There’s no doubt the Dolphins want help at linebacker and tight end, and ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes those are their biggest needs.
The good news for Miami is that Kiper sees strong options at both those spots with the team’s Nos. 22 and 54 overall picks.
“If you want a tight end, this is a year you should be able to get one,” he said.
If Kiper were balancing both of those needs, he’d prioritize linebacker in the first round. He currently projects the Dolphins taking Jarrad Davis from the University of Florida.
“When healthy, he was a tackling machine,” Kiper said, describing exactly what the team needs up the middle right now. “In Miami, he would fill a big need. The back seven needs help and it starts at linebacker. Davis would be a good starting point.”
Davis, who is 6-foot-2, 238 pounds played four years at Florida and dealt with an ankle issue as a senior. He had 60 tackles last season. The year before, he piled up 94 tackles, including 11 for loss, in a full 14-game season.
That leaves the second-round pick to address tight end, which Kiper thinks is still a good spot to get value. His top choice would be University of Miami’s David Njoku, but there’s a chance he won’t last that long. If Njoku is gone, he recommends 6-foot-5, 248-pounder Cole Hikutini from Louisville.
Over his junior and senior seasons, Hikutini totaled 69 catches, 1,016 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Njoku (6-4 245) declared early after starring as a red-shirt sophomore for the Hurricanes last season. He had 698 yards and eight touchdowns on 43 catches. He’s obviously a threat in the passing game, but also an underrated blocker.
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