Jack of All Trades: Meeting Tony Lippett, Miami’s Versatile 5th Round Pick
Tony Lippett made a name for himself at Michigan State, starting at multiple positions in his final season with the Spartans. He now looks to translate his versatility in college into success with his new team, the Miami Dolphins.
The Miami Dolphins need depth all over the field, and there’s no better way to acquire depth than by having multi-dimensional players. Luckily, the Miami Dolphins acquired a versatile athlete in Tony Lippett, a starting receiver and cornerback for the Michigan State Spartans. While he will primarily play receiver for the Dolphins, it will be interesting to see how the Dolphins utilize Lippett’s versatility, and how creative the coaching staff will get when figuring out how to incorporate a player with such a wide skill set.
6’2- 192 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.61 sec.
Vertical Jump: 36 inches
Broad Jump: 9’8”
Bench Press: 10 Reps
2013: Team Leader in Receptions
2014: Big-10 Receiver of the Year (Led Conference in Receptions)
2014: Started at WR and CB, Team MVP
2014: First Team All-Big 10
Tony Lippett is a pure football player. He actually managed to start at both receiver and cornerback in his final year with the Spartans, and was named the team MVP for his two-way contributions. Lippett is an interesting prospect as a wide receiver, with long arms and good ability after the catch. He has elite jumping ability, which helped him as both a red-zone option on offense, and a lockdown corner on the goal line in Michigan State’s final two games. Lippett has good instincts, and a nose for the football. He does not wait for the ball to come to him, and has the athletic ability to make creative adjustments to an incoming pass.
He is also an established player on special teams, which is a huge area of need for the Dolphins. Lippett is best known for seemingly ending the life of Balyor’s poor, helpless kicker (seen below). Tony Lippett’s versatility will be his greatest asset when fighting for playing time in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins undoubtedly drafted him as a developmental prospect, and one with the potential to contribute all over the field.
At just 192 lbs., Tony Lippett’s frame had to be a concern for NFL teams. While he does stand at 6’2, he will need to add weight in order to withstand the punishment of a 16 game NFL schedule. His small frame is reflected often in his play, displaying a lack of strength when blocking and attempting to come down with contested passes. Lippett will need to improve his route running, as he does not seem to move efficiently enough when he reaches a break in his pattern. While he does have long strides, Lippett also struggles to gain separation, and will need to work on his elusiveness before he can make plays in space against NFL defenses. Tony Lippett is definitely a project, and it will take him some time to physically acclimate to the level of defense players face in the pros.
Tony Lippett is one of the most interesting players the Dolphins selected this year, and could actually find his way onto the field as a rookie in a variety of sets. As he adds size and improves his technique, look for coaches to try to incorporate him all over the field. Lippett could even develop a rotational presence on defense, as teams are always looking for contributions in multiple areas, given the limited number of players who are active on Sundays at each position. Tony Lippett is a unique prospect, and we will all have to wait and see how Joe Philbin and his staff plan to make use of the multi-faceted football player whom they decided to gamble on in the fifth round of this year’s draft.