Dolphins land one on PFWA All-Rookie Team, one on All-AFC Team

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pro Football Writers of America announced their All-NFL, All-AFC/NFC, and All-Rookie teams on Tuesday, with a couple of Miami Dolphins landing on the lists. For the All-AFC Team, Miami was represented by cornerback Xavien Howard, while the All-Rookie team included kicker Jason Sanders. A surprising name not listed for the Dolphins was rookie defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Howard tied for the league lead in interceptions this season with seven, despite missing the final four games of the year with a knee injury. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl and finished the year with 35 tackles, one fumble recovery, 12 passes defensed, and the seven interceptions. He was asked by the Dolphins to shadow the top receivers of teams throughout the year, and he is quickly becoming a shutdown cornerback. He is joined at cornerback on the All-AFC Team by Stephon Gilmore from the New England Patriots, who also made the All-NFL Team.

Sanders was 18-for-20 in field goals this year, along with a 35-for-36 mark in extra points. His 90-percent field goal conversion rate was the fifth best in team history, trailing the 91.3 percent conversion season by Jay Feely in 2007 and matched by Cody Parkey in 2017, the 90.5 percent mark from Olindo Mare in 2001, and the 90.3 percent conversion from Mare in 2000. Sanders’ only missed field goals came against the Detroit Lions on a 46-yard attempt with less than a minute to go in the game and Miami trailing by 11 and against the Jacksonville Jaguars on a 47-yard attempt in the second quarter.

Fitzpatrick, who starred anywhere Miami played him throughout the season, is surprisingly not on the All-Rookie list. His play time split as a slot cornerback, a boundary cornerback, and a free safety may have split his votes and led to the omission. The All-Rookie Team cornerbacks were Jaire Alexander from the Green Back Packers and Denzel Ward from the Cleveland Browns. The Cincinnati Bengals’ Jessie Bates and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Derwin James were selected as the All-Rookie safeties.



Finally some recognition for the homie Sanders. 90% as a rookie is great. I was very skeptical of him coming out of college but he proved me wrong, at least for one season.


…but isn’t it a bit telling that our ONLY All-Rookie is a kicker?


I don’t think it is telling of anything.

Let’s look at the draft class:

1 – Fitzpatrick – could have been on the list, but played three different positions and likely got votes at all three, but not enough at any one to get a spot.

2 – Gesicki – one of the toughest positions to transition to in the NFL and the Dolphins did not use their TEs a lot this year.

3 – Baker – developed nicely into a good coverage linebacker; needs more time to continue to develop, but played well as a rookie.

4a – Smythe – See 2.

4b – Ballage – developed throughout the year and started seeing more playing time. Was not expected to be a massive contributor this year.

6 – Armstrong – ST and depth CB.

7a – Poling – PS.

7b – Sanders – All-Rookie.

That’s four starters (Fitzpatrick, Gesicki, Baker, Sanders) in eight picks, 1 potential future starter (Ballage), 1 solid depth (Smythe), and 1 special teams player (Armstrong). Plus you can develop Poling.

I don’t think not having "All-Rookie" players shows anything about the draft class.

Good counterpoint

I wasn’t indicting the players as much as the poor overall coaching on both O and D. Clearly, with Sanders getting the nod, Rizzi did his job well as the ST coach.

Dark horse

Jalen Davis might prove to be a good developmental CB

Fitzpatrick’s exclusion is more of a coaching/scheme failure

Minkah excelled in all the positions he was asked to play. Unfortunately, there is no category for ‘utility player’. If you asked which rookie contributed the most overall, he’d have my vote.

This is why we dont look to good for next year.

Fitz didnt play great at CB and only played aafety a few games. I like him but he didnt earn the honor.
Mike G. Was the lowest rated TE out of like the top 14 TEs taken last draft.
Baker, who i like, wasnt a best like the guys taken ahead of him. He did show some great plays and if he can clean up some of the bad plays, we have a keeper.
Symthe might be a TE that can block welland catch some. Gase didnt seem to like him much at all.
Ballage can be good as a change of pace back at this point and could be more.
Sanders a kicker.
Not a bad draft. Not a great draft. Very little star potential.
We have several vets in bad contracts we cant get rid of.
We have several vet we will get rid of.
We have real needs at every posistion but running back and safety.
We have big questions at wr, te, rb, rt, cb2, 2dt, 2de, G, qb, im still not happy at lber and c.
This why we stink. We dont draft well. We dont have a franchise QB.
Next year will suck. It will really suck if we bring in a bunch of old vets and go 7-9 again and again.
Draft and play whoever next year. Roll over money from not signing free agents plus cutting them to the 2020-21 seasons.

Do you change from week to week? This is an excerpt of what you posted a week and a half ago.

Instead of a doom and gloom look at moving forward, take a "we can really improve the team this year" outlook.
Past drafts dont matter. What can we do this year? How bout a DT in the 1st, oline, oline, QB, then whatever.

by Theodore Smith on Jan 5, 2019 | 12:27 PM

I mean Minkah was ok this season I saw lots of promise

PFF gave him a 61.9 grade #78 overall CB. He didn’t light the world on fire like Derwin James 87.8 grade #5 overall S who also played multiple positions and was all over the field. Jessie Bates 79.9 grade #11 S, Alexander 72.4 grade #32 CB, Ward 79.0 grade #15 CB these guys outplayed Minkah at their respective positions I feel they deserve the honor over him. Hopefully the new staff will keep Fitzpatrick at FS so we can really see what we got with the guy. If Fitz is nothing more than a slot CB that is not even as good as Bobby McCain at the position that is a worst case scenario. Minkah kind of reminds me of John Lynch who also took a while until he hit his stride it wasn’t until his 5th season when he finally made it to his 1st pro-bowl. Lynch ended up going to 9 pro bowls, three 1st team All Pros, one 2nd team All Pro in his career so there is plenty of time for Fitz to shine.

PFF is a scam

PFF is a scam, don’t pay attention to their rankings.

only reason people follow it is Cris Collinsworth is baked in as a commentator so they get to market it during NBC games so people believe it.

without Fitzpatrick playing all over the place, this defense is 32nd across the board. I don’t think people quite understand how awful our defensive scheme is and how it completely exposes LB’s and safeties. we essentially played defense all season with 10 guys every play because the system takes someone on the Dline completely out of the game and puts tremendous pressure on the safeties, slot CB, and LB’s. that is why Alonzo led the defense in tackles which should NEVER happen with a guy playing WLB

SO what you're saying is that with a new defensive scheme, we can turn this team around. <img src="//" alt=":blush:" class="emoji">

Send Burke to the JESTS!

Playa Hata's Ball

National media hates the Dolphins. Sure the team was bad but sleep on Minkah and Tunsil at the risk of being super late to the party. Them boys can ball.

they got it right

I like Minkah but to say he "starred" is a bit of a stretch. He would’ve benefited from staying at the same position instead of being asked to play in multiple spots. My eyes tell me that he should stay at FS because the experiment at outside corner didn’t go too well.

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