In their first draft together as GM and Head Coach, Chris Grier and Brian Flores played chess not checkers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
They were no longer labeled as understudies of Bill Belicheck and Mike Tannenbaum. Instead, they had a clear plan and stuck to it.
On Thursday, the Dolphins selected the best personality and one of the top defensive tackles in the draft, Christian Wilkins from Clemson. Wilkins capped off his collegiate career by dominating Alabama’s offensive line in the National Championship Game. Miami’s 31st ranked run defense certainly needed a makeover and Wilkins fits the bill to be a disruptive interior force. If he uses as much energy throughout his career as he did when Roger Goodell first called his name, Miami landed themselves a steal at 13.
I have a strong feeling that it wont take Wilkins long to be loved in South Florida, but all eyes will be on the career of Dwayne Haskins, whom Miami passed up despite their need at QB. Grier had stated before that he believed this was a “good” not “great” QB class. Which leads us to the biggest move of the Miami’s draft.
Round 2- Miami trades number 48 with Saints for number 62 and acquires 2020 second round pick and an additional (2019) 6th rounder. Miami then trades (62) to Arizona for Josh Rosen, a former top 10 pick in the 2018 draft.
Overview: When it comes to contract, opportunity, timing, and everything that you can hope for in an NFL Draft, the Dolphins basically got a top 10 draft choice for free. Rosen was ranked as the 33rd passer in the NFL last season, but despite his awful rookie season, many are stating that his intelligence is off the charts. Rosen will have a better opportunity to showcase his skills in Chad O’Shea’s offense and even if the struggles continue, he is earning a salary of 2.1 mil for the next three seasons. Can you say steal?
Round 3 (Pick 78)
Matt Dieter, OL, Wisconsin
Dieter, a 5 year starter at Wisconsin has played Left Tackle, Guard, and Center. Considered a “mauler” Dieter started 54 consecutive games for the Badgers and his durability and versatility should be able to land him one of the starting positions most likely on the interior.
Dieter should start immediately based off his resume and consistency. The Dolphins will need his versatility on the line in case of injury. I believe the Dolphins could’ve drafted a tackle at this spot to fill the void of the recently departed, Ju’Wuan James. (Broncos)
Round 5 & 6
151 (5th round) – Andrew Van Ginkle, LB, Wisconsin
Van Ginkle gets mixed reviews as the Dolphins decided to bring another Badger to South Florida. Van Ginkle, who might get called “Sunshine” as he makes his way to the NFL, will most likely start his career as a special teams player. This was considered a reach pick, but you cant blame a former linebackers coach for helping select the guy that he wanted.
202 (6th round) – Isaiah Prince, T, Ohio State
One of the questionable things about the Dolphins draft is that they waited until the 6th round to select an OT, but you can’t hit every need when you’re a rebuilding team. Prince’s career at Ohio State has been a confusing one to follow. His consistency level has been all over the place, but the Dolphins hope his size and experience on the right side of line will complement Laremy Tunsil and the rest of a rebuilding offensive line. Prince is a solid value pick in the 6th round and could be a steal if his pass blocking skills can improve.
233 (Round 7) – Chandler Cox, FB, Auburn
Get ready for some ground and pound football! It looks like Flores was channeling his inner Patriot with this pick and selected a full back at pick 202, a position of a dying breed. Another interesting pick with no guarantee to make the roster, but it looks like this regime wants to have some H-Back type formations which could open up big holes for the RB’s and play-action passing game.
Myles Gaskin, RB, University of Washington
Speaking of running back, Gaskin set almost every school record as a 4-year starter at the University of Washington. The all-purpose back rushed for at least 1,250 yards in all 4 of his seasons and scored a combined 62 rushing and receiving touchdowns. Miami added another versatile and electric runner in a backfield that includes Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. If Gaskin can show some skills on special teams or in preseason, his versatility could find him a roster spot. Another solid value pick.
Final draft grade: A-
The Dolphins have not only set themselves up with a possible quarterback for the future, but a possible stud at defensive tackle as well. If the Dieter pick pans out, they have loaded themselves up with 14 draft picks in 2020 and approximately 120 million in cap room by shedding a lot of veteran contracts. Of course, we won’t know for a year or two if they made the right moves, but it finally seems that everything is clicking. They deserved an A for execution and finally sticking to the plan.
Let’s see how they do on the field.
Is it September yet?