- The biggest need, the hidden need and what else the Dolphins should be looking for in the 2019 draft.
Two weeks ahead of the NFL draft, Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling are breaking down draft needs for all 32 teams. You can also see every team in a single post here.
Biggest Need: Edge
The departure of free agent Cameron Wake (Titans) and trade of Robert Quinn to Dallas leaves the Dolphins bereft of natural edge rushers. Charles Harris gets a chance to step up and prove he was worth a first-round pick in 2017, but through two injury-disrupted NFL seasons, Harris has shown he might be a better nickel D-tackle than edge rusher (the jury is still deliberating). The good news is rookie head coach Brian Flores’s Patriots-style scheme does not demand dominant edge rushers. It does, however, demand, technically sound, plus-sized edge-setters—which this current roster also does not have. Don’t be surprised if Miami drafts two edge defenders before Saturday.
Hidden Need: Offensive Line
There’s a vacancy at right tackle after the free agency departure of (the albeit inconsistent) Ja’Wuan James (Broncos). There’s also a concern with 2017 fifth-rounder Isaac Asiata and former Jaguars backup Chris Reed vying for starting left guard duties. New offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea will almost certainly run the system he learned in New England, where he was wide receivers coach for 10 years, which means a lot of solo man-to-man blocking designs, both on the ground and in play-action. That approach requires the right blend of size and mobility, particularly at left guard, whom this scheme most often puts on the move.
Also Looking For: Quarterback
For about the 12th year in a row, Ryan Fitzpatrick is serving as some team’s bridge guy. This roster is in poor enough shape that the Dolphins don’t need to lunge for a QB this year; if there’s one they think they’ll like more in 2020, they can afford to wait.
Who They Can Get
There’s an outside chance Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat makes it to them, though Michigan’s Rashan Gary is bigger and, in theory, gives Flores a little more versatility up front. Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell is also the kind of polished technician who should appeal to Flores. If they go offensive line, Alabama’s Jonah Williams or Oklahoma’s Cody Ford are collegiate tackles who could transition to that left guard spot. If Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins slips, he should be enticing to the Dolphins.
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