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2018 NFL Draft - Recap

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Miami was able to grab one of the elite prospects in this draft (in my mind one of the top 3 players overall) at 11 mainly because 4 QBs were taken ahead of them. Some will argue Tremaine Edmunds because of our need at LB, however, I am a huge believer in sticking to your board, and with Fitzpatrick rated as my 3rd overall player, it’s a no-brainer.

I am not going to lie, I was worried when we were on the board that we would pass on him and select someone lesser but I have to hand it to the Phins, they made the right selection. I think Fitzpatrick can play right away and I can’t tell the future, but I see potential for him to be an All-Pro. I was very, very pleased with Miami’s first round.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn St.

I have done a good amount of film study on this young man and I have covered him in a couple scouting notes articles. The quick report on Gesicki is he’s an athletic receiving TE that is a pretty bad blocker. His 20+ reps on the bench is encourage to me in the fact that he is strong enough to improve his blocking skills, but I have very big concerns with his ability to block. I also think that even though he’s a very athletic guy for his size, I think his agility and acceleration are average. Overall, I like Gesicki; it’s a huge need and I think he makes our team better but I do have concerns about how good of a TE he will be in the NFL.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Penn State v Washington Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio St.

At first, I thought this was a little early for Baker, but the more I thought about it, this is a good range for him. Look, he’s a very talented LB, I love his quickness, athleticism, and his nose for the ball. Obviously, his size is his biggest weakness. I am intrigued though with how Miami will use him. I think he will get a good amount of playing time early and with McMillan coming back, the Dolphins now have a young and athletic LB corp. It’s nice being able to write that.

Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame

I am not going to lie to you guys, I did not do much film study on him before the draft. Since we picked him I’ve watched 4 games and done a little bit of research on him. Obviously, we drafted him to be our blocking TE; which makes sense since, as I said, Gesicki’s blocking is bad. I like the pick, I think he fills an important need and will potentially have playing time early. With that said, I actually think he will be a very well-rounded TE as a pro. He’s a better athlete and catcher then people give him credit for. This pick makes me feel a lot better about the Gesicki pick. Also, on a side note, I love doubling down on the same positions. Competition is very healthy for any team.

Texas v Notre Dame Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona St.

Ballage is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He’s a bigger back, (6’2 228) that plays with great patience, vision and acceleration. I love his playmaking ability, and he uses his size very well. He needs to be more consistent though and pass protection needs to improve... a lot. I initially did some film study on him back in September, where I tweeted a couple of plays; showing his patience, good burst, and awesome finish to the run, and then also showing him completing missing on a pass protection call, leading to an INT. I liked this pick a lot; I think he’s got some weaknesses that are important and need to be fixed but I love his potential and think he’s got a chance to contribute in a complementary role in Miami’s backfield.

Washington v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Cornell Armstrong, CB, Southern Miss

Armstrong is a good size corner that plays a pretty physical game. He’s certainly not afraid to tackle and plays very physical with WRs. I love his hand use, and once he decides where the ball is going, his cutting ability and acceleration are impressive. I think he’s a special teamer now, but has potential and looks like a solid pick late in this draft.

Southern Miss v Nebraska Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio

Poling is a tackling machine that is really a good athlete. He’s another undersized LB, but I’ll tell you what, he’s got NFL talent. This is another guy that I had to go back and watch film on and here’s what I saw: He’s got a nose for the ball, good tackler, very athletic, potential to be a 3 down-LB, coverage skills are there but need work, size may be an issue. Poling is a 7th round pick and may not even make our roster, but I like to selection. He’s raw and needs time to improve but I think he’s got potential to be a special teams guy in his first year.

Ohio v Tennessee Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico

I have no idea how to scout kickers, we need one though so I am happy we took one.