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Rookies Name NFL Players They Hope To Emulate
By on May 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

Landry ComparisonWhen it comes to evaluating draft picks, one of the easiest things to do is take the college player and compare him to a player currently in the NFL.

In several interviews conducted by The Finsiders, a few of the Dolphins draft choices talked about which players they feel best match their skill sets.

Jarvis Landry

NFL Models: Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and Larry Fitzgerald

Landry’s Take:I take bits and pieces from Eric Decker with his route running. I take a little bit from Wes Welker, how he uses his body underneath and run deceptive routes, and lastly, the catch radius of Larry Fitzgerald. I pride myself on making any kind of catch that requires difficulty, and even the easy ones. I want to be as physical as possible and be that window for the QB to trust me.”

Finsiders’ Take: Jarvis Landry’s crisp route running abilities and elusiveness underneath does tend to emulate guys like Wes Welker and Eric Decker. He’s not afraid to go across the middle and make the tough catches, despite the fact that he will get hit. You can’t pick a better pass catcher to model yourself after to Fitzgerald. Landry does have a great catch radius, as he always seems to have complete control of his body, and can contort himself to get in position to catch the ball.

Walt Aikens

NFL Models: Richard Sherman, Antonio Cromartie, and Mike Minter

Aikens’ Take: “Right now I like (Richard) Sherman…He’s not the most athletic corner. But in the system that he’s in, he’s doing what he needs to do. He’s overcoming adversities like going in the 5th round of the draft. 5th round is 5th round, but it’s overlooked. I feel like I can relate because I came from adversity with the Illinois situation, and I made a positive out of it.

“From the athletic standpoint I like Antonio Cromartie just because he’s another big corner and has an amazing build. And one more (player) would be Mike Minter, former Carolina Panthers safety. He played it all. He played nickel, a little bit of corner, mostly safety, and he was a specimen to watch.”

Finsiders’ Take: Sherman’s obviously one of the top corners in the game. Aikens can hope that his career follows Sherman’s meteoric trajectory. Antonio Cromartie is an interesting comparison. Both players use their top flight speed and athleticism to play through receivers instead of around them. As far as the Mike Minter comparison goes, he was a great safety that hit first and asked questions later and also played a pretty good center field. Aikens is more of a corner, but if he can bring the physicality that Minter did, that can only be a positive.

Arthur Lynch

NFL Models: Todd Heap, Heath Miller, Zach Miller

Lynch’s Take“I always looked at Heath Miller, Zach Miller, and Todd Heap, guys like that. Because ultimately, they can do everything well. They can do whatever is asked of them, both on and off the field. I think because of that, that’s always what I wanted to be. You never want to be a one dimensional player or a one dimensional person. Those are the guys I’ve always looked up to and I’ll continue to look up to and watch film on them. Hopefully I can be a player one day that other tight ends look up to.”

Finsiders’ Take: Lynch’s models are guys who can do everything. Todd Heap was the safety valve in Baltimore and Heath Miller is always there in a pinch whenever Ben Roethlisberger needs him. Zach Miller may have been the most explosive of all three, but these guys as comparisons to Lynch works out pretty well, because he has the same initial skill set as they did. He’ll do the dirty work, and get you the dirty yards in the short and intermediate routes.

Jordan Tripp

NFL Models: Zach Thomas, Derrick Brooks

Tripp’s Take: ”I’ve always watched Derrick Brooks. The guy consistently showed up, and was in the right place at the right time, but he worked at it. He was good for so long, and that wasn’t by accident and it wasn’t by luck. It was because of preparation. I believe preparation, and opportunity coming together is when you get success. I think he was the epitome of that. He was obviously very talented athletically.”

“I remember watching him when I was a little kid, just like Zach Thomas. It was the same type of scenario (with him). He showed up every single week He was prepared, and when the opportunity arose, he seized it, because he was prepared.”

Finsiders’ Take: For any linebacker, Zach Thomas and Derrick Brooks are the perfect models for success. Tireless workers and legendary fixtures in the game of football, both Brooks and Thomas weren’t athletic freaks. But they were just perfect in everything they did. Tripp’s reputation as a hard worker is the building block for him entering the NFL, and if he applies himself, he could become an impact player on defense.

Terrence Fede

NFL Models: Michael Strahan

Fede’s Take: ”I loved the way he used to play the game. He played it with a high motor. He brought it every day, he practiced hard, and most importantly, he had fun while he was doing it. That’s something I enjoy to do, I like to have fun while I’m playing the game and I love to produce and he produce. He’s someone I looked up to.”

Finsiders’ Take: Fede has an uphill battle this summer because of the position he plays being occupied by some serious talent in guys like Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan, Olivier Vernon, and others. But emulating Strahan would be a great place to start. Playing with passion was a staple of the Hall-of-Famer’s game, and some guys just play better when enjoying themselves. That’s a good place to start for the seventh round selection.

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Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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