The Miami Dolphins were able to meet with the best football players across the nation during the 2018 NFL Combine. The information Dolphins’ decision-makers gained from their seven days in Indianapolis should allow them to make the best decision for their team come draft day.
Miami has needs at linebacker and in the secondary, but many draft pundits believe the Dolphins should select a quarterback early in the draft as a contingency for Ryan Tannehill, who is returning from a torn ACL. The Dolphins were believed to be interested in a pass-rusher, but they filled that need when they acquired 27-year-old defensive end Robert Quinn for a 4th and a 6th round pick.
Miami could also elect to fortify their wide receiver corps, as Jarvis Landry is expected to sign his franchise tag subsequently be traded.
Given the Dolphins’ most recent acquisition, and the current state of their roster, here are seven players who could help Miami in 2018 and beyond.
Round 1 — Lamar Jackson, QB
The only first-round-quarterback selection the Dolphins might be able to sell to the veterans in the locker room is Lamar Jackson. He has the ability to make a big plays as a runner and is able to extend plays with his legs while keeping his eyes down field to generate explosive plays in the passing game. Jackson told me coming back home would be ‘great’, and in this post-Combine mock draft — his wishes come to fruition.
Round 2 — Lorenzo Carter, SAM
The Dolphins view the SAM backer position as an additional pass-rusher on the field, and Carter gives the Dolphins exactly that. He’s a tremendous athlete who can also use his 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash to rush the passer, or drop into zones. If Miami opts to move safety T.J. McDonald to weakside linebacker, the addition of Carter completes their linebacker corps.
Round 3 — Frank Ragnow, OC/OG
Frank Ragnow is one of the better interior linemen in the draft. He’s not overly powerful or athletic but he’s technically sound and consistently gets the job done. He has the desire to finish blocks and despite playing for Bret Bielema, who perennially utilizes a gap-scheme attack, Ragnow is scheme versatile and is well adept as getting into the second level of a defense and picking up blocks in space.
Round 4 — Kalen Ballage, H-back
Ballage could be a star in the NFL — if he allows himself to be. In his mind he’d like to be the next Le’Veon Bell (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but his skill-set suggests that he could be a more explosive Charles Clay. Ballage should continue to get carries as a running back, but he should also see time at fullback and tight end while he continues developing as a runner. In short, Ballage should never come off of the field.
Round 6 — Natrell Jamerson, FS
If the Dolphins are smart, they will find a safety who can get redline-to-redline to complement Reshad Jones. At 6-foot, 198 pounds, Jamerson ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash and he’s seemingly always around the football. Not only could Jamerson contribute in the secondary in Year 1, he’s also a stellar return man. Jamerson accounted for 784 yards on kick returns during his career at Wisconsin.
Round 7 — Oren Burks, WLB
Oren Burks played the “Spur” position at Vanderbilt which is a mix between safety and linebacker. Burks was asked to cover slot receivers as well as tight ends and if McDonald ends up playing safety again in 2018, the Dolphins would at least have another player with outstanding athleticism they could throw into the mix at weakside linebacker.
Round 7 — Larry Rose III RB/WR
Rose is an outstanding athlete and was incredibly productive during his four years at New Mexico State, he amassed 4,567 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground. He also added 133 receptions for 1,157 yards and 5 touchdowns. While Jakeem Grant is capable of being used in the backfield, He’s more wide receiver than running back. At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Rose can do both.