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What are your impressions of the 2018 Dolphins draft class?
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 29, 2018
Michael Brothers, Sheddawgs.com
What do I think of the Dolphins 2018 draft? I LOVE IT! I really thought we would trade up in the draft and I thought the target would be Minkah Fitzpatrick and NOT a quarterback. Getting him at 11 was a steal! This guy is not only a beast on the field, but he is also second to none in work ethic and character. Can you say part of the new culture change? Mike Gesicki is going to make us finally stop worrying about the tight end position on offense, just as Fitzpatrick and our third rounder Jerome Baker will finally take care of the TE on defense. Durham Smythe and Kalen Ballage should also make an immediate impact with both having an opportunity to get snaps on offense as well as special teams. Quentin Polling may also be a surprise as he has potential and we added a kicker which was obviously needed as there was none on the roster prior to the draft. Overall, I think we did a great job filling needs without sacrificing talent due to who was available. Only time will tell but I do think this could be one of our best drafts in a long time.
Dave Buchler, Finatics.com
The 2018 draft was a great draft for the Dolphins. I feel that we heavily focused on the positions that were needed. On offense, we needed a fresh playmaking tight end and doubled up on them drafting Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. On the defense, we doubled up on linebackers with Jerome Baker and Quentin Poling. I feel that all of these guys have a chance to be starters in the 2018 season, and most definitely with a solid chance of displacing some of our veterans at those positions.
Curt Fennell, Phins.com
My criteria for draft picks is mostly about production at the college level. I feel as though the Dolphins did well in first two rounds, but after that, there are too many questions to make me completely comfortable. The first question is whether or not the Dolphins should have taken a quarterback in the first round, but I don’t think that was really that important. Now, if one of the “big 4” has slid to Miami, it might be a different story, but there were (and still are) a lot of holes on the team and just a QB, even if they are better than Tannehill, wouldn’t fix everything. And you have to really like Minkah Fitzpatrick. Between his raw talent, his instincts, his work ethic, and his history of overcoming adversity, it’s hard to imagine they could have gotten a better talent. Mike Gesicki and Jerome Baker also look like instant contributors, but from there on, I don’t see anything that really excites me. Kalen Ballage, in particular, had very little production in college. That always concerns me. Overall, this draft will turn out like any other – some good, some bad and some in-between. I’m hopeful, but not ecstatic.
Lisa Johnson, OurTurf
I really loved the first pick. The Dolphins got a steal picking safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama. The run on quarterbacks helped him fall right into Miami’s lap. After this Miami followed up with not one tight end, but two. The same for the linebacker position. I admit to not knowing to much about the latter part of the draft. Therefore, I gave them a C. A solid C at that.
Matt Kent, Phinzone.com
The Dolphins drafted positions of need with an emphasis on speed and playmakers. With Minkah Fitzpatrick and Mike Gesicki they get players at the top of the class for their position and both should make an impact this year. The others have potential to develop. Clearly this is the beginning of Coach Gase building the type of team he wants.
Carl Leone, Bitchin’ Dave’s
It is clear we used this draft to address two issues with the tight end position. Defensively, getting players who can line up and cover the tight end. Enter Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jerome Baker. Both should be able to stay with an opposing tight end and hopefully make some plays. Offensively, we needed production out of the tight end position. Enter Mike Gesicki, whom I loved for the last two months mocking the draft. He will be a matchup nightmare and be a perfect target for Ryan Tannehill getting up the seam, extending drives and high-pointing balls in the red zone with his 6’5″ frame and leaping ability. I was so happy when they announced Gesecki’s name. Getting RB Kalen Ballage in the 4th to add depth behind Kenyan Drake was an excellent pick. Our first fourth round pick, tight end Durham Smythe, will contribute on 3rd-and-short. He loves to stick his nose in and block. He also has good hands and reminds of another Notre Dame alumnus, Anthony Fasano. Our sixth rounder, Cornell Armstrong, will have to battle it out with our other cornerbacks. He does bring speed to the table running the 40 in 4.45. I think he could be a contributor on special teams and hopefully replace the production of Michael Thomas. With two seventh-round picks, linebacker Quentin Poling, has a very good chance to excel on kick coverages as he runs the 40 in 4.58. And getting a strong-legged kicker into camp, Jason Sanders, was insurance policy against having to battle other teams looking to get him into their camps as an undrafted player. Better safe than sorry. All in all, we drafted for speed and I believe we solved some problems and got better. That’s about all anyone can hope for.
Brian Miller, PhinPhanatic.com
The 2018 Miami Dolphins draft will be graded and judged in two or three years, but I like what Miami did on paper. This year’s class fits with what the off-season has included. The draft class is made up of smart football players with a lot of athleticism, speed and physicality. Each player fits into the Dolphins schemes. I really liked the first two picks, especially Mike Gesicki, but deeper in the draft Miami got a fast linebacker in Jerome Baker and the addition of running back Kalen Ballage will give the Dolphins a lot of options. Doubling up on tight-end was smart and Gesicki and Durham Smythe could give the Dolphins a huge one-two punch for years on offense.
Simon Myers, DolFan-UK
Much kudos to the team for managing to fill most of their needs in the draft with quality picks, without giving up any capital. Minkah Fitzpatrick should make an immediate impact in the secondary and should hopefully make it harder for opposing tight ends. On the other side of the ball, Miami’s tight end situation was instantly upgraded by the selections of Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. Following on, the defense got faster and the running back position was strengthened. Some are questioning why a quarterback was not drafted but after the top four went, the quality wasn’t better than what they had already got, so why waste a pick?
Kevin Nogle, The Phinsider
I think the Dolphins had a really solid draft, which is exactly what the team needed. They did not need to move up to make a big splash, but rather waited for the talent to come to them, and it worked perfectly. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Mike Gesicki, Jerome Baker and Jason Sanders should all be opening day starters. Durham Smythe will make an impact in the running game; Kalen Ballage, Cornell Armstrong and Quentin Poling can all provide depth. Four starters and four quality depth. That’s a good draft even if the national narrative is that Miami messed up by not adding a quarterback.
Mike Oliva, DolphinsTalk.com
I believe the Miami Dolphins did a fantastic job in last weekend’s draft addressing many of the needs the team had. On offense, you have to go back to the early 1990’s when Miami had Keith Jackson for the last time the Dolphins had a viable passing game threat at the tight end position. With the draft selection of Mike Gesicki, the Dolphins now have a weapon at tight end. Also, with the selection of Durham Smythe they have brought a newer, younger model of Anthony Fasano, who will help both run blocking and pass blocking. On the defensive side of the ball, Miami’s defense during the past couple years has lacked speed and the ability to cover ground sideline-to-sideline. I believe with the selections of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jerome Baker that will now start to change as the Dolphins have some young legs and speed on defense which will help this defense improve in 2018.
Luis Sung, PhinManiacs
Unlike most individuals in the fandom, I am not upset over the fact that the Miami Dolphins decided against drafting a quarterback in the 2018 NFL draft. At the time, I was hoping they would – at the very least – draft one in the middle rounds, but upon further reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that those young rookies would have been just that: young rookies with that “new car smell” so to speak. Few of them would have been more talented than the backups available now in Brock Osweiler and David Fales. To answer the question in hand, I am very pleased with how the first few rounds turned out, Miami came away with a player that brings an instant upgrade to the secondary and a potential seam threat they haven’t had since the likes of Charles Clay, except Mike Gesicki has much higher upside. I can see this team being built to make a run back to the playoffs, this draft class reinforced that view, but things all have to fall into place. Ryan Tannehill must stay healthy, or all is lost.