The Dolphins will look for an edge rusher early in the NFL Draft. Could Kansas State’s Jordan Willis be an option for them at 22?
It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins are in search for an edge rusher for the future. This offseason, Miami did sign veteran Cameron Wake to an additional two years, re-signed Andre Branch, and brought in William Hayes via trade with the Los Angeles Rams. Those are all good moves for the short-term at least.
Wake is 35, and Hayes has only one year left on his deal. Branch is a good player to have, but probably not someone you want considered your leading pass rusher down the line. Miami knows they have to look long-term at the position, and it’s expected they will look to add a defensive end in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.
The Dolphins have been linked to various edge rushers at pick 22 in various mock drafts such as Taco Charlton, Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris, and more. Now, however, a new name is emerging as a possible selection for the Dolphins. Jordan Willis out of Kansas State has at least two people believing to be worthy of a Dolphins first round selection.
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Adam Beasley from the Miami Herald and Max Himmelrich recently broke down film of Willis, and think he could be a great fit for the Dolphins. Himmelrich, specifically, thinks that Willis could be a great pairing option with Ndamukong Suh.
In the tweet above, however, Himmelrich does point out a possible issue with Willis in the run game. The Dolphins ranked 30th against the run last season, and need players that will help them improve in this area. Willis’ draft stock has risen, however, after an impressive Combine that included a 4.53 40 time, jumped 39 inches in the vertical jump, and a three-cone drill score of 6.85 seconds, among others. Those scores plus a senior season at Kansas State in which Willis recorded 11.5 sacks and 52 tackles, it’s not that surprising to see a surge in his stock.
In fact, Beasley and Himmelrich are not the only ones who think that Willis could be a possible selection for Miami at 22. The writers at Pro Football Focus (PFF) did their own live mock draft on Tuesday, predicting that the Dolphins would take Willis with their first round selection. PFF’s mock draft did have Forrest Lamp and Haason Reddick, other notable Dolphins prospects, already off the board in their crazy draft that included possible trades.
If the Dolphins really are interested in Willis then, ideally, they probably want to trade down if possible. Willis’ name has not been mentioned in the majority of first round mocks, and with just over a week away from the draft, chances are he will stay be available further down. This is a deep draft class for defensive players so even someone with Willis’ talent could likely be had on Day 2. Draft sites like Walter Football still rate Willis as a 2nd or 3rd round prospect. If a run on quarterbacks happens early in the draft then a trade down for the Dolphins could become more possible.