Dolphins Draft: Grading and Evaluating rounds 1-4

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama after he was picked
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama after he was picked /

Dolphins pick up speed and range while spending two picks on tight ends who each do different things.

The Miami Dolphins are not done with their 2018 draft but four rounds are in the book. Miami won’t pick again, barring a trade, until the sixth round and then twice in round seven. Here is a look at the first four rounds.

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick:

There is little to not love about Fitzpatrick at 11. Deemed the Swiss army knife by Dolphin’s GM Chris Grier, expect Fitzpatrick do be everywhere and do everything. He has the physical tools and the football IQ to do it and was labeled Saban’s favorite player he ever coached. Look for Fitzpatrick to play immediately and often. He will cover the slots, rush the passer, and run stop. I love the talent level we got here and believe the phin fan base will soon.

Grade: A

2.Mike Gesicki:

Adam Gase legitimately couldn’t help himself. He lusted after a big bodied option to spread defenses and demand attention in the red zone. Mike is a physical FREAK. His combine was absolutely bonkers. Unfortunately, he doesn’t play to the speed and strength he demonstrated at the combine. His route running is rough, his speed not apparent, and his strength under demonstrated. Mike’s fans scream that this isn’t 1940 and that tight ends don’t need to block. To them, I say see pick 4. I feel like Mike was a bigger project than other TEs still available.

Grade: B-

3. Jerome Baker:

This pick confuses me. The Dolphins grab an undersized LB that is fast and good in coverage. Considering Fitzpatrick will be handling nickel back coverage, Baker joins a crowded linebacker corp. In fact, Baker is a mere 25 pounds heavier than Fitzpatrick and the same height.

I’m going to completely believe that Raekwon McMillan convinced Gase to go with his former teammate. The Dolphins were severely lacking in linebacker coverage last year, but this pick seems to be an exclamation point to the first round pick and I don’t think Baker finds a lot of playing time next year.

Grade: C+

4.Durham Smythe:

If the last pick confused me, this one baffles me. The dolphins draft another big bodied TE from Notre Dame. This seems to the Dolphins atoning for the Gesicki pick. Smythe is a blocking TE and if Miami wanted a blocker, they should have saved a pick and a body and gone with Goedert. Instead they get a tight end to catch and a tight end to block and both players will announce the play design upon their entry onto the field. Yah, I don’t like this pick.

Wasn’t this the pick we got for Jarvis Laundry? smh

Grade: C-

4.2.Kalen Ballage:

My favorite tweet about this pick came from Tony Pauline. “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.” The Dolphins have drafted lots of speed, not so much smash mouth football. Kalen really looks like an animal formed after Frank Gore. Standing at 6-2 and weighing 228,

Ballage seems like just the runner we need to compliment Drake. However, measurables and tape don’t match up. If he decides he wants to play to his potential, the Dolphins got a steal here. Frank Gore has his work cut out for him if the team is planning on grooming Kalen to be Gore’s prototype. This kid is a project and a half.

Grade: C-