With the 54th pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the Dolphins selected junior ILB Raekwon McMillan out of the Ohio State University. McMillan was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes and he was the team’s leading tackler in 2015 and 2016.
McMillan made an instant impact at Ohio State and Dolphins general manager Chris Grier believes McMillan’s intelligence will enable him to instantly help the Dolphins.
“He’s a guy that loves football, his passion, the intelligence – and that’s the one part that when the rookies come in, the hard part is the playbook,” Grier said. “When you talk to the guys at Ohio State, they talk about this guy’s intellect, how smart he is, how he can line up everybody.
“And when we met with him at the [NFL] combine, he’s talking football telling you where the corner, safeties, the front, moving the front – he understands it. … He’ll learn this quickly and we do anticipate him making an impact.”
Outside of McMillan’s intelligence, his combination of size and athleticism is what will give the former, five-star recruit an opportunity to play right away for the Dolphins. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, McMillan ran a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash and he is versatile enough to play SAM and MIKE backer next season.
Dolphins linebackers Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons are projected to start but the selection of McMillan adds a modicum of confusion to the positions each linebacker will play next season.
“One good thing here adding [Lawrence] Timmons, and Kiko [Alonso] and now adding Raekwon [McMillan] into the mix, talking with the coaches – talking with the coaches, we’re going to let it play out,” Grier said.
“We have kind of an idea where we think they’re going to play, but again we haven’t worked with [Lawrence] Timmons yet, as well here in terms of getting them on all together. We kind of have an idea, but again on our part, I’m going to let the coaches talk about that when you guys meet with Adam [Gase] next week.”