Here’s the latest edition of our Miami Dolphin Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel contributors David Furones and Omar Kelly answer readers’ questions.
Question: With the 25th number of the 1st round… you choose who…? — Bob Whitmer on Twitter
A: First, let’s clarify that the Dolphins’ place in the first round has not yet been determined. Since the Dolphins own the San Francisco 49ers’ pick, Miami will pick 25th at best, but it’s more likely to be 26th or further behind.
If you go chalk in the divisional round when the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals lose to their respective leaders the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans, it’s 26. If San Francisco loses and Cincinnati wins, it’s 25. If the 49ers go to the NFC Championship Game, it’ll go to final four selections of the first round.
Basically, we’re looking at what the Dolphins’ main opportunities will be at the end of the first round. Miami also now looks more likely to keep that pick, with the team essentially ruling out switching starting quarterbacks this offseason and sticking with Tua Tagovailoa heading into his third season in the NFL.
At the end of the first round, there are several offensive tackles that are predicted to be in this range. I would like the Dolphins to add at least two offensive linemen who could serve as an immediate upgrade from what they currently have in their starting lineup and at least one veteran free agent. To drop a couple of names, New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead or New England Patriots right tackle Trent Brown.
If Miami wants to go down the path of getting another lineman with a late first-round pick, general manager Chris Grier can rely on the experience of the next head coach after he and former coach Brian Flores spent first (Austin Jackson), two seconds (Liam Eichenberg, Robert Hunt), third (Michael Deiter), fourth (Solomon Kindley), sixth (Isaiah Prince) and seventh (Larnel Coleman) linemen in the last three draft picks with one confident shot from an NFL-caliber starter to feature him in the Hunt for right defender.
A few names to watch out for who the Dolphins will be picking are Nicholas Petit-Fraer of Ohio State, Bernhard Reimann of Central Michigan and Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa.
Petit-Frere (6’5″, 315 pounds) was the left tackle for the Buckeyes and withdrew from the Rose Bowl as his draft status was already secured. He also has experience on the right tackle starting in 2020 and can slide off if needed to protect left-hander Tagovailoa’s blind side.
Pro Football Focus considers Reimann (6-7, 305) a fast player for his total blocking scores in 2021, significantly higher than the previous year. The Austrian high school exchange student started his college career as a draft tight end before turning into a left tackle where he began playing in 2020.
Penning (6-7, 322) has experience in both tackles and guards, being of typical height, weight and length, and moving easily at that height. Darian Kinnard of Kentucky and Sean Ryan of UCLA may also be considered.
You also want the Dolphins to add a starting back and receiving weapon. If no runner appears between the Senior Bowl and the Scouting Association, there will likely be none in the first round. Perhaps Kenneth Walker of Michigan State will remain available when Miami’s mid-range selection becomes available. He has an exceptional ability to break tackles, as was evident when he played at Hard Rock Stadium against the Hurricanes last September.
The Dolphins can also work on multiple receivers, depending on which one they like: Drake London of USC, Chris Olav of Ohio State or Garrett Wilson of Ohio State, Jameson Williams of Alabama, Traylon Burks of Arkansas, or Jahan Dotson of state of Pennsylvania.
The free agency moves made in March will shed more light on the needs remaining in the April 28-30 draft, but it’s unlikely that the offensive line will depend entirely on free agents. So it’s a good bet, especially considering how many viable prospects are expected in this area of the draft that the Dolphins are going there with a lineman.
Have a question?
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Did the franchise derail the Fitzpatrick, Tansil, Tannehill deals?