Dolphins Add WR And OL In Draft
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DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins made several dozen phone calls and traded picks three times to add a receiver and an offensive lineman in the NFL draft Friday.
New general manager Dennis Hickey traded down twice in the second round before selecting Louisiana State receiver Jarvis Landry. Hickey then traded up to acquire North Dakota State tackle Billy Turner in the third round.
Hickey said he made the moves with plenty of help in the Dolphins draft room.
“For every trade that’s consummated, there are about 12 to 15 calls, so it’s a lot of work,” he said. “There was a lot of movement we felt was beneficial.”
With the selections, the Dolphins further upgraded an offense that added Tennessee right tackle Ja’Wuan James in the first round Thursday. Miami has five picks in the final three rounds Saturday.
While the Dolphins wanted Landry, they were able to trade down because a poor 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine hurt his stock. He ran a 4.77, the slowest of 45 receivers there.
Hickey’s reaction at the time?
“I thought, ‘Opportunity,'” the GM said. “Whenever someone doesn’t run as fast as you think they run, you go back to the tape and see how fast he plays. Jarvis Landry played fast at the highest level versus excellent corners and safeties and produced. He was able to get open.”
Landry blamed a right hamstring injury for his time at the combine. He later ran a 4.51 at Louisiana State’s pro day.
Landry and his close friend Odell Beckham Jr., a first-round pick by the Giants, made up the most prolific receiving tandem in LSU history. Was Landry the more physical of the two, and Beckham the speed guy?
“I was the reliable guy,” Landry said with a chuckle.
Before acquiring Landry, the Dolphins sent the 50th overall pick to the San Diego Chargers for their 57th pick. Then they traded that pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the 63rd overall pick.
A short time later, the Dolphins made their third trade of the night to move up and select Turner with the 67th overall pick. Miami traded a third- and fourth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders to move up.
Turner played on three consecutive Championship Subdivision championship teams at North Dakota State. His father, Maurice, played for five years in the NFL with the Vikings, Packers and Jets, and brother Bryan was drafted by the Giants in 2008.
The Dolphins have only one returning starter on an offensive line that was woeful last year. Turner is expected to compete for a No. 1 job at guard, but his versatility will give coach Joe Philbin some flexibility.
“I see myself playing wherever the team needs me to play,” Turner said. “I can play on the left side, the right side, I can play guard, tackle or center. Whenever they want to plug me in is where I’ll be.”
James is projected to start at right tackle. He visited the team complex Friday and said he hadn’t slept since being drafted.
“My life dream came true last night,” he said. “This feels right, and I’m glad to be here, and I’m supposed to be here.”
While Landry is unlikely to crack the starting lineup right away, he will give new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor more depth at receiver. Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Armon Binns are coming off knee injuries last year.
Landry made 77 receptions as a junior last season for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he has played on special teams.
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