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Dolphins’ Options With 12th Pick: Tyler Eifert

April is here. That means the 2013 NFL Draft is only 24 days away. The Dolphins could potentially be looking to add one or two more key free agents, but the vibe around the organization is that they are beginning to focus primarily on this month’s draft.

With five picks in the first three rounds and with roster voids still present at offensive tackle, cornerback, and a pass rusher to complement Cameron Wake, this will arguably be the most crucial draft of Jeff Ireland’s tenure.

How successful this Miami Dolphins franchise will be in 2013 and the coming years could be swayed drastically by Ireland’s ability to fill the remaining positions of need and find the talent to upgrade others. With that said, let’s begin to take a look at what Miami’s options will be with the 12th overall pick. Let’s kick the series off with one of my favorite prospects in this draft: Tyler Eifert.

Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame

Height: 6-6
Weight: 251
40: 4.68
Vert: 35.5 in.
Bench: 22 reps

Strengths: Extremely productive collegiate career. Broke records for receptions (140) and receiving yards (1,840) at Notre Dame- a school with a reputation of being a tight end factory. Versatile. Can line up all over the field; H-Back, outside, slot, you name it. Outstanding elevation and ability to go up and snag jump balls. Has very strong hands. Quick feet getting off the line from three-point stance. Also very quick in and out of his breaks. Gives great effort as a blocker.

Weaknesses: A little on the lean side. Could add some bulk. Needs some work as in-line blocker. Lacks ideal explosiveness and leverage blocking. Let’s passes get into his body at times.

Film Room

Why draft Eifert?

The Dolphins have done a fantastic job of giving Ryan Tannehill the weapons he’ll need to develop into a franchise quarterback. They re-signed his favorite target from a year ago, Brian Hartline. They signed one of the fastest receivers in the league to take the top off of opposing defenses in Mike Wallace. They gave him a tight end that can stretch the seam in Dustin Keller. And they even added some depth at the receiver position by signing Brandon Gibson.

But there is still one piece that is missing, in my opinion. And that is a huge red-zone target that Tannehill can throw jump balls to when the field shrinks.

The Dolphins are equipped to be much more successful in the red zone in 2013. Keller, Wallace, and Gibson are all capable of helping the Dolphins settle for less field goals. But Wallace and Gibson are only 6’0 and Keller is only 6’2. The Dolphins could use a 6’6, 250 pound monster like Eifert. When the field gets smaller in the red zone, he’d be Tannehill’s best friend.

Despite the sometimes shaky quarterback play of freshman Everrett Golson at Notre Dame, Eifert proved all season long to be too athletic for linebackers and too big for defensive backs. And just because the Dolphins added a solid receiving tight end in free agency by signing Keller, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from another. Look at how prolific offenses like the Patriots and Packers have utilized two legitimate pass catching threats at the position. And besides, the Dolphins only signed Keller to a one-year deal, meaning there is a need for a long-term answer.

Why not?

It’s pretty simple. The need for an offensive tackle may be too pressing at the moment to pass up on one in the first round. After all, the Dolphins can add all the weapons they want, but if they can’t protect Tannehill, he won’t have time to get them the football.

They are obviously confident that second-year tackle Jonathan Martin will take huge strides this season. But if he doesn’t, the Dolphins won’t have a quality starter at left or right tackle.

Of course, they could still convince Eric Winston to take a short-term deal in order to provide some stability at the position. But if Winston signs elsewhere, the gaping void at OT might force Ireland’s hand and leave him with no choice but to address the need with the Dolphins’ first pick.

As for Eifert, taking him at #12 overall might be somewhat of a reach. He is ranked somewhere in the 20’s and up on many big boards, so if you are a firm believer in finding value in the draft, Eifert doesn’t provide much at 12.

He also isn’t a great complement to Dustin Keller. Eifert has plenty of room to improve as an in-line blocker, meaning the Dolphins would certainly miss the services of Anthony Fasano with a Keller/Eifert duo.

Let us know what you think. Would it be a good or bad move for the Dolphins to select Eifert 12th overall? Also be sure to follow @DolphinsGab on Twitter.


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9 Responses to “Dolphins’ Options With 12th Pick: Tyler Eifert”

  1. TJ says:

    Would love Fins to take Eifert. I really want Austin more though. I say take Austin at 12 then trade bk into 1st to take Eifert at like 21 or 22. Imagine the weapons!!

    • Cody Strahm says:

      Both intriguing options for the Dolphins. And yes that could be a scary offense. Would be hard to imagine them investing that much into playmakers though. Desperately need an OT. And defense still has some holes to fill as well.

  2. Cofo says:

    I say if Dee Milliner isnt there when we pick at 12 then trade back in early 20’s and take Eifert. Pick up another 2nd round pick. We can draft DE, CB, and OL in the second round (not in particular order), Then best availble from then on, wr, s, another cb…

  3. MIKE says:

    i LOVE YOUR IDEA … trade down and get another 2nd round pick

    1 (22) Eifert … 6 6 end … great for red zone TD passes
    2 A … Armstead, OT or Long, OT
    2 B …. Hunt, DE from SMU
    2 C …. Alford, CB

    3 A … Swope, WR (reuinte with Tannehill)
    3 B … Lattimore RB (might be on IR for one year)

    4. Landry Jones QB … to develop for the future
    5. RayRay Armstrong Safety fromm UM

    with one of the remaining picks get either the FSU or UF kicker

  4. D says:

    It wont be easy trading down.
    If they can do it then they definitely should.
    Eifert would be ideal for us in the late first but
    even if he isn’t there we can still get a Trufant or a good pass rusher that perhaps falls or even Ertz whom will be a great TE in the NFL as well
    They may only get a 3rd round pick tho for only falling ten picks or so back in the first
    Some mock drafts have Eifert going to the Packers at 26 so we must stay ahead of them
    In the second round we could then address CB and OT
    If they cant trade down I still would like them to pick Eifert tho 🙂
    We need a big target in the redzone!

    • Cody Strahm says:

      Agree! Starting to really love the idea of Fins trading down. The second-round is expected to be filled with talent this year and three pics could be huge.

      I’m with you on Eifert as well. Would love to get him late in the 1st but wouldn’t complain at all if they took him at 12. If he’s a perennial Pro Bowler nobody is going to care where he was taken. And I’m still worried about this offense in the redzone. Eifert erases those worries for me.

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