Givanni Damico | March 8th, 2020
I am a firm believer in Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins rebuild. They have enough capital in this draft to rebuild this team (although not completely) in one offseason if they play their cards properly in free agency.
Miami showed some promise toward the end of last season. We saw some stars emerge last year such as Devante Parker, giving the franchise a bit of an identity. As much as I love Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’s clearly not the long-term answer at quarterback.
Round 1, Pick 5 – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I’ve gone back and forth on whether I should slot Tua or Justin Herbert here. It honestly could go either way. A few weeks ago, it seemed as though Tua was a lock to go to Miami, but interviews at the combine left him wondering where the organization stood with him. This is obviously not a good look for the Dolphins’ franchise, but I believe that they will right the ship and make the right decision here. When Tua is healthy, he’s an electrifying player. Hopefully, he can end the stigma of Alabama quarterbacks not becoming effective starters in the NFL.
Round 1, Pick 18 – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
In a stacked offensive tackle class, it seems like Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, and Jedrick Wills have emerged as the top three guys who are likely to be picked inside of the top 12. This being said, Thomas is certainly no slouch. He is an immediate upgrade over the Dolphins current situation and would certainly be a day-one starter. Personally, I still like Thomas just a little bit better than Becton but the hype is real for the Louisville tackle. It would be a dream if Thomas fell to Miami. This pick may not be flashy, but the Dolphins need to protect their franchise quarterback. Learn from the Jets’ mistakes.
Round 1, Pick 26 – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Oh, I am more than aware of Epenesa’s poor combine performance, but I think this greatly benefits Miami! The combine is a fun event to watch, but it can also be very deceiving. Watch the tape and you’ll see Epenesa’s strengths, and there is still plenty of room to grow. Miami really needs to get some more pressure on opposing quarterbacks besides just Taco Charlton off of the edge. Another note on Epenesa’s 40-yard dash: I don’t think he is really slow, but I think that he did not train for the 40. There was an interesting picture I saw of Epenesa as he was releasing for his run. He was still right at the starting point with .4 seconds already off the clock. That just shows that he got a really poor start and it negatively affected his time.
Round 2, Pick 39 – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Swift is my RB3 in this class, but even with my RB2 in J.K. Dobbins still on the board, this pick just makes more sense for Miami’s offense. Swift is more effective than Dobbins in the receiving game. He’s got quick acceleration and fantastic elusiveness. Needless to say, Swift will be much more of a threat than Kalen Ballage was last season, although I do not believe that Ballage should shoulder all of the blame for his poor season; Miami’s offensive line was absolutely atrocious. I mean, Ryan Fitzpatrick led this team in rushing yards last season! Easy decision here, regardless of how people value the running back position.
Round 2, Pick 56 – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
Muti is an absolute monster, as he put up 44 reps on the bench at the combine. He’s got great run-blocking technique. He’s very strong but also fluid in his movements. A major red flag for Muti is lower-body injuries. He’s dealt with three separate injuries in four years which may make this seem like a reach. I’m telling you all though if Muti can stay healthy, I truly believe he is a Pro-Bowl talent.
Round 3, Pick 70 – Ashtyn Davis, SAF, California
Davis is one of my favorite players in this draft. He’s got incredible ball skills and fantastic athleticism. He’s a hard-hitter who can cover the field well. The former track star is incredibly intelligent and a very hard worker; he looks at tape from the wide receiver’s point of view to see where he would attack himself if he were the wide receiver. This kid is going to be a leader, and with this work ethic, he’ll be in the league for a while.
Round 4, Pick 142 – Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
Gandy-Golden is a big-bodied, small-school wide receiver who has great range. His 40 time didn’t blow anyone away but he isn’t known for his speed. Gandy-Golden can still create separation and make big plays happen. Outside of Parker and Preston Williams, the Dolphins don’t have any receivers on their roster that I could see them maintaining long-term. Gandy-Golden is certainly a developmental prospect, but he could blossom into a star for the Dolphins.
Round 5, Pick 162 – Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
Taylor tested great at the combine, which we know doesn’t mean everything, but for a linebacker to have his kind of speed and athleticism, it is quite impressive. The Dolphins already have a young linebacker corps headed up by two former Buckeyes in Raekwon MacMillan and Jerome Baker, but adding a developmental, athletic linebacker into the rotation certainly couldn’t hurt anything. Taylor has plenty of untapped potential, and I could see him getting a good amount of snaps as a rookie. He also projects as a solid special-teamer.
Round 5, Pick 173 – James Proche, WR, SMU
Miami doubles up on the receiver position in this deep class by taking Proche. Proche had nearly 4,000 career yards in his career at SMU with 39 touchdowns. He would be a solid option in the slot for Miami. Proche doesn’t do anything superbly as an athlete. He isn’t fast, he isn’t big, he doesn’t play bigger than his size, but he has fantastic hands. Proche does have quick footwork and can make men miss. Overall, Proche wouldn’t start for Miami, but he could make a name for himself early on.
Round 6, Pick 185 – Luqman Barcoo, CB, San Diego State
Barcoo was a first-year starter this year and recorded nine interceptions. He’s a ball-hawk. He could be used as a rotational piece for Miami but is certainly not starter-material quite yet.
Round 6, Pick 197 – Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA
This time, Miami doubles up on running back, drafting Swift’s new backup. Kelley tested well at the combine and had a good career as a Bruin. If the Dolphins chose to, Kelley could be used as part of a two-headed monster attack with Swift. It’s hard to say if he falls this far or not, but many people seem to be overlooking the running back position so this seems reasonable.
Round 6, Pick 202 – Kendall Coleman, EDGE, Syracuse
After an impressive Junior campaign with 10 sacks, Coleman’s four sacks last season were a bit underwhelming. This would be a nice depth addition for the Dolphins who need depth al over the field.
Round 7, Pick 246 – Cohl Cabral, C, Arizona State
Cabral would be fighting for a spot on the team in training camp. The Dolphins need a center, but a seventh-round flyer would likely not start, especially in his first season. His long arms are useful when locking on to defenders and maintaining blocks. I think Cabral has a spot on this time, but he’ll need to prove his worth.
Round 7, Pick 251 – Robert Landers, DL, Ohio State
Landers is not a powerful pass-rusher, but he’s good at stuffing the run. He’s definitely an underrated guy out of Ohio State, where he showed his ability to wrap up the running back. Landers would certainly find a spot on this team in the defensive line rotation.
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