Draft picks: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins (No. 13 overall); Wisconsin OG Michael Deiter (No. 78); Wisconsin LB Andrew Van Ginkel (No. 151); Ohio State OT Isaiah Prince (No. 202); Auburn FB Chandler Cox (No. 233); Washington RB Myles Gaskin (No. 234)
- Day 1 grade: A
- Day 2 grade: A-
- Day 3 grade: B
- Overall grade: A-
Wilkins is a quality person and an excellent player with the versatility to play anywhere on the line. The team never really replaced Ndamukong Suh, and Wilkins has the ability to be really disruptive inside.
We absolutely take the Friday acquisition of Josh Rosen into account in this grade. Landing the second-year QB for a late-second-round pick this year and 2020 fifth-rounder was an absolute bargain. Trading down in Round 2 in a deal with the Saints before making the Rosen deal was also a great move. Deiter meets an important need at guard, especially with Rosen in place.
Van Ginkel is still growing as a player, but he has real potential as a pass rusher. Prince will get a chance to play at right tackle as a rookie, though he'll need to be more consistent to earn the job. Gaskin is not exceptional in any area but will be tough to cut.
Draft Grade: B
Top needs: Quarterback, defensive line, offensive line
Miami is undergoing a complete rebuild this offseason. It might have the least-talented roster in the league after Ja'Wuan James, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Danny Amendola and Ryan Tannehill, among others, departed. It has needs at almost every position. New GM Chris Grier has started the rebuild in the right way, though, stripping spare parts (and big contracts) and starting fresh while picking up future assets, like a 2020 second-round pick from the aggressive Saints on Friday.
And since we thought the Dolphins were more interested in the 2020 quarterback class -- they passed on both Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock in Round 1 -- the low-risk trade for Josh Rosen makes an awful lot of sense. They gave up just a late second-round pick (No. 62) and a 2020 fifth-rounder to add a supertalented signal-caller who went No. 10 overall a year ago. He's also on a cheap deal for the next few years with his signing bonus already paid, so even if he's not the long-term answer, it will be easy to move on. I wouldn't rule out Miami still being in the 2020 QB sweepstakes, but I like the Rosen deal.
Miami added an underrated interior pass-rusher in Christian Wilkins at No. 13 overall, and for a team desperate for sacks, he will provide a boost. He's also going to be a great locker-room presence. Michael Deiter (No. 78) was my third-ranked guard, but he started games at tackle, center and guard for the Badgers. Isaiah Prince (No. 202) is a sneaky candidate to start at one of the tackle spots. Myles Gaskin (No. 234) was extremely productive in college, but you wonder what all those carries have done to his body.
Again, this is going to be a long process for the Dolphins, and they're just beginning. This draft will be remembered for the Rosen deal, but Wilkins could be a steal.
- 1 (13). Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
- 3 (78). Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin
- 5 (151). Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Wisconsin
- 6 (202). Isaiah Prince, T, Ohio State
- 7 (233). Chandler Cox, FB, Auburn
- 7 (234). Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
There really was no wrong direction for the Dolphins to go in this draft—with an all-new coaching staff and mediocre roster, the team is undergoing personnel overhauls on both sides of the ball. First-time head coach Brian Flores, having spent his entire career until now in New England, is expected to employ a Belichick-style scheme which would mean an emphasis on size and strength along the D-line. Interestingly, Christian Wilkins, though a highly regarded first-round talent, doesn’t completely fit this profile. Wilkins’s game is built more on movement than force. He can, however, align at multiple spots, which is key in Flores’s system.
Getting Josh Rosen with the 62nd overall pick (plus a fifth-rounder next year) is incredible value. Rosen was in a no-win situation with the Cardinals last year and should not be viewed any differently than he was coming out of UCLA. He will almost certainly start right away and play behind Michael Deiter, who started every game the last four years at Wisconsin and fills a left guard spot that was devoid of any starting caliber options prior to this draft.
Whom they drafted: DT Christian Wilkins, G Michael Deiter, OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, OT Isaiah Prince, RB Chandler Cox, RB Myles Gaskin
Chris Grier got a key defensive building block for Brian Flores in Wilkins. Deiter will be a solid run blocker for years to come. Miami is undergoing a massive rebuild, however, so there was a limited amount of moving the needle with limited value.
The Dolphins fleeced the Cardinals. First Miami dropped down from No. 48 to No. 62. Then it used the No. 62 pick to trade for quarterback Josh Rosen, a potential franchise quarterback. If he’s not, he’s cheap and the Dolphins can move on easily.
In the first round, the Dolphins helped fortify their defensive line with Christian Wilkins at No. 13. He specializes at getting pressure. Guard Michael Deiter, taken at No. 78, fills a big need. He’s experienced, playing four years at Wisconsin, and should step into the starting lineup. He’s one of the better picks inside the top 100.
Miami’s last pick, running back Myles Gaskin, has a real chance to stick on the roster. He’s a slippery back who will make tacklers miss.
Best pick: It was their first one, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. He will be a star. He got my only A+ in my first-round grades.
Worst pick: They really didn't have any, but fifth-round linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was probably taken a little too high.
The skinny: Landing Wilkins was a great move and fills a major need, but I also loved that they traded their second-round pick to land Josh Rosen from Arizona. He could be their long-term quarterback.
Josh Rosen is part of this haul after the Dolphins acquired him for the 62nd pick. They will owe Rosen just $6.3 million over the next three years. The extreme low-cost flyer makes all kinds of sense for a rebuild-committed team that has properly self diagnosed. GM Chris Grier pulled off another forward-thinking deal by flipping No. 48 for No. 62, No. 202, and the Saints’ 2020 second-round pick. Wilkins projects as a high-floor building-block up front, and Deiter earned 2018 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year after making starts at guard, center, and left tackle in his career. He should not struggle to win a rookie-year starting job on Miami’s talent-poor offensive line. None of the Dolphins' day-three picks jump off the page as steals or obvious duds, but I think we should appreciate this team’s overall approach. The Fins have set themselves up to lead the league in 2020 draft capital with a realistic chance at the top pick in each round next year, including No. 1 overall. Short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.
THREE-ROUND GPA: 3.0 (2 picks)
Don’t feel too bad about this low ranking, Dolphins fans. Christian Wilkins and Michael Deiter are good players, you found a quarterback of the future for the low price of a second-round pick and you acquired future draft capital with some smart draft-day trades. Not a bad start to the rebuild.
Lost in a middling 7-9 season was a strong draft class for the Miami Dolphins.
Minkah Fitzpatrick won't get the attention classmates such as Leonard will, but he was a stud in the defensive backfield for the Dolphins, recording 80 tackles and nine passes defensed—not to mention two touchdowns, with one of those going back for a score against Minnesota in Week 15.
Jerome Baker is right behind him at 79 tackles and has three sacks and an interception that went back for a touchdown. Next to Raekwon McMillan, Baker and his leadership make the Dolphins look good.
Maybe most disappointing was Mike Gesicki, who had just 32 targets. But other offensive rookies have produced when given a chance. Kalen Ballage pounded out 123 rushing yards and a 75-yard score in Week 15.
With a key position solidified with a star and a weak point addressed at linebacker, not to mention Gesicki's upside, the Dolphins have a nice base to work with as they charge into a question mark of an offseason.
Goals Entering the 2019 NFL Draft:
The Dolphins have the worst roster in the NFL. Remarkably, they have a need at every single area of their depth chart. Yet, they have just five draft choices in the first six rounds. Miami absolutely must trade down on multiple occasions to acquire as much talent as possible.
2019 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
The Dolphins did as I requested in the goals section. They moved down from their second-round pick and acquired a second-round choice to use in the vastly superior 2020 NFL Draft class. Their initial selection, Christian Wilkins, was a stellar pick. Everything was going well, and then the Dolphins remembered that they were, in fact, the Dolphins.
Miami squandered a second-round choice in a trade for Josh Rosen. This was a horrible decision, as Rosen has zero passion for football and would rather party his life away, much like Blake Bortles. Sure, the Dolphins got a "discount" on Rosen after trading down, but this is like someone offering to sell you a stick of sugarless gum for $100 after initially offering $150. You're getting 33 percent off, but who cares!?
It's a shame the Rosen trade happened because it spoiled an otherwise successful weekend for the Dolphins. They drafted mostly solid values, including Wilkins and third-rounder Michael Deiter. They added two offensive linemen to help Tua Tagovailoa in 2020, which is important because they won't want their next quarterback to get killed. Miami still has plenty of needs to fill, but this was a nice start, save for the poor trade.