DAVIE – It’s no secret, the Miami Dolphins have been enamored with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, but chances are, he won’t be available when the Dolphins make their selection at No. 11. Quarterback Josh Rosen (UCLA), linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech), Roquan Smith (Georgia) and safety Derwin James are also options for Miami if either one of them fall just outside of the top-10 picks.
Miami could also elect to trade up or back, but it is more likely that they move down in the draft to acquire more picks. Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum has been very aggressive in the draft, but it would be cost prohibitive for them to move up this year.
If the Dolphins stay pat at No. 11, there is only one player they should consider if the aforementioned prospects are off the board:
What they should do at No. 11?
While Tannehill does not deserve all of the blame for Miami’s shortcomings on offense, it’s incumbent upon the Dolphins to find Tannehill’s eventual replacement. If Miami does the right thing tonight, Lamar Jackson will be a member of the Miami Dolphins.
Miami’s offense has not produced in the majority of its seasons with Tannehill under center. The team’s best offensive production with Tannehill as its quarterback came in 2014 when Miami finished 14th in total offense. Unfortunately, the Dolphins have finished no better than 24th in total offense outside of his 2014 season.
Jackson posted 119 career touchdowns at Louisville. Adding his athleticism and palpable arm talent would go a long way towards ameliorating issues that have perennially plagued the Dolphins’ offense. Jackson can convert third downs with his arms and his legs; and as a result of his mobility, he’ll eliminate cover 1 for opposing defenses, and widen rushing lanes for running backs Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore.
The Dolphins’ quarterback room currently consists of Ryan Tannehill and backups Brock Osweiler and David Fales. While adding another quarterback gives the team four quarterbacks Miami is currently devoid of a young quarterback who could stabilize the team if Tannehill goes down with another injury. The addition of Jackson gives Miami another talented young quarterback and hope for the future.
What they’ll likely do
Miami parted ways with Ndamukong Suh in free agency and now have a void at defensive tackle. The Dolphins should opt to find a defensive tackle in the middle rounds to address the position but they’ll likely trade down and select defensive tackle Vita Vea out of the University of Washington. Vea projects to be a two-down player who is capable of taking on double-teams.
He’s not a penetrating defensive tackle. In his three college seasons, he has just 15 tackles for loss compared to a player like Nick Fairley, who had 24 tackles for loss in his final season at Auburn. Vea is more of a space-eating defensive tackle, which will work well when paired with the likes of Miami’s 2017 fifth-round pick Davon Godchaux.