The brutal truth regarding the Miami Dolphins draft
By Michael Fink
Yes, folks the truth sometimes hurts. Sometimes it’ll bring you to your knees. Sometimes, those can’t miss prospects like Minkah Fitzpatrick turn into another Dion Jordan. That’s reality, but that’s reality in hindsight.
Today, we’re talking more in the vein of what the Dolphins brass hope happens with the players selected over the weekend.
Let’s start at the top, Fitzpatrick has the potential to be the best free safety this franchise has ever seen. His range is unmatched as is his foot speed. We’ve never had a safety who was as fast or faster than a lot of cornerbacks. This kid creates turnovers, and for this to be a successful pick he’ll need to continue, and even improve on that trend.
He’s the answer to our middle of the field woes that have plagued us as long as I can remember. He’s intelligent, rangy, plays with good anticipation, and has been an impact player for his ex coach Nick Saban. I personally love his versatility as it’ll give defensive coordinator a legit weapon who he can move around and get in the QB’s heads.
This is going to be fun to watch.
Now let’s talk McDonald for a second, he too is versatile. They can plug him in at LB in nickel defenses if they wish, they can drop him off and blitz Fitzpatrick, all kinds of interesting possibilities exist.
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Everyone seems excited about TE Mike Gesicki and what he can bring to this offense. He has the ability to be the new Landry. They can move him around and use formation to dictate favorable match ups. The last TE we could do that with was Charles Clay, and this kid is far more talented in my opinion.
Nothing is perfect, however, and for this pick to really work out his blocking has to improve at least to a functional level or you become too predictable. I am sure with some weight work and as his body fills out we can expect at least minor improvement.
In the 3rd round they took a kid, Jerome Baker, who I think they’d tell you was an exception to their preferred mold as far as LBers go. At 6’1” 225lbs he’s a little lighter than their tendency suggests is appropriate.
That aside, he brings speed and athleticism to the position. He’s high energy, fast and instinctual. He does tend to get engulfed by the big uglies, but so does Roquan Smith so there is that. He can cover TE’s, HB’s, and anyone who manages to come into his area. He’ll be a nice complement to the backend on passing downs.
Durham Smythe is basically a young version of Fasano who has some improving to do in all aspects of his game, but he’s got the potential to be a very serviceable #2 TE for years to come. He’s got a pretty good resume for a 4th round pick. He’s not the fastest or the biggest, but he is reliable and willing to do whatever is asked of him.
One of the more intriguing picks is RB Kalen Ballage who to me screams boom or bust. He’s a fast, athletic back who sometimes doesn’t take advantage of his size. He had an unspectacular college career, but there is untapped potential there. He has soft hands and a quick first step. Once in the clear he’s got a 2nd gear. He’s a pretty good blocker too which should only help him to secure a roster spot.
Cornell Armstrong is a smallish CB with good ball skills and could possibly provide some much-needed depth at the CB position.
Quentin Poling a LB, I believe was drafted to supplement special teams as was the kicker, Jason Sanders.
If the Dolphins get 3 starters and a couple who contribute it will be a very successful draft. It looks already to be very possible. Coach Gase, and Chris Grier should be very happy with this draft for years to come. That is if their vision is the reality.