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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

Senior Bowl 2020 Preview Through Miami Dolphins Lens – Defense

Travis Wingfield

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Best Dolphins scheme fits, and the price to acquire said players, taking the field this week at the Senior Bowl

By the time the popcorn is popped, the ball is teed up, and the fans have filed into the Ladd-Pebble’s stadium, most of the scouts, evaluators and decision makers have vacated Mobile, Alabama, the home of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

It’s not that the game is devoid of value; it just pales in comparison to the value of the entire week of practices. Simulated situations pit college football’s best players against one-another in true tests of their abilities.

Change-of-direction, clean mechanics, competitiveness, all of these important traits are readily apparent in the padded practices that occur from Tuesday through Thursday in front of everyone who is anyone in the National Football League.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to prospect evaluation. Even after a nine-month process that begins at summer camp for area scouts, the best-drafting teams in the NFL still only hit on roughly half of their picks. But if there were a way to expedite the process of rifling through the hundreds of draft-eligible players, these practices are it.

We get a first-hand look at how players fare against elite college competition, repeatedly. Game-speed is on display. Lateral agility and movement skills are tested. The bounce back from a bad rep and jumping right back into the fire gives us insight on how players respond to adversity in short order. The clues we find in Mobile sends us back to the tape to re-evaluate our boards, and ultimately spit our final rankings and evaluations.

In case you’re new to Locked On Dolphins, this is how we covered the Senior Bowl last January.

Since everything we do is Dolphins specific, we’re looking at scheme fits. We’ll track which players the Dolphins meet with, and who impresses the most at the biggest positions of need.

In addition to projecting best possible scheme fits, we’ll factor in draft value when selecting the best possible player from each group for your Miami Dolphins. For instance, neither Justin Herbert or Jordan Love will be the top QB selected simply because of their high-end first-round draft status. If Miami selects Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick, Herbet and Love are off the board entirely.

It’s one of my personal favorite weeks of the year, so let’s get into part-two, the defense.

Offensive Preview

Senior Bowl Defense

The defensive side of the ball is loaded this week in Mobile. Gap-control rushers, interior pocket collapsers, on-and-off-ball linebackers and a secondary chock full of ball hawks, there are multiple future Dolphins in this group.

By now, we know that Miami are one of three teams in the league — four now with Joe Judge at the top of a program — that shops from an exclusive store. Bigger, stronger edge players that make up for a lack of athleticism with brute power and gap integrity. Versatile defensive backs that must excel in man coverage. Linebackers that can rush the quarterback from a variety of positions. These are the core tenants of the Patriots, Lions, and Dolphins defense, and perhaps the Giants under new management with Patrick Graham.

It’ll be impossible to highlight just a couple of players, so unlike the offensive side, we’ll discuss multiple players at each spot. As always, we’ll have even more detail on the Locked On Dolphins Podcast.

Defensive Line

Bradlee Anae (UTAH), Darrion Daniels (NEB), Marlon Davidson (AUB), Raekwon Davis (ALA), Leki Fotu (UTAH), Neville Gallimore (OK), Trevis Gipson (TULS), Jonathan Greenard (FLA), Davon Hamilton (OSU), Trevon Hill (MIA), Benito Jones (MISS), Javon Kinlaw (SC), Larrell Murchison (NCST), Alton Robinson (SYR), Jason Strowbridge (UNC), Kenny Willekes (MSU), Robert Windsor (PSU), Jabari Zuniga (FLA)

Best Fins Fit — Bradlee Anae, Utah

Anae is a 6-foot-3, 260-plus-pound edge that Miami will covet in this year’s draft. He’s a refined rusher with multiple moves in the arsenal, and the ability to angle inside as a rusher to expand the stunt game on the defensive line.

He’s not the most athletic rusher, but that’s not part of the prerequisites of playing edge in this scheme. New England never valued athleticism at end, and I don’t suspect Brian Flores will either. Dig-out or kick-out blocks are often a futile effort against Anae because of his long arms and ability to disengage quickly.

Projected Required Investment — Mid-Round Pick, Rounds 3-4

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Base 5-Tech, Kick Inside in Nickle Rush Packages

Hardly a far cry from former Patriot, current Lion, and once a Near-Dolphin Trey Flowers, Anae is a power run defender that can redirect as a pass rusher on his way to stopping the ground game.

The moment the card is turned in, Anae becomes the best base defensive end on the team. While that’s an indictment of Miami’s roster, it’s also a testament to Anae’s skill set. He provides the versatility to kick inside on long yardage situations.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Pit Drill

This will be an area to either showcase Anae’s impressive heavy hands, or an opportunity to expose his limited athleticism. Again, the Dolphins don’t care much about the latter, and typically it’s the players with better moves in their arsenal that win in this drill.

Keep an Eye On — Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina

Something of a tweener for the rest of the league, Strowbridge fits right in at home in Miami. He entered college as a 245-pound end, and now he’s nearing three bills on the scale. Accordingly, Strowbridge has some explosion and wiggle that is unique to a player of his size.

He won’t be a base defensive tackle, but he is more than capable of fulfilling the 4-tech spot in bear fronts, or play the play-side 3-tech in even fronts. Leki Fotu is a Danny Shelton clone and Neville Gallimore and Javon Kinlaw are explosive, powerful interior rush presences, but will likely require a first-round selection. Strowbridge is a day-three player.

Linebackers

Zack Baun (WIS), Francis Bernard (UTAH), Jordyn Brooks (TT), Cameron Brown (PSU), Carter Coughlin (MIN), Akeem Davis-Gaither (APP), Troy Dye (ORE), Malik Harrison (OSU), Khaleke Hudson (MICH), Anfernee Jennings (ALA), Terrell Lewis (ALA), Kamal Martin (MIN), Davion Taylor (COL), Darrell Taylor (TEN), Josh Uche (MICH), Evan Weaver (CAL), Logan Wilson (WYO), D.J. Wonnum (SC)

Best Fins Fit — Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Baun, just like Vince Biegel and Andrew Van Ginkel before him, has the same traits that attracted Miami to the pair of Badger ‘Backers. Baun is the best of the three. He’s especially adept at executing games (stunts, twists, slants) because of his lateral agility.

He’s not the most fluid edge rusher, and isn’t going to line up in the wide alignment and win the corner, but he’s effective defending the pass as a flat and hook zone dropper. His rush move arsenal is already refined like that of a seasoned pro.

Projected Required Investment — Late-First, Early-Second, Pick 26 or 39

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting On-Ball Linebacker

Biegel almost never left the field last season upon showing his worth across a variety of formations. Baun could do the same and give Miami a pair of consistent Badger backers off either edge, in what could be a linebacker-driven front-seven this year. Drafting Baun would certainly suggest that to be the case, with Van Ginkel serving as the sixth-man — so to speak — first off the bench.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Pit Drill

My apologies for a lack of variety between these trench players, but nothing beats the pit drill; nothing. This is an area Baun will probably excel because he’s such a refined technician, and he’ll draw some smaller school players and athletes that aren’t great football players just yet.

Keep an Eye On — Anfernee Jennings, Alabama

Jennings has the requisite measurements to intrigue the Dolphins before even flipping on the film. Then, once you see him play, you see him actively engage those long arms and thick frame to bully the man across from him. He’s extremely stout against the run with the heavy hands to shed blockers en route to the tackler.

Cal’s Evan Weaver lacks speed and rush ability, but he’s the most reliable downhill run defender in the entire draft. Joshua Uche has some versatility to his game. He played for current Dolphins Linebackers Coach Anthony Campanile in college.

Defensive Backs

Damon Arnette (OSU), Essang Bassey (WAKE), Julian Blackmon (UTAH), Antoine Brooks Jr. (MAR), Terrell Burgess (UTAH), Jeremy Chinn (SoILL), Brian Cole (MISS ST), Ashtyn Davis (CAL), Kyle Duggar (Lenoir-Rhyne), Jalen Elliot (ND), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Alohi Gilman (ND), A.J. Green (OKST), Darnay Holmes (UCLA), Lamar Jackson (NEB), Dane Jackson (PITT), Brandon Jones (TEX), Jared Mayden (ALA), Josh Metellus (MICH), Michael Ojemudia (IOWA), Troy Pride Jr. (ND), Reggie Robinson (TULS), Kindle Vildor (GEO SO), K’Von Wallace (CLEM)

Best Fins Fit — Ashtyn Davis

There are a few defensive backs in this class that match the prototype for what Brian Flores looks for, and Davis is certainly that, but he has one thing most of the other guys don’t. The sheer passion and love for playing the game the correct way. Not to say the others don’t, but Davis is a temperature changer that immediately improves the work environment around him.

Davis is a former track star, so when he tests in Indianapolis, it’s possible he elevates his stock into the first round. Hopefully that’s not the case, and Miami can pick up a round-two steal with this do-it-all safety. He can play the single-high role, cover in the slot, and is more than willing to hit somebody much larger than himself.

Projected Required Investment — Day 2, Pick 39

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Free Safety, Slot Corner

Davis‘ best trait is the paired combination of instincts and range. Because of that, he fits Miami’s press-man, single-high defense as well as anybody. He can also come down and cover the slot with the best of them — just the ideal defensive back for Brian Flores.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Live Team Period

Tackling hasn’t been the best trait for Davis in his collegiate career. It’s not that he’s not willing, he just lacks the size and frame to do it consistently. I want to see how he wraps and finishes in the live team periods when he has to come down and make a stick.

Keep an Eye On — Damon Arnette, Ohio State

Overlooked because of the presence of Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade in that Buckeye defensive backfield, Arnette took considerable strides this season in Columbus. He’s a long, aggressive press-corner that plays the ball exceptionally well.

Arnette will challenge every route at the three critical points — off the line, at the top of the stem, and at the catch point. He’s a sound tackler, but isn’t real interested in fighting off blocks. He’s more athletic than most players with his play-style which should bump his draft stock.

Utah’s Terrell Burgess is a good option in the middle rounds to play primary backup to Eric Rowe, and also serve as a core special teamer.

It would be quite a surprise if multiple players from this group don’t wind up with the Dolphins. There are so many potential scheme fits, and players that come from programs that stress the same core tenants that Miami’s system calls for. With all these Utah Utes, all these versatile defensive backs and multi-talented front-seven players, this is quite a week for Brian Flores and company.

@WingfieldNFL

Wednesday-Friday — Senior Bowl Practice Recaps

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Senior Bowl 2020 Preview Through Miami Dolphins Lens – Offense

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Best Dolphins scheme fits, and the price to acquire said players, taking the field this week at the Senior Bowl

By the time the popcorn is popped, the ball is teed up, and the fans have filed into the Ladd-Pebble’s stadium, most of the scouts, evaluators and decision makers have vacated Mobile, Alabama, the home of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

It’s not that the game is devoid of value; it just pales in comparison to the value of the entire week of practices. Simulated situations pit college football’s best players against one-another in true tests of their abilities.

Change-of-direction, clean mechanics, competitiveness, all of these important traits are readily apparent in the padded practices that occur from Tuesday through Thursday in front of everyone who is anyone in the National Football League.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to prospect evaluation. Even after a nine-month process that begins at summer camp for area scouts, the best-drafting teams in the NFL still only hit on roughly half of their picks. But if there were a way to expedite the process of rifling through the hundreds of draft-eligible players, these practices are it.

We get a first-hand look at how players fare against elite college competition, repeatedly. Game-speed is on display. Lateral agility and movement skills are tested. The bounce back from a bad rep and jumping right back into the fire gives us insight on how players respond to adversity in short order. The clues we find in Mobile sends us back to the tape to re-evaluate our boards, and ultimately spit our final rankings and evaluations.

In case you’re new to Locked On Dolphins, this is how we covered the Senior Bowl last January.

Since everything we do is Dolphins specific, we’re looking at scheme fits. We’ll track which players the Dolphins meet with, and who impresses the most at the biggest positions of need.

In addition to projecting best possible scheme fits, we’ll factor in draft value when selecting the best possible player from each group for your Miami Dolphins. For instance, neither Justin Herbert or Jordan Love will be the top QB selected simply because of their high-end first-round draft status. If Miami selects Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick, Herbet and Love are off the board entirely.

It’s one of my personal favorite weeks of the year, so let’s start with part-one of a two-part preview series — the offense.

Senior Bowl Offense

Quarterbacks

Anthony Gordon (WSU), Justin Herbert (ORE), Jalen Hurts (OK), Jordan Love (USU), Steven Montez (COL), Shea Patterson (MICH)

Best Fins Fit — Anthony Gordon, Washington State

Certainly not the premier player from this loaded bunch, Gordon’s upside makes him the ideal candidate for Miami to hedge a potential top-of-round-one pick at quarterback. Gordon has plus-athleticism for the position, and one of the liveliest arms in the entire class. He’s capable of throwing with pristine anticipation and doesn’t sacrifice velocity when he’s off-platform, or hasn’t completed each of the proverbial checkmarks from a mechanical delivery standpoint.

As a Washington State alum with Cougar Crimson blood pumping through my veins, I’d be remiss not to mention the reasons Gordon a Saturday pick. The inconsistencies in his decision making are problematic — if not baffling at times. He doesn’t lack confidence, and that results in some gorgeous balls, but he can put his offense in harm’s way with far too much regularity.

Projected Required Investment — Day 3 Pick, Rounds 4-6

Where He Fits on the Roster — Backup/Development Quarterback

The air raid is great for the amount of reps it affords young quarterbacks. Gordon spent a lot of time learning a timing and anticipation offense that operates primarily from empty sets. We could see a lot of those same formations in Miami under the new offensive direction.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Team Period Red Zone Work

When things are condensed, and the players are faster, how will Gordon operate in the tight spaces? He comes from a wide open offense, so growth throughout the week would be a terrific sign.

Keep an Eye On — Steven Montez, Colorado

Jalen Hurts’ omission will certainly ruffle some feathers, but the signs do not point towards Miami favoring a quarterback with major red flags as a passer. It would be foolish to omit Miami’s ability to build a scheme for Hurts, but a different direction makes more sense. Montez is big, with an arm to match, and can extend plays off-script.

Running Backs

Darius Anderson (TCU), Eno Benjamin (ASU), JaMycal Hasty (BAY), Joshua Kelly (UCLA), Zack Moss (UTAH), Lamical Perine (FLA), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (VAN)

Best Fins Fit — Zack Moss, Utah

Creating yardage was virtually the only hope for the running game last year in Miami — hence a 37-year-old quarterback leading the team in rushing. Kenyan Drake and Mark Walton were able to create yards behind this line, and Myles Gaskin late in the season to a lesser degree, but watching Kalen Ballage and Patrick Laird attempt the same was hard on the eyes.

Enter Zack Moss. Utah’s bell cow (1,804 YFS and 17 TD in 2019) might be the smartest runner in this class. Moss pairs exceptional patience, balance, and pitter-patter footwork behind the line-of-scrimmage to constantly change the angles on potential tacklers. His quick-but-not-in-a-hurry approach helps the line execute slower developing blocks (reaches, combos), and his best trait — he’s impossible to get to the turf with one single tackle.

There’s always a plan for the next defender as Moss sets up his moves beautifully. He’s fluid catching the football on the typical running back routes (swings, screens, flats and arrows).

Projected Required Investment — Day 2 Pick (Pick 56)

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Tailback

If Moss is handed an aqua jersey on draft day, it’s done so with the expectation that he will be the lead back. Miami could sign a veteran that makes for a 1a-1b situation, but using a premium resource on a back brings with it the expectation that said back will play, a lot.

Area of Intrigue This Week — 1-on-1 Pass Catching

This is always one of my favorite drills. Watching the way backs move in space, with a two-way go, is telling of their ability to create separation as flexed-out receivers. If Moss can nail the test in that regard in Mobile, then again at the combine, he’ll rocket up boards.

Keep an Eye On — Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

For his vision, instinctive nature, and hard-nosed running — Benjamin would be next behind Moss. He’s likely a late day-two or early day-three pick, knocked mostly because of poor pass catching.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Aiyuk (ASU), Chase Claypool (ND), Quartney Davis (TAM), Devin Duvernay (TEX), Bryan Edwards (SC), Antonio Gandy-Golden (LIB), Antonio Gibson (MEM), K.J. Hill (OSU), Van Jefferson (FLA), Jauan Jennings (TEN), Collin Johnson (TEX), Kalija Lipscomb (VAN), Denzel Mims (BAY), Michael Pittman JR (USC), James Proche (SMU)

Best Fins Fit — Devin Duvernay, Texas

Some of the other players in this group offer a little more wiggle off the line, and thus might be considered better options to play in the slot, but Duvernay has one trait that bursts off the tape — speed.

An electrifying fly-by receiver, Duvernay pairs world class track speed with a thick frame. That deadly combination makes him a difficult tackle once he secures the catch, but also a weapon for handoffs, pop passes, and a variety of short-game work to unlock his RAC abilities. Duvernay catches everything. He plucks the football away from his body with strong hands, helping to secure contested catches.

Projected Required Investment — Day 3, Round 4 Comp Pick (Ja’Wuan James)

Where He Fits on the Roster — Slot/Specialty Package Receiver

Albert Wilson currently fills this role, but it seems inconceivable that he is back at his current rate. If Miami can’t renegotiate Wilson’s contract, Duvernay could slide right into that role and compete with Isaiah Ford and Allen Hurns for reps.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Red Zone 1-on-1

Charged with hip tightness, Duvernay needs to work on his ability to release against press coverage. Although a lot of the routes he would run, from the desired alignments, would give him free access, every receiver needs to be able to beat press. These simulated situations will either expose or open eyes on Duvernay.

Keep an Eye On — Quartney Davis, Texas A&M

Davis is more Jarvis Landry-like than Duvernay, so an argument could be made for his value over the long-speed of the his in-state rival. He’s drawn comparisons to Deebo Samuel (Kyle Crabbs of TDN) for his body control, and industrious route running. Davis’ positional versatility in the Aggie offense will intrigue Miami.

Tight Ends

Harrison Bryant (FAU), Josiah Deguara (CIN), Brycen Hopkins (PUR), Sean McKeon (MICH), Jared Pinkney (VAN), Stephen Sullivan (LSU), Charlie Taumoepeau (PORT), Adam Trautman (DAY)

Best Fins Fit — Adam Trautman, Dayton

Trautman isn’t the best blocker of this bunch — in fact that’s what will keep him from getting drafted early — but his pass catching upside is bordering on ludicrous. A former basketball player with limited football experience, Trautman is almost always bigger than his opponent, more explosive, and could factor in significantly as a bit of a chess piece.

Projected Required Investment — Day 3, Rounds 4-6

Where He Fits on the Roster — Developmental Tight End, Joker Position

Chan Gailey’s resume comes with a variety of offensive approaches. In 2015, Gailey utilized Quincy Enunwa in the role that serves as a glorified slot receiver who can take end-arounds and catch shovels working against the grain on misdirection under the formation.

Trautman can get vertical with the best of them, but Dayton used him on a lot of shovels and quick-hitters that put him in space.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Functional Strength

There’s some Mike Gesicki in here in the sense that we know what he can do athletically, but the best way for Trautman to rise up boards comes via his ability to function as an in-line blocker. He has the frame to make it work, but it will only come with relentless repetition and technical refinement.

Keep an Eye On — Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati

Much more of a classic tight end, Deguara is well-rounded. He’s not going to test at the top of the class, but he takes great angles as an open-space blocker and does well to strike and reposition his hands in the run game. He’s a savvy route runner with feel for openings in zone, and leverage in man coverage.

Offensive Line

Trey Adams (WASH), Hakeem Adeniji (KAN), Tremayne Anchrum (CLEM), Ben Bartch (STJ), Ben Bredeson (MICH), Lloyd Cushenberry (LSU), Nick Harris (WASH), Matt Hennessey (TEM), Justin Herron (WAKE), Robert Hunt (ULL), Keith Ismael (SDSU), Jonah Jackson (OSU), Josh Jones (HOU), Shane Lemieux (ORE), Damien Lewis (LSU), Colton McKivitz (WVU), Matt Peart (UCONN), Tyre Phillips (MISS ST), John Simpson (CLEM), Terence Steele (TT), Logan Stenberg (KEN), Alex Taylor (SCSU), Prince Tega Wanogho (AUB)

Best Fins Fit — Josh Jones, Houston

Never mind the fact that the additions were bottom-tier free agents, AAF products, or other players with less-than inspiring track records, Miami told us they prefer length, size, and athleticism at tackle last offseason.

Jones checks each of those boxes in emphatic fashion.

When Jones wins initially, the defender can wave the white flag. With an effective first strike, Jones engulfs the edge, which then allows him to reposition and adjust his angle accordingly. The length — and smooth feet — allow him to recover in pass protection when he does lose that initial hand fight.

The only thing keeping Jones from a top-15 selection is the lack of technical refinement in his game; he needs some work. Ideally, you get Jones at the top of round-two, but tackles are always pushed up the board; particularly in the back of the first round with that fifth-year option looming.

Projected Required Investment — 1st Round, Pick 26

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Left Tackle

Miami’s biggest need is left tackle. More so than the lack of a future franchise quarterback, complete vacancy of an edge rush, or defensive back help, the left tackle position killed more plays than any other for the Fins this year. Using a first round pick on Jones — or someone else — puts that player in the starting lineup the day Miami opens training camp.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Pit Drill

It’s always the pit drill. Outside of watching games as a fan, evaluating the pit drill is my unequivocal favorite element of the game. It’s a pad-smacking, agility and technical proficiency test to the nth-degree. Jones is certainly going to draw athletes unlike the players the America Conference supplied during his collegiate career. Given Jones’ athletic profile on tape, he should acquit himself just fine in this regard.

Keep an Eye On — Shane Lemieux, Oregon

Lemieux checks a lot of boxes for the types of interior lineman Miami coveted a year ago. Lemieux has a consecutive starts streak that spans four years and proves his reliability. He’s not going to be fooled by disguise from the rush games deployed by the opposition, and he is exceptional at catching and climbing on combination blocks in the run game.

It’s impossible to highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and potential scheme fit of each player in this game, but we’ll do our best to highlight more players on the podcast this week.

This year’s Senior Bowl has the makings of the deepest group that I personally have evaluated. A great crop of quarterbacks and depth on the offensive line will make the jobs of the skill players easier, though the defensive skill guys have the advantage in that regard.

The Dolphins will be all over this game given their perch as the pole-sitters of this year’s draft. Several of these players are likely to be in camp with Miami next July, so getting this first look and first impression will be an imperative step in shaping the future of the organization as we know it.

@WingfieldNFL

Tuesday: Defense
Wednesday-Friday: Practice Day 1-3 Reports

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Miami Dolphins

2020 NFL Draft Underclassmen Declaration Benchmark

Shawn Digity

Published

on

NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – It’s that time of the year. Bowl season is still ongoing, and the NFL postseason is getting ready to start.

But beneath those, there’s the trickling of the college players who have announced their intentions to enter the 2020 NFL draft.

Here’s a running list of those players who have announced that they’re forgoing the remainder of their eligibility to go pro.

Confirmations of the announcements were made by the players’ individualized press releases on Twitter or Instagram or by graduating early and accepting an invitation to the 2020 Senior Bowl.

Be sure to bookmark this page as the list will update as more players make their formal announcements leading up to the January 17 deadline (newest additions are marked with an asterisk *).

  1. Salvon Ahmed – RB, Washington
  2. Brandon Aiyuk – WR, Arizona State
  3. Cam Akers – RB, Florida State
  4. Damon Arnette – CB, Ohio State
  5. Grayland Arnold – DB, Baylor
  6. Devin Asiasi – TE, UCLA
  7. Trajan Bandy – CB, Miami
  8. Mekhi Becton – OT, Louisville
  9. Eno Benjamin – RB, Arizona State
  10. Oluwole Betiku Jr. – DL, Illinois
  11. Tyler Biadasz – iOL, Wisconsin
  12. Ross Blacklock – DT, TCU
  13. Lynn Bowden Jr. – WR, Kentucky
  14. Hunter Bryant – TE, Washington
  15. Quintez Cephus – WR, Wisconsin
  16. K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge, LSU*
  17. Saahdiq Charles – OT, LSU
  18. Ezra Cleveland – OT, Boise State
  19. Nick Coe – Edge, Auburn
  20. Trystan Colon-Castillo – iOL, Missouri
  21. Kamren Curl – S, Arkansas
  22. Lloyd Cushenberry – iOL, LSU
  23. DeeJay Dallas – RB, Miami
  24. Cameron Dantzler – CB, Mississippi State
  25. Gabriel Davis – WR, UCF
  26. Quartney Davis – WR, Texas A&M
  27. AJ Dillon – RB, Boston College
  28. Grant Delpit – S, LSU*
  29. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
  30. Jacob Eason – QB, Washington
  31. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB, LSU
  32. Jordan Elliott – iDL, Missouri
  33. A.J. Epenesa – Edge, Iowa
  34. Darrynton Evans – RB, Appalachian State
  35. Deondre Francois – QB, Hampton
  36. Jake Fromm – QB, Georgia
  37. Jonathan Garvin – Edge, Miami
  38. Willie Gay Jr. – LB, Mississippi State
  39. Yetur Gross-Matos – Edge, Penn State
  40. Pete Guerriero – RB, Monmouth
  41. Javelin Guidry – DB, Utah
  42. K.J. Hamler – WR, Penn State
  43. Harrison Hand – CB, Temple
  44. C.J. Henderson – CB, Florida
  45. Matt Hennessy – C, Temple
  46. Tee Higgins – WR, Clemson
  47. Isaiah Hodgins – WR, Oregon State
  48. Darnay Holmes – CB, UCLA
  49. Noah Igbinogehene – CB, Auburn
  50. Keith Ishmael – iOL, San Diego State
  51. Austin Jackson – OT, USC
  52. Trishton Jackson – WR, Syracuse
  53. Justin Jefferson – WR, LSU
  54. Jerry Jeudy – WR, Alabama
  55. Jaylon Johnson – CB, Utah
  56. Tony Jones Jr. – RB, Notre Dame
  57. Dalton Keene – TE, Virginia Tech
  58. Solomon Kindley – iOL, Georgia
  59. Cole Kmet – TE, Notre Dame
  60. CeeDee Lamb – WR, Oklahoma
  61. Javon Leake – RB, Maryland
  62. Terrell Lewis – Edge, Alabama
  63. Jordan Love – QB, Utah State
  64. Elorm Lumor – Edge, Rutgers
  65. James Lynch – Edge, Baylor
  66. Justin Madubuike – iDL, Texas A&M
  67. Kyle Markway – TE, South Carolina
  68. Deshawn McClease – RB, Virginia Tech
  69. Cole McDonald – QB, Hawai’i
  70. Anthony McFarland Jr. – RB, Maryland
  71. Xavier McKinney – S, Alabama
  72. Houston Miller – Edge, Texas Tech
  73. Thaddeus Moss – TE, LSU*
  74. Kenneth Murray – LB, Oklahoma
  75. Netane Muti – OL, Fresno State
  76. Jeffrey Okudah – CB, Ohio State
  77. Albert Okwuegbunam – TE, Missouri
  78. Colby Parkinson – TE, Stanford
  79. Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR, Michigan
  80. Jacob Phillips – LB, LSU
  81. James Pierre – CB, FAU
  82. R.J. Proctor – OL, Oklahoma
  83. Patrick Queen – LB, LSU
  84. Jalen Reagor – WR, TCU
  85. Debione Renfro – CB, Texas A&M
  86. Amik Robertson – CB, Louisiana Tech
  87. Kendrick Rogers Jr. – WR, Texas A&M
  88. Henry Ruggs III – WR, Alabama
  89. Cesar Ruiz – C, Michigan
  90. Stanford Samuels III – CB, Florida State
  91. Josiah Scott – CB, Michigan State
  92. Jo-El Shaw – RB, Kent State
  93. Laviska Shenault – WR, Colorado
  94. Isaiah Simmons – Defense, Clemson* (Declared prior to 2019 season per Jordan Reid)
  95. Arryn Siposs – P, Auburn
  96. Geno Stone – S, Iowa
  97. D’Andre Swift – RB, Georgia
  98. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
  99. J.J. Taylor – RB, Arizona
  100. Jonathan Taylor – RB, Wisconsin
  101. Tabyus Taylor – RB, Virginia Union
  102. A.J. Terrell – CB, Clemson*
  103. Andrew Thomas – OT, Georgia
  104. Jeff Thomas – WR, Miami
  105. Michael Turk – P, Arizona State
  106. Josh Uche – Edge, Michigan
  107. Kindle Vildor – CB, Georgia Southern
  108. Michael Warren II – RB, Cincinnati
  109. Quez Watkins – WR, Southern Miss
  110. Curtis Weaver – Edge, Boise State
  111. Cody White – WR, Michigan State
  112. Ty’Son Williams – RB, BYU
  113. Jedrick Wills – OT, Alabama
  114. Isaiah Wilson – OT, Georgia
  115. Antoine Winfield Jr. – S, Minnesota
  116. Tristan Wirfs – OT, Iowa
  117. Kevin Woidke – OL, Ohio State
  118. David Woodward – LB, Utah State
  119. Chase Young – Edge, Ohio State
  120. Toren Young – RB, Iowa
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