In last year’s draft class, there was plenty of talent at the guard position, but there isn’t much high-end talent at guard in the 2014 NFL Draft. That’s what could make David Yankey a first round selection next year, because a team desperate for interior offensive line help could snag him about a round higher than his overall talent would normally dictate. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, because Yankey is a legit prospect, and a team with that kind of a need for a guard can’t afford to pass up on it. So for a team like the Miami Dolphins, snagging Yankey in the low 20s makes sense.
The Dolphins have plenty of talent at the skill positions and on defense, but they have gaping holes on the offensive line. Those holes were already there before the whole Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin situation, and they just became massive holes for the Dolphins. In order for talented RB Lamar Miller to see massive holes when he carries the rock, the Dolphins will need to fill these holes up. Since they made several large financial commitments last offseason due to their all-in approach, probably the best way for the Dolphins to shore up the patchwork interior of their offensive line is to use their first-round pick on David Yankey.
I would be surprised if Yankey is taken off the board before the Dolphins pick, and they are currently projected to be picking with the 22nd selection in the draft. Like Martin, Yankey plays his college ball at Stanford, and it is unclear as to whether or not he declares for the draft. I would be beyond shocked if he decided to stay in school, because he knows he’s the top guard in the draft class and would automatically see his stock vault solely on those grounds. Nobody expects the second-round talent to pass up on a potential selection in the first, and Stanford has already prepared for his departure.
It may seem like a slight to say that Yankey isn’t worth a first round pick, but he definitely isn’t some scrub. Usually guards are automatically devalued since that position isn’t valued much around the league, but it is definitely valued a great deal by teams that desperately need a solid guard. Yankey is very solid and doesn’t have much bust potential, and this makes him a very attractive candidate for the Dolphins, who are a solid offensive line away from potentially being a great team. With a better line, Ryan Tannehill can have more time to operate, and Lamar Miller can finally make good on his talent.