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Dolphins draft 2018: Five targets that make sense for Miami

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2018 NFL Draft - Red Carpet Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

We are moving into the final few rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, with the fourth round starting at 12pm ET Saturday and the remaining 156 picks spread over four rounds. The Miami Dolphins come into today with two fourth-round picks, a sixth-round choice, and two seven-round selections. Who could they select with those picks? We take a look at five prospects who could be on their radar.

Just to point out, this is not a five-pick “mock draft.” This is a look at five players who Miami may want to select, or who make sense for the Dolphins. So, time to get to the list:

Dolphins 2018 Draft Needs

Early needs (Rounds 1-3)

1. Linebacker
2. Tight end
3. Safety

Mid needs (Rounds 3-5)

4. Defensive tackle
5. Quarterback
6. Cornerback
7. Running back

Late needs (Rounds 5-7)

8. Offensive lineman
9. Kicker

No Needs

10. Defensive end
11. Wide receiver

1. Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF

Until he is in aqua or is no longer on the board, Griffin will remain my top desired player for Miami. He has a motor that does not quit, and are you going to bet against him? Even with the selection of Jerome Baker in the third round, a double down at linebacker seems like a decent move for Miami. It would, at worst give them a player to compete in 2019 for a starters role - assuming the team moves on from Kiko Alonso following this season. Griffin could be a blitz linebacker, he could play some defensive end, and he could actually move back to safety if needed. He has the versatility the Dolphins coaching staff seems to like.

2. Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech

I like Settle a lot. He has some weight and conditioning issues that he would have to be able to control, especially playing in the heat in Miami, but he has a ton of potential. He could be asked to play anywhere from nose tackle out to a run stopping defensive end position. He has decent pass rushing ability from up the middle. Miami needs to add depth to the defensive interior, and Settle would do exactly that.

3. John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

One of the biggest knocks on Kelly is that he is not a “workhorse” type of back, likely needing to be in a committee. The Miami Dolphins do not want a “workhorse” type of back, they want someone to plug into their committee with Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore. Those seem to line up. That does not mean the Dolphins could not ask Kelly to be the main ball carrier at times, and it does not mean he cannot play that role. He is a contact type of runner, who could become a true “power back” type of player.

4. Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky

White has felt all off season, at least to me, like the most-likely quarterback pick for the Dolphins. They could go somewhere else (Luke Falk?), but if they are looking for a developmental quarterback to groom behind Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler/David Fales, White would seem to be that player. He has a good arm, but he has to work on his recognition of defenses - particularly blitzes - and the speed of the game in order to progress at the NFL level. He was beaten up this past year behind an offensive line that could not block for him. Dolphins fans know what that can do to a quarterback. Can he respond and develop in South Florida?

5. Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida

Miami does not have a kicker on their roster right now, so they have to fill that at some point. Why not use a late-round draft choice to grab a player like Pineiro? He has a booming leg that will routinely kick the ball into the endzone on kickoffs, and he has incredible accuracy on long field-goals, staying over 90 percent from kicks over 40-yards over two seasons and 100 percent on kicks over 50 yards. He has some mechanics issues that could be cleaned up, but Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi can work to fix that.