By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303
Miami started the night off selecting arguably the best safety in college football, Minkah Fitzpatrick out of Alabama.
Dolphins GM Chris Gire had this to say about their new first-round pick: “Impeccable character. At the end of the day, this guy is a football player, creates turnovers.”
Great intangibles are just part of the package that Fitzpatrick brought as a top-notch prospect. Along with his versatility in the secondary, he’s a high-character player who’s willing to do what it takes to succeed.
“A little different skill set than the other two guys. We’ll see how it will all play out.”
In the second and third rounds, Miami started to address those needs I was speaking of, going first with TE Mike Gesicki out of Penn State, a big, strong, catching tight end. His only knocks according to some analysts are that he’s not a great blocker.
They followed up that pick by taking LB Jerome Baker from THE Ohio State. He’s an undersized linebacker with some cons according to the Miami Herald. They feel that Baker has yet to harness his gifts, he gets lost in zones and fails to challenge certain routes in man-to-man. However, the Dolphins coaching staff feel they can help him harness his gifts.
Right back after in round 4, Miami went TE again. This time selecting Durham Smythe from Notre Dame. He is known mostly for his….you guessed it, blocking ability.
Staying in round 4, the Dolphins used their next pick as a wildcard and selected RB Kalen Ballage out of Arizona State. Personally, I know this guy well. After doing mock drafts almost every day, this guys name was always popping up. He is big strong back and at 6’2 and 228 lbs, he’ll move you when he hits the open field. I see him more being used as a power back and in short-yardage situations, but would not surprise me at all to see him take some long runs either.
Miami did not have a fifth-round pick. That pick was traded to New Orleans for inside linebacker Stephone Anthony.
The 6th pick, which was the Dolphins compensatory pick, was used for cornerback Cornell Armstrong from Southern Miss. He is one of these CB that have great hands and speed. I would look for him to excel a special teams guy.
As we rolled into the 7th round, Miami got right back to work on those team needs. They selected another linebacker out of Ohio University, Quentin Poling. After reading draft reports on this young man and watching some film, he’s got some great football moves. He seems to know when and where the plays are going. The only downside is that he’s only 6’0. He relies on his upper body and big hands to make tackles.
And for the last pick, I’m pretty sure about 98% of the Dolphins fan base could have guessed this pick. Yes, a kicker. I’m pretty sure most were surprised by the selection. Miami picked Jason Sanders from New Mexico. I’m not gonna spend to much time on analyzing this one. Because like I always say, You have 1 job. Soooooo, Just do it.
Over-all grade for the Dolphins for me. I give them a solid C.