It’s draft week AFC East fam! This Thursday, starting at 8pm, the future fates of the Dolphins, Patriots & Jets will begin to take form. For Buffalo fans, it sounds like you’ll be waiting til Friday per Beane. That being said it’s high time The Sideline Report release it’s own, AFC East Mock Draft. Using the draft simulator over at PFF, I compiled a full 7 round draft that even includes a few trades. Are you excited to convert your first round pick into 6 future 4th rounders Pats fans!? Joking aside, picks were based on your input here, as well as outside sites assessments of team needs and player values. Today we’ll look at the Miami Dolphins selections with a team draft grade & assessments of why specific players were chosen through the first 3 rounds. Enjoy and wear your masks you filthy animals! Tomorrow we’ll look at the Jets selections.
Miami Dolphins 14 picks, 12 players selected. Grade: A+
Needs: QB, OT, IOL, FS, RB, Pass Rush, CB
This simulation worked in Miami’s favor as Tua fell to 5, eliminating the need to trade up or panic select Herbert or Love. Beyond that they were able to secure top 5 prospects at OT, OG, FS and get the #1 RB in Swift. With 6 top 70 picks, expect Miami to walk away with at least 3 projected 2020 starters beyond their QB of the future. I expect Grier to trade up in this draft as well, to capitalize on the top 100 talent and in this simulation Miami moves up to 96 to select another OT. Miami’s main goals this draft should be to complete the Offensive Line and Secondary rebuilds and find a RB to compliment or supplant Jordan Howard. WR, DL, and LB should be considered luxury picks. A successful 2020 draft along with development of those players will have Miami contending for the playoffs sooner, rather than later.
Projected Starters: Jones (18, LT), Winfield Jr. (26, FS), Swift (39, RB), Cushenberry (70, C/RG)
Future Starters: Tua (5, QB), Niang (96, RT)
Depth: Arnette (56, CB), Lawrence (153, DT), Garvin (141, Pass Rush), Benjamin (173, RB)
ST/Practice Squad/Cut: Bayless (185, WR), Sneed (227,S)
1st Round, 5: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
-Grier mentioned there’s 8-9 players Miami likes at 5, and they’ve got more flexibility than any team to move up or down the board. However, no need to overthink this, take the QB of the future injury history and all. Grier has also stated past injuries aren’t always an indicator of future injuries, potentially tipping his hand (he cited Jake Long and Curtis Martin, AFCE representation!).
Alternatives: Any OT not Wirfs, uber athlete Isaiah Simmons, Lamb/Jeudy, trade up/down.
1st Round, 18: Josh Jones, LT Houston
-With the “Minkah pick” expect Miami to consider FS, OT and potentially a luxury pick at WR or Pass Rusher. In this case I think Miami selects the last remaining first round talent at OT, and while a bit raw, Jones is the LT of the future
Alternatives: Delpit/MckInney, Jefferson/Reagor/Shenault, & Epenesa/Chaisson.
1st Round, 26: Antoine Winfield Jr., S Minnesota
-Having secured starters at the 2 premier offensive positions, the Dolphins should look hard at S, IOL, RB, or CB here (the good WRs got snagged in this simulation). I have Miami taking the 3rd best safety, a prospect Flores is rumored to be enamored with for his versatility & bloodline. Winfield Jr. is very similar to Minkah Fitzpatrick, but seemingly (read, hopefully) more willing to be the swiss army knife Flores covets.
Alternatives: Ruiz, Swift, Johnson/Diggs (CB), Chaisson, or trading back/out of this draft.
2nd Round, 39: D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia
RB, IOL, Pass Rusher, and CB would be in play for Miami at 39. Here we see them take the top RB prospect in the draft, who should help resurrect the abysmal run game that saw 37 year old Ryan Fitzpatrick lead the team in Rushing.
Alternatives: Muti/Biadasz (IOL), Baun/Weaver/Gross-Matos (Pass Rush), Hall/Dantzler (CB)
2nd Round, 56: Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
Forgoing needs at IOL & RT, Arnette is the first true “BPA” pick for Grier in this simulation but also a slight cave to Flores’ love for defensive backs. Arnette wouldn’t start for Miami but slot into the 5/6 DB role immediately and complete the secondary rebuild. I think Grier adds a top talent here rather than picking one of several similarly rated IOL prospects at 56.
Alternatives: Biadasz/Muti/Jackson/Cushenberry (IOL) or Cleveland/Wilson/Jackson (RT)
3rd Round, 70: Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL LSU
Miami gets the last of the top tier IOL prospects at 70 and theoretically completes their Offensive line rebuild. Jones, Flowers, Karras, Cushenberry, & Davis is a significant talent upgrade over Turnstyle, Cashier, Furniture Mover, Rideshare Driver, & Davis. IOL is the last of Miami’s primary needs and nabbing a potential day 1 starter is possible at 70.
Alternatives: Niang/I. Wilson/Bartch (RT), Anae/D. Taylor (Pass Rush), T. Johnson/KJ Hill (WR)
3rd Round, 96: Lucas Niang, OT TCU
Trade alert, Miami gives up 154, 246 & 251 to snag a top swing tackle candidate in Lucas Niang. I thought PFF was generous here and this trade might require another 5th/6th round pick to execute. Miami is making at least 1 trade in this draft. I hope it’s a trade up for a top 100 candidate like this as three 7th round picks are probably not making the team.
4/141: Jonathan Garvin, Pass Rush Miami
5/153: Rashard Lawrence, DT LSU
6/173: Eno Benjamin, RB ASU
6/185: Omar Bayless, WR AK State
7/227: L’Jarius Sneed S (cool name)
FinFan5357 will write one of these for each team, leading to the Draft…Thank you!