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NFL Draft

Top 5 Players By Round for Miami in the 2019 NFL Draft

Travis Wingfield

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Stacking Miami’s Draft Board as Locked On Dolphins Sees It

It’s draft night! We made it through the blustery winter months and finally have a football evening to celebrate as we welcome a truckload of brand new Miami Dolphins into the program.

Image Credit: Miami Dolphins / Jason Hrina

Finally, after months of endless debate, we will have answers to the questions regarding Miami’s intentions with this year’s draft class.

This year has been especially difficult trying to get an idea of Chris Grier, Brian Flores, and all the new faces’ vision for this draft weekend. Fortifying the foundation, ahead of what should be a much flashier 2020 offseason, is the presumed goal, but nobody outside the walls in Davie, FL truly knows what will happen.

Here, we look at the top five options, by round, for Miami for the draft tonight, tomorrow, and concluding on Saturday evening.

Round 1

OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State
DE Chase Winovich, Michigan

After roughly 25 revisions to this list, this is my final answer. Multiple names could be added but I feel confident in the prototype of each of these players matching Miami’s checklist of demands, and each playing a big position of need on this roster.

Williams and Taylor are relatively interchangeable for my money — both are plug-and-play, 1,000 snap players with accomplished college pedigrees. Gardner-Johnson’s versatility in the secondary frees up Minkah Fitzpatrick to be a Swiss Army Knife while Bradbury might be the best lineman in the class. Winovich is more than deserving of a first round selection and has had one of the most impressive offseason runs in this entire class.

Round 2

G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
DE Charles Omenihu, Texas
S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State
DE L.J. Collier, TCU
S Darnell Savage, Maryland

Lindstrom likely comes off the board before pick-48, maybe even in the first round — the same could be said for the other four names on this list. Each of these players enters training camp as a favorite to start the season opener if donning the aqua and orange. Lindstrom started over 50 games at BC, Omenihu and Collier are a glove-like fits on this Miami D-line, and Abram and Savage fill immediate and long-term needs at the safety position alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Round 3

C Elton Jenkins, Mississippi State
DE Zach Allen, Boston College
CB David Long, Michigan
DT Trysten Hill, UCF
LB Blake Cashman, Minnesota

Jenkins, like Lindstrom, could easily come off the board before this — he would anchor the middle of Miami’s offensive line. Zach Allen plays double duty (run and pass) more than adequately enough to earn a crack at a starting job. David Long checks off the massively important “A” categories (aptitude and athleticism). Trysten Hill is a sub-package monster inside and Blake Cashman might be the surest tackler in this draft.

Round 4

OLB Justin Hollins, Oregon
OT Chuma Edoga, USC
C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
OLB Ben Banogu, TCU
S Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Justin Hollins has the length to solidify the edge of the Miami defense. Chuma Edoga is only going to get better and would enter camp as the favorite to win the Right Tackle job. Lamont Gaillard has a strong anchor and would compete with Dan Kilgore, while Ben Banogu falls into a similar category as Hollins. Mike Edwards is a quintessential replacement for Reshad Jones if he is indeed on a short leash in Miami.

Round 5

RB James Williams, Washington State
QB Brett Rypien, Boise State
DE Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan
G Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas
WR David Sills, West Virginia

Tailback is a sneaky need for Miami — especially a pass catching phenom like Williams. Brett Rypien has the mental make-up that will entice Miami and Maxx Crosby is the high-motor type that every team needs. Froholdt is a developmental prospect with major upside and Davis Sills is quietly a tremendous option to compete with Devante Parker and Brice Butler for the X position.

Round 6

QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State
CB Jamel Dean, Auburn
RB Ryquell Armstead, Temple
LB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State
LB Sione Takitaki, BYU

Miami doesn’t have a pick in the sixth-round, but could easily stumble upon a selection here with a trade. Stick is a development pick for the backup QB position, Jamel Dean has the testing metrics, and length, Miami will like, and Ryquell Armstead is a lunch pail ball carrier. I have no idea where Hanks comes off the board — he has upside, but his workouts (injury) were dreadful. Sione Takitaki has some terrific game tape and some dreadful ones as well — he’s been on Miami’s radar.

Round 7

CB Derek Baity, Kentucky
WR Penny Hart, Georgia State
QB Gardner Minshew, Washington State
CB Ka’dar Holloman, Toledo
S Corrion Ballard, Utah

Players in this range need to play on special teams to make the roster. Baity, Holloman, Ballard and Holloman offer prowess in that department with speed, tackling skills and will. Gardner Minshew is on this list purely for the fact that he will improve whichever quarterback room he enters this spring; not for his physical traits, but his aptitude and personality.

 

I finished writing this merely 27 hours out from the start of the first round and it’s hitting me — THE DRAFT IS HERE!

For all the latest, most comprehensive coverage on Miami’s draft, keep it Locked On the podcast and website.

@WingfieldNFL

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Rich McQuillen

    April 25, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Fine list. Here are my thoughts:
    Round 1:
    S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
    C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State
    DE Chase Winovich, Michigan
    — Safety isn’t a high paid position and shouldn’t be drafted in the first round. Usually you draft a corner in round 1; Corner before Safety.

    c Bradbury looks fine, but not at 13. Maybe around 25-35 range. I like the idea of drafting the Best Available Center or Guard in round 2.

    I haven’t seen Winovich on any mock drafts. He’s light at 256lbs (like a linebacker). Not a good fit for a 3-4. There are some big boys like Tillery, Oliver. And bigger boys like Wilkins, Lawrence, that I would draft after Winovich. I kind of like the idea of trading down to 22 and drafting 341LB Dexter Lawrence to replace Suh at NT.
    ****
    Round 5
    QB Brett Rypien – We agree; but I think he’ll be long gone by Round 5. I have him going in Round 3.

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NFL Draft

Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 Quarterbacks – Week 3

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 3 for College Football’s Top QB Prospects

The news that Ryan Fitzpatrick beat out Josh Rosen for the opening day start in Miami is a tough pill to swallow. Easing the blow to Rosen’s long-term franchise answer probability, is the fact that Miami is staring down the barrel of a loaded quarterback class set to hit the draft next April.

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are:

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

2019 Week 1 Recap
2019 Week 2 Recap

We’ll go in chronological order from when the games were played.

Jake Fromm vs. Arkansas State, Win 55-0
Stats: 17/22 (77.3%) 279 yards (12.68 YPA), 3 TDs

The beneficial aspect of Jake Fromm returning for his junior season is the ability to sharpen his sword. The strengths for Fromm come in the intangible aspect more so than the tangible. Nobody is confusing the Arkansas State defense with the ’85 Bears, but Fromm’s pre-snap perfection regularly puts his Bulldog teammates in prime position to make big plays after the catch.

Recognition of leverage, timing, and anticipation gets the ball out of Fromm’s possession quickly, and strains the defense to pull the trigger post-snap based on what it sees pre-snap.

Unfortunately, for Fromm, no amount of experience will improve the clear shortcomings in his game. The lack of arm strength means he must see the deep routes develop early in order to stretch the field. He’s liable to under-shoot vertical balls, and the concern about driving throws to the field in the professional ranks is legitimate.

Tua Tagovailoa at South Carolina, Win 47-23
Stats: 28/36 (77.8%) 444 yards (12.33 YPA), 5 TDs

Tua and the fourth quarter are mere acquaintances, but the two were introduced again today for one possession (plus one more snap as an encore). Prior to entering the game’s final period, Tua has already surpassed his career-high for passing yardage as he lit up the scoreboard in Bama’s first SEC game of the season.

It was business as usual as Tua and his complement of dynamic playmakers destroyed the Gamecock defense. Every trait that makes Tagovailoa far-and-away the premier quarterback prospect was on display. He threw with accuracy from a variety of platforms and across multiple route combinations. He dictated ideal situations with pre-snap recognition, and post-snap manipulation. He manipulated the defense with ball placement, and eye and body-position manipulation.

The footwork, the touch, the drive, everything is consistently great due to the fine details that are never neglected. Though Tua missed three or four throws, his ability to create advantageous opportunities for his skill guys covers up the few hiccups he endures.

This is the quarterback, the reason that the Dolphins are enduring a supremely challenging 2019 season.

Justin Herbert vs. Montana, Win 35-3
Stats: 30/42 (71%) 316 yards (7.52 YPA) 5 TDs

Herbert has been exactly who we thought he was so far this season. Elite traits that pop up every game clouded by inconsistencies and shortcomings in crucial aspects of the position. You start with the arm and the stress it puts on the defense — just as it did against the Griz defense and evident on his first touchdown pass.

Then you have the third touchdown of the night where Herbert escapes a free rusher, sprints to his right and throws a seed on the move for a touchdown. Herbert is either going to make or break the career of whoever drafts him — it’s going to depend on the program he goes to and how well he’s developed.

Jordan Love – Utah State Bye Week

It’s going to be a challenge for the other quarterbacks to close the gap on Tua with performances like the one he put forth on Saturday. Conference play, on the road, and another video game stat line, punctuated by a cast of highlight reel throws.

Fromm continues to drive the bus for his Georgia offense in more of a complementary role, while Justin Herbert eats against another FCS opponent. Next week, the schedule gets more attractive.

Week 4 Schedule

Tagovailoa – vs. Southern Miss, Noon ESPN
Herbert – vs. Stanford, 7:00 ESPN
Fromm – vs. Notre Dame, 8:00 CBS
Love – at San Diego State, 10:30 CBSSN

I’m heading to Pullman for the Washington State-UCLA game, so the week-four report will be later than usual, but we’ll have it for you as we do every week.

@WingfieldNFL

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NFL Draft

Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 Quarterbacks – Week 2

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 2 for College Football’s Top QB Prospects

The news that Ryan Fitzpatrick beat out Josh Rosen for the opening day start in Miami is a tough pill to swallow. Easing the blow to Rosen’s long-term franchise answer probability, is the fact that Miami is staring down the barrel of a loaded quarterback class set to hit the draft next April.

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are:

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

2019 Week 1 Recap

We’ll go in chronological order from when the games were played. Up first, QB1.

Tua Tagovailoa vs. New Mexico State, Win 62-10
Stats: 16/25 (64%) 227 yards (9.1 YPA), 3 TDs (1 rushing, 4 total)

More misses than usual for the career 70% passer, Tagovailoa wasn’t as sharp as he typically is, yet he still posted gaudy stats towards his Heisman pursuit. Aside from the explosive passing game — and one long touchdown rush — Tagovailoa missed a pair of short throws and was a little too aggressive in the deep passing game.

Still, the traits that make him QB1 were on display. The light feet, the manipulation of the defense with eye and body positioning, elite accuracy and spatial awareness to create windows and thread tight lanes, this quarterback is a marvel to watch each week.

Tua rarely misses layups, but when he is responsible for putting the offense behind the chains, he typically bails the unit out with third-down mastery. The Alabama protection wasn’t great in the first half, but the quarterback’s ability to find clean platforms and deliver the ball from multiple arm angles never ceases to amaze.

Jake Fromm vs. Murray State – Win 63-17
Stats: 10/11 (90.1%) 166 yards (15.1 YPA) 1 TD

Tagovailoa stands to get dinged for the surrounding talent he plays with more than anybody, but its Georgia’s talent and style that limits the evaluation of Fromm even more. Fromm made one bad throw (decision) in this game, and it could’ve been picked off. He completed every other pass he threw, however, and continues to lean on the nation’s strongest ground game.

Fromm’s services were no longer needed by the end of the second quarter, and his intermediate and deep passing were a big reason why he earned the right to hold the clipboard in the second half.

During the broadcast, the announcers referred to a pre-game conversation they had with the noble quarterback. Fromm discussed the action-reaction relationship between the defense’s plan, and the offense’s reaction to that plan. “Every time the defense moves, there’s a solution to that movement, and I’ve got to find that answer.”

That cerebral approach will entice the Miami brain trust, even though Fromm is the least physically impressive passer of this foursome. The advanced processing and ball placement are Fromm’s two greatest traits, and he showcased both in the romp over Murray State.

Justin Herbert vs. Nevada, Win 77-6
Stats: 19/26 (73.1%) 310 yards (11.9 YPA) 5 TDs

Through two games Herbert is exactly who has been throughout his career. Moments of jaw-dropping brilliance, followed up by inconsistencies in his mechanics, accuracy, and under duress, clouds the evaluation. Herbert saw some ghosts in that Auburn opener, and that’s understandable, but he exhibits that urgency in a panicky fashion with regularity.

The aforementioned sloppy mechanics leaves balls scattered all over the passing chart, but once he finally settles in, he paints some of the prettiest pictures in college football.

Herbert got it cranking after Oregon’s first two series stalled. He responded with fastballs down the seam that are simply uncoverable. He took the Ducks down the field on the five next drives — each capped by a Herbert touchdown.

If Herbert develops consistency as the season goes along, he’ll solidify his top-five draft status. Even if he doesn’t, the lofty upside is going to entice the coach of one quarterback-needy franchise next April.

Jordan Love vs. Stony Brook, Win 62-7
Stats: 25/34 (73.5%) 294 yards (8/65 YPA) 1 TD

His performance will carry the burden of a Stony Brook caveat, but the eye-popping, highlight plays were on display Saturday night for Love. First, the arm-talent. The natural elasticity to whip the football with velocity and spin — regardless of the angle — is the reason scouts are so high on Jordan Love. Height, weight, arm strength, it’s all there, but when you factor in the mobility (both as a running threat and within the pocket) and recognition of the “why” behind the offense, you’re working with endless potential.

Nobody is confusing Stony Brook’s defense for a Vic Fangio squad, but Love’s ability to read the entire field, and trust his eyes based on his preparation was apparent Saturday. He scans the first read in the progression, and because of the information that particular side of the defense affords him, he’s able to come back and rip it with trust that he’s got his man.

The needle was never going to move this week given the competition of the four QB’s in week-two. Fromm managed another dominant rushing performance from Georgia, Tua missed more throws that usual, but was still spectacular, Love was all over the highlight reel and Herbert dominated after a slow start.

Next week, it’s a bye week, two more cupcakes, and our first conference game for QB1.

Week 3 Schedule

Tagovailoa – @ South Carolina, 3:30 CBS
Fromm – Arkansas State, 12:00 (N/A)
Herbert – vs. Montana, 10:45 PAC12 Network
Love – BYE

@WingfieldNFL

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NFL Draft

Scouting College Football’s 2020 Top Quarterbacks – Week 1

Travis Wingfield

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Every week, we’ll dive into the performances of the top four quarterback prospects in college football

The news that Ryan Fitzpatrick beat out Josh Rosen for the opening day start in Miami is a tough pill to swallow. Easing the blow to Rosen’s long-term franchise answer probability, is the fact that Miami is staring down the barrel of a loaded quarterback class set to hit the draft next April.

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are: (Click each link for a 2018 Scouting Report)

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

We’ll go in chronological order, and since Love at the Utah State Aggies played on Friday night, we’ll start there.

Jordan Love at Wake Forest – Loss, 38-35
Stats: 33/48 (68.8%) 416 yards (8.67 YPA) 3 TDs, 3 INTS

All eyes were on Love in Friday night primetime, and it wasn’t his best showing. Despite showcasing all the physical traits that have scouts fawning over the potential of this high-ceiling quarterback, mistakes and poor post-snap recognition spoiled the opener for a Utah State team coming off of an 11-2 season.

On display, Love’s tremendous snap-release. He has what’s known as “easy gas”, in that it doesn’t take a lot of effort for Love to drive the football to all levels of the field. Going off script and throwing on the run are among Loves most desirable traits.

Not only can Love drive the football, but he knows how to change speeds with the best of them. He showcased both the touch pass and the fastball in this game. His ability to quickly get off of his spot and throw from different arm slots had the Utah State offense rolling early.

Loves struggles came in the post-snap processing of disguised coverage. He was fooled by post-snap rotation, most notably on his game-ending interception in scoring range.

Love’s feet, quick-twitch, and snap release are among his best traits, but he exhibits a tendency to not have a symbiotic marriage of the mind and the feet. His brain is often ahead of his footwork, which prevents him from re-setting, then his mechanics and the football go astray.

Love’s interceptions occurred in a variety of disparaging forms. He considerably underthrew a corner route, he stared down a target that invited the defensive back to jump the route, and the game-ender was sailed over his intended target.

The debut was a mixed bag. We saw the reasons many believe he can challenge Tagovailoa for the QB1 distinction, and we also saw some areas that need to be ironed out.

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Duke – Win 42-3
Stats: 26/31 (83.9%) 336 yards (10.8 YPA), 4 TDs

Another day at the office for the likely number-one pick next April. Tagovailoa showcased all the traits that have scouts fawning over the possibility of altering the course of their franchise for the foreseeable future.

Tagovailoa’s ability to win from the pocket comes from a rare combination of high-level processing and accuracy. Those two traits, along with his light feet — which are hard-wired to his eyes (accelerated decision making) makes him one of the most revered prospects to come out in the last decade.

Tua is far from just a pocket passer, however. He was restricted to the pocket late in 2018 because of a knee injury, but a clean bill of health has the 21-year-old bouncing around again (check the video thread).

He’s a dual threat that can test every level of the field, erase free rushers, and always puts his offense in the most advantageous positions.

His downfield accuracy wasn’t as on-point as it usually is, but it’s difficult to nitpick a four touchdown day when an average pass of over 10 yards.

Jake Fromm at Vanderbilt – Win 30-6
Stats: 15/23 (65.2%) 156 yards (6.8 YPA) 1 TD

Fromm’s evaluation is going to come with a lot of “yeah but’s” this season. Fromm drew comparisons to Peyton Manning for his leadership, understanding of the passing concepts and the coverage of the defense, and how to manipulate that coverage within his scheme.

That is precisely why Kirby Smart trusted Fromm over fellow five-stars in Justin Fields and Jacob Eason — he’s the ultimate field general to guide the loaded Bulldog offense.

Fromm’s first drive featured one pass — and it was a touchdown. The mauling Georgia front, with a pair of positively gifted tailbacks, give Fromm more balance than anybody in the country.

Still, he was efficient, consistently had the offense in the right call, and struck the big ball when the opportunity presented itself.

Justin Herbert vs. Auburn – Loss 27-21
Stats: 28/37 (75.7) 242 yards (6.5 YPA) 1 TD

With an entire offseason — uninterrupted by classes – to familiarize himself with the Ducks offensive scheme, I was hoping to see more from Herbert against a big, fast Auburn defense. I was hoping to see a little crisper, more in-rhythm throwing night, and belief in what he was seeing, but that just didn’t happen for Justin Herbert in the opener.

While the wow factor was certainly on display (moving outside of compromised pockets, throwing missiles on the move, and improvising to the tune of big touchdown pass), the simple stuff remains a challenge for Herbert.

He still misses layups, he’s late (non-anticipatory) and he misses windows devised by the offensive scheme.

The last video in that thread shows Herbert chucking the final pass of the game out of the back of the end zone. Hail Mary’s have little hope of working, but the lack of situational awareness is off-putting — particularly for a senior quarterback.

 

This weekend didn’t move the needle in any particular direction for any of the foursome. The same strengths, and the same concerns, that we saw last season carried over into the 2019 opener. It’s quite clear where each of these quarterbacks needs to improve.

Love – Post-snap processing
Tagovailoa – Protecting himself from injury
Fromm – Mobility, arm-strength
Herbert – Processing and situational awareness

Now that his knee is back to full strength, Tagovailoa looks the part of a number-one overall draft pick again. The odds might not be overwhelming, but it’s difficult to imagine a scenario, right now, where Tagovailoa isn’t the Dolphins quarterback in 2020.

Week 2 Schedule

Love – Stony Brook, 7:30 EST
Tagovioloa – New Mexico State, 4 PM EST
Fromm – Murray State, 4 PM EST
Herbert – Nevada, 7:30 PM EST

@WingfieldNFL

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