What the national media thinks the Miami Dolphins will do in the draft
By Luke Allen
We are two weeks away from the NFL Draft and a lot of people have a lot of opinions. With the Dolphins’ first pick coming so late and the discrepancy in determining which positional needs the Dolphins will address, predictions vary in terms of what Miami will do with their draft selections.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Dolphins address the cornerback position after the exit of Byron Jones. Yahoo! predicts Miami selecting cornerback Kelee Ringo out of Georgia. Ringo, who is one of the top corners in the draft, has elite size at 6’2 and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
An athletic freak, Ringo led the Georgia Bulldogs’ defense to two straight National Championships, including the game-clinching pick six in the 2021 title game against Alabama.
Sports Illustrated chimes in with their own mock draft and they also think the Dolphins take a cornerback.
However, they pass on Kelee Ringo and select the much smaller Clark Phillips III, from Utah. Phillips, at 5’9, is a stark contrast to Ringo. Phillips lacks the size and length and instead uses his eyes and physicality to stay step-for-step with whoever he’s covering and never really gives up much separation.
Most scouts see Phillips as a nickel corner, based on his size and skillset, but his film has shown he is fully capable of staying on an island on the outside, covering much bigger wide receivers and holding his own.
Another mock draft, another cornerback taken by the Miami Dolphins.
CBS Sports predicts the Dolphins use the 51st pick on cornerback Deonte Banks out of Maryland. Banks, who is quickly climbing up draft boards, tested out as the single most athletic cornerback in this year’s draft class. At 6’0, Banks ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any corner this year at 4.35 seconds.
As a player, Banks has the fluidity and intelligence to mirror a receiver from his release all the way to the top of his route. It’s rare to find a corner with his blend of size, speed and football IQ. The Dolphins should feel extremely confident sending Banks out on an island with any receiver with no safety help.
Finally, a media outlet has the Miami Dolphins choosing a player that is not a cornerback with their first selection.
The pick at #51, according to FOX Sports, is Steve Avila, the mauling guard prospect out of TCU. I love this pick because he’s a plug-and-play guard who immediately improves the interior offensive line and replaces Liam Eichenberg in the lineup.
A versatile player who can play either guard position and even slide into center in a pinch, Avila is considered one of the best interior offensive linemen in the draft class. He’s a nasty mixture of size, strength and athleticism and would be a steal at the 51st pick in the draft for the Dolphins.
Rounding out the mock drafts published online, Draft Wire by USA Today mocks edge rusher Will McDonald to the Dolphins in the second round.
Will McDonald IV is an exciting edge rusher out of Iowa State, whose name gets lost in the mix with the sheer amount of crazy pass rush talent in this draft class. McDonald, who was named Big 12 Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year, is an explosive rusher whose burst off the line is a load to handle for opposing tackles.
McDonald shows up on film with a plethora of pass rush moves, from a straight bullrush to spinning and bending his way into the pocket and making a quarterback feel pressure from multiple angles. However, his game is not without flaws. As a run defender, McDonald could certainly set the edge better and show up a lot more in the run game.
It is easily coachable, however, and should not deter Miami from pursuing the first-team All-Conference pass rusher in the second round.