How will the Dolphins use their picks in the 2018 NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.
The Miami Dolphins continued their inconsistent ways in 2017, and it led to the team missing the postseason for the eighth time in the last nine years.
The quarterback position is key, with Ryan Tannehill coming back from a knee injury.
This is Year 3 in Adam Gase's tenure, and it might be his last to produce a winner in the AFC East, which has been dominated by the New England Patriots.
The team also has to replace defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and productive wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.
Here's the full list of picks the Dolphins hold in the 2018 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 11 (No. 11 overall):
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
Fitzpatrick is arguably the most versatile defender in this draft, and he’s joining defensive coordinator Matt Burke’s somewhat traditional zone scheme. Will the scheme expand? Burke has made great use of veteran Reshad Jones’s unique blitzing ability. Fitzpatrick must be employed in those packages; he dominated as an edge blitzer in college. He can also slide down and cover the slot, presenting an option for replacing No. 3 corner Bobby McCain, whom some in the organization believe is rock-solid and others think doesn’t make enough big plays. Big plays shouldn’t be a concern with Fitzpatrick. It’ll be interesting to see where he operates in base situations as a rookie. Most likely, he’ll be interchangeable in centerfield and the box, like Jones, with whom he’ll pair for the next several years.
Scouting Report: As more NFL offenses turn to versatile, movable, chess piece-type players to gain the upper hand, Fitzpatrick provides the antidote. He’s rangy and instinctive in centerfield, but is at his best coming down to match up with athletic tight ends and slot receivers. He excels as a blitzer, attacks as a run defender and has the character and football IQ to immediately become a leader in the locker room.
Round 2, Pick 10 (No. 42 overall):
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Andy Benoit's Grade: A-
Many expected Dallas Goedert to be the next tight end taken, but the Dolphins did extensive homework on both men and determined they wanted the receiving-oriented Gesicki. Head coach Adam Gase loves to flex his tight ends out wide, all alone on the weak side. Having a big jump-ball winner out there can do wonders for this offense.
Andy Benoit's grade: B
This is the second defender Miami has taken who is known for his blitzing. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke, a Jim Schwartz protégé, has long been a big believer in employing a straight four-man rush. Is a philosophical shift on the horizon?
Round 4, Pick 23 (No. 123 overall): Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
Round 4, Pick 31 (No. 131 overall): Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
Round 6, Pick 35 (No. 209 overall) *compensatory selection: Cornell Armstrong, CB, Southern Miss
Round 7, Pick 9 (No. 227 overall): Quentin Polling, LB, Ohio
Round 7, Pick 11 (No. 229 overall): Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico