The State of the Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have had quite the offseason!
After a 9-8 season, they fired Brian Flores, which he quickly responded to by filing a lawsuit. While it seems that the plan was to bring in Tom Brady and Sean Payton to run the team (allegedly), the Dolphins eventually set their sights in a different direction.
Mike McDaniel has taken over as Head Coach, and the Dolphins offense around Tua Tagovailoa promises to look very different this year. After trading a load of draft capital for Tyreek Hill, Miami will have one of the fastest pairs of wide receivers in the league, but it isn’t scheduled to pick until a compensatory selection in the 3rd round at 102 overall.
Bryant doesn’t have elite speed and needs to become a better tackler, but is an intelligent and athletic corner who has the field awareness and ball skills to be a long-time starter at the next level.
It might be a longshot to hope that he will still be available, but if the other half of Cincinnati’s excellent CB duo (along with Sauce Gardner) is still available at the end of Round 3, that would present excellent value to a team that needs some more cost-controlled options at the position.
Butler has the first-step explosion, heavy hand punch, and nonstop motor to be disruptive, but his lack of strength and agility likely keep him from being a three-down starter at the next level.
Butler seems likely to be available at this slot, and he could provide some much needed depth on Miami’s defensive line. He’s naturally slotted in as a reserve 5-technique with the ability to rush from the inside on passing downs.
Likely is a unique hybrid tight end with the athletic, receiving skills needed to pose a threat to defenses, but he’ll need to improve as a standard blocker to become a complete player.
The Dolphins are in no position to be drafting for need without a pick in the top 100, so even though they already have Mike Gesicki on a franchise tag, Likely would upgrade the receiving ability of the position group immediately and potentially provide roster flexibility in the future.
Ridgeway has the size, strength, and body control to be an effective two-gap run defender, but he lacks the athleticism or mismatch ability to be an effective pass rusher.
If the Dolphins elect to fortify their defensive front at the Nose, the former small schooler, Ridgeway, would present an interesting alternative to Raekwon Davis and John Jenkins.
Ross has the combination of size, athleticism, and quick-twitch to contribute in a variety of ways in a receiving room at the next level, but must overcome injury and production concerns to do so.
After adding Tyreek Hill and Credric Wilson to a team that already includes Jaylen Waddle, McDaniel can afford to take a shot on a big-bodied talent despite the injury risk.
Barno has the athleticism, speed, and explosion to get after the quarterback, but needs to get stronger in the run game and become a more polished pass rusher in order to be a three-down player at the next level.
The Dolphins are one injury away from having major issues finding somebody to come off the edge. You can never have too many pass rushers, and Barno will provide depth while he learns the ins and outs of the position.
To learn more about the Dolphins and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.