You understand who the Miami Dolphins picked in the 2018 NFL draft. You understand what I thought of that draft.
This from speaking both across the league and inside the Dolphins, who are versed in everything the Dolphins are currently thinking:
The Dolphins came to this draft needing to boost their team protection and versatility.
First-round pick Fitzpatrick does that in the line of scrimmage and in just two profound. One of the Dolphins coaches compared him to Malcolm Jenkins, which is a great on-field compliment looking at the Philadelphia Eagles security is a leader to the Super Bowl winners and a two-time Pro Bowl player.
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It should not escape notice that from the Super Bowl, the Eagles matched up Jenkins (who is 6-foot and 204 lbs) from New England tight end Rob Gronkowski a lot of the match.
It is hard to find men like Fitzpatrick or even Jenkins, especially if they match ability and flexibility . And the Dolphins think these boxes are checked by Fitzpatrick.
Pick Mike Gesicki has been a polarizing pick when it occurred but not in the construction.
They envision A.J. Derby, Gesicki, fourth-round select Durham Smyth, and recently acquired Gavin Escobar instantly representing an excellent tight end corps. The group has Thomas Duarte and MarQueis Gray.
The Dolphins believe they have depth at the place and that’s crucial because trainer Adam Gase likes to play with with two ends.
Gesicki is a second-round choice and so he must be a beginner. However, the Dolphins hope that’s the case. Immediately, the group hopes he can perform in the red zone and on obvious passing downs.
The Dolphins know Gesicki is not a great blocker. Or a fantastic blocker. But, I am told, he’s “a ready blocker” who will get stronger and finally be functional in the running game.
Smythe is regarded as a player like Anthony Fasano — in while still being able to distinguish some from a defender in the game, that he can block well.
Ironically, the accession of Smythe signifies the Dolphins have no immediate plans to re-sign Fasano.
Third-round select Jerome Baker runs a 4.53 in 6-foot-1 and 229 lbs. The Dolphins watch him as a modern day WILL linebacker.
“Can he really go pay Dion Lewis in space on launching? Yes. He has that skill.
Because the Dolphins play the Tennessee Titans from the opener, that’s great. Lewis signed this offseason.
And it’s not just Lewis that promises to challenge the Dolphins linebackers. The Patriots have Rex Burkhead. Sony Michel was also drafted by them. The Bills use LeSean McCoy as a pass-catching threat from the backfield.
It was Kiko Alonso often chasing these 10, last year.
If Burke wants to maneuver the linebacker corps around and create Alonso a strong side linebacker while Baker takes over at weak side, that is an option.
Or maybe that the Dolphins utilize three safeties and only 1 linebacker in sub packages — with Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, T.J. McDonald along with also the ideal coverage linebacker the Dolphins have at the time on the area all at one time.
This is a mystery to wear a coach’s desk. Much better than asking him to get Lawrence Timmons to cover someone.
Running back another choice, Kalen Ballage, is clearly a player in the backfield. He’s not going to immediately displace either Kenyan Drake or Frank Gore. However, the Dolphins do not believe that means he’s going to be “redshirted.”
How can he reach the game day roster? Special teams. He is 223 lbs and he loves playing teams. Ballage also runs at the 4.4s.
In doing their homework punter Matt Haack what kind of teammate the running is because they played at Arizona State was requested by the Dolphins. If he would want to work with Ballage the team requested Haack.
Because Ballage is about the team, Haack’s answer is evident.
Sixth-round pick Cornell Armstrong is interesting but his history isn’t pristine. For violating a few team ruler, he also missed a bowl game. But the Dolphins are comfortable, it won’t be a problem.
(Yes, they have been wrong at times on guys off the field, including on the roster and inside the training staff. But all teams deal with this stuff and if a problem becomes chronic, this offseason has proven it has eliminated).
Armstrong is fast (it was a thing this draft for Miami) and he performs out which is very valuable. Yes, Armstrong’s ball skills need improvement. However, the Dolphins think they have a player to battle the veteran.
The Dolphins are aware of the prospect of criticism about the pick of kicker Jason Sanders from the seventh round.
But the club is convinced Sanders is the choice. Associate head coach Darren Rizzi was in the draft room when he had been picked. And he was by all reports really excited.
The Dolphins also believe they must be judged by what they did with draft selections that could have been available but were utilized in trades.
The team used a high pick in a trade for defensive end Robert Quinn, who will be 28 in a couple of weeks with the Los Angeles Rams. Along with the Dolphins believe that is great price.
The Dolphins last year gave a fifth-round choice for linebacker Stephone Anthony up. The group won’t utilize a choice on Anthony, ensured for injury, regardless of the fact he’s a former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints.
But the participant still intrigues the Dolphins. They believe he could help, and though they’re not assuring him he will be on the team in 2019, they are keen to find out what he could do so offseason and through training camp.
That is the way the Miami Dolphins see their 2018 draft.
(NOTE: I will work to find insider advice on linebacker Quentin Poling, that was also chosen in the seventh round. I failed in that mission with this piece. I suck).