The Miami Dolphins enter the 2019 NFL Draft with holes all over the roster. First-year head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier have essentially punted on 2019 in order to stockpile picks and build a competitive roster for 2020 and beyond. The first step in building that future dynasty comes by hitting on said draft picks, especially the early ones. Miami currently owns the 13th pick in the 2019 draft and could go several different ways with the selection.
Options for Miami Dolphins First Round Pick
Quarterback is easily the most important position in football, and the Miami Dolphins currently don’t have an answer under center. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a serviceable stopgap, but the Dolphins need to find the long-awaited heir to Dan Marino. For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock are off the board when Miami is on the clock. In that scenario, the best quarterback available would likely be Duke’s Daniel Jones.
Jones doesn’t have the highest ceiling and he isn’t a can’t-miss product. However, the 21-year old passer has the tools to be a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. His college tape shows that he’s the type of quarterback who can operate well within a system and execute a designed play call. That said, he doesn’t have the strongest arm and won’t singlehandedly drag teams to victory. In many ways, he’s a lot like former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Jones is good enough to win with a solid team around him, but he won’t be good enough to drag a flawed team to annual contention. You can do a lot worse than Jones, but you can also do a lot better.
Of course, the Dolphins could always trade up if they fall in love with one of the other quarterbacks. Kyler Murray is probably to Arizona, but Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock could both be optained for the high price.
Jonah Williams/Andre Dilliard
If the Dolphins won’t get a franchise quarterback, then they’ll need to get a guy capable of protecting the eventual quarterback of the future. Jawaan Taylor will likely be off the board, meaning that the best offensive lineman left on the board will probably be Jonah Williams. Williams spent the majority of his collegiate tenure as a guard but has the size and athletic ability to play tackle. Even if he cannot make the transition to the more important position, Williams should be a Day One starter with Pro Bowl upside at guard.
If Miami wanted to look for a pure tackle prospect, then they should turn to Washington State’s Andre Dillard. Dillard has a lower ceiling than Williams, but he’s a safer bet to latch on as a tackle at the NFL level. While the Washington State product still has a ways to go as a run blocker, Dillard is a strong pass blocker and should earn a spot as a Day One starter. Either player would be a great fit for Miami, and there are few things more important than building a strong offensive line.
Despite entering his age-42 season, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Brady intends to play until at least age 45, so Miami needs to find a way to finally slow down the legendary passer. The New York Giants gave the world the formula to beat Tom Brady back in 2007: get pressure with a four-man rush, disguise your defense, and drop as many defenders into coverage as possible.
The reason teams don’t run this gameplan on a weekly basis is that it’s nearly impossible to execute. Playing this defense requires all 11 players to be perfect on every single snap, and sometimes that’s not even enough. Nonetheless, the Dolphins need to work on getting those pieces in place, and that starts with defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver has the ability to generate interior pressure and collapse a pocket from the inside. He might not last till pick 13, but Miami needs to pull the trigger if he’s there.
Trading back isn’t the sexiest move, but it might be the smartest choice. The Miami Dolphins have holes all over their roster, and they’re not one player away from competing. If the offer is right, the Dolphins should move back in the draft to accumulate picks and build a deeper, more complete roster.
The Dolphins currently have a respectable seven picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including three in the first three rounds. While this could lead to a decent draft haul, the Dolphins would be doing themselves a disservice by not seeing what they could get in exchange for the 13th overall pick. If they can get a second- or third-round pick to move back in the first round, they should do it. Two good players are better than one, after all.
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