The last two weeks of mock draft season has seen SB Nation’s Dan Kadar select linebackers in the first round for the Miami Dolphins. Two weeks ago, it was Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham. Last week, Kadar gave Miami UCLA outside linebacker/defensive end Takkarist McKinley. Which of the linebackers would Kadar give Miami in his most recent 2017 NFL Mock Draft?
Neither. Kadar switches it up, giving Miami a linebacker not many have projected to the team thus far. With the 22nd pick, in a mock draft full of trades, Kadar predicts the Dolphins to select Temple linebacker Haason Reddick. He explains the pick:
On the linebacker-hungry Dolphins, Reddick could be an attractive pick because of his ability to line up outside and inside. He’s a complete player who should be able to start immediately.
Reddick is a bit of a surprise, especially with both Cunningham and McKinley on the board for Kadar’s pick, but he could be a prospect that quickly climbs draft boards. ESPN’s Todd McShay recently wrote about Reddick:
I snuck Reddick into the final slot of my second mock draft. He proved in Mobile [during the Senior Bowl] that he has the ability to thrive as a space linebacker. Combine that with the pass-rushing ability we saw from him in college, and Reddick has an intriguing skill set.
NFL.com compares Reddick to Ryan Shazier and writes of him:
Injuries limited Reddick to just four games over last two years of high school, forcing him to walk on at Temple. The Owls staff helped him unlock his explosive athletic traits on the field, which resulted in three forced fumbles, 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in 2016. Reddick's speed and athleticism might give him a greater shot at impacting the game as a 3-4 inside linebacker or a 4-3 WILL rather than trying to bulk up and play the edge. An ascending prospect with a high-end potential if he can continue to hone his craft.
Reddick and Kiko Alonso, Miami’s incumbent starting middle linebacker, could both give the Dolphins the flexibility to mix-and-match where they play, and still allows the team to either target a middle linebacker or an outside linebacker. Reddick playing the weakside linebacker, with Alonso either strongside or in the middle does make the most sense in this scenario.
What do you think of a selection of Reddick?