet prospects”. This article breaks down the players in the first round of the draft who have made their case to be included in the Miami Dolphins’ draft week edition of #MCM.
Devante Parker (WR- Louisville):
While the Miami Dolphins’ receiving core has gotten more impressive in recent months, it still lacks one key element: size. Miami has an explosive option in Kenny Stills, a savvy route runner in Jarvis Landry, and a veteran presence in Greg Jennings. Despite this, the Dolphins still need a receiver who can provide the “I just made your defensive back look like he plays junior varsity” moments. Devante Parker’s career at Louisville would indicate that he could bring those moments to Bill Lazor’s offense.
Parker would also provide Miami with a dominant receiver on jump balls, something they haven’t had since Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins’ offense has lacked a receiver who can fight for contested passes and make plays in the red zone, mostly because every receiver they have is 6’0 or less. And if anyone points out the fact that Matt Hazel is 6’1 I will throw my laptop out of a window (and maybe Cam Newton will be there to catch it). The best way for the offense to take a big leap is to put players around Ryan Tannehill who can make his job even easier (while this might not be the permanent solution, I don’t think Joe Philbin is currently thinking long term). Overall, Parker earns his #MCM spot via his big play ability, and the physical presence he could bring to Miami’s offense.
Trae Waynes (CB- Michigan St.):
The key here is domination, and if the Dolphins are looking to intimidate opponents, adding more power to an already improved defensive unit couldn’t hurt. It would be important to evaluate whether the team would be better off stacking the defense, or improving the offense to catch up to the strides that have already been made on the other side of the ball.
If you look at the best way to immediately improve the team, drafting the best player available is a proven method (Dennis Hickey and Mike Tannenbaum will be left to decide who that player is, but Waynes will surely be in the discussion at 14). Miami would benefit greatly from adding a cornerback opposite Brent Grimes, and especially one with Waynes’ skill set. While Brent Grimes has been a godsend for the Dolphins, Trae Waynes would bring a new attitude and aggression to the unit. He has immense speed, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. One thing is for sure: it would be awfully difficult to score against Miami’s defense with Trae Waynes, Brent Grimes, Reshad Jones, and Louis Delmas in the secondary. And maybe the defensive line will be ok too.
Todd Gurley (RB- University of Georgia):
Miami’s offense was at its best in Week 1 of 2014, with Knowshon Moreno showcasing his ability to bulldoze through defenders against the Patriots. One of best things that Miami could do in 2015 is attempt to emulate that rushing attack with a powerful back as a compliment to Lamar Miller. I believe that Todd Gurley could not only be a compliment to Miller, but would be the rest running back Miami has had since Ricky Williams. Yes folks, I know it’s not 1972, and the team doesn’t need two dominant running backs to be successful. But, as Bill Belichick has maybe possibly theoretically most likely definitely once said, “I don’t think you have to follow the rules ALL of the time.”
Selecting Gurley would not have much of an immediate impact (as he likely will be limited to the second half of 2015 due to a torn ACL suffered in November), but in terms of a pick for the future, there might not be a better choice in the draft. Todd Gurley’s #ManCrushMonday spot comes from the same junior varsity defender moments that Devante Parker would provide. Gurley was a dominant force at UGA, and there is nothing to indicate that he cannot have that same level of success when healthy in the NFL.
The key to joining my #ManCrushMonday list is physicality and domination. I believe that the best way for Miami to improve is to continue adding players like Ndamukong Suh who bring attitude to the team. This fits with Mike Tannenbaum’s history in New York of playing power football. Todd Gurley, Devante Parker, and Trae Waynes would all bring power football to the Miami Dolphins. This could help the team establish an attitude, which it will desperately need to compete with Rex Ryan, Todd Bowles, and the Fortress of Doom in Foxboro.