While the Miami Dolphins do not officially have a Head Coach, all signs suggest that Patriots linebackers coach and defensive playcaller Brian Flores is in line to take over. Flores will form a team with recently promoted general manager Chris Grier. Both started their careers in New England, however, Grier was there pre-Belichick.
After a 7-9 season (I predicted 7-8-1 on twitter), Miami finds itself with the number 13 pick. Unlucky 13 or for Dolphins fans, a reminder of the franchises inability to replace hall of fame QB Dan Marino for the better part of a quarter of a century.
Miami could stay where they are and select the best player available, most likely a new piece for the defense with this draft loaded with defensive talent. Alternatively, the Dolphins could attempt to trade up in order to draft Dwayne Haskins who I believe is a lock to go top-10.
I believe the best option is the stay where they are or potentially trade down and take Drew Lock late in the first round but gain an additional draft pick. The 2020 QB class looks much better than 2019s and Miami is not just a quarterback away but needs a complete rebuild along the defensive line, a new linebacker and has multiple holes on offense. That said, here are five early draft targets for the Miami Dolphins.
QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Murray could be using the possibility of playing in the NFL as leverage to extract as much money as possible from the Oakland A’s. We will work on the assumption that his decision to forgo baseball for a season of college football, shows his love for the game and that he is 100% committed to play football.
I do not need to repeat the book that everyone has on Murray. He is a 5 foot 8/ 9, run-first quarterback who played in an ‘air-raid-lite’ system at college. Murray is looking to become the shortest QB in NFL history as his measurements will likely be below Doug Flutie’s.
Despite his small stature, Murray is an explosive play maker and owing the Ravens late season surge with Lamar Jackson, teams that are creative enough should be able to get every inch of talent out of Murray both through the air and on the ground.
QB Drew Lock, Missouri
I have championed Drew Lock for over a year now. His tape is both exhilarating and infuriating. The highs are enormous and the lows leave you head scratching.
Lock has the best arm talent of anyone in the draft, he is able to push the ball vertically and has a beautiful deep throw which he displayed numerous times at Missouri. Lock’s arm allows him to push the ball outside the numbers quickly which Missouri utilised through its screen-heavy offense.
Like most college QBs, Lock needs to improve his footwork, progression speed and often has an unexplained drop off in accuracy – most likely related to footwork. I have seen some ‘analysts’ give him a second round grade but I would be comfortable with Miami taking him at 13 or trading down and selecting him later in the first.
DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Despite missing the recent championship game due to testing positive for a banned substance, Lawrence has been a standout player on a highly successful Clemson programme.
Lawrence is a gap filler who operates best inside with his excellent two gap ability. He has proved himself a monster in the run game and is also able to generate sufficient pass rush to earn himself a first round selection.
Lawrence’s best position is nose tackle which sadly is not worthy of a first round selection anymore. If he continued his freshman form where he posted 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss, he’d likely be a top-10 selection. Predominantly run stuffing interior linemen are not as highly valued as their pass rushing cousins which could cause Miami to favour the below options over Lawrence but if the board shakes out a certain way on draft day, Lawrence could certainly help fix a woeful Dolphins run defense.
DT Ed Oliver, Houston
A smaller interior defensive linemen like Aaron Donald, Oliver might have a similar ceiling to Donald but a better comparison could be Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.
Despite his smaller size, Oliver is excellent against the run owing to his elite penetration and ability to disrupt the play inside. He would excel as a 3-technique in a 4-3 front as he has the potential to be a game wrecker against both the pass and run.
Oliver is arguably a top-10 talent but could get lost in a draft boasting ridiculous defensive line talent and with quarterback needy teams likely trading up and reaching. This could result in Oliver slipping to Miami at 13, a steal when compared to where he would go in other draft classes.
DE Rashan Gary Michigan
Gary has an excellent skill set that give him plenty of upside as a disruptive edge rusher. Gary’s size would be useful as Miami currently has undersized edge rushers in Cam Wake, Charles Harris and Robert Quinn.
Gary is able to set the edge against the run and filter the ball carrier back inside, perfect for Miami’s current wide-9 scheme. His size and play strength lend themselves naturally to being a competent run defender but he could benefit from working through blocks and quickly getting off his blocker to attack the ball carrier.
Gary is excellent with his hands when used as a pass rusher and often collapses the line of the scrimmage when rushing inside or from the edge. He is highly versatile and could be utilised in multiple situations by Miami’s new coaching staff.
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Dolphins Draft Targets.