What my board looks like for the Miami Dolphins headed into the draft.
My board contains fit, value and skill level. Risk is not a huge factor with this board, but some guys lost stock or completely fell off the board due to significant injury, or off- the-field issues. There are athletes on here Miami doesn’t need, but a trade-back scenario can't be neglected.
This is what my board looks like less than two weeks ahead of the draft. This board is subject to change if any rumors surface of stock adjustment.
Notably left out: Joe Mixon, DeShone Kizer, Cam Robinson, Adoree Jackson.
2. Solomon Thomas (DT/DE), 6’2” and 273 pounds, Stanford
3. Jonathan Allen (DT/DE), 6’2” and 286 pounds, Alabama
4. Jamal Adams (S), 6’0” and 214 pounds, LSU
5. Marshon Lattimore (CB), 6’0” and 193 pounds, Ohio State: Lattimore comes out of college as a better prospect than Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey has more versatility and experience, but Lattimore is better in every other aspect -- especially ball skills. He’s the next big thing at cornerback in the NFL.
6. Malik Hooker (S), 6’1” and 206 pounds, Ohio State
7. O.J. Howard (TE), 6’6” and 251 pounds, Alabama: There’s practically zero chance Howard makes it to the 22nd pick, but stranger things have happened. If he’s there, the Dolphins should run to the podium despite the multiple needs on defense. Howard is an elite prospect who could be one of the biggest weapons in the NFL if he’s polished. Size, strength, speed, great hands and blocking are all traits that has him destined for stardom.
8. Reuben Foster (LB), 6’0” and 229 pounds, Alabama: The biggest dream that any Dolphins fan can think of? Foster falling to 22. He has the potential to be a top linebacker in the NFL. Dream on, fellow fans.
9. Gareon Conley (CB), 6’0” and 195 pounds, Ohio State: Conley has been mocked all over the place, but he’s the second best cornerback in this draft. He’s a complete prospect who isn’t too far off from Marshon Lattimore’s talent. If he falls to 22, Miami should absolutely pick him. Size, range, speed, quickness and ball skills are all traits a team wants in a cornerback. There are other pressing needs, but much like the O.J. Howard situation, Miami must choose Conley in terms of value. He’s too talented of a prospect to pass up.
10. Leonard Fournette (RB), 6’0” and 240 pounds, LSU: Fournette is an elite talent Miami doesn’t need, but any running back or wide receiver that are heavy in demand can be dangled for trade. There have been mocks with an inconsistent amount of running backs taken in the first round — nothing can be ruled out at this point. One thing to keep an eye on, how high are the Dolphins on Kenyan Drake? It never hurts to have a plethora of running backs on the roster in case of injury.
11. Dalvin Cook (RB), 5’10” and 210 pounds, Florida State
12. Corey Davis (WR), 6’3” and 209 pounds, Western Michigan
13. Mike Williams (WR), 6’4” and 218 pounds, Clemson
14. Christian McCaffrey (RB), 5’11” and 202 pounds, Stanford
15. Haason Reddick (OLB), 6’1” and 237 pounds, Temple: The first realistic scenario for Miami on the list. If he’s there at 22, Miami must choose him. He can play outside linebacker and edge rusher, and still has room for improvement to reach his potential. Exceptionally fast, agile, strong and explosive. He’s raw, but extremely talented and versatile. It seems unlikely he makes it to 22 at this point.
16. David Njoku (TE), 6’4” and 246 pounds, Miami
17. Derek Barnett (DE), 6’3’ and 259 pounds, Tennessee: There’s no doubting his success and production at Tennessee, but can it translate to the NFL? Some love him, some are lukewarm on him. I don’t think he’s the answer as a team’s future franchise edge rusher. I view him as an eight-sacks-a-year-guy, who can play second fiddle on a talented defensive line. I think his game is comparable to Olivier Vernon’s at the next level. I don’t think they’re exact, but they have comparable traits and playstyles. If Miami wants to draft Barnett at 22, I have no problem with it – if they don’t view him as a franchise edge rusher.
18. Malik McDowell (DT), 6’6” and 295 pounds, Michigan State: There’s a huge risk factor with drafting McDowell at 22. Can Miami get the best out of him? After Dion Jordan and Jordan Phillips not living up to expectations, it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins taking on that big of a risk. The reward would be huge though, if McDowell reaches his potential.
19. Deshaun Watson (QB), 6’2” and 221 pounds, Clemson
20. John Ross (WR), 5’11” and 188 pounds, Washington
21. Forrest Lamp (G), 6’4” and 309 pounds, Western Kentucky: The most unpopular, bland pick possible, but it’s one Miami desperately needs. He’s strong, nasty and is fluid in his movement which translates well versus the quick defenders at the next level. He’d be an immediate starter for the Dolphins, and would solidify their line for years to come. Boring, but necessary.
22. Taco Charlton (DE), 6’6” and 277 pounds, Michigan
23. Garett Bolles (OT), 6’5” and 297 pounds, Utah
24. Takkarist McKinley (DE), 6’2’ and 250 pounds, UCLA
25. Charles Harris (DE), 6’3” and 253 pounds, Missouri: Charlton, McKinley and Harris are raw as edge rushers, but their ceilings are higher than Barnett’s. Refer to my edge rushers article to see why. They all need to be coached, but they have all the talent in the world to be big-time edge rushers. It should be noted that Miami can trade back and probably still select one of these three edge rushers.
26. Jarrad Davis (LB), 6’1” and 238 pounds, Florida: He’s strong, athletic, explosive, fierce, ferocious, fast and passionate. Yes, he’s had injuries, but he will play every down with tenacity and heart until his body can no longer move. I’ve heard Ray Lewis comparisons – that’s ridiculous and lazy – but he’s absolutely the leader and talent you want anchoring your linebacker core. He’s not perfect, and has room for improvement in a couple of areas, but his potential is sky-high. If he’s there at 22, sign me up. Picking him at 22 may be too risky for some, but I would love this pick for Miami.
27. Quincy Wilson (CB), 6’1” and 211 pounds, Florida
28. Mitchell Trubisky (QB), 6’2” and 222 pounds, North Carolina
29. Ryan Ramczyk (OT), 6’6” and 310 pounds, Wisconsin: Another potential bland, unpopular pick for Miami. Ramczyk’s traits suggests moving to guard wouldn’t be a problem as I wrote in my offensive lineman piece, and you couldn’t fault Miami’s decision for finally going all-in on protecting Ryan Tannehill. Ramczyk is a big, strong, compact lineman who can battle anyone to protect your offense. Though, there is a lot of talent at 22 that could really help Miami’s defense. Decisions, decisions.
30. Zach Cunningham (OLB), 6’3” and 234 pounds, Vanderbilt: Call me a villain for not being in love with Cunningham despite many major media outlets putting him at 22 for the Dolphins, but I just think there are better values and fits. He’s a terrific talent who has great upside, but he’s very raw and some of his tackling angles are atrocious. Can that be fixed? Absolutely. But Cunningham plays a somewhat finesse style best suited for WLB in my opinion. Putting him as MLB or SLB is fine, but I don’t think you’re bringing the best out of him at those positions. He’s a freak athlete playing linebacker, and there’s no questioning his raw talent. I just don’t love him as a fit for the Dolphins. Miami needs a thumper in the middle. Enough of Koa Misi. Enough of forcing Kiko Alonso to play MLB. It feels like a rinse, repeat process of forcing another linebacker to play out of position. I really like the player, but I strongly dislike the fit.
31. Jabrill Peppers (S), 5’11” and 213 pounds, Michigan
32. Tra’daveous White (CB), 5’11” and 192 pounds, LSU
33. Budda Baker (S), 5’10” and 195 pounds, Washington
34. Zay Jones (WR), 6’2” and 201 pounds, East Carolina
35. Marlon Humphrey (CB), 6’0” and 197 pounds, Alabama
36. Pat Elflein (C), 6’3” and 303 pounds, Ohio State
37. Sidney Jones (CB), 6’0” and 186 pounds, Washington: After a tragic injury to Jones’ Achilles heel, his stock has slipped due to the fear of injury recovery. He’s down, but he’s not out, as I would still take him in the second round. He’s a terrific talent with a lot of potential — you could argue he’s the second best cornerback in this draft. It wasn’t too long ago that Miami’s medical staff helped cure Brent Grimes from the same injury. If there’s a team to trust in an injury situation like this, it’s Miami.
38. Caleb Brantley (DT), 6’3” and 307: He’s a complete player who can pass rush and defend the run equally effective. If Miami can grab Brantley in the second round, it would be a steal. The guy is a nasty, physical beast, who is faster than his size would indicate. Another former Gator defender who plays with a high motor, leading by example on the field. If he were paired with Ndamukong Suh, it could fortify Miami’s defensive as one of the top lines in the NFL.
39. Bucky Hodges (TE), 6’6” and 257 pounds, Virginia Tech: It feels like many have forgotten about Hodges. I haven’t. If he’s there in the second round and the Dolphins look for a tight end upgrade, Hodges would be an excellent addition. He’s a wide receiver playing tight end, who is athletically gifted in catching and contorting his body. If Miami chose him, they may finally have a tight end mismatch in their favor after watching so many other teams use the strategy against them.
40. Tim Williams (OLB), 6’3” and 244 pounds, Alabama
41. Evan Engram (TE), 6’3” and 234 pounds, Mississippi
42. Kevin King (CB), 6’3’ and 200 pounds, Washington
43. Patrick Mahomes (QB), 6’2” and 225 pounds, Texas Tech: I see the talent and intrigue. He has an incredible arm, and is athletically gifted. He made some throws that can really wow teams, but I am not nearly as high as some of these scouts are on him. Call me crazy, but selecting a quarterback who is flawed mechanically, and makes some head-scratching decisions that won’t fly in the NFL – a la Johnny Manziel – in the first round seems way too rich for me. He’s not comfortable throwing in the pocket, and he falls in love with his fastball too much. His accuracy is inconsistent on certain throws, and the mental part of his game is far from adequate right now. Lastly, he’s coming out of an Air Raid offense that has produced zero successful starting quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Yet, he is whispered to be selected in the early/mid first round? No thanks. If he falls to Miami at 22, they should attempt to hold the pick ransom for the highest bidder – and there will be at least one team willing to give up picks.
44. Raekwon McMillan (LB), 6’2” and 240 pounds, Ohio State: McMillan is thick, mean and powerful. He’s reliable in the run game, and can disengage blockers quickly with great hand usage. Good instincts combined with good tackling angles make him a technically sound football player who can be relied on in run support for years to come. Despite his strengths, he’s just not explosive. He’s not fast in sideline to sideline pursuit, and he lacks short area quickness. He’s not a guy who is going to knife through defenses and make a ton of game-changing plays. He also wasn’t relied on in man-to-man coverage, and has room for improvement in zone coverage. He’s not physically gifted, but he’s a hard working, tough guy who will often beat you with instincts. It’s questionable if he’s even a three-down linebacker. It’s far too rich to select him in the first round ahead of guys like Reddick, Davis and Cunningham, who may all be available at 22.
45. Marcus Williams (S), 6’1” and 201 pounds, Utah
46. Jordan Willis (DE), 6’4” and 255 pounds, Kansas State
47. Demarcus Walker (DE), 6’4” and 280 pounds, Florida State
48. T.J. Watt (LB), 6’4” and 252 pounds, Wisconsin
49. Obi Melifonwu (S), 6’4” and 224 pounds, Connecticut
50. Derek Rivers (DE), 6’4’ and 248 pounds, Youngstown State