Both fans and media fall in love with the idea of first-round picks every year during the NFL Draft. While the hype and attention is warranted due to the potential of landing top-tier talent that can eventually become a centerpiece of your team, making the most of your picks outside the first round can often be just as important.
Here’s a look at some second-round targets the Miami Dolphins may consider based on the position they select in the first round.
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If Miami selects an EDGE rusher in round one…
In the event the Dolphins address the need of a pass rusher in the first round, it would be wise for the team to continue to address defense and add a linebacker in the second round.
Despite the offseason addition of Lawrence Timmons and extending Kiko Alonso’s contract, linebacker continues to be a need due to the age of Timmons and the injury history of both Alonso and current starter Koa Misi.
Some linebackers that may still be on the board in round two include: Jarrad Davis (Florida), T.J. Watt (Wisconsin), Tyus Bowser (Houston) and Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State).
Of these options, Davis would be a great fit in Miami, as he would provide the element of speed that is currently missing from the current stable of Dolphins’ linebackers. A very instinctual player, Davis was always around the ball at Florida and would be a steal if still available at No. 54.
If Miami selects a linebacker in round one…
Miami may find itself addressing the position of linebacker in round one if a player like Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt is still available at No. 22. If Cunningham or another linebacker ends up being the direction the Dolphins go in the first round, the team may be in line to address the offensive line with the No. 54 overall pick.
Offensive lineman that may be available in the second round include Dan Feeney (Indiana), Dion Dawkins (Temple) and Ethan Pocic (LSU). Recently, the Dolphins have been using the strategy of selecting former college tackles and moving them to guard, and this could be the team’s strategy once again in the second round by selection Dawkins out of Temple.
A left tackle for the Owls, most scouts feel Dawkins best position in the NFL will be guard. There is also a lot of buzz around Dawkins that he won’t last until the third round; so if the Dolphins want to address what many think is the biggest remaining weakness, Dawkins may be the most logical second-round selection.
If the Dolphins select an offensive lineman in round one…
While not considered a sexy pick, there are a couple of offensive lineman the Dolphins could end up with at No. 22, if they wish to go that route, including Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp or Utah’s Garett Boles.
As the Dolphins primarily focused on addressing the offensive side of the ball in the 2016 NFL Draft, it’s believed that the team will turn their attention to defense in 2017 and this may lead to the team addressing the position of defensive end in the second round.
Known as a quality draft for EDGE rushers, some prospects that may be available in the second round include Chris Wormley (Michigan), Demarcus Walker (Florida State), Tim Williams (Alabama) and Jordan Willis (Kansas State).
Willis would be a natural fit in the Dolphins’ 4-3 defensive scheme as he possesses the ability to set the edge against the run while also showing the ability to get to opposing team’s quarterbacks – accumulating 11.5 sacks his senior season at Kansas State.
While he wouldn’t be a day-one starter for the Dolphins defense, Willis would likely be in a rotation with recently signed William Hayes when it comes to spelling both Cameron Wake and Andre Branch. This strategy would be a great way to ease him into NFL action behind one of the best to do it in Dolphins’ history.