A piece on free agency and the draft in November, you have got to be kidding?
Well no, as the weeks fly by of the regular season, some teams will be scouring over their roster and looking at which positions to improve on next season.
Not to mention players about to hit free agency are playing for their next contract, be it at their current team or a new one.
With that being said, I thought it would be a bit of fun to look at the areas the Miami Dolphins should be targeting in free agency and a few players I would like them to target in the 2017 draft.
*These are the opinions of a fan, there is a 99% chance this will not happen so please try and refrain from calling me an idiot in the comments below*
Right, it’s draft time. The Dolphins have made their moves in free agency and have signed Trumaine Johnson and Ronald Leary.
Jabaal Sheard and Jamie Collins have decided to ply their trade elsewhere but it was worth a try.
Should the season end today, the Dolphins will be picking 19th. With that being said, for the point of this exercise, I am going to assume the Dolphins JUST miss out on a play-off spot and will pick somewhere between 19 and 25.
So, first up the Dolphins need a outside linebacker and a defensive end. This must be addressed in the opening three rounds. Cornerback is no longer a priority after the signing of Johnson.
*If he doesn’t sign, then Dolphins should be looking at Jalen Tabor or Quincy Wilson from Florida, Desmond King from Iowa or Marlon Humphrey out of Alabama. If any of these are still on the board after three rounds, Miami would be stupid to not take one in the fourth, maybe the third.*
Should Miami opt to go OLB first, Zach Cunningham from Vanderbilt would be a great choice.
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, his size and athleticism would be great next to Kiko Alonso. He is great against the run, in coverage and as a pass rusher – with his work in the run game ranking second among SEC linebackers and his run stop percentage of 13.4 percent ranking sixth among the nation’s inside linebackers last season according to Pro Football Focus.
Cunningham can make plays in zone while his athleticism means he can cover tight ends and running backs.
However, he needs to finish plays better and work on his tackling.
Reuben Foster out of Alabama is arguably the better player but he is projected to make the move inside once he steps up to the NFL choice. Pro Football Focus says that “he can defeat blocks with his agility or with his power while bringing that same aggressiveness as a blitzer.
“In coverage, Foster has been strong since taking over as a starter last season and he’s only missed six of his 69 tackles this season. Detroit’s defense has been weak up the middle and Foster is a 3-down upgrade at linebacker.” A shame should he move to ILB.
In terms of DE, unless a video emerges of Myles Garrett smoking a bong through a gas mask, there is no way he falls to the Dolphins.
Assuming Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, Auburn’s Carl Lawson, Alabama’s Tim Williams and Missouri’s Charles Harris are all gone by time the Dolphins pick, Dawuane Smoot out of Illinois could be a shout.
Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA and Ryan Anderson are more likely to be on the board come the second and third round, maybe even later.
Washington State’s QB Luke Falk is extremely unlikely to be on the board after the first 64 picks as his draft stock improves. However, should teams overlook him for the likes of Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Brad Kaaya, then he is a must in the third or fourth, along with Mason Rudolph.
Both Falk and Rudolph are slowly playing their way into the first round though. But either one of the pair could be ideal to work and develop under Adam Gase and with Ryan Tannehill starting ahead of them, they would have plenty of time to sit and learn the nuances of the NFL.