3 middle linebackers I’d love for the Miami Dolphins to draft
By Matt Serniak
We’re getting there folks. We’re getting closer and closer to draft day. In fact, if you think about it, we’re getting closer to draft day all the time. Pretty wild stuff if you ask me. Do you know what else is wild? The Miami Dolphins potentially looking to fill a potential hole on defense by drafting an inside/middle linebacker. I’m not sure if it’s inside or middle linebacker that the position is going by these days so why not list both?
Currently, the Miami Dolphins have exactly zero 1st round picks but they do have the 51st and 84th picks, at the moment. Will that change? I suppose you can’t put anything past that wheeling, dealing son of a gun, Chris Grier, when it comes to moving up or down in the draft.
Personally, I think the Dolphins are going too heavy on offense with their first two draft picks. My reasoning is that I think there is more to improve on offense by selecting a tight end, right tackle, or guard. But, nobody really knows anything so it’s entirely possible that the Miami Dolphins go all defense to make Vic Fangio happy.
You would think that inside backer wouldn’t be a position that the Dolphins would bother with based on that they have Jerome Baker and the newly signed, hopeful stud in David Long Jr. Plus, there’s recently resigned Duke Riley and last year’s 4th round pick, Channing Tindall. So sure, you can make the argument that inside backer is a position that they would certainly not address this year.
You can also make the claim that inside linebacker is the running back of the defense where you don’t need an elite guy you just need someone good enough. And good enough is something you can get later in the draft.
My reasoning for why I think it’s possible is that I will not be convinced that Jerome Baker will be here next season. There was a decent portion that thought Baker might get moved this off-season. Usually, when that type of idea gets tossed into the ether and it doesn’t happen, it happens the following season.
Baker is making nearly $11M next year. I really don’t think that the Dolphins will be looking to pay that for a guy who is at best a solid player. I like what Jerome Baker has done for the Dolphins but it’s not a great business to pay inside backers that kind of money when they’re just a solid player.
I don’t think the team is ever going to have Duke Riley be a starter and we know nothing about Channing Tindall only that they would rather have David Loing Jr. be ahead of them.
So, if there is an inside backer that they just can’t live without in this year’s draft and they know they aren’t going to be keeping Baker next year unless he turns into Zach Thomas, then taking a guy this year is a smart way of going about things.
All the regular stuff anyone would want out of an inside linebacker such as bringing your feet, reading your keys, bludgeoning fools, make impact plays are staples of the position that I looked for in making this list.
My main criteria for this list is for guys that I think will translate to the style of today’s NFL which means being able to run and being intelligent to know where you need to be. I feel that many of the Dolphin’s problems the last few years with the middle backer position were guys simply not knowing who they had out of the backfield or what gap they had. That kind of stuff is high school football stuff. Yes, the coaching needs to be better on defense. I think we solved that with my Lackawanna County brethren in Vic Fangio.