The NFL Draft is one day away.
I repeat, the 2019 NFL Draft is one day away.
With the draft quickly approaching, NFL teams are beginning to finalize their draft boards in anticipation for the big day. After all, teams anxiously await for the draft every year, as it remains the last hurdle before the new NFL season begins. Free Agency will remain the mainstay for adding proven talent for way, way too much money. But good teams are built through the draft and that’s exactly what the new regime is hoping to accomplish.
Miami currently holds six picks in the 2019 draft. Which means unless an elite player falls helplessly into their lap at 13, they’re going to move heaven and hell to trade down. That’s not to say it will work, or that an elite player won’t fall, but the Dolphins are going to be on the move this draft season. And will look to sure up their biggest needs which include [ QB/OL/DL/DB/S ]
Here are 13 potential players the Dolphins could select at #13 in this year’s NFL draft.
Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
The odds that Dwayne Haskins falls to the Dolphins at #13 have seemingly increased over the last several weeks. And depending on who you ask, Haskins has slowly become the No.3 QB according to respected experts and analysts alike. Personally, I think he has all the traits you look for in a franchise quarterback. And if somehow, someway he’s still available when the Dolphins are on the clock, you run to the podium with the pick. Oh yeah, and for those who don’t recall, Stephen Ross was in attendance for the Wolverines game vs Ohio State this past season. Michigan came into the game with the country’s No.1 ranked defense, before Dwayne Haskins completed 20/31 for 396 yards and 6 touchdowns. For better or for worse, it got Stephen Ross’ attention.
Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle , Houston
We continue to hear Ed Oliver’s name mocked to the Miami Dolphins, but for what reason I do not know. The versatile defensive lineman from Houston, amassed 54 total tackles in 2018. Dig a little deeper and you will see his 14.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Throughout this draft process, Oliver has been the one player highly regarded by many as the next Aaaron Donald. Now I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way this dude is that good. Maybe not. But to think he’s going to be available for the Dolphins in any scenario, is extremely unlikely. Simply put, Ed Oliver is the Minkah Fitzpatrick pick in this class. His versatility is perfect for what Brian Flores and his coaching staff desire on the defensive line. And if he’s available when Miami is on the clock, the pick could not be any easier.
Jaawan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida
Drafting an offensive lineman with a top-15 draft pick will never be the sexy choice. But once you start to realize how valuable trench play is to the success of an NFL team, it doesn’t look so bad on the surface. After all, the ‘trenches’ is where games are won and loss. And it’s safe to say several games in 2018 were lost due to poor offensive line play. (Cough, Cincinnati, Cough) Nevertheless, after being outbid for Ja’Wuan James during free agency, the Dolphins have an opening at right tackle. Yes, Jesse Davis is a potential in-house replacement, but Taylor is the best of this year’s class. If quarterback is the plan in 2020, building the offensive line is a very wise decision. Especially if the target is left-handed QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Every year, there’s a player or two I become enamored with throughout the draft process. This year, that player is Florida State’s Brian Burns. In 2018, Burns combined for 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 53 total tackles. He was a pass rushing maven and proved he could play at a multitude of positions on the Seminole’s defensive line. His lanky frame isn’t overly concerning, but Burns could definitely benefit from adding additional mass at the next level. Adding Burns to a Dolphins defense severely lacking a pass rusher would be a very smart move towards creating one of the league’s top defenses.
Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
As we have heard from some of the NFL’s biggest draft analysts, Montez Sweat might not be the best player on Mississippi State’s defensive line. In fact, Jeffrey Simmons would likely be a top-5 pick if he were healthy. A recent medical red-flag regarding his heart condition, has some teams rearranging their draft boards. Again, a trade down would be ideal. but I fully expect Sweat to be drafted at the back end of round one, or top of round 2. I believe Sweat will have success in the NFL, despite his concerns.
Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
Miami’s new defensive line coach is Marion Hobby, who spent several years with the Clemson Tigers. Hobby has familiarity with many of Clemson’s top draft prospects, including Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, and the aforementioned Wilkins. Throughout his collegiate career, Wilkins proved to be a difference maker all over the Tiger’s defensive line. And despite not getting a ton of recognition as one of the draft’s top prospects, it would surprise no one if his name was called before the bottom half of the draft. Miami’s defense could use a player with his versatility and skill-set.
Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Much like Taylor, Williams could very well be off the board by the time the Dolphins are on the clock at 13. Nevertheless, he’s a versatile lineman that has played against some of the best pass rushers in college football. His ability to play offensive tackle and offensive guard at an elite level, makes him an intriguing prospect for every team desperate for offensive line help. Williams should make a near flawless transition to the NFL game, and could be a Pro Bowl starter in year one.
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Ferrell was a dominant run-stopper at Clemson and as 3 Yard’s Per Carry reported earlier this week, has a very good relationship with Dolphins defensive line coach Marion Hobby. Ferrell does all the little things right and as I mentioned in the recent weeks, he reminds me of a younger, faster William Hayes. Hayes, who many remember, was stout vs the run. He also made an impact as a pass rusher. I see Ferrell as a more polished prospect than Charles Harris. I would not be surprised one bit if Ferrell is the pick at 13.
Jeffery Simmons, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State
Simmons has slowly become my favorite option for the team at 13. Miami is unlikely to compete in 2019, so taking a red-shirt freshman that can fully recover and make an impact when the Dolphins are ready to compete would be in the team’s best interest. Obviously, a trade down would be ideal. But you can’t pass on an opportunity to draft an elite player.. During his 2018 campaign he amassed 63 total tackles, 18 for loss and 2 sacks.
Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
Williams, by most accounts, is considered the top defensive back in this year’s class. And as Alfred Arteaga of 3 Yards Per Carry has mentioned over the last several weeks, he’s a legit possibility for the Dolphins at 13. Williams might be the best press corner in this year’s class, which is a significant need for a team that has Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain as their top defensive backs. That is assuming Flores decides to keep Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety. Nevertheless, drafting Williams would be a great pick for a team looking to transition to a dime defense.
Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Ask anyone what the Dolphins biggest need is outside of quarterback, and pass rusher should be at the top of that list. Unfortunately for Gary, a recent report of a torn labrum could see him fall mercifully in Thursday’s draft. His boom or bust potential has always made him an intriguing prospect for Miami at 13. And then there’s the obvious Michigan ties, which has to be a positive for the Wolverine’s top booster, Stephen Ross. Gary should still go in round one, but would be a more obvious choice via trade down. Nonetheless, whichever team drafts him, should get a versatile starter for many years to come.
Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle, Washington State
In recent weeks, Dillard has sky-rocketed up NFL team’s draft boards. A one time late first-round pick, could find himself drafted within the top-15 of Thursday’s draft. Dillard may be better in pass protection than Taylor, but the difference between the two prospects is minor. If Miami is truly all in on Tua in 2020, they will need a right tackle to protect his blindside. Aside from Taylor and Williams, Dillard is the top tackle in this year’s class. Offensive lineman might not be a sexy pick, but he would make an immediate impact opposite of Laremy Tunsil, for many, many years to come.
Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
Lock is a wildcard and for a team enamored by Josh Allen a year ago, if he falls their could be some interest. After all, Lock is a more accurate and polished passer than Allen. The only significant difference is Allen’s rocket launcher of an arm. Denver seems like an obvious choice for the Missouri quarterback but if he’s available at 13, the Dolphins could be faced with a tough decision. Should they wait until 2020? Or take a quarterback that could be a starter in the NFL for many years to come. Whatever they decide, if a quarterback is their choice, the internal clock will begin ticking for Chris Grier and Brian Flores.
Josh Houtz (@Houtz) cooks in his spare time, when he’s not working on 65 things for Five Reasons Sports Network and Dolphin Maven