Many pundits and detractors would’ve considered a .500 start to the 2018 season a success for the Miami Dolphins. But after a 3-0 sprint out of the gates, losers of four of the last five, Miami’s second straight collapse under Adam Gase seems like more of a certainty than a possibility.
The trade deadline is hours away and Miami has to make a decision between trying to patch the holes on this team with temporary band aids and taking more of a big-picture approach.
Today’s 4 ‘o’ clock deadline could prove telling regarding Miami’s future plans, not just with the roster, but from a coaching standpoint.
If Gase’s job is safe, Miami would be wise to weigh 2019 heavily into the decisions coming down the pipe any minute now.
But if Stephen Ross wants this 4-4 team to make a post-season surge, and tells Gase his future depends on it, we could see the same moves Dolphins fans have grown tired of – selling away future assets for less-than-desirable placeholders.
Before we get into the trade possibilities, let’s take the inventory of this current roster – both for the remainder of 2018, and looking ahead to next season.
If anyone knows the long-term prognosis on Ryan Tannehill, please reach out and let me know. Tannehill’s latest injury is shrouded in as much uncertainty as the first knee injury that led the quarterback to miss games for the first time in his career (20 straight, now 23 of the last 28).
Unless Tannehill returns (and does so immediately) and plays as well or better than his 2016 season, his job in Miami is in serious danger.
Beyond Tannehill, Brock Osweiler is a known commodity (not in a good way) and Luke Falk is the type of talent teams will try to develop as a potential backup quarterback.
Running Back –
Mismanaging the tailback position is officially a trend under Adam Gase. First it was Jay Ajayi in 2016, then Kenyan Drake in 2017 and back again with the latter in 2018. Drake has exhibited the same elite qualities as far as a big-play back, pass protection, and working as a pass catcher.
Drake has been terribly managed in terms of workload this season, but the presence of Frank Gore has facilitated that mis-usage. Gore has been terrific – as good as any Dolphins fan could’ve hoped for, but he doesn’t have a future in Miami. Meanwhile, Kalen Ballage is marinating on the bench.
You would think, given the nature of the quarterback situation, Miami would lean on this trio of backs. Going into 2019, Miami might be able to stay the course at this position – perhaps acquiring sledgehammer type if Gore decides to retire.
Wide Receiver –
Miami is set up nicely at this position for the future. In the interim, the Dolphins need to put themselves in a position to make a long term decision on Devante Parker. If they decide not to move him today, he should be a featured weapon in the offense – the Dolphins need to find out if he can produce consistently for a chunk of games.
The Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant pairing is as electrifying as they come in the league. Kenny Stills figures back into the mix and Danny Amendola is under contract for another season. If it’s not Parker, Miami’s one move would be to find a bigger-bodied wide-out that can man the X position for the possession type of routes this offense asks for.
Tight End –
The biggest disaster unit of 2018, the Dolphins have to hope Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe show something before the season is over. Nick O’Leary can likely slide into 2019 in the MarQueis Gray role.
Gesicki’s growth in year-two is going to be paramount. It takes tight ends longer than most positons to get the professional game down (three phases of the game right from day one), so bringing in a veteran tight end to hedge against Gesicki might be necessary.
Offensive Line –
Laremy Tunsil is an elite left tackle, Jesse Davis is a starting quality guard and the rest is up in the air. Ja’Wuan James is set to hit the market, but his inconsistencies have to give Miami pause regarding his long-term viability. With the too frequent outhouse performances, a checkered medical history, and a huge pay day looming, this might be the toughest decision of the off-season.
Beyond that, Miami’s roster is full of swing-interior players. Josh Sitton should return in 2019, but banking on his continued health and performance would be negligible, to say the least.
Dan Kilgore was less than inspiring, Ted Larsen has been nothing short of a nightmare and Travis Swanson has been equal parts impressive and terrible in four games.
Going forward this season, Miami doesn’t have a lot of options for growth-type of players to step into the lineup. Zach Sterup is the top candidate to do so, but his path to playing time comes via either a position switch or an injury.
Defensive Ends –
This is the group in the direst of straights both for the 2018 season and beyond. Cam Wake and Robert Quinn haven’t provided the returns the Dolphins had hoped for, and long-term viability becomes an even greater concern.
Wake is an ideal trade candidate today, but moving on from him would signal a punt on the season. The Dolphins have to make a decision on $12 million for Quinn in 2019, while 2017 first round pick Charles Harris is still dinged with an injury.
To get nothing out of this trio would set the defense and the franchise back significantly – that appears to be the case so far in 2018.
Outside of those three, Jonathan Woodard has the make-up of an edge-denting run defender, and Cameron Malveaux has flashed enough to warrant rotational work.
Miami desperately needs impact edge players this off-season.
Defensive Tackles –
Vincent Taylor continues to sit third in the rotation despite playing head and shoulders ahead of his depth chart superiors. Davon Godchaux is a damn fine player in his own right, so the pair ought to start alongside each other for the foreseeable future.
Akeem Spence figures to be a one-and-done project and the Dolphins have to find a pass rush presence on the interior this off-season. Supplementing the young tackles with a rotational player could get this DT group back to the success it had early in the season.
Concerns over Raekwon McMillan’s long-term viability are real. He’s a liability in coverage and doesn’t have the sideline-to-sideline range you’d prefer in a middle linebacker. A scheme change could help out the Ohio State product, but he has a way to go.
Rookie Jerome Baker has flashed potential and could be the move-piece across this defense down the road. He needs more work as a blitzer and less responsibility in coverage (at least in the interim).
Kiko Alonso is probably in his final year in Miami. This position group will be an intriguing one at season’s end. Miami could opt to go into another year relying entirely on McMillan or make a move to upgrade the position.
The depth has to get a whole lot better than it has been.
Xavien Howard figures to cash in very soon, and he’s earned every penny. Bobby McCain is showing that he belongs back inside in the slot and the disappearance of Cordrea Tankersley has sent a ripple-effect down this roster.
Miami would be wise to see what it has in Tankersley, but also rookie Cornell Armstrong, the rest of the way in 2018.
Minkah Fitzpatrick has been terrific in the nickel, but if his permanent residence is at safety, that move should come sooner rather than later.
This plan was destined to fail from the start. Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald play the same position, yet are both on the field every play. Jones has earned that right – he’s a pro-bowl player. McDonald, on the other hand, has been an utter failure of a signing – he figures to exit this off-season.
Working Fitzpatrick into the safety position (base downs) would be a positive step in the right direction. This group could see considerable turnover this off-season, maybe even today with the deadline approaching.
Jason Sanders has been a stabilizing change at the place kicker position, but Matt Haack has been unreliable in the punting game. John Denney has been injured most of the season, and made a few poor snaps as a result.
This trio, for all intents and purposes, could be left alone.
Perhaps in need of the most thorough self-scouting and inventory tracking is the coaching staff. The continued use of McDonald over Fitzpatrick, Spence over Taylor and the general construction of this defense, Matt Burke is at the head of the chopping block table.
The Dolphins have failed to unveil a dime package and brought in too many similar players to execute different jobs. The wide-9 front has been the primary point of contention for many fan complaints, and the lack of personnel to properly execute the scheme is rather discouraging.
On offense, the slow starts are more than a trend under Adam Gase, they are universal law – just as the poor road performances are.
The Dolphins have to find a way to fix this issue not just in 2018, but going forward in 2019 as well.
This is a touchy subject for a 4-4 football team. Some want to pursue a championship this season regardless of the vast holes on the roster, others want to punt and lose the rest of the games.
The ideal answer, as it usually does, lies somewhere in between. Miami has some competition on the schedule that has given the team more than it can handle in recent years (good quarterbacks on the road (Rodgers, Luck, Cousins)).
With that in mind, in association with the poor showings against quality teams, it’s my opinion that Miami should consider its ceiling for the 2018 season. What is the best case scenario for this team? Tannehill returns, the defense picks it back up, they win 10 games and maybe a playoff victory?
Then what? A trip to Arrowhead of Gillett Stadium? Don’t get me wrong, that’s a GOOD season, one many teams would be proud of. But if that’s your end-goal, things have gone seriously awry.
This opens up the possibility for some long-time stalwarts to be considered for trade:
If Miami can get out of those deals, recoup draft capital and get an eight-game look at Minkah Fitzpatrick as the free safety, and Charles Harris as a starting end, that would be an excellent first step in the shift of this franchise.
Both of those players could bring back day-two draft picks.
Then there’s Devante Parker. Miami has already declared that they want to retain Parker’s rights as he approaches his fifth-year, option season. With Stills banged up and Wilson out for the year, Parker’s position on the roster could be out of necessity.
If that’s the case, then the Dolphins need to use this time to make a decision for 2019. If Parker shows the desire to earn that $9 million figure in 2019, that would mean he played at a high level for more than half a season (something he’s never done).
Because of that parenthetical, I would parlay Parker for a draft pick. The negotiation begins at a third round pick, but Miami should take any compensation they get for Parker.
Lastly, a pair of players that aren’t going anywhere, but could garner some discussion. Frank Gore and Ja’Wuan James are the two names that might enter the fray. James could help a contender and, as he heads into free agency, might provide Miami with its greatest return (a lot of teams need offensive line help).
Foundations of the Franchise –
Picking at the top of the draft is no sure bet to return to prominence, or even relevance, in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns earned high-draft-pick-after-high-draft-pick and still couldn’t manage multiple wins in back-to-back seasons.
Now, in the midst of the Hue Jackson firing, the Browns are suddenly a destination job because of the core building blocks on the roster.
For Miami, the story isn’t all that different. Outside of quarterback, Miami is well-stocked in some key areas.
Xavien Howard – There are maybe a handful of better man-cover corners in the league. Howard is going to get paid in the near future and he could be Miami’s Richard Sherman/Xavier Rhodes/Jalen Ramsey etc.
Minkah Fitzpatrick – Even just eight games into his career, he’s shown the bite that he’ll be a mainstay on the AFC pro-bowl roster for years to come.
Vincent Taylor – This might be premature to some, but Taylor is an elite run-stuffer with an arsenal of moves good enough to make him an occasional pocket collapser.
Albert Wilson – There’s no greater compliment to a player than labeling him as a guy that can “make a play caller right.” If the play call was lacking, the player can bail the coach out and move the sticks or take it all the way home. Wilson is an electrifying play maker who was just getting started before an injury cut his season short.
Laremy Tunsil – He might be the best left tackle in football by the time the season is done. Shutting out Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack in the passing game, and creating huge lanes in the running game, Tunsil has realized his elite potential.
Kenyan Drake – This one likely draws the ire of the fan base, but I attribute his lack of production more to misuse than anything else. He’s gotten behind defenses, made the big run and has proven that he’s as good as anyone in pass protection. Free Kenyan Drake.
Building Blocks –
Jesse Davis – Davis has the requisite length and athleticism to perform regardless of the scheme. He needs more refinement in a phone booth against squatty bodies like Geno Atkins, but he has held up against all competition deemed to be not quite “elite.”
Kenny Stills – Instability at quarterback has impacted Stills’ production, but he’s a crucial piece to the offense for his speed and selflessness. Nobody on this team runs more clear-out routes, with as much dedication, as Kenny Stills.
Jakeem Grant – He could likely wind up in the foundation portion by the time the season is over. Like Drake, Grant needs more work. In the interim, he’s a big play threat and one of the best specialist in the league.
Davon Godchaux – His ability to anchor against doubles and create opportunities for the linebackers is such a crucial piece to early-down defense.
Jerome Baker – Ideally, Baker becomes a full-time player that can produce in all three phases of the game. Currently, he’s a plus sub-package player with keen instinct for gaps, blitzing responsibilities, and coverage to the flats.
Bobby McCain – The perimeter corner experiment has gone poorly post-injury as the lack of long-speed has been exposed. Getting McCain back in the slot is best for him and this team.
We can debate the current standing of some of the veterans on the roster. Reshad Jones is absolutely a foundation piece, but for how much longer? Those shoulder issues aren’t going away any time soon and that contract is not ideal.
Cam Wake can play as long he likes for my money, but the Dolphins can probably parlay him for the best return right now – and that might be doing right by the player.
This team isn’t years away, evidence by the Rams under Sean McVay. Turnarounds can happen in one off-season and, while Miami has some work to do to get there, it’s not untenable.
The 2019 off-season might not be where Miami finds its answer at quarterback, but the roster stands to improve at a few spots.
It’s about time the Dolphins start showing some foresight and self-scouting prowess.
Pillaging the Pats
Taking From the Rich and Giving to the Phins
De facto Patriots Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores is set to take over the big chair in Miami at the conclusion of New England’s 2018 season. Rumored to be coming with Flores are a pair of Pats staffers.
A master of delegation, Bill Belichick constantly maintains the smallest staff in the league. Flores’ intentions are to bring with him Pats’ Consultant Bret Bielema and Wide Receivers Coach Chad O’Shea.
*We’ll have a comprehensive breakdown of the offensive scheme that comes with O’Shea should this move push closer to official. And we’ll do so in the same capacity as the Defensive Crash Course piece.
If Flores is able to extract both Bielema and O’Shea, he’s plundering 16% of the 2018 Patriots’ staff (that includes Flores). Belichick’s coaching tree has yielded less than desirable results in their new destinations, but Flores is described as “different” from the rest.
I’m in Foxboro reporting on Patriots’ game, so I’ve gotten to chat with people about Dolphins target Brian Flores. One thing nobody exactly says but stands out: This is not your usual Belichick disciple. Disciplined, yes. Stoic even. But not as… how should I put this… rigid?
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 12, 2019
By now Dolphins fans are tired of lip service. If Flores is the exception to the many before him, great – we’ll find out on Sundays. Flores is, however, off to a unique beginning compared to the lackluster rest.
|Coach (Year Left New England)||Additional Migrating Staffers|
|Charlies Weis (2005 – Notre Dame)||0|
|Romeo Crennel (2005 – Cleveland)||0|
|Eric Mangini (2007 – NY Jets)||0|
|Josh McDaniels (2009 – Denver)||0|
|Bill O’Brien (2012 – Penn State)||0|
|Matt Patricia (2018 – Detroit)||0|
Goose eggs. I didn’t expect that when I began this study, hence the table. Interestingly, the greatest dearth in the Patriots run came between the 2008-2010 seasons. That sentence is a house of cards for two reasons:
1.) It’s sort of hilarious to call two playoff appearances and a combined record of 35-13 a dearth. Those three seasons were the last time New England weren’t participating in the Conference Championship – they’ve qualified for eight consecutive title games since.
2.) It’s something of a strawman to suggest New England’s 14-2 season was cut short at the divisional round because of a loss of coordinators. Not to mention the 2008 season that brought back 11 wins despite starting Matt Cassel for 15 games.
That three-year stretch did come after New England lost its offensive and defensive coordinators, and then Crennel’s replacement at DC (Mangini) two years later. No one is mistaking Flores, Bielema, and O’Shea for Weis, Crennel, and Mangini, but this would be a similar exodus – the difference being all at once opposed to three years.
It’s no secret that Belichick is a ruthless competitor that has no qualms about making enemies. The Patriots have blocked coaches from interviewing for outside positions in the past. Clearly, New England doesn’t block assistants from taking head coaching jobs, but the fact that zero staffers jumped ship might insinuate staffers are held hostage.
Maybe that’s where the idea that Flores is different from the rest comes from. His ability to separate himself from the Pats’ program. His intentions to implement his own initiative that doesn’t try to form as a carbon copy of Belichick’s well-oiled machine in Foxboro.
There are a million ways to splice this, but it all comes back to one conclusion: Brian Flores is beloved by everyone that knows him – even the heartless Hoodie.
Crash Course On 2019 Dolphins Defensive Scheme
For a publication based primarily on analysis, these last two weeks have been a bit of a drag for content. We know the potential names but, as they say, potential doesn’t play on Sundays. In this case, the reference refers to the rumors and names linked to various positions with the Dolphins – rumors, meaning anything but finalized.
Enter Patrick Graham.
It has been reported that Miami, under Head Coach to Be Named Brian Flores, will tag the former Green Bay Packers assistant as the Defensive Coordinator position with the Dolphins in 2019.
Graham, a former staffer alongside Flores in New England, spent the 2018 season coaching the linebackers on Mike Pettine’s defense.
Another name linked to the vacant DC job is Bret Bielema. The former Wisconsin and Arkansas Head Coach spent the 2018 season working hand-in-hand with Bill Belichick as a Consultant to the Head Coach.
And so, from this, we glean some potential defensive structures, schemes and principles that figure to be migrating south this winter along with Flores.
For Flores, Graham, and potentially Bielema, the task is tall. Redirect a unit that ranked 29th in points allowed each of the last two years under the inexperienced watch of Matt Burke.
We start first in New England. After all, Flores will be a master of delegation, but he knows this scheme as well as anyone. Few teams mix up their fronts with more frequency than the New England Patriots.
The prevailing theme among these slight variances of defensive schemes is the “Bear” front. A Bear front simply refers to six defenders up around the line of scrimmage. Two of those players are positioned in a linebacker technique while the other four are down linemen.
This variation of the Bear front is a 3-3 look using three down-linemen, two outside ‘backers shaded off the 9-technique alignment.
— James Light (@JamesALight) February 5, 2018
In this image provided by the Twitter account of James Light, we can see the variations from the nickel and dime packages (yes, Miami will FINALLY be running some dime defense in 2019).
The more traditional look aligns those six players in a 4-2 set.
New England Patriots 4-3 Even Front I just talked about vs Titans. 2 Gap & 1 Gap Hybrid. Very tough to run the ball against. First example is with Tampa 2 Coverage. Second is with 3 Buzz Coverage (SS Buzz). pic.twitter.com/dnskxkrgFp
— James Light (@JamesALight) January 16, 2018
Bret Bielema last coached (on the field) in 2017 at Arkansas, so he’s no stranger to the evolution of the college game and its integration into the NFL. There, Bielema’s defense was based in the traditional 3-4, but the tight splits inside look an awful lot like the classic Bear front (nose tackle over the center and two fellow linemen in a variance between 2i and 4 techniques). Bielema helped institute some of these principles in 2018 – his one season with the Patriots.
The common theme between all of these looks is to prevent specific run plays. The inside run becomes increasingly difficult with all the bodies down around the line of scrimmage. The even bigger factor (both literally and figuratively) is the beef inside.
Vincent Taylor gon’ eat in this new defense. Miami didn’t two-gap at all, but he’s capable. pic.twitter.com/m7nfBdbVoU
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 16, 2019
Davon Godchaux has the power to play a true nose or the 2i/3 in the 3-3 Bear Front. Here he is showing us as close to nose alignment dominance as we’ll find from 2018 in this D. pic.twitter.com/Ylc4wt86Di
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 16, 2019
Lining up with three down-linemen (pushing 300 pounds a pop) and defending one gap makes it nearly impossible to pull, which means the end of any gap-scheming.
The scheme is also designed to shut down inside zone, but also free up the linebackers with fewer keys and responsibilities. Instead of asking the defensive ends to set the edge on the way to their pass rush (the design of the wide-9) this alignment puts that responsibility on the outside linebackers.
The widened pre-snap alignment gives the linebackers a quicker, unimpeded path to outside runs. Only the Mike Linebacker has to weed through trash and take on blocks in this defense. Raekwon McMillan would likely serve as the Middle Linebacker. McMillan’s instincts and physicality at the point-of-attack would capitalize on the things the former Buckeye does well.
No false steps, clean diagnosis, knifes in and makes the TFL. This new defense wants to free up its LBs, which could make a word of difference for the emerging Raekwon McMillan. pic.twitter.com/MHDja6ebtM
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 16, 2019
Then there’s the influence of the actual Titled-Defensive Coordinator, Patrick Graham. Working under Mike Pettine, Graham absorbed the principles of the Bear front and the 46 defense. Pettine spent time with Rex Ryan in Baltimore and with the New York Jets and, as we all know, Rex’s Dad Buddy was the originator of the 46 defense.
The imagine comes from the Patriots defense, but it’s along the lines of what you see in Green Bay with Pettine (and Graham). Four down-linemen condensed to create space off the edge of the linebackers. This means more pass rushing opportunities from linebackers.
Jerome Baker working as an outside rush backer off the weak side – a role he will see plenty of in 2019 in Patrick Graham’s defense. pic.twitter.com/SVzKXuyc8T
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 16, 2019
Later, as it inches near official status in the way it has with Graham, we will dive into the potential principles and concepts of Jim Caldwell’s offense in today’s NFL. Much like the Dolphins inclination to bring an experienced consultant along with the young defensive boss, the play on the attack unit is heading in that direction as well.
These consultants figure in as prominent fixtures early in this experimental tenure of young coaches. Caldwell (63-years-old with 41 years of coaching experience) and Bielema (48-years-old with 22 years of coaching experience) can ease the transition to the Flores/Graham grouping along with whomever (possibly Chad O’Shea of the Patriots) Flores chooses as his Offensive Coordinator.
The offensive crash course will be posted just as soon as we have more concrete news.
Miami Dolphins Mock Draft Roundup: A Kyler Murray Sighting
It is that time of year again. Yes, the time of year where we all jump to immediate conclusions, argue and judge each other on projections that, statistically speaking, have a less chance of happening than winning the lottery or being struck by lightning multiple times.
It’s mock draft season! Well – it’s been mock draft season since December 30th but who’s counting…
Let’s get started on what I hope becomes a weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how many updates are made) mock draft roundup for Miami’s 13th overall pick:
Bleacher Report: Greedy Williams – CB – LSU
Greedy Williams, arguably one of the top corners in this draft — right up there with Washington corner Byron Murphy. Someone to pair with all-pro corner, Xavien Howard, is a need for this Miami defense. Drafting or bringing in a reliable #2 corner also allows Miami to play players like Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick in their proper roles, slot corner and safety respectively.
Williams is a tall corner, measuring in at 6’3”. Add in the speed he possesses and simply looking at the metrics, he has what you want, physically, for a corner.
CBS Sports: Greedy Williams – CB – LSU
Right off the bat, two mocks having Miami select LSU corner, Greedy Williams. It’s hard to argue against this pick when you watch Williams.
For those looking for a quarterback, this mock draft saw four — yes, four — quarterbacks go before Miami’s selection. In between those selections saw a lot of the top defensive line players taken – both edge and interior. Assuming this is the case, a player like Williams would be a solid pick as far as value and need go.
The Draft Network: Kyler Murray – QB – Oklahoma
Now it’s getting exciting! There isn’t a player in this draft with more hype than Kyler Murray. As written here at Locked on Dolphins, Murray has the answers for this Miami team.
Kyler Murray will now get feedback from NFL scouts regarding his draft position and many scouts estimate he’ll be a 2nd or 3rd round pick. He also has millions from baseball waiting for him. Big decision still looms.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2019
Some question if he will be available at #13. As Ian Rapoport reports, maybe that idea isn’t so far-fetched. Maybe it’s just early smoke-screens or maybe teams are actually concerned about his size. Make no mistake, despite the round 2 or 3 grade, quarterbacks always find their name called much earlier. Murray will be no exception.
2019 still may be a “rebuilding” year, but I promise drafting Murray would produce a season defined as anything but boring. If you’re hoping for Miami to make a splash in the draft, drafting Murray would certainly be the biggest play.
Drafttek: Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson
Dexter Lawrence did not play in Clemson’s final two games, which ultimately resulted in a national championship. Although Lawrence wasn’t on the field, don’t misunderstand the impact Lawrence had on this Clemson team.
Lawrence has the size to play on the interior of a defensive line, coming in at 6’4” and 340 lbs. He isn’t the quickest tackle in the world, but he can stop the run with the best of them and bring interior pressure to disrupt the quarterback. Although I feel this is high for Lawrence and there may be more impactful positional prospects available at this pick (e.g. defensive end Jachai Polite, Montez Sweat), he would be a safe pick who would contribute day 1 for this Miami defense.
Pro Football Focus: Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson
This now makes two choices for Clemson star interior defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.
What is interesting, in this mock, players like Houston’s Ed Oliver were still available. Oliver, also an interior defensive lineman, has a different skillset than Lawrence, obvious by Oliver coming in measured at 6’3” and 292 lbs.
Is Miami looking for that big man in the middle who doesn’t get moved around (like Minnesota defensive tackle, Linval Joseph), or the quick tackle, more built for pass-rushing (like Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald). Who knows, but if both are in the board, Miami’s plan for the future at defensive line will be clear with this pick.
SB Nation: Daniel Jones – QB – Duke
It’s no secret Miami is in the market for a quarterback. Although Duke quarterback, Daniel Jones, has potential, this would be a reach. Jones doesn’t seem to have the high ceiling other quarterbacks slotted in the first round do, so why reach on a player who at best may be a slightly better version of Ryan Tannehill? There are other options out there at a cheaper price.
When you thrown in Miami is supposedly eyeing the 2020 draft class for their franchise quarterback with the 2019 draft geared towards fixing the trenches, it only raises more questions at why this may be the pick.
All that said, it’s the NFL draft. Smoke screens are a plenty and no one really knows what a team is going to do and how a player will or won’t turn out. Pulling the trigger on your franchise quarterback is certainly alluring, but why not put your chips all in on a player who has the franchise-altering potential? I just don’t see it with Jones.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on who Miami should take at #13. Follow me on Twitter @skylertrunck and let’s discuss.