So the NFL draft came and went in a whirl wind weekend. I think we made out pretty well. 2 major holes filled, or potentially filled, it’s still unknown at the moment. In my mind, the order of importance for me was QB, DL, OL. That’s how I saw it, and it wasn’t going to be easy to fill all those needs completely in one draft. For perspective, we used 6 picks in this draft, next season we have 12 picks, one 1st RD pic, two 2nd RD picks, two 3rd RD picks, two 4th RD picks, one 5th RD pick, and two each of 6th and 7th RD picks. We’re going to do a lot of fixing next season, and it’s not only a substantial draft haul, we will be flush with cap money, near $100M, so we will have plenty of flexibility to continue to add quality players to our roster.
So here’s what we did so far . . .
DT Christian Wilkins 6’3 315 Clemson Round 1 Pick #13
Wilkins was one of the top prospects on the DL in this draft. A very high character player with off the charts leadership abilities, he’s a foundation player that can set the tone in the locker room, as well as on the field. A very productive player at Clemson, Wilkins was a 4 YR starter with excellent tackling ability,. He can also get to the QB with 16 total sacks in 4 seasons. He has great burst and short are quickness, and should slide in immediately as a starter in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front.
QB Josh Rosen 6’4 226 UCLA/Arizona Cardinals Round 2 Pick #62 + 2020 5th RD Pick
Originally the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Josh spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals. Rosen started 13 games last season for Arizona finishing with 11 TD’s and 14 INT’s as well as a 55% completion percentage. It was a difficult rookie season on a very poor team evidenced by the firing of rookie HC Steve Wilks after 1 season. RB David Johnson was coming back after missing most of the previous season and was not the same player and rarely found any running room and finished with 1386 total yards in 2019 after finishing with 2118 total yards in 2016, his last full season. Larry Fitzgerald was really the only reliable target on a poor offense.
OG Michael Deiter 6’5 309 Wisconsin Round 3 Pick #78
Dieter was a 3 year starter at Wisconsin, and was actually a first team all-conference pick as a starter at LT. He played the rest of his college career however at at both guard spots and center. Obviously, Deiter is versatile and play most anywhere but is projected as an OG/C. Deiter neeeds to work hark hard in the weight room, but is a capable player who may end up playing sooner than later considering our depth along the O-line. He’s a good run blocker playing in Wiconsin’s pro style offense.
OLB Andrew Van Ginkel 6’3 241 Wisconsin Round 5 Pick #151
Andrew Van Ginkel was a 2 YR starter at OLB for Wisconsin. He has pass rushing ability and has 12 sacks in 2 seasons. Think of him as a Chase Winovich or T.J. Watt lite. He has athletic ability running a 4.56 40, a 38″ vertical, a super quick 4.14 20 yard shuttle and very good 6.89 3 cone drill. He’s a physical specimen that can hopefully find a place on our roster as pass rusher and chase and tackle LB.
OT Isaiah Prince 6’6 305 Ohio St. Round 6 Pick #202
Prince was a 3 YR starter at Ohio State, all at RT. Not coincidentally, we have a huge need at RT with the departure of Ja’Wuan James. He’s a project of sorts, not a natural knee bender and just beginning to improve with pass protection. I would imagine he will be in competition for a starting spot due to the lack of quality depth at the position with Zach Sterup and Jesse Davis. Another prospect that needs to hit the weight room (most do).
FB Chandler Cox 6’1 236 Auburn Round 7 Pick #233
Chandler Cox just sounds like a New England Patriot, doesn’t it? Cox played sparingly during 4 seasons with the Auburn Tigers. Cox was projected as an undrafted FA, but the Dolphins wanted him here. I expect Cox to make the 53. If the Patriots can get a starting QB late in RD 6, surely we can get a FB late in RD 7! Cox performed well at the Auburn pro day running a 4.7 40 with a 32″ vertical. Look for him to be worked hard to help spring the potential of our 2019 ground game, which should be exciting with the next guy I’ll discuss.
RB Myles Gaskin 5’9 204 Washington Round 7 Pick #234
Gaskin was a 4 YR starter at Washington and a very productive one at that. You look at his height weight combo you think bowling ball, but Gaskin is built more like a scat back, but he’s definitely an inside runner too, so he can do it all. Gaskin has 5323 rushing yards and 57 rushing TD’s in 4 seasons with Washington, along with 65 receptions and 465 yards receiving and 5 TD’s. This dynamo ran a 4.58 40 with a nice vertical. He’s got a lot of wiggle in him, and I think he’ll definitely be part of what I view as a very nice, diversified backfield with Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage and FB Chandler Cox. He has a lot of mileage but I expect he’ll continue to rack more up here in Miami.
In addition to our draft picks, we were busy as expected picking up a number of undrafted free agents. I’m not positive this is the most up to date or accurate list, but this is what I found . . .
- Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State
- Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State
- Tyler Horton, CB, Boise State
- Deion Calhoun, OL, Mississippi State
- Nik Needham, CB, UTEP
- Montre Hartage, CB, Northwestern
- Ryan Anderson, OL, Wake Forest
- Wes Farnsworth, LS, Nevada
- Dewayne Hendrix, DE, Pitt
- Jonathan Ledbetter, DE, Georgia
- Trenton Irwin, WR, Stanford
- Aaron Monteiro, OL, Boston College
- Rob Rolle, S, Villanova
- Tre Watson, LB, Maryland
All in all, I’m really very pleased with the end result of the draft weekend. Am I looking at this through Rosen colored glasses? Of course I am! I’m getting more enthusiastic about acquiring QB Josh Rosen each day. I think he’s going to come in here and work very hard to be a difference maker, and although I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is a swell guy, I think his impact will be more as a mentor than a starting QB. I think Rosen will be our starter in 2019, and I think he’s going to earn it all the way.
This doesn’t mean we’re a Superbowl team, we still have some big holes. Our O-line needs to get settled, and I don’t think we’re done there yet either. Once cuts start happening, there will be a few veteran OL that could probably help us and I expect to pick up 1 or 2 there. Same goes for the D-line, we have little talent on the edge and also expect to get a little help once cuts begin for the DE position as well.
No one expected us to rebuild everything in one season, that’s just totally unrealistic. That doesn’t mean we can’t get to the point of being respectable. I think we can achieve that, and not be an easy beat for any team. I want to continue to improve each week and see growth, and that will put us in great position next season where we have 12 picks, and multiple picks in the first 100, and likely around $100M in cap space. It’s very promising indeed! GO DOLPHINS!
Josh Rosen’s introductory press conference