Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dolphins go for defensive depth on draft's final day

After spending Friday addressing some needs with outside linebacker Koa Misi and guard John Jerry, the Miami Dolphins spent the final day of this year's draft focusing on defensive depth.

Entering the day with seven picks, the Dolphins finished with just five following a few trade-ups.

First, the Dolphins gave up the No. 126 pick and No. 179 pick for the Dallas Cowboys' 119th pick to select Iowa linebacker A. J. Edds.

Later, Miami sent No. 174 and No. 219 to Washington for No. 163, used on Georgia safety Reshad Jones.

In all, the Dolphins added linebacker A. J. Edds (Iowa), cornerback Nolan Carroll (Maryland), safety Reshad Jones (Georgia), linebacker Chris McCoy (Middle Tennessee State), and linebacker Austin Spitler (Ohio State).

A. J. Edds

Primarily a special teams player for the Hawkeyes as a true freshman in 2006, Edds earned Freshman All-Big Ten honors with nine tackles and a forced fumble.

Moving into a starting role at outside linebacker in 2007, Edds finished the season with 80 tackles (3.5 for a loss), an interception, and a fumble recovery in addition to Academic All-Big Ten honors.

Edds was once again an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2008, and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors after racking up 59 tackles (4.5 for a loss), two sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.

As a senior in 2009, Edds finished fourth on the Hawkeyes' squad with 78 tackles and added half a sack and five interceptions on his way to second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league's coaches.

Measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, Edds posted two sub-4.7 forty times at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

An athletic linebacker with good coverage skills, Edds projects inside in Miami's 3-4 scheme and will try to establish himself on special teams.

Nolan Carroll

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2005, Carroll served as a reserve wideout and special teams player in 2006, failing to catch a pass while returning five kickoffs for 60 yards.

Following a move from receiver to cornerback in 2007, Carroll recorded 14 tackles and returned five kickoffs for 84 yards during his sophomore season.

Carroll saw significantly more playing time on defense in 2008, appearing in 10 games with four starts at cornerback. He finished the season with 37 tackles (one for a loss) and eight pass deflections.

One of four team captains for the Terrapins as a senior in 2009, Carroll totaled ten tackles and a pass deflection in two games before suffering a season-ending broken tibia against James Madison.

Carroll (5-11, 204) was received positives medical results at the NFL Scouting Combine and ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Regarded as a raw but talented and physical gifted prospect, Carroll will compete with Evan Oglesby and a few undrafted rookie additions for a reserve cornerback spot.

Reshad Jones

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2006, Jones appeared in 13 games (two starts) for the Bulldogs in 2007 and recorded 57 tackles and two interceptions.

As a third-year sophomore in 2008, Jones started 12 of 13 games, recorded 78 tackles, and lead the Bulldogs with five interceptions on the season.

Jones started all 13 games for UGA his junior season in 2009, totaling 73 tackles, a forced fumble, four interceptions, and seven pass deflections.

After declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft following just junior season, Jones (6-1, 214) was typically ranked as a top-10 safety prospect and one of the top strong safeties in this year's class. He posted forty times of 4.47 and 4.52 seconds while doing 22 bench reps of 225 pounds.

A hard-hitting safety widely regarded as a top-10 talent at his position, Jones was projected by some to be a second- or third-round pick. Though he projects primarily as a strong safety, he has experience at both safety spots and could get a look at either in Miami.

Chris McCoy

Following a redshirt season in 2005, McCoy served as the primary to Erik Walden with the Blue Raiders in 2006, totaling six tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in 11 games.

McCoy again backed up Walden in 2007, appearing in 10 games (three starts) and recording 17 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pass deflection.

Moving into the starting lineup during his junior season in 2008, McCoy racked up 25 tackles (five for a loss), three sacks, and two fumble recoveries.

McCoy as named the Sun Belt Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season in 2009, leading the conference with 20 tackles for a loss while adding 64 total tackles, a career-high seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked kick.

McCoy (6-3, 261) posted a 4.7-flat 40-yard dash time at his pro day in March with 23 bench reps, a 33-inch vertical leap, and a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump.

A gifted pass rusher with prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker size, McCoy will push Erik Walden and Brian Johnston for a roster spot.

Austin Spitler

After redshirting and working on the scout team in 2005, Spitler recorded seven tackles as a special teams player for the Buckeyes in 2006.

A special-teamer again as a redshirt sophomore in 2007, Spitler totaled 26 tackles and a sack.

Spitler served as a backup to James Laurinaitis in 2008, recorded just 11 tackles due to missed playing time with a sprained knee.

As a fifth-year senior in 2009, Spitler saw his most extensive playing time on defense, finishing the season with a career-high 38 tackles, one sack, and one interception.

Spitler (6-2, 243) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 second during pre-draft workouts. He will push for a special teams spot as a backup inside linebacker.

Undrafted Free Agents

With the 2010 NFL Draft having reached its conclusion, the Dolphins and the rest of the league will be calling prospects in an attempt to sign them as undrafted rookie free agents.

As of this posting, the Dolphins have reportedly inked seven undrafted players to contracts—free safety Jonathon Amaya (Nevada), nose tackle Travis Ivey (Maryland), wide receiver Marlon Moore (Fresno State), defensive end Vince Oghobaase (Duke), cornerback A. J. Wallace (Penn State), wide receiver Roberto Wallace (San Diego State), and cornerback Ross Weaver (Michigan State).

I'll have more on these players and any more undrafted free agents the Dolphins sign in an article once they are all confirmed, but you can follow me on twitter for updates on any more signings I come across.

For reference, the Dolphins signed 19 undrafted free agents in 2008, but just 10 in 2009. The high number the year before was likely due to it being the first offseason with the current regime in place.

Also, just in case anyone is wondering, some notable undrafted signings from around the league thus far include:
  • 49ers — RB LeGarrett Blount (Oregon)
  • 49ers — QB Jarrett Brown (West Virginia)
  • Bears — WR Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green)
  • Bears — Brandon Minor (Michigan)
  • Bills — OLB Antonio Coleman (Auburn)
  • Broncos — RB Chris Brown (Oklahoma)
  • Buccaneers — QB Jevan Snead (Ole Miss)
  • Cardinals — CB A. J. Jefferson (Fresno State)
  • Chargers — OLB Brandon Lang (Troy)
  • Chargers — WR Jeremy Williams (Tulane)
  • Colts — RB Javarris James (U. of Miami)
  • Cowboys — FB Chris Gronkowski (Arizona)
  • Jaguars — LB Kyle Bosworth (UCLA)
  • Jets — CB Donovan Warren (Michigan)
  • Raiders — LB Brashton Satele (Hawaii)
  • Ravens — LB Mike McLaughlin (Boston College)
  • Saints — LS Clint Gresham (Texas Christian)
  • Seahawks — DT DeMarcus Granger (Oklahoma)
  • Steelers — QB Daryll Clark (Penn State)
  • Titans — RB Stafon Johnson (Southern California)
  • Vikings — QB Ryan Perrilloux (Jacksonville State)

How do you feel the Dolphins did on the draft's final day? Share your thoughts on the forum here!