2018 NFL Draft: Why Miami Dolphins should consider LB Tremaine Edmunds

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier is tackled by Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at Hard Rock Stadium. (Andres Leiva / The Palm Beach Post)

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s rare that NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock can’t think of a fair comparable for a player.

This is the case with Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.

“That’s the definition of unique, there is only one of them,” Mayock said of Edmunds.

The Dolphins need a linebacker who can play the run and the pass and occasionally rush the passer. They could really use a linebacker to pair with veteran Kiko Alonso and youngster Raekwon McMillan.

And more than anything, Miami needs to select an impact player with the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Edmunds is a rare combination of size (6-foot-5, 253 pounds) and speed (4.54 in the 40-yard dash, which was nearly as fast as the smaller Roquan Smith).

And perhaps most intriguing about Tremaine, son of former Dolphins tight end Ferrell Edmunds, is his age.

“The beauty of this kid is he’s 19 years old,” Mayock said. “He doesn’t turn 20 until a couple days after the draft.”

So, yes, Edmunds’ upside is incredible. But what he showed he can do in college is tape-stopping.

“Edmunds combines elite size, speed and explosiveness into a productive, versatile linebacker package that will have evaluators salivating,” Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote.

Zierlein chose former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher as an Edmunds comparable.

“(Edmunds) offers tremendous upside as an edge rusher, where he can dip/rip and bend around the edge,” NFL Networks’ Daniel Jeremiah wrote. “Overall, Edmunds has All-Pro ability. His upside is outrageous.”

Jeremiah ranks Edmunds at the third-best player in the draft. ESPN ranks Edmunds as the fifth-best player in the draft. If he is available at 11, a bet on Edmunds is a well-considered choice.

Edmunds can stuff the run, but he also has incredible range and athleticism.

“Feet pump and trigger like pistons,” Zierlein wrote. “Excellent lateral quickness to scrape and stalk. Uses his size and speed to cast a wide, playmaking net and cover large swaths of grass.”

Jeremiah says (and this will be music to the ears of Dolphins fans) that Edmunds can “easily mirror running backs and tight ends” and has even been seen matching up with and redirecting slot receivers.

RELATED STORY: [2018 NFL Draft: Is dynamic, game-changing LB Roquan Smith right for Miami Dolphins?]

Sound like that would be helpful?

How about Jeremiah on Edmunds’ ability to hold up against the run?

“Against the run, he is quick to key, fill and finish as a tackler,” Jeremiah said. “He has rare lateral range and collects tackles from sideline to sideline. The former Hokie flashes the ability to shoot his hands and play off blocks, but this is one area where he can improve.”

At the scouting combine, Edmunds used the same phrase to describe himself and his father Ferrell: “Playmakers.”

Edmunds’ humility off the field belies his aggression on the field. Edmunds’ twitter handle includes the words “Savage” and with good reason.

Asked in Indianapolis if he’s the best linebacker in this draft, Edmunds replied, simply: “Yes, m’am.”

If Edmunds and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith are both available, Miami will have an interesting choice.

The Dolphins would also be extremely, extremely fortunate.

2018 NFL Free Agents: DeMarco Murray visiting Dolphins Sunday

2018 NFL free agents: Who’s left at Miami Dolphins positions of need?

Miami Dolphins’ Albert Wilson not afraid to replace Jarvis Landry

Top 10 Miami Dolphins who must outperform their rookie deals

Danny Amendola + Josh Sitton = 26 playoff games, 17 wins and 3 rings

Miami Dolphins releasing Mike Pouncey, signing Josh Sitton, trading for Daniel Kilgore