Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Before we can even consider looking at who the Dolphins might pick, this is what’s happened this offseason. They’ve lost:
Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and his backup, Brock Osweiler
Their starting running back and leading rusher, Eagles legend Frank Gore.
Their starting defensive ends (and top two in sacks on the team), Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake. Another Defensive End in Andre Branch.
Danny Amendola, the team leader in both yards and catches.
Josh Sitton, who started the season as the starting left guard
Ted Larsen, who took over as starting left guard after Sitton went out injured.
Ja’Wuan James, their starting right tackle.
All of this assumes they don’t move on from other veterans, which they might.
Outside of Ryan Fitzpatrick and a few backups, they haven’t exactly been active in the free agent market either.
Everyone involved with the team, from the owner to the GM to the coach, insists that they won’t be tanking. We’ll call it “rebuilding”. That’s what the Dolphins are calling it. Ryan Fitzpatrick should be good for his early season magic and a few wins before his typical decline. But let’s be real. This team is going to be very bad, and is going to have a very good chance at winning the “Tank for Tua” race ahead of the 2020 draft.
So what do you do with a rebuilding team when the cupboard is so bare?
Start with the team’s needs. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins need “pass rushers, defensive tackles, a new starting right tackle and interior offensive linemen, a No. 1 wide receiver, another running back, and of course, a franchise quarterback.” Not much, right? So let’s go down the list.
Quarterback is a possibility, but with both Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins likely to be long gone before the Dolphins pick (and gone in this mock draft), the talent just isn’t there. Both Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are sure to be fiercely debated, but neither projects as the kind of no-doubt QB of the future the Dolphins sorely need.
Running back can be filled in a later round, with Kenyan Drake ready to become the featured back again. The Dolphins could certainly use a #1 wide receiver, but that’s not the biggest priority right now with DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills still in the fold; besides, who’s going to get them the ball?
On the defensive side, edge rushers like Clelin Ferrell or Rashan Gary could certainly help. Anything to disrupt a very good trio of quarterbacks in the AFC East. On the interior side of the d-line, with Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams gone, the value is just not there at #13. Jeffrey Simmons, who might have been a top-5 pick before his knee injury, might be an intriguing pick for his talent and to help the rebuilding process, but he carries a high degree of risk for a team like Miami. Too much risk for them to take.
With the board having set up the way it has, the Dolphins get lucky. Just like when they drafted Laremy Tunsil in 2016, the best offensive line prospect in the draft is again staring them in the face with the #13 pick: Washington State Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard.
A tackle with the athleticism of Andre Dillard is hard to find, anywhere. Standing 6’5” and weighing 315 pounds, he crushed the 40-yard dash with two sub-5 second runs, and continued to show the athletic talent through the rest of his combine workouts, including the second best board jump for any offensive lineman since 2006.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable:
His off-the-charts athleticism isn’t just a combine thing either.
Dillard played in Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense at Washington State. Over the last three seasons, the Cougars led the FBS in passing attempts, while over the last two seasons, the Cougars were dead last in rushing attempts. With so many opportunities to pass block, Dillard shined, as his quarterback, Gardner Minshew II said:
Dillard earned a 94.0 pass-blocking rating from Pro Football Focus, the best of any starting tackle in the college game last season. He has the talent to step in immediately to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick clean in 2019, and be a boon to whatever rookie quarterback the Dolphins are starting in 2020.
The knock on him, and the reason he’s slipped in the draft, is his run blocking inconsistency. Part of this is due to technique, and part due to a lack of opportunities in his college career. NFL.com calls him “inexperienced firing off the ball on the run game”, noting that he “would benefit from low hands and an upward strike as a run blocker”. But there’s no doubt the talent and ability are there.
If you want to succeed in the modern NFL, you need a quarterback and you need your lines to dominate. With the Dolphins hoping their quarterback, and their first opportunity to find consistency at that position in 20 years, will come later, you start on the lines. Dillard becomes the first step for a real rebuilding process for a once proud franchise.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2019 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Cardinals (Philliesandthebees): Kyler Murray
2) 49ers (SakPrescott): Nick Bosa
3) Jets (thealien2696): Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders (SisyphusNoMore): Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers (EAGLESBSU): Montez Sweat
6) Giants (ablesser88): Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars (20Safety_Hazards): Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions (89Tremaine): Ed Oliver
9) Bills (drc242): Jonah Williams
10) Broncos (ItownBallers22): Devin White
11) Bengals (Phoenix X Maximus): Cody Ford
12) Packers (Palaniappan K M): Brian Burns
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh): Andre Dillard
14) Falcons (Happy24):
15) Washington (roberticus0):
16) Panthers (Triumph McCloud):
17) Giants (KevinDont):
19) Titans (Big Schmoopie):
20) Steelers (J. Wil):
21) Seahawks (NickfoleonDynamite):
22) Ravens (GMinTraining):
23) Texans (EaglesRock94)
24) Raiders (SummersInVA):
25) Eagles (I Need a Username):
26) Colts (Nolo0oo):
27) Raiders (SLC Eagle):
28) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):
29) Chiefs (Boxer Madness):
30) Packers (Kephas):
31) Rams (Matthieuck):
32) Patriots (Zett_66):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Dolphins should pick in the 2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Miami Dolphins draft at No. 13 overall?
This poll is closed
2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft
1) Cardinals: Kyler Murray
2) 49ers: Nick Bosa
3) Jets: Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders: Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers: Montez Sweat
6) Giants: Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions: Ed Oliver
9) Bills: Jonah Williams
10) Broncos: Devin White
11) Bengals: Devin Bush
12) Packers: T.J. Hockenson