Picking 11th overall is a great situation for the Dolphins in next week’s NFL Draft, regardless of who gets taken in the 10 spots ahead of them.
While they need significant help on offense, if they can’t get a top quarterback in the first round, they’ll likely snap up a potential defensive game-changer. That’s not a bad worst-case scenario.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock believes it’s an enviable position and his recommendation is that they target Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith or Florida State safety Derwin James.
“I think those two kids are special,” Mayock said. “I think they’re home runs. I think they’re plug and play day one, and they solve multiple issues for you on defense.”
Linebacker is the more pressing of the two positions for the Dolphins. They have Kiko Alonso coming off a somewhat frustrating season and Raekwon McMillan, who missed his entire first year with a torn ACL. There is no clear third starter.
Miami most likely would be able to choose between Smith and Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds is a little more of a wildcard because he’s only 19.
Mayock also wouldn’t bite on Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea that early and has concerns about him staying in shape.
James is an ultra-talented safety, but the Dolphins already have two entrenched starters in Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald. Both of them are signed through 2021 or beyond, and McDonald is only 27. Adding James might create a logjam for playing time, at least for this season, but Mayock wouldn’t mind the problem of having too many good safeties on the roster.
“I would say either Smith or James,” he said. “And you’d sprint up to the podium and be really happy with either.”
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