Miami Dolphins draft needs are deeper than quarterback


The Miami Dolphins may have a decision to make next Thursday night when they are on the clock. Draft a quarterback or pass and draft another area of bigger need.

There is little belief that a top quarterback will be available for Miami at pick 11 and this assumes that even if there is that the Dolphins would draft one. Miami has more than a need for a two-year back-up to Ryan Tannehill.

Later today I will tell you why drafting a quarterback makes sense and why it does not put a shroud of uncertainty on Ryan Tannehill. That is later. For right now, drafting a quarterback is a luxury and Miami could find more immediate success looking elsewhere.

Several names continue to pop up for the Dolphins but in reality very few would actually help the Dolphins coming out of round one. Miami needs to draft an immediate impact player if they do not go quarterback and while I am on the QB bandwagon, it makes a lot more sense to draft one of these guys instead.

Roquan Smith is the best linebacker talent in this years draft and most draft pundits believe he will be gone by the time Miami picks at 11. That very well may be true as he is predicted to fall between six and ten, more specifically between seven and ten. Smith has the make-up to be a big time NFL player but he has to fall to Miami. Should a team trade up into one of those draft slots, he might. If Smith is on the board and a quarterback not named Mayfield is on the board I would be hard pressed not to pass on the QB in favor of Smith.

Smith should improve one of the biggest needs on the team for years if not maybe a decade or more.

Tremain Edmunds doesn’t have the polish that Smith has but he is only 19 years old and is a freakish athlete who loves playing football. There is a lot of upside with Edmunds and he is a coachable prospect that can develop quickly.

Edmunds like Smith is predicted to be off the board sometime between picks seven and ten and most believe that Smith and Edmunds will come off the board back-to-back. Also like Smith, if a team jumps ahead of Miami to draft a quarterback, he could fall to Miami at 11.

The Dolphins have done their homework on Edmunds and like Smith he should be an immediate impact player that makes Miami better on defense.

Vita Vea is the hot name to replace Ndamukong Suh. The standout from the University of Washington is another player that would start immediately but unlike Smith and Edmunds, Vea would be in a rotational situation with Jordan Phillips and Davon Godchaux.

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Mike Tannenbaum has a history of drafting defensive lineman so this is a real possibility for the Dolphins and very few are predicting that he will be off the board before the Dolphins selection at 11. In fact I believe that the Dolphins could actually trade a few spots down and still be able to get Vea if they wanted. If Vea is on the board and the QB’s are gone as are Smith and Edmunds, I’m answering the phones.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the top safety/corner combinations in this years draft but unless the Dolphins view T.J. McDonald as a hybrid linebacker and intend to move him to that position, Fitzpatrick, McDonald, and Reshad Jones all share similar qualities.

Fitzpatrick is a very good blue-chip prospect but how Miami would fit him into their defense isn’t known unless again McDonald is moved, released, or traded. McDonald did not have the year Miami expected him to last season and Adam Gase publicly made that point so it is possible that Fitzpatrick could be the Dolphins target at 11.

Derwin James has a tremendous skill set but like Fitzpatrick doesn’t fill a major hole on the roster. Like Fitzpatrick Miami may have to shuffle the secondary around to get him on the field. Players like Fitzpatrick and James need to be on the field where they can get better as games progress and using the 11th pick on a player that the team will rotate doesn’t make a lot of sense unlike with Vea.

Miami’s biggest needs are linebacker and tight-end. Linebacker may not be available at 11 and 11 is too high to draft a tight-end from this crop of players. Miami again could add depth in the secondary but picking this high needs to make an impact in 2018. Unless, again, the Dolphins are going to shuffle around the defense, the secondary isn’t a priority in round one.

Make no mistake the two outlined above who do play in the secondary are very good and Miami shouldn’t rule out the best player available if the players they want to fill holes are not there.