Miami Dolphins' 2014 Draft: The Good, the Bad and the Baffling

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IMay 10, 2014

Miami Dolphins' 2014 Draft: The Good, the Bad and the Baffling

0 of 4

    Miami Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey (above) just finished his first draft in the Dolphins' front office.
    Miami Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey (above) just finished his first draft in the Dolphins' front office.J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins have not made the playoffs since 2008. If they want to finally break the trend, and finally break .500, they will need to get major contributions from their 2014 draft class.

    With eight picks in the draft, the Dolphins chose to focus primarily on the offensive line, going with two of the top linemen in the first three rounds. The overall theme of the draft seemed to be finding help for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, as the Dolphins selected five players on offense and just three on defense.

    It was the first draft for Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey and the third for head coach Joe Philbin. If the two are going to make it to their second and third draft together, they will need to strike it big with their selections.

    With that, let's take a look at the good, the bad and the baffling from the Dolphins' haul this weekend.

List of All 2014 Draft Selections

1 of 4

    Ja'Wuan James, OT (Round 1, pick No. 18)

    Jarvis Landry, WR (Round 2, pick No. 63)

    Billy Turner, OG (Round 3, pick No. 67)

    Walt Aikens, CB (Round 4, pick No. 125)

    Arthur Lynch, TE (Round 5, pick No. 155)

    Jordan Tripp, LB (Round 5, pick No. 171)

    Matt Hazel, WR (Round 6, pick No. 190)

    Terrence Fede, DE (Round 7, pick No. 234)

The Good

2 of 4

    North Dakota State OT Billy Turner (above) could move to guard for the Dolphins.
    North Dakota State OT Billy Turner (above) could move to guard for the Dolphins.Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Billy Turner, OG (Round 3, pick No. 67)

    The Dolphins started addressing their four holes offensive line in free agency, and by the third round of the NFL draft, they had filled their final void. Billy Turner is a raw prospect and didn't face much top-notch competition at North Dakota State, but he has the tools to develop into a stout interior offensive lineman and the foot quickness to give the Dolphins the missing element of a pulling guard on the inside.

     

    Walt Aikens, CB (Round 4, pick No. 125)

    With Jamar Taylor and Cortland Finnegan seemingly in a competition for the outside and slot duties, the Dolphins decided to add to the competition at cornerback.

    Walt Aikens ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at 6'1" and 203 pounds, making him a great height-weight speed prospect to develop. He will need to work on his technique and did not face top-notch competition in his career at Liberty, but he may get an opportunity to develop on the sideline.

     

    Arthur Lynch, TE (Round 5, pick No. 155)

    With Charles Clay on the roster, the Dolphins weren't in dire need of a tight end, but Clay is not seen as a talented blocker. At 6'5" and 258 pounds, Lynch has upside in that role, but he is not yet ready to contribute in that sense.

    If he adds some strength and works on getting a good base under him as a blocker, he could step in as an in-line blocker. For now, he will add another big-bodied presence over the middle and in the red zone.

     

    Jordan Tripp, LB (Round 5, pick No. 171)

    The Dolphins signed two big-name linebackers last offseason in Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler, but their depth at the position is shaky. Jordan Tripp has the ability to play either inside or outside, but he is at his best when he can shoot gaps in the line and chase down plays on the outside. His special teams experience will help him contribute even if he doesn't see the field as a rookie.

The Bad

3 of 4

    Tennessee T Ja'Wuan James (above) was a reach in the first round.
    Tennessee T Ja'Wuan James (above) was a reach in the first round.L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    Ja'Wuan James, OT (Round 1, pick No. 18)

    The consensus: The Dolphins reached for need with the pick of Ja'Wuan James in the first round. There were better players on the board, such as safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but the Dolphins felt safest addressing the offensive line.

    Head coach Joe Philbin said he likes James' ability to pass block one-on-one, and if that ability translates to the NFL, he'll be doing an important service to the Dolphins offense by helping to keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill upright. 

     

    Terrence Fede, DE (Round 7, pick No. 234)

    The Dolphins' final pick seemed like nothing more than a flier. Fede may have a hard time making the roster at defensive end, where the Dolphins have stockpiled talent in recent years. There's also the question of whether he will fit as a true 4-3 defensive end or whether he may have been better-suited in a 3-4 scheme. He'll need to work on adding some pass rush moves to his arsenal, as well.

The Baffling

4 of 4

    LSU WR Jarvis Landry (above) may not see the field much for Miami as a rookie.
    LSU WR Jarvis Landry (above) may not see the field much for Miami as a rookie.Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Jarvis Landry, WR (Round 2, pick No. 63)

    Jarvis Landry could turn out to be a gem under the right circumstances, but for a team that needs help at so many other positions, a wide receiver is a baffling selection.

    This could spell the beginning of the end for Mike Wallace in Miami, but Landry is not that kind of receiver. The Dolphins could be looking to replace Rishard Matthews, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, but is that worth a second-round pick? It's a worthy question with so many other needs.

     

    Matt Hazel, WR (Round 6, pick No. 190)

    The Dolphins need depth on the offensive line, at running back and at safety, but instead, they grabbed a wide receiver who will probably start his career on the practice squad. He has solid hands and body control, but he needs to add some bulk to his frame if he's going to hold up in the NFL. With such a loaded depth chart at receiver, it's fair to wonder whether he will ever crack the 53-man roster.