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Critical trade helps Dolphins reload

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DAVIE, Fla. — The Dolphins decided to trade down in the second round, sending second- and sixth-round picks to Philadelphia in exchange for a second-and two fifth-round picks.

“We were just looking at our board, looking at opportunities,” general manager Dennis Hickey said. “Of course you’re always fielding calls and as a group we just talk about, ‘Hey, does this make sense?’ You don’t know for sure, but there are certain calculations and certain projections that we bank on to make those decisions, and that’s how we did it. And we felt great that (defensive tackle) Jordan Phillips was there.”

–Miami drafted guard Jamil Douglas (Arizona State) in the fourth round, addressing their need at that position. Some think the Dolphins are still inadequate because they only got one guard in the draft. But the team disagrees.

“We like where we are there,” Hickey said of the guard position. “It’s great to add Douglas. We firmly believe in our philosophy about having competitive environments and guys that we have here are going to compete, guys that we bring in are going to compete, and that’s the beauty of the NFL.”

–Miami added mostly to its secondary with its seven draftees. The Dolphins selected two cornerbacks, one safety, one running back, one guard, one defensive tackle, and one wide receiver.

–Miami took wide receiver DeVante Parker in the first round, satisfying its desire for a big-bodied player who can go up and get the ball.

Parker will join a wide-receiver crew than includes veteran Greg Jennings and youngsters Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. The Dolphins also feature tight end Jordan Cameron among their pass-catching players. Perhaps the best thing about Parker is he can go up and get the ball with aggression. But he thinks his real value comes in his ability to get yards after catch.

“That is probably my best attribute that I have,” Parker said. “I believe I can get up field, north and south.”

A closer look at the Dolphins’ picks:

Round 1/14 – DeVante Parker, WR, 6-3, 209, Louisville

This pick was the best the Dolphins made all weekend. With the pick, the Dolphins arguably landed the best player available while fitting a need. He’s aggressive, physical and has good hands. He’ll definitely help immediately.

Round 2/52 – Jordan Phillips, DT, 6-5, 330, Oklahoma

There’s a lot of questions about this pick because many scouts have doubted Phillips’ work ethic. Miami might have reached here even when going on the best player available theory. Miami was already OK at defensive tackle, and now they have another.

Round 4/114 – Jamil Douglas, G, 6-4, 300, Arizona State

Douglas fits a need and that’s a good thing for a team that needed two starting guards. It’s unclear whether Douglas will be able to step in and definitely take a starting job but he should provide quality depth in the worst case scenario.

Round 5/145 – Bobby McCain, CB, 5-9, 195, Memphis

This was a good pick because he’s such a good athlete. McCain has returned four interceptions for touchdowns in his career. Miami has a lot of candidates to start opposite Brent Grimes and McCain is hoping to be among them. It’s probably a longshot he’ll see much time from scrimmage, but if he makes the 53-man roster and contributes on special teams, it’s a good selection.

Round 5/149 – Jay Ajayi, RB, 6-0, 221, Boise State

This was an interesting pick because the Dolphins needed a power running back. The problem is many teams stayed away from Ajayi because medical reports said one knee is almost bone-on-bone. Regardless, Miami might have a steal with this one. If Ajayi can stay healthy he could push Lamar Miller for the starting job.

Round 5/150 – Ced Thompson, FS, 6-0, 208, Minnesota

Thompson is known as a hitter who could provide some depth as a rookie and contribute on special teams. Miami is fairly loaded at safety among starters Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas and backups Michael Thomas, Walt Aikens, Don Jones, and Jordan Kovacs.

Round 5/156 – Tony Lippett, CB, 6-2, 192, Michigan State

Lippett is an All-Big Ten selection at wide receiver but he’ll play cornerback for the Dolphins. Lippett, who has decent size for a receiver but good size for a cornerback, started five games at cornerback as a freshman and two games at both cornerback and wide receiver as a senior. He’ll take some time to learn to play cornerback in the NFL but could be valuable because of his versatility.


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