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NFL Draft

Fits and Starts of the 2019 NFL Draft–Clayton Thorson

Shawn Digity

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USA Today
Clayton Thorson throwing a pass in the Holiday Bowl. Image courtesy of USA Today

Which 2019 NFL Draft quarterbacks fit for the Miami Dolphins, which ones could start, and which ones aren’t on the table? 

Fifth up, Clayton Thorson.

Fits and Starts series

LOD Movers and Shakers

The Fits and Starts series is putting some less-common quarterback names under the microscope. We’ve heard a lot about the ring leaders of this draft class’ quarterbacks: Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, and Daniel Jones, but let’s not forget about the overshadowed guys. We talked about Jarrett Stidham, Jordan Ta’amu,  Will Grier, and Tyree Jackson already, so let’s move on to the next name on the list: Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson.

Clayton Thorson Mini-Report

For the micro-scouting, I used the Northwestern v. Ohio State Big 10 Championship game. Going up against that defense is a tall order for any quarterback, and it was definitely a factor in the evaluation of Clayton Thorson in this matchup.

I had heard there’s a faction of Clayton Thorson truthers in the scouting community. This is based on what I saw on Twitter, so take it with a grain of salt. Clayton Thorson did not look draftable in this game and I’m sure a large part of this was because of the defense.

I looked up some highlight reels, just to get a better feel for what Clayton Thorson could do at his best, and I was still not overwhelmed with Thorson’s potential. I saw deep completions that required adjustment from the wide receiver; they weren’t on the mark.

Many of the deeper completions were also made because of broken or poor coverage or the pass catcher making outstanding. When Clayton Thorson had help, Northwestern was driving down the field, but he was more of a liability than an asset for the team.

With the poise and confidence that you can pick up on from Clayton Thorson’s pre-snap gait and live-action pocket footwork, I was expecting a much better end product from many of the passes.

Granted, Ohio State was one of the better defenses last season, but I was hoping for a better showing from Clayton Thorson. There wasn’t a lot to get excited about, and he looked like a game manager in the best instances.

He faced an uphill battle, not only with the stout Buckeye defense but also by his supporting cast. Clayton Thorson took a deep shot down the field, and while it was a low-probability pass, the receiver jumped slightly too early and the pass was intercepted.

A lot of Clayton Thorson’s success came on shorter routes. He was nickel and diming down the field on crossing, hitch and slant routes and was also the beneficiary of Isaiah Bowser and John Moten IV rushing for 150 yards.

Clayton Thorson was also the victim of poor circumstances. His second interception came after the pass rusher hit his arm as he was throwing and it ricocheted off a helmet, up into the air, and was snagged up by the defense. Another pass was tipped at the LOS and went behind the intended receiver. There wasn’t a lot of good to come from this game.

On the bright side, if this was Clayton Thorson’s nadir of the 2018 season, then there’s still some salvageable developmental potential. I think Thorson ends up going in the seventh round.

At the End of the Day

In short, I don’t think that Clayton Thorson is a good fit for the Miami Dolphins. Some scouts might really like him, but Thorson wouldn’t offer anything that Luke Falk and Jake Rudock can’t do.

I wouldn’t’ be surprised if a team took a late-round flier on Clayton Thorson. He could get stashed on a practice squad and developed for a few years. Maybe he ends up with an opportunity in the AAF, but I just don’t see it with Thorson and his NFL prospects.

 

 

 

I am an Ohio University alum and I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for the last two years. I’ve been a Dolphins fan since I was a kid and I picked them because I liked the old-school logo. It grew from that as I got older and I luckily caught the tail end of Dan Marino’s career. It’s stuck ever since and now I’m an upstart, wild-and-free Dolphins beat writer, loving every second of it.

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NFL Draft

Miami Dolphins select Ohio State’s Isaiah Prince in the sixth round

Shawn Digity

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USA Today Sports Isaiah Prince
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

With their sixth-round pick and 202 overall, the Miami Dolphins selected offensive tackle Isaiah Prince out of Ohio State

The Dolphins received the 202nd pick as part of the package in Day 2’s trade-down with the Saints. After moving down and chipping in their fourth-rounder, the Fins got the late sixth-rounder in return as part of the deal.

The Dolphins took Isaiah Prince out of another strong program that consistently shoots out offensive lineman, Ohio State. Prince’s teammate, Michael Jordan, went earlier on Day 3 to the Bengals.

Isaiah Prince is a tough evaluation. I wasn’t a big fan and Prince often times was on the losing end of the point of attack. He was called for numerous holding calls and I saw him on the ground a lot. This might be because he has less-than-ideal foot movement. I am interested to see how he factors into the Dolphins’ grand scheme. He might specialize in becoming the swing tackle.

Isaiah Prince is very raw, but the Ohio State pedigree for trench players speaks for itself, so this could turn into a good late-round pick with a little time and development.

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NFL Draft

Dolphins Draft Wisconsin Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel

Travis Wingfield

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Miami had quite a wait before its first day-three selection. In the fifth-round, with the 151st-pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dolphins selected Wisconsin Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel. A JUCO transfer, Van Ginkel picked up 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his Badgers’ career (off the bench in 2017, starter in 2018). The linebacker added two interceptions, five pass breakups, and four forced fumbles.

The Dolphins have a glaring hole in the assumed Kyle Van Noy role, in a player that can play inside and outside at the linebacker position. Miami will attempt to develop Van Ginkel to set the edge in the running game, blitz the quarterback, and move all over the formation.

Combine Results

40-yard dash: Did not run
Bench Press: 17 reps
Vertical: 38 inches
Broad: 123 inches
3-cone: 6.89
Short Shuttle: 4.14

Van Ginkel has a similar build to Van Noy. At 6-foot-3, 241 pounds with 32 1/2 inch arms, the length and backfield production surely attracted Miami to Van Ginkel’s game.

Via that report from NFL.com, Van Ginkel plays with a high-motor, plays through injuries, and has the requisite athletic ability to play a multi-faceted role in the defense. His lean build and lack of power makes him a questionable edge-setter, which could prove problematic in the new defense. He allows blockers into his frame and doesn’t disengage very often.

Van Ginkel figures to make the squad on special teams and serve as depth in the linebackers room.

@WingfieldNFL

 

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NFL Draft

What positions will the Miami Dolphins address on Day 3 of the Draft

Shawn Digity

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USA Today Sports Charles Omenihu Miami Dolphins draft
Charles Omenihu in the Sugar Bowl. Omenihu is still available on day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft. Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

The Miami Dolphins still have four picks left in the 2019 NFL Draft. Which positions should and will be addressed by the time the dust settles on on the 209 NFL Draft?

With the trades that came yesterday on Day 2, the Dolphins are left without a fourth-round pick. They used pick 116 as a kickback-pick to the Saints when trading down from 48 to 62. Although they scooped the Saints’ 2020 second-rounder, the Dolphins will now have to wait until pick 151 to get their first selection of the day.

At 151, partway through the fifth round, the Dolphins could still get some good value. I would look for them to go in on the edge rushers. Some guys I would personally like to see at that pick are Arkansas State’s Ronheen Bingham, Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby, Georgia’s Jonathan Ledbetter, Iowa’s Anthony Nelson, or Oregon’s Justin Hollins.

Charles Omenihu is surprisingly still available, but I expect him to be selected sometime during the fourth round. Here’s a more comprehensive list of available edge rushers from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.

I also expect the Miami Dolphins to address the offensive line again at some point during Day 3. Michael Deiter, the third-round pick, is a good start, but I’d like to see another draft pick get dedicated to the interior offensive line. I wouldn’t be upset to see the Dolphins select a right tackle, either, even if Jesse Davis is already tentatively penciled in there.

Some targets that I’d like in the later rounds include Clemson’s Mitch Hyatt, Notre Dame’s Alex Bars, Arkansas’ Hjalte Froholdt, Kentucky’s Bunchy Stallings, Florida’s Martez Ivey or Miami’s Venzell Boulware. Here are some more prospects that could be available later today for the offensive line. Here’s a second perspective from Kevin Brown on some of the talent still on the board for Day 3, as well.

The third position I’d like to see get selected is cornerback or safety. There are still some hidden gems available and some of them could still be available in the seventh round.  Some of my personal favorites include Sheldrick Redwine from Miami, Xavier Crawford from Central Michigan, Jimmy Moreland from James Madison, Hamp Cheevers from Boston College, Ka’dar Hollman from Toledo, and Blace Brown from Troy. Here are some rankings for the best remaining defensive backs.

The final position I would address is quarterback. Yes, you read that right. I’m still taking a flier on a late-round quarterback and keeping three of them on the roster for 2019. Josh Rosen is the new kid on the block, but I would nab someone like Garnder Minshew with the 234th and final selection for the Dolphins. For a better understanding of the late-round quarterbacks, here’s a piece I did talking about the deep-dive prospects.

Once it’s all said and done, I am hoping that the Miami Dolphins will have drafted several of these positions. Edge, DB, offensive line and quarterback are on the wish list for the remainder of the draft.

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