There are several ways the Miami Dolphins can go in next year’s draft and we have looked at a more offensive slanted draft, now the defense gets a look.
The Miami Dolphins have a lot of draft picks in the next two years but this next draft will be an important one. How they use these picks will determine their success with this rebuild.
I wanted to take a look at potential Defensive targets for the Dolphins in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. In part one, I looked at offensive targets. As the rebuild process plays out here are some players I will be keeping an eye on as potential targets for the Dolphins.
As week 4 is finished, the matchup between the Dolphins and Chargers ended in another loss. Bringing the record for the Dolphins to 0-4 on the year. However, it did mark Josh Rosen’s second start for the Dolphins. Although the final for the game was 30-10 in favor of the Chargers, there was some hope for the team as they were down 17-10 at halftime. The Dolphins are indeed on their path of a rebuild.
The defensive side of the ball has its fair share of needs like the offense. Although the team does have some solid pieces on that side of the ball, finding compliments to the pieces they already have that will create a cohesive unit to succeed in the secondary as well as the defensive line will only benefit.
Team needs – Edge, CB, S
Round 1 – Assuming a quarterback is a forgone conclusion their first pick is pretty much set to be a quarterback in this very loaded class.
Pick 2 Round 1 – The way it’s shaping up through this very early season, it looks as though this will be the Steelers pick. Looking at the defensive needs and this draft the team could look to get more of a presence on the edge.
AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa – At 6’6” 280 lbs. Epenesa is making a name for himself as the best edge presence outside of Chase Young. He has a game that uses his strength a lot and can use his hands to shed blocks. He does need to tap into and use his speed more at the college level as well as at the next level in the pros. With upcoming games against Michigan, Penn St, and Wisconsin, it will be worth watching how he fares against some of the higher-end talents of opposing offensive lines in the Big 10 conference.
Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford – The 6’1” 184 lbs. Junior is also a foreseeable option for the Dolphins as he has the tools and aggressiveness to contest the boundary opposite of Xavien Howard. He also has experience lining up in the box and helps against the run. As a former wide receiver, he has the aggressiveness to battle for all passes, however, has a limited amount of experience as he has only two years as a cornerback. He has some technical improvements to make with his footwork as well.
Grant Delpit, S, LSU – The 6’3” 201 lbs. junior has already accounted for 150 tackles (solo and assist) as well as 5 sacks and 6 interceptions. He has a “get your hands dirty” approach to playing and is willing to attack the line to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. In the 2018 season working in the same defensive backfield as Greedy Williams (2nd round pick in 2019 NFL draft) the two worked quite well to shut down most of the field as well as the top target for opposing quarterbacks.
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – The 6’1” 200 lbs. junior for the Crimson Tide has put together solid numbers in his career 108 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions (1 for a touchdown). Although not having the speed that might be needed in some coverages, McKinney’s instincts are stellar. He is a natural ball hawk and can pressure the quarterback as well as help in various coverage schemes.
With their second pick, I could see any of these athletes as the selection of the Dolphins, but I like Xavier McKinney. His style of play, as well as the field presence and instincts he has displayed, would only benefit and strengthen the secondary of the Miami Dolphins.
With the third pick in the first round –
If any of the above-mentioned players are available, I think the Dolphins will jump at them.
Kristian Fulton CB, LSU – At 6’1” and 192 lbs. the corner from LSU would make a strong addition to the team. Although I think some cautionary flags will cause teams to wait on Fulton to where he would be available in the 2nd round. Could also use some work on being aggressive in 50/50 balls as well timing in general for jump balls. Also, not a tackler like some of the other draft prospects.
Trevon Diggs CB, Alabama – The 6’2” 207 lbs. corner from the Crimson Tide looks to solid to pass up and should certainly be available at this stage in the first round. Currently, with a stat line of 14 total tackles (10 solo) and two interceptions (already a career-high), he plays physically and is speedy enough to keep pace with the top deep threats in college. He is a brawler and won’t shy away from making the tackle in the open field. Uses his speed to keep pace with opposing receivers and close in for the pass break up.
Yetur Gross-Matos Edge, Penn State – At 6’5” 242 lbs. the edge rusher would be a little bit of a reach in the late stages of the first round, but it will be a high reward pick for the Dolphins. He has the intangibles that can’t be coached but needs to be coached up slightly to have a quicker motor and use his speed to his advantage. He also needs to keep his chest protected so he doesn’t become a non-factor against the run.
CJ Henderson CB, Florida – The 6’1” 182 lbs. product from the Gators has the speed to compete with any speedster as well as put pressure on the opposing quarterback. After a career year in 2018 as a sophomore where 38 tackles (26 solo) and 5 sacks, he has gotten off to a slow start on his production due to injuring his ankle in the Gators game against the University of Tennessee-Martin that caused him to miss the past 3 games. Looking at film from 2018, Henderson shows a physical style of play where he is not shy to challenge opposing receivers as well as a quickness to close in on opponents that will make him worthy of a first-round pick. He also looks to be able to fill out his frame as adding muscle will help in his physical style of play.
With their third pick in the first round, getting Trevon Diggs from Alabama would certainly help solidify the secondary of the Miami Dolphins. Especially pairing him potentially with college teammate Xavier McKinney.