Miami Dolphins: 5 Likely First Round Targets
So far this offseason, there hasn’t been a position the Miami Dolphins haven’t been linked to with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. From quarterback, to linebacker, defensive lineman and everything in between has shown up on mock drafts. The only positions we’re 100% sure they’re not drafting is kicker or punter in the first round. With the team showing weakness in depth last season, just who could they most likely be linked to with the 11th pick overall?[RickChitAd]
Baker Mayfield – Qb – Oklahoma
If walls could talk the Miami Dolphins offices would be screaming. The entire offseason, interest in Mayfield has either been the worst kept secret or the worst poker face in the history of sports. It’s no shocker the Dolphins are looking for an upgrade at the quarterback position but if this offseason was any sign of their plans, holdovers from the old regime won’t last longer. Sure, the Dolphins signed Tannehill to an extension and have every intention of him being the starter this year. However, his tenure in Miami barring a Super Bowl victory might quickly come to an end.
Tannehill has all the tools of a starting quarterback but not the killer instinct needed to win games. Still below .500 win percentage, the Dolphins might use Tannehill as a stall to develop a rookie this year. Mayfield has big league talent but needs to polish his game. If he falls to Miami the Dolphins could pounce.
Roquan Smith – LB – Georgia
Another player 50/50 to bee there when the Dolphins select at 11. Out of all the positions on the field, Linebacker is the only one for the team where there’s not a backup option in place should they not get their guy. Miami only has 2 full-time starters now in Raekwon McMillian and Kiko Alonso. Even with those two on board they’re weakness in the passing game are definite red flags for a speedy pass defender at the position. Expect the Dolphins to take a LB with their first pick and focus on building depth with the rest of the draft.
Mike McGlinchey – OT – Notre Dame
Depending on who their partner is the Dolphins could trade back to acquire more picks in later rounds. If their picks aren’t there when Miami selects, a mid round selection could be in the cards. There’s no shame in Miami selecting another lineman to bolster their front 5. With moves being made this offseason lineman probably isn’t their top priority, but if they can move back and pick up an extra pick or two it could be the perfect scenario.
Derwin James – S – Florida State
Adam Gase has pointed out the lack of chemistry at the safety position last season. It will be interesting to see what happens with TJ McDonald when he can play a full 16 games this season. Miami could look to shed future contracts yet again after this season and have had no shame in drafting replacements to bloated deals. Getting a safety who will ramp up competition at the position could be in the cards this offseason and James could definitely be in the mix.
Tremaine Edmunds – LB – Virginia Tech
Another speedy linebacker on the Dolphins board. If Smith is gone by 11 expect Miami to target the player closest to his skill set. Miami could gamble and wait until the second or third round for a linebacker but their top priority pick needs to be there when they’re on the clock. If they don’t get the player they covet, a pass defending linebacker needs to be the pick or it will be a long season against teams stacked at the tight end position. Every year Rob Gronkowski has a field day against the Dolphins and the team can’t afford to keep playing catch up in the second half after being outscored. Miami’s focus needs to be on their largest area of weakness over the past 10 years. If they don’t get a solid linebacker, they’re sunk.
The Dolphins have for the past few seasons shocked draft watchers. The team either moves up, has just the right player fall to them, or takes a major gamble. The past two drafts have shown the team knows how to go after talent but can’t turn over their weak links quick enough. Injuries have derailed progress and getting 100% of their guys on the field at the same time has slowed them down. Can they have the success they need to fill depth issues, or will 2019 come with another high draft pick?[RickTwitter]