The Miami Dolphins are a successful draft class away from having a deeper playoff run than the 2016 season. There are several outcomes on the table, but which ones would turn out to be the most beneficial for the team?
During every NFL draft, there are prospects that fly up draft boards and some that plummet down. As many know, Laremy Tunsil was regarded as a top-3 pick last year and fell all the way to the Miami Dolphins sitting at 13th overall. Some players will be taken too soon while others will provide steals for certain lucky teams.
In the 1st round, every team hopes for a certain player or two to fall right into their lap. The defensive need for the Dolphins is blatantly obvious, but the guard situation is just as noticeable. Below is a look at a few realistic options for the team in Round 1, and there are not many.
Many fans have certain players they love and would like their team to select, but a lot goes on in the the General Manager’s head that we do not know. It is likely that the Dolphins have a very short list of guys they would select at 22nd overall. Below is a deeper look into some options when Miami is on the clock.
Derek Barnett slides past the Saints, Eagles, and a few others.
Defensive End is a position that needs to be addressed in this upcoming draft. For this 2017 season, Miami is one injury away from having horrific depth at the position. The great teams have efficient depth in pass rushing. When the starter is subbed out, coaches want the performance drop-off to be as minimal as possible. At the moment, William Hayes will come in and do a serviceable job. But if Cam Wake tears his Achilles, Terrence Fede will be thrust into action. Yikes.
Even past this season, when Wake-Zilla decides to call it quits, there needs to be an heir to his throne. Derek Barnett has elite talent. That is why teams are interested in his services. He did not turn heads at the combine; he did not impress people with his speed or his finesse. He simply has the talent to be very good at what he does.
Barnett obliterated the stat sheet, breaking Reggie White’s school sack record. He simply does what needs to be done. With NFL coaching, perhaps he could open up a whole new facet to his game; maybe they teach him a variety of different moves to get around the tackle, which will only make him all the more lethal.
The likeliness for this to happen might be the lowest on this list, but it is possible. The only thing going for him is his numbers and production, which could scare some teams. Adam Gase should pounce on the opportunity if it presents itself.
Reuben Foster’s shoulder and off-field antics scare GM’s and slide him past the Detroit Lions.
For those who don’t know, the Lions pick directly before the Dolphins, and they also have a need at linebacker. Foster falling past the Lions is starting to really look possible. I could be very wrong, but if a simple video can slide Laremy Tunsil down 10 spots, then what can an “altercation” with a medical staff member do to a prospect?
Even past that, it has just recently been reported that he could need surgery before the 2017 season. Injuries don’t provide confidence for teams, they provide quite the opposite: doubt. Even an elite talent like Foster, who has drawn comparisons to players like Luke Kuechly and Patrick Willis, could turn a few teams the other way.
No matter the circumstance, he is a one-of-a-kind talent that can lead a defense. This move would work wonders for Miami. Reuben Foster can fill in at SAM backer for now, but will ultimately be the MIKE backer of the future. Foster can hit, Foster can cover, Foster can think, Foster can just about do it all.
Reuben Foster also comes from an organization run by Nick Saban; a high-class organization. He will come with his flaws, but he has the mental capabilities and pure talent to really pull the Miami defense together.
Adding a formidable talent in the likes of Kiki Alonso and Lawrence Timmons would be more than enough to turn a major weakness into a massive strength. When in the well-known “Nickel” formation, one of the linebackers must come off the field. Having to choose between Alonso, Timmons, and Foster would be a prolific situation for Matt Burke.
Forrest Lamp sneaks past the Broncos.
Could it be possible that the Dolphins land the highest rated offensive lineman in the draft for two years in a row? Yes, it is actually likely. Forrest Lamp is a common pick among mock drafts for the Dolphins.
There are not many teams willing to draft a guard very high, so it is very likely that he is available. The Broncos have needed offensive line help for a few years now, so they are the team to watch selecting Lamp ahead of the 22nd overall pick.
Lamp played tackle in college and it is quite obvious that he will slide inside to guard in the NFL. He provides a plug-and-play pick who can come in right away and start for many NFL teams.
Lamp would make the strong running game even stronger. Miami has a tough set of defensive lines to play next year. Lamp will handle his own next to Tunsil and Pouncey and could provide Miami with three Pro Bowlers on the offensive line.
Imagine running a double-tight formation with Mike Pouncey, Forrest Lamp, Laremy Tunsil, and Anthony Fasano on the left side with Julius Thomas drawing interest on the right. Jay Ajayi is a very good running back alone. If there are holes for him to slide through, you can only imagine how good the offense can be.
The Dolphins don’t see anybody deserving of a 22nd overall pick, so they trade down.
This outcome seems to make a lot of sense. The Dolphins’ front office has reportedly been interested in gaining more picks, and this is the perfect way to do so.
I just talked about Lamp, maybe the Seahawks would like to jump in front of the Texans to select the difference-maker. Maybe there’s still a top-tier QB left in the board and the Browns went defense with their first two picks. They could jump the Steelers, Chiefs, Texans and Giants to take a QB.
All of these trades would give Miami a few more picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. This is a very deep draft in many areas of need for the Dolphins. Gathering more picks would provide the team with a few starters and a lot of depth additions.
There is absolutely no way to know exactly what the team will do. Perhaps they grow towards Cam Robinson or Taco Charlton or even Jarrad Davis. But in my opinion, there are not many players I would take 22nd overall, and there are a plethora of prospects I like in rounds 2 and 3.
But Adam Gase and company could have their eyes on a specific player and may very well select him. Truly anything can happen on draft day, so be ready for anything.
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