The 2018 NFL Draft is just under a month away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the Miami Dolphins 2018 NFL Draft profile.
The Dolphins had some optimism during the offseason heading into last year but lost some of it when Ryan Tannehill went down with injury and Jay Cutler was signed out of retirement. They ended up going from possible playoff contenders to a 6-10 finish.
While Tannehill is set to take back over the starting quarterback role, he hasn’t really proved he can be a franchise quarterback yet. This season will go a long way to show one way or another whether Tannehill is someone for the team to put faith in.
In a head-scratching move, the Dolphins traded away Jay Ajayi to the Eagles in the middle of last season and only got a fourth-round pick in return. Kenyan Drake proved to fill in nicely for the Dolphins and will now be paired with Frank Gore, who just signed with the team.
Jarvis Landry was traded to the Browns after having a lot of catches in the first few years of his career. The Dolphins signed Danny Amendola to help replace some of the production provided by Landry. Kenny Stills has stepped up big time for Miami and they likely need more out of DeVante Parker. A new tight end will be needed, as Julius Thomas did not pan out for the Dolphins.
The offensive line has already seen some changes. Mike Pouncey was cut and Daniel Kilgore was acquired to compete with Jacke Brendel for the starting job. Josh Sitton was signed to give some much-needed help at guard, but more is probably necessary. Their tackles, Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Waun James are solid.
Ndamukong Suh is now a Ram, so the Dolphins need some interior defensive linemen. The edge rushers, Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake and William Hayes aren’t the youngest, but can still be productive.
Linebacker is a position that has to get better in order for the Dolphins to be successful. Raekwon McMillan got hurt so early in his career that it is hard to tell how much of an impact he can have at the NFL level. Kiko Alonso is solid against the run but hasn’t covered well. This position will be addressed in the draft.
While they do have decent young corners, they need some of them to develop and will probably select a corner or two in the upcoming draft. At safety, they have one of the NFL’s best in Reshad Jones and also have T.J. McDonald. Jones specifically is able to cover up for some of the corners when they get beat.
Miami does have some talent at certain positions but has some major holes at others. If Ryan Tannehill plays well, the Dolphins can be competitive, but they need a good draft to supplement him.
Picks and Needs
The Dolphins will have nine picks in the 2018 NFL Draft to fill some of their needs.
First round (1 pick): 11
Second round (1): 42
Third round (1): 73
Fourth round (3): 111, 123, 131
Fifth round (0):
Sixth round (1): 183
Seventh round (1): 227, 229
Tight end- Thomas is now gone after not doing too much. If Tannehill is to succeed this season he needs someone at the tight end position to throw to.
Guard- Josh Sitton was signed, but another guard will be needed before the start of the season.
Defensive tackle- With Suh leaving, the Dolphins are pretty weak on the interior of the defensive line.
Linebacker- McMillan can be a productive player and Alonso is a two-down linebacker. Another will be needed, especially one who can cover, to bolster the defense.
Cornerback- The corners aren’t a very great unit for Miami and will need to be upgraded in order to improve the pass defense.
Pick No. 11: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Smith would help fill the linebacker need and be able to start from day one. He’s specifically good in coverage, which will drastically help Miami. He does a little bit of everything else well too, from rushing the passer to stopping the run. The Dolphins can get good value with this pick and fill a need, making it a solid choice.
Pick No. 42: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
With the second round selection, the Dolphins can get one of the many talented guards in the class. Price can play either guard or center, making him even more valuable. He has plenty of good experience at Ohio State and can start right away opposite Sitton.
Pick No. 73: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Gesicki had one of the best NFL Combines in recent memory for a tight end, but still hasn’t moved up mock drafts significantly. The Dolphins have to find some sort of pass catcher at tight end for next season and can get good value on Gesicki, who is a great receiving threat at the position.
The Dolphins lost a lot of talent off of last year’s team and will need to have a solid draft to replace some of the players lost. Being a true contender would be a surprise, but they can improve if Tannehill plays to the best of his ability.