Saturday, April 30, 2011

Brian Catanzaro's top 15 prospects for draft's third day

This is Brian Catanzaro, blogging with intense frustration at 3:17am.

With no trade partners in sight, the Dolphins selected Florida center Mike Pouncey with the No. 15 pick. Bad pick? No. Underwhelming? Absolutely. Pouncey is a big, athletic, and battle-tested rookie who will get first crack at the Center position. He’s a plug-and-play interior lineman with very little chance to bust because he’s too athletic and refined to fail at both center and guard.

The trade-up from No. 62 to No. 79 for running back Daniel Thomas bothered me for a few reasons. Although I like Thomas’ size-speed combo, he seems too lanky in the lower body to sustain an NFL pounding. I had five running backs on the board rated over Thomas: Kendall Hunter, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jordan Todman, Taiwan Jones, and Delone Carter.

 Did Jeff Ireland really think Daniel Thomas was the last stud back in this draft? If he did, I’ll have to agree to disagree. Losing a fifth- and seventh-rounder to trade up for Thomas was unnecessary at best. I would’ve preferred to trade down from the No. 79 pick.

Luckily for our patience, Dave Wannstedt’s draft day futility in selecting cornerback Jamar Fletcher over quarterback Drew Brees in the 2001 draft and linebacker Eddie Moore over wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the 2003 draft leaves me bulletproof.

So, here we are. Day 3. We have a fourth, sixth, and two sevenths--barring any trades--to put a final stamp on this draft. These are the 15 players I’m looking at.

1) OLB Chris Carter, Fresno State (6-1, 248) —  Carter had 11 sacks for the Bulldogs in 2010 and ran a 4.62 forty with 23 bench reps this past February. If the Dolphins can make an exception to the the 6-4, 250-pound outside linebacker they usually seek, they could have a find here.

2) WR Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian (6-0, 192) Hands-catcher with sub 4.4/40 speed... would make a great No. 4 receiver.

3) RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State (5-6, 196) Think Warrick Dunn. Rodgers would make a fine compliment to the 230-pound Daniel Thomas.

4) OG Clint Boling, Georgia (6-5, 308) Boling is a four-year starter with great size and the versatility to play both guard spots and right tackle; similar to Nate Garner

5) TE Luke Stocker, Tennessee (6-5, 258) Anthony Fasano was the only Dolphins tight end to catch a pass before Week 17 last year. Stocker is a classic in-line blocker with great size and good hands. 

6) RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State (5-7, 199)I give Hunter a second-round grade; similar to Ray Rice when he came out of Rutgers. 

7) QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa (6-4, 223)Although Stanzi is more of a West Coast Offense quarterback, he has enough size and arm to work in Brian Daboll's offense. 

8) CB Davon House, New Mexico State (6-1, 200)Not a need, but it’s a crime that a CB of House’s ability is available in the fourth round. 

9) WR Denarius Moore, Tennessee (6-0, 194) Moore, one of the true speedsters left in this draft, had 981 yads and nine touchdowns at Tennessee in 2010. He's the perfect player to slip onto the field for 10-15 plays per game to keep defenses honest.

10) TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas (6-1, 245) Williams could be a heck of an H-back if new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can carve a niche for him. The Dolphins have spent a lot of time with him.

11) RB Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington (6-0, 194) Jones ran a sub 4.4 forty at his pro day after dominating the Big Sky Conference with 1,742 rushing yards. A back with Jones’ raw ability lessens the need to sign a free agent when business opens up.

12) OT Lee Ziemba, Auburn (6-6, 317) Started 52 games at left tackle for Auburn and projects as a guard in the NFL. Depth is needed on this offensive line, too.

13) TE Jordan Cameron, USC (6-5, 254) —  Cameron has the measurables to be a great developmental tight end despite only catching 16 passes at USC.

14) RB Jordan Todman, UConn (5-9, 203) Can someone please explain to me why Todman is falling? His vision and shiftiness as an inside runner is similar to that of Thomas Jones.

15) WR Dwayne Harris, East Carolina (5-10, 203) Eerily similar to Davone Bess in the 5-10 yard zone. Great hands, route running skills, and competitiveness.

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