Miami Dolphins Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin – Round 3
The Dolphins were without second- and fourth-round picks, so there weren’t many options to pick from. Deiter was a quality starter for Wisconsin during his collegiate career, and he has the potential to contribute quickly in the NFL.

Deiter was a solid blocker for the Badgers in 2018, although he really did not get tested by an elite interior rusher. He was a good against the run and steady in pass protection. The Badgers had Deiter starting at left guard in 2018, and playing guard is the right position for him in the NFL despite playing tackle in 2017. The 6-foot-5, 309-pounder has good size and strength to be a run blocker with enough quickness and athleticism to pass protect.

Deiter does not have a lot of talent standing in his way in Miami, where the interior offensive line needed a lot of help. He could break into the starting lineup quickly, and it would not be surprising if ends up being a solid NFL starter.

2018: Jerome Baker, LB
2017: Raekwon McMillan, LB
2016: Xavien Howard, CB
2015: DeVante Parker, WR
2014: JaWuan James, OT
2013: Dallas Thomas, G

Most Likely To Bust

Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Wisconsin – Round 5
Generally, I don’t select third-day picks because the vast majority of them don’t work out in the NFL, but given the lack of picks in the second or fourth round, I don’t have options to pick a player higher because I don’t think that Michael Deiter or Christian Wilkins are likely to bust. Aside from the late-round status, Van Ginkel has some weaknesses as a player that could lead to him not panning out in the NFL.

Entering fall camp for the 2018 season, NFL teams had Van Ginkel on their preseason watch list for players with first- through fourth-round potential. However, his senior year was just okay and he did not test especially well prior to the draft. Van Ginkel did not look like a natural linebacker dropping into coverage, and that is a critical point of improvement in order for him to see the field in the NFL. Thus, he slid into being a player for the middle of Day 3 of the draft.

Van Ginkel also could have a hard time earning playing time with the Dolphins. While Miami has some weak spots on the roster, linebacker is not really one of them, as veteran Kiko Alonso is paired with recent second-day picks Raekwon McMillan, second round 2017, and Jerome Baker, third round 2018. Thus, I think Van Ginkel could be relegated to being a backup linebacker who never really breaks through in the NFL. Of the Dolphins’ first three selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, he has the most bust potential.

2018: Mike Gesicki, TE
2017: Cordrea Tankersley, CB
2016: Leonte Carroo, WR
2015: Bobby McCain, CB
2014: Billy Turner, G
2013: Jelani Jenkins, LB

Potential Boom Pick

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – Round 1
There was a lot of chatter about Miami loving Wilkins, which made a lot of sense. The Dolphins needed an interior disruptor to replace Ndamukong Suh, and Wilkins has great versatility to play a variety of techniques for new head coach Brian Flores. Wilkins also is a leader and high-character individual who will work hard to be the best he can possibly be in the NFL.

Wilkins is dangerous in the pass rush. He is a quick defender at the point of attack and has the ability to fire his gap. He uses his strength to push through blocks and can close in an instant on the quarterback. Wilkins displays a burst to fire by guards into the backfield and the strength to bull rush through linemen. He also has good hand usage and shows some variety in his pass-rushing moves to get after the quarterback. Wilkins displayed excellent versatility during college in terms of rush production from a variety of positions and techniques. While he played a lot of end in 2016, Wilkins really doesn’t have edge-rusher speed for the NFL. He will have to rush from the inside as a pro, but that is his natural position anyway and he presents a speed mismatch when rushing against guards.

Wilkins is a solid run defender too. He has a strong, thick lower body to hold his ground at the point of attack. He fills his gap and can be tough to move at the line of scrimmage. Wilkins is able to eat up his block and prevent holes from opening up. Regularly, he would shed his block to stuff a run near the line of scrimmage or fire into the backfield to disrupt a run off the snap. He also gives an effort to make tackles in the ground game downfield. Wilkins has a quality motor and doesn’t lack for effort.

For the next level, Wilkins fits any defense. His best fit could be as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. In a 4-3, he also could play end and nose tackle. He has enough length and strength to play end in a 3-4 defense who rushes from the inside in the sub package. With Wilkins’ skill set, production, and years of experience against top competition, he has boom-pick potential for Miami.

2018: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S
2017: Charles Harris, DE
2016: Laremy Tunsil, OT
2015: Jordan Phillips, DT
2014: Jarvis Landry, WR
2013: Dion Jordan, LB

Future Depth Player

Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio State – Round 7
The Dolphins are set for a long time with Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, but right tackle is another story following Ja’Wuan James’ departure in free agency. Veteran Jordan Mills is the favorite to be the starter entering the season, but the team could use some competition and a swing-tackle backup. Prince could be that tackle for Miami. Prince had a decent 2018 season for Ohio State, but it has also illustrated that he is mainly a right tackle for the NFL. He looked somewhat improved with his consistency over 2017 and could have gone earlier in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder has some talent but is limited to right tackle if he ever becomes a starter. That is all the Dolphins would need with Tunsil in house, but even if Prince doesn’t become a starter, he could become a solid backup for them.

2018: Kalen Ballade, RB
2017: Davon Godchaux, DT
2016: Kenyon Drake, RB
2015: Jay Ajayi, RB
2014: Arthur Lynch, TE
2013: Mike Gillislee, RB

Walt’s 2019 NFL Draft Grades:

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

13. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson A- Grade
The Rashan Gary and Christian Wilkins selections are just one spot apart, yet they couldn’t be more radically different. The Packers took a guy who was a major slacker in college, whereas the Dolphins just picked a high-character player who was a team captain at his school. Oh, and Wilkins was pretty damn good as well! This is a great pick that must be in the “A” range, as Wilkins will be able to replace Ndamukong Suh’s production. The only reason this isn’t an A+ or an “A” is because I felt as though the Dolphins had so many needs that they had to trade down. Still, I’m a fan of this move.

78. Michael Deiter, G/C, Wisconsin B+ Grade
The Dolphins had the worst offensive line in the NFL entering the 2019 NFL Draft. They needed to use multiple selections on offensive linemen, and this is a nice start. Michael Deiter is a rock-solid mauler who can play either guard or center. He has plenty of solid tape and certainly fits the range in the middle of Round 3.

151. Andrew Van Ginkel, DE/OLB, Wisconsin C Grade
Andrew Van Ginkel was just a 1-year starter at Wisconsin, but made a name for himself by testing very well at the combine. This boosted him a couple of rounds, as I had Van Ginkel pegged in the seventh frame. This is a bit of a reach, but not an egregious one. He could end up helping a poor pass rush.

202. Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio State B Grade
The Dolphins are tanking for Tua, so perhaps Isaiah Prince will be ready to play by the time the Alabama quarterback is on the roster. Prince has plenty of starting experience at Ohio State, but he’s very raw. Prince’s technique needs lots of work, but he has some upside as an above-average athlete, so this seems like a decent choice.

233. Chandler Cox, FB, Auburn B Grade
The Dolphins don’t have a viable starting running back – one of many things they lack – but they at least have a solid blocker at fullback now. Chandler Cox will be a nice lead back and a contributor on special teams. This is a fine choice, but not a spectacular one.

234. Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington A Grade
I wrote that the Dolphins don’t have a viable starting running back, but perhaps Myles Gaskin will be able to emerge as one. Gaskin is a very good runner with great vision and feet. He also never fumbles. The problem is that he’s barely 200 pounds and probably won’t be able to shoulder a complete workload. However, he could develop into someone who is a nice contributor in a running back committee. Gaskin could’ve been chosen much earlier than this, so I love this pick.

2019 NFL Draft Team Grade: B- . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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