Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Miami Dolphins Draft Picks (2018)
|2||42||Mike Gesicki||TE||Penn State|
|3||73||Jerome Baker||OLB||Ohio State|
|4||123||Durham Smythe||TE||Notre Dame|
|4||131||Kalen Ballage||RB||Arizona St.|
|6||209||Cornell Armstrong||CB||Southern Miss|
|7||229||Jason Sanders||K||San Diego St.|
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Tight End
- Interior Offensive Line (G)
- Corner Back
My initial thought after the 1st two selections was that the Miami Dolphins are content with Ryan Tannehill. They sat there and watched Rosen go 1 pick ahead of them and dirt cheap I might add in terms what it took to move up and select him. He is arguably the best QB in the draft and the Cardinals really did not have to pay much to jump the Dolphins. Instead the Cardinals sent 1st(15) 3rd (79) and a 5th (152) to get to pick #10 and grab Rosen. Tanny is coming off of a major knee surgery and who knows how well he will play. He has had mixed reviews and they could easily get out of his deal after this year when his dead cap number goes from 22 to 13.5 mill in 2019 and 5.5mill in 2020. Adam Gase is the intellectual, fiery coach that they say Rosen needs and the marriage would have been perfect, Manhattan Beach to South Beach for Rosen. On to the picks…
The Miami Dolphins were content with sitting and picking, making n0 moves this draft and using all 8 of their selections. They went production over projections grabbing extremely productive players from high profile schools with their first 5 picks. They got rewarded for their patience by getting great value with each pick. They took 3 guys from Mike Mayock’s top 100 in the first 2 days. Minkah Fitzpatrick was his 5th best overall player with Mike Gesicki (58) and Jerome Baker (83) going day 2. Gesicki blew up the combine and ran 40 times faster than WRs like Michael Gallup and Courtland Sutton. Having a huge catch radius and being able to jump out of the building he will be a matchup nightmare that Gase will definitely have big plans for. The Dolphins went back-to-back in drafting linebackers from Ohio State in consecutive years grabbing speedy LB Jerome Baker who should provide insurance if Raekwon McMillan doesn’t come back strong from knee surgery. Baker also adds flexibility as the Dolphins can put Baker outside and insert McMillan as the traffic cop inside improving 2 positions with 1 pick.
On day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins complemented the Gesicki selection, a pure move tight end, with a pure in-line TE Durham Smythe prior to adding defensive players that will contribute on special teams and add depth to a defensive unit that has struggled with injuries in recent years. The Dolphins wrapped up the draft by selecting a kicker who had the nation’s No. 2 touchback percentage.
Overall, the Dolphins had a solid draft. I wouldn’t say it was an A+ home run, but they hit doubles all day. They picked up some good young talent and guys that fit needs so they should play immediately. Miami has been trying like hell to figure out the TE position in free agency to no avail. They drafted 2, a blocking TE and a freak athlete that has drawn Greg Olsen comparisons in Gesicki. Minkah and Reshad Jones are immediately one of the top Safety tandems in the league. Kalen Ballage is a bit of an enigma but they possibly hit big on him, he looks the part. Getting unseated by Demarrio Richard is puzzling, he either isn’t as good as some people think or just horrible coaching like we saw with Alvin Kamara not playing early enough in college.
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the early favorite for the Browns #4 pick. He fell late in the draft process as Derwin James and the linebackers rose. His versatility may have made people a little nervous of where to play him, slot, box safety, or corner. I think the Dolphins got a steal at 11 getting a top 5 talent. It looks like the Dolphins wanted interchangeable safeties for their scheme and that’s ultimately what they have between Fitzpatrick and Jones. Minkah has high character, clean injury history, clean off the field, and the pedigree is strong being another 5 star highly recruited and highly productive Alabama player. He will be an instant impact starter and should be a cornerstone on that defense for years to come.
Fantasy Football Implications
Gesicki definitely helps improve Tannehill’s stock and not drafting a QB helps Tannehill in both redraft and Dynasty. Gesicki himself could easily be this year’s breakout TE. Tight ends don’t usually do well year 1 in fantasy. Only 1 has finished top 12 as a rookie in a decade before Evan Engram last seasonand it was a mutant we call Gronk. That being said, Gesicki won’t be asked to block and I could see him pushing TE1 production in an offense with a lot of new pieces. The additions of Ballage along with Frank Gore raises questions regarding the Miami Dolphins commitment to Kenyan Drake as a primary ball-carrier. They were hell bent on creating a “running back by committee” and they have succeeded, I am not a fan of Drake at his current ADP for this reason.