Plenty of op­tions for draft se­lec­tions at po­si­tions of need

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - MLB - Omar Kelly

Take a look at who could be avail­able for the Mi­ami Dol­phins in next week’s NFL draft at five po­si­tions the team needs to ad­dress this off­sea­son.

These draft prospects at quar­ter­back, linebacker, de­fen­sive tackle, tight end and kicker are bro­ken up into three cat­e­gories, giv­ing fans a best-case sce­nario, an op­tion worth set­tling for, and a pos­si­ble late-round gem that could con­trib­ute in time:

Best-case sce­nario at QB: Ok­la­homa’s Baker May­field

May­field’s ac­cu­racy, quick feet, com­pet­i­tive na­ture and pro­duc­tiv­ity in col­lege (14,607 yards and 132 touch­downs) in­di­cate that he’ll even­tu­ally be­come a solid NFL starter, if not a stand­out in the mold of Drew Brees if given the time he needs to de­velop. He’ll likely be a top-10 pick, which means the Dol­phins might need to trade into the top-five picks to en­sure they land him.

QB to set­tle for: West­ern Ken­tucky’s Mike White

The for­mer Univer­sity School stand­out has de­cent size, and an arm strong enough to make ev­ery throw. He com­pleted bet­ter than 65 per­cent of his throws the past two sea­sons, and threw for 63 touch­downs. But White took a ton of sacks be­cause his pro­tec­tion was hor­ri­ble. He’ll likely be an early se­lec­tion on Day 3 of the draft.

Don’t for­get about this QB: Mem­phis’ Ri­ley Fer­gu­son

A two-year starter at Mem­phis, Fer­gu­son put up big stats (7,955 pass­ing yards and 70 touch­downs) be­cause of his arm tal­ent, and knack for keep­ing in­ter­cep­tions to a min­i­mum. His de­ci­sion mak­ing and size (6-4, 210 pounds) will likely earn him a spot as a late-round pick.

Best-case sce­nario at LB: Ge­or­gia’s Ro­quan Smith

Smith was a very pro­duc­tive two-year starter (124 tack­les and 5.5 sacks last sea­son), read­ing and re­act­ing to plays quickly. He’s good in cov­er­age and can play both man and zone be­cause of his speed and ath­leti­cism. He’s a bit un­der­sized (6-0, 230 pounds), which will cause some con­cerns about his dura­bil­ity. But that won’t keep Smith from be­ing a first-round pick.

LB to set­tle for: USC’s Uchenna Nwosu

A two-year starter, Nwosu flashes the ath­letic traits and speed off the edge that will en­cour­age teams to spend a cou­ple of years in­vest­ing in his de­vel­op­ment as a linebacker. Nwosu was more of a pass rusher at USC (12.5 sacks), but he has the size (6-2, 245 pounds) and traits needed to be a start­ing strong side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, and there­fore war­rants a third or fourth-round pick.

Don’t for­get about this LB: BYU’s Fred Warner

Warner’s in­stincts and cover skills in space in­di­cate that he’s ca­pa­ble of han­dling the speed and com­plex­ity of the NFL. Warner moves around like a big safety, and pulled down seven in­ter­cep­tions dur­ing his col­le­giate ca­reer, which means he could ex­cel as a nickel linebacker. He’s not very phys­i­cal, which is why he’s pro­jected as a third-day pick.

Best-case sce­nario at DT: Wash­ing­ton’s Vita Vea

Vea is light on his feet de­spite be­ing 6 foot 4, 347 pounds. He has good body con­trol, im­pres­sive power (41 reps of 225 pounds) and the abil­ity to change di­rec­tions seam­lessly. He’ll likely be taken in the mid­dle of the first round, and is com­pet­ing with Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne and Michi­gan’s Mau­rice Hurst to be the first de­fen­sive tackle drafted.

DT to set­tle for: Mi­ami’s R.J. McIn­tosh

The for­mer Car­di­nals Gib­bons stand­out pos­sesses an im­pos­ing frame (6-4, 293 pounds), and has a knack for mak­ing plays. He started all 13 games in 2017, record­ing 52 tack­les (12.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, and seven pass breakups. His in­con­sis­tent film shows he’s far from a fin­ished prod­uct, and he needs to im­prove against the run. But his up­side could in­trigue some team to se­lect him in the sec­ond or third round.

Don’t for­get about this DT: NC State’s B.J. Hill

Hill is a one-gap, up-field de­fen­sive tackle with de­cent ath­leti­cism and re­spectable col­lege pro­duc­tiv­ity (183 tack­les, eight sacks and two forced fum­bles in four sea­sons). His Se­nior Bowl prac­tices were ex­tremely im­pres­sive. He pos­sesses the girth (6-4, 315 pounds) and strength (35 reps of 225) teams are look­ing for to plug the run. He’ll likely be a fourth or fifth round se­lec­tion un­less there’s a run on de­fen­sive tack­les.

Best-case sce­nario at TE: S. Dakota State’s Dal­las Goed­ert

Goed­ert’s com­bi­na­tion of size, speed, agility, and re­li­able hands makes him the type of move­able chess piece that de­fenses fear. The for­mer walk-on caught 198 passes for 2,988 yards and scored 21 touch­downs as a three-year starter. The big­gest con­cern is the level of com­pe­ti­tion he faced in col­lege, which will likely keep him out of the first round. He’s com­pet­ing with Ok­la­homa’s Mark An­drews and Penn State’s Mike Gesicki to be the first tight end drafted.

TE to set­tle for: Wis­con­sin’s Troy Fu­ma­galli

Fu­ma­galli was a twoyear starter in Wis­con­sin’s pro-style of­fense, which means the tran­si­tion to the NFL shouldn’t be too chal­leng­ing. He’s con­sis­tent, re­li­able and a will­ing blocker with ad­e­quate run-af­ter-catch skills. But the for­mer walk-on has a thin frame (6-6, 245 pounds) and lacks top-shelf ath­letic abil­ity, which in­di­cates that he’ll be avail­able on Day 3.

Don’t for­get about this TE: Mi­ami’s Chris Herndon

Herndon is a big re­ceiver who has ex­cit­ing ath­letic abil­ity, but there is plenty of room for im­prove­ment — es­pe­cially as a blocker — be­fore he be­comes a fac­tor in the NFL. Herndon started 11 games his se­nior sea­son (40 re­cep­tions, 477 yards and four touch­downs), but a knee in­jury ended it pre­ma­turely. He’d be a steal in the fifth round, but a run on tight ends might de­mand an ear­lier se­lec­tion.

Best-case sce­nario at kicker: Auburn’s Daniel Carl­son

Carl­son has man­aged 13 ca­reer kicks over 50 yards, and has had good kick­offs, pro­duc­ing 156 touch­backs over the course of his ca­reer. He gar­nered Lou Groza Award fi­nal­ist hon­ors for the third con­sec­u­tive year af­ter con­vert­ing 23-of-31 field goal at­tempts in 2017 (4 of 8 from 50-plus yards, three blocked) and all 57 ex­tra point tries. He’ll likely be se­lected in rounds five through seven.

Kicker to set­tle for: Florida’s Eddy Pineiro

The Mi­ami Sun­set High prod­uct earned third-team AP All-Amer­i­can and sec­ond-team All-SEC hon­ors af­ter con­vert­ing 17-of-18 field goal tries, in­clud­ing both his 50-yard at­tempts. He’ll likely be drafted in the later rounds.

Don’t for­get about this kicker: Mi­ami’s Michael Bad­g­ley

Bad­g­ley earned first­team All-ACC hon­ors for mak­ing 17-of-23 field goal at­tempts and 42-of-43 ex­tra point tries for the Hur­ri­canes. His in­abil­ity to ham­mer kick­offs (32-of-75 kick­offs re­sulted in touch­backs) in­di­cates that he’ll likely go un­drafted.

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