The Miami Dolphins finished second in the AFC East last season, although finished below .500 at 7-9. They have had only one winning season since 2008 when they went 10-6 and lost in the wild card round. Last season they were 26th in offense at 19.9 per game and 27th in points allowed at 27.1 per game. With a large number of holes to fill, we examine the Dolphins top six picks of the NFL Draft.
Round 1 (13th) Christian Wilkins (DT) Clemson
Wilkins played in 11 games as a freshman in 2015, recording 33 tackles, including 4.5 for loss of yardage and two sacks. Increasing his production significantly as a sophomore, Wilkins had 13 tackles for loss and 48 stops overall. His tackle total increased to 60 as a junior, while recording five sacks. Dominating last season as a senior, Wilkins stopped 14 opposing players in the backfield for a loss, 5.5 for sacks.
Wilkins has great size at 6’ 4” and 315 pounds and fills one of the top needs of the team. He has great skill, positive attitude and personality that should mesh well with the direction new coach Brian Flores has for the team. While other positions could have been chosen to bolster the team with the first pick, Wilkins was ranked the top player available to the Miami brass at the time of the pick.
Round 3 (78th) Michael Deiter (G) Wisconsin
Deiter started 13 games in 2015, six at center and seven at left guard, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention. Showing versatility, he moved to left tackle in 2017 and was named to the first-team all-conference. Moving back to left guard as senior, Deiter continue his excellent play, again earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Looking to bolster the offensive line, the Dolphins made a very solid pick with Deiter. His versatility is a huge plus, but he’s likely going to play in the interior at either guard position. He has a chance to be a starter this season and will be a asset helping in pass protection, an area that was a major weakness last season.
Round 5 (151st) Andrew Van Ginkel (OLB) Wisconsin
Van Ginkel played at South Dakota as a freshman in 2015, recording 56 tackles, nine sacks and 18 for loss of yardage. Transferring to Western Community College in 2016, he had 50 tackles and 13 for loss of yardage. As a junior at Wisconsin in 2017, Vank Ginkel had 6.5 sacks, two interceptions and 39 total stops in a back up role. Despite missing two games in his senior season due to injury, Van Ginkel had 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Van Ginkel is solid in most phases that plays with high intensity. The Dolphins are clearly in need to pass rushers and while likely not a starter, has the ability to be a contributor in passing down. A place on the special teams is likely to start and Van Ginkel has a shot to be a more significant piece on the defensive line down the road.
Round 6 (202nd) Isaiah Prince (OT) Ohio State
As a freshman, Prince appeared in all 14 games as a back up. He started at right tackle in every game in 2016 and earned third-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. Improving to first-team All-Big Ten status as a senior, Prince was captain and anchored the offensive line from his right tackle position.
Prince continued the Dolphins direction of bolstering the offensive line. At times Prince shows some troubles in pass protection, but he’s a very good run blocker. Prince will at the very least be a back up and has a legitimate chance to fight for a starting job at right tackle.
Round 7 (233rd) Chandler Cox (FB) Auburn
Cox started 19 of the 25 games he played in during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was mainly used as a blocker, rushing the ball seven times and catching seven passes during the two seasons. Much of the same was seen out of Fox during his junior and senior seasons, carrying the ball a total of three times with 14 catches out of the backfield.
With not many teams using a fullback in today’s NFL, the Dolphins will use Cox much in the same role he played in college. He’s a tough, physical player who should make an immediate impact on special teams. Any contribution from a seventh round pick is significant, so the selection of Cox will likely be a good one.
Round 7 (234th) Myles Gaskin (RB) Washington
As a freshman, Gaskin ran for 1302 yards for 5.7 yards per carry and 14 touchdowns. A first-team All-Pac 12 selection as a sophomore, Gaskin rushed for 1373 yards and 10 touchdowns. He continued his stellar play in 2017 as a junior, scoring 21 touchdowns rushing on 1380 yards and as a senior added another 12 touchdowns and 1268 yards.
Gaskin had a ton of carries in college, proving his durability and toughness. The Dolphins are in need of another running back and likely to not only make the roster, could also earn some playing time should Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage have lackluster training camps and preseason performances.article