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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Draft picks: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins (No. 13 overall); Wisconsin OG Michael Deiter (No. 78); Wisconsin LB Andrew Van Ginkel (No. 151); Ohio State OT Isaiah Prince (No. 202); Auburn FB Chandler Cox (No. 233); Washington RB Myles Gaskin (No. 234)
Wilkins is a quality person and an excellent player with the versatility to play anywhere on the line. The team never really replaced Ndamukong Suh, and Wilkins has the ability to be really disruptive inside.
We absolutely take the Friday acquisition of Josh Rosen into account in this grade. Landing the second-year QB for a late-second-round pick this year and 2020 fifth-rounder was an absolute bargain. Trading down in Round 2 in a deal with the Saints before making the Rosen deal was also a great move. Deiter meets an important need at guard, especially with Rosen in place.
Van Ginkel is still growing as a player, but he has real potential as a pass rusher. Prince will get a chance to play at right tackle as a rookie, though he'll need to be more consistent to earn the job. Gaskin is not exceptional in any area but will be tough to cut.
Draft Grade: B
Top needs: Quarterback, defensive line, offensive line
Miami is undergoing a complete rebuild this offseason. It might have the least-talented roster in the league after Ja'Wuan James, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Danny Amendola and Ryan Tannehill, among others, departed. It has needs at almost every position. New GM Chris Grier has started the rebuild in the right way, though, stripping spare parts (and big contracts) and starting fresh while picking up future assets, like a 2020 second-round pick from the aggressive Saints on Friday.
And since we thought the Dolphins were more interested in the 2020 quarterback class -- they passed on both Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock in Round 1 -- the low-risk trade for Josh Rosen makes an awful lot of sense. They gave up just a late second-round pick (No. 62) and a 2020 fifth-rounder to add a supertalented signal-caller who went No. 10 overall a year ago. He's also on a cheap deal for the next few years with his signing bonus already paid, so even if he's not the long-term answer, it will be easy to move on. I wouldn't rule out Miami still being in the 2020 QB sweepstakes, but I like the Rosen deal.
Miami added an underrated interior pass-rusher in Christian Wilkins at No. 13 overall, and for a team desperate for sacks, he will provide a boost. He's also going to be a great locker-room presence. Michael Deiter (No. 78) was my third-ranked guard, but he started games at tackle, center and guard for the Badgers. Isaiah Prince (No. 202) is a sneaky candidate to start at one of the tackle spots. Myles Gaskin (No. 234) was extremely productive in college, but you wonder what all those carries have done to his body.
Again, this is going to be a long process for the Dolphins, and they're just beginning. This draft will be remembered for the Rosen deal, but Wilkins could be a steal.
There really was no wrong direction for the Dolphins to go in this draft—with an all-new coaching staff and mediocre roster, the team is undergoing personnel overhauls on both sides of the ball. First-time head coach Brian Flores, having spent his entire career until now in New England, is expected to employ a Belichick-style scheme which would mean an emphasis on size and strength along the D-line. Interestingly, Christian Wilkins, though a highly regarded first-round talent, doesn’t completely fit this profile. Wilkins’s game is built more on movement than force. He can, however, align at multiple spots, which is key in Flores’s system.
Getting Josh Rosen with the 62nd overall pick (plus a fifth-rounder next year) is incredible value. Rosen was in a no-win situation with the Cardinals last year and should not be viewed any differently than he was coming out of UCLA. He will almost certainly start right away and play behind Michael Deiter, who started every game the last four years at Wisconsin and fills a left guard spot that was devoid of any starting caliber options prior to this draft.
Whom they drafted: DT Christian Wilkins, G Michael Deiter, OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, OT Isaiah Prince, RB Chandler Cox, RB Myles Gaskin
Chris Grier got a key defensive building block for Brian Flores in Wilkins. Deiter will be a solid run blocker for years to come. Miami is undergoing a massive rebuild, however, so there was a limited amount of moving the needle with limited value.
The Dolphins fleeced the Cardinals. First Miami dropped down from No. 48 to No. 62. Then it used the No. 62 pick to trade for quarterback Josh Rosen, a potential franchise quarterback. If he’s not, he’s cheap and the Dolphins can move on easily.
In the first round, the Dolphins helped fortify their defensive line with Christian Wilkins at No. 13. He specializes at getting pressure. Guard Michael Deiter, taken at No. 78, fills a big need. He’s experienced, playing four years at Wisconsin, and should step into the starting lineup. He’s one of the better picks inside the top 100.
Miami’s last pick, running back Myles Gaskin, has a real chance to stick on the roster. He’s a slippery back who will make tacklers miss.
Best pick: It was their first one, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. He will be a star. He got my only A+ in my first-round grades.
Worst pick: They really didn't have any, but fifth-round linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was probably taken a little too high.
The skinny: Landing Wilkins was a great move and fills a major need, but I also loved that they traded their second-round pick to land Josh Rosen from Arizona. He could be their long-term quarterback.
Josh Rosen is part of this haul after the Dolphins acquired him for the 62nd pick. They will owe Rosen just $6.3 million over the next three years. The extreme low-cost flyer makes all kinds of sense for a rebuild-committed team that has properly self diagnosed. GM Chris Grier pulled off another forward-thinking deal by flipping No. 48 for No. 62, No. 202, and the Saints’ 2020 second-round pick. Wilkins projects as a high-floor building-block up front, and Deiter earned 2018 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year after making starts at guard, center, and left tackle in his career. He should not struggle to win a rookie-year starting job on Miami’s talent-poor offensive line. None of the Dolphins' day-three picks jump off the page as steals or obvious duds, but I think we should appreciate this team’s overall approach. The Fins have set themselves up to lead the league in 2020 draft capital with a realistic chance at the top pick in each round next year, including No. 1 overall. Short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.
THREE-ROUND GPA: 3.0 (2 picks)
Don’t feel too bad about this low ranking, Dolphins fans. Christian Wilkins and Michael Deiter are good players, you found a quarterback of the future for the low price of a second-round pick and you acquired future draft capital with some smart draft-day trades. Not a bad start to the rebuild.
Lost in a middling 7-9 season was a strong draft class for the Miami Dolphins.
Minkah Fitzpatrick won't get the attention classmates such as Leonard will, but he was a stud in the defensive backfield for the Dolphins, recording 80 tackles and nine passes defensed—not to mention two touchdowns, with one of those going back for a score against Minnesota in Week 15.
Jerome Baker is right behind him at 79 tackles and has three sacks and an interception that went back for a touchdown. Next to Raekwon McMillan, Baker and his leadership make the Dolphins look good.
Maybe most disappointing was Mike Gesicki, who had just 32 targets. But other offensive rookies have produced when given a chance. Kalen Ballage pounded out 123 rushing yards and a 75-yard score in Week 15.
With a key position solidified with a star and a weak point addressed at linebacker, not to mention Gesicki's upside, the Dolphins have a nice base to work with as they charge into a question mark of an offseason.
Goals Entering the 2019 NFL Draft:
The Dolphins have the worst roster in the NFL. Remarkably, they have a need at every single area of their depth chart. Yet, they have just five draft choices in the first six rounds. Miami absolutely must trade down on multiple occasions to acquire as much talent as possible.
2019 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
The Dolphins did as I requested in the goals section. They moved down from their second-round pick and acquired a second-round choice to use in the vastly superior 2020 NFL Draft class. Their initial selection, Christian Wilkins, was a stellar pick. Everything was going well, and then the Dolphins remembered that they were, in fact, the Dolphins.
Miami squandered a second-round choice in a trade for Josh Rosen. This was a horrible decision, as Rosen has zero passion for football and would rather party his life away, much like Blake Bortles. Sure, the Dolphins got a "discount" on Rosen after trading down, but this is like someone offering to sell you a stick of sugarless gum for $100 after initially offering $150. You're getting 33 percent off, but who cares!?
It's a shame the Rosen trade happened because it spoiled an otherwise successful weekend for the Dolphins. They drafted mostly solid values, including Wilkins and third-rounder Michael Deiter. They added two offensive linemen to help Tua Tagovailoa in 2020, which is important because they won't want their next quarterback to get killed. Miami still has plenty of needs to fill, but this was a nice start, save for the poor trade.
Post Draft Analysis
ESPN Insider Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
NFL.COM Draft Analysis
NFLDraftScout Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
Pro Football Focus Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
Pro Football Weekly Draft Analysis (paid subscription)
POST DRAFT ANALYSIS
Gaskin is an undersized scat back with good burst through the hole. He's an effective between-the-tackles runner thanks to his patience and instincts. He's built low to the ground and has good contact balance but lacks core strength. He's quick enough to separate from coverage, and he has above-average ball skills. He has average top-end speed, but he's not a threat to pull away. He's not big or strong enough to anchor in pass protection.
In terms of overall production, Myles Gaskin was a monster at Washington:
Gaskin (5’9/205) was a rare four-year feature back for the Huskies, becoming the first player in Pac 12 history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in all four seasons and graduating with a career 945/5,323/57 (5.6 YPC) rushing line and 65/465/5 (7.2 YPR) receiving. Gaskin rewrote Washington’s rushing record books, then turned in substandard Combine results with a 4.58 forty, 9-foot-10 broad jump, and 7.19 three-cone time. Gaskin was a solid multi-year college starter, but his NFL prospects are underwhelming on a game-tape and athleticism basis. Given the lack of depth behind Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, Gaskin is expected to start the year as the No. 3 back in Miami by default.
Gaskin was a four-year starter at Washington and rushed for over 1,250 yards in each of his four seasons. He finished his career with a remarkable 5,320 rushing yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. He also caught 65 passes for 465 yards (7.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. Gaskin is an undersized scat back with above-average burst to and through the hole and enough initial acceleration to turn the corner as an outside runner. But his top-speed levels off quickly. He's an effective between-the-tackles runner for his size thanks to his patience and instincts. He's built low to the ground and has surprisingly good contact-balance for his size -- but he's undersized and lacks core strength. As a receiver, he has the initial burst and agility to separate. He has above-average ball skills and he's a mild threat after the catch. In pass pro, he's willing, but he's just not big or strong enough to anchor and sustain. He projects as a complementary back with the potential to contribute in the return game in the NFL.
Gaskin's tough running and track speed (he won a Washington high school state title in the 100 meters) have made him an ultra-productive player for the Huskies. The former two-time All-State running back garnered honors in his first year on campus, including Freshman All-American and honorable mention All-Pac-12 notice, as well as being named the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Player. In 13 games (six starts), Gaskin ran 227 times for 1,302 yards (5.7 average) and 14 touchdowns. He was a first-team all-conference selection in 2016 (237-1,373-5.8, 10 TD rushing; 19-137-7.2, one TD receiving) and second-team selection as a junior (222-1,380-6.2, 21 TD rushing; 19-232-12.2, three TD receiving.) The workhorse set school career records with 41 rushing touchdowns and 45 total scores in 2017, and was the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Player again. In 2018, Gaskin became UW's career rushing leader (third in conference history) and the first Pac-12 back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in four straight years, garnering second-team All-Pac 12 accolades by rushing for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns on 259 totes (4.9 average). He also caught 21 passes for 77 yards (3.7 average) and a score and returned four kickoffs for 74 yards (18.5 average).
Draft Projection: Round 6
Durable, productive runner who could find the transition from college to pro more challenging due to his lack of size. Gaskin's quick feet and loose hips offer early elusiveness and success on wide flowing plays, but his overall play is less explosive/elusive than his athletic traits might suggest. He will need to run with better decisiveness and downhill burst to become an effective member of a running back committee, but his ability to play on third downs should help his chances for some early touches.
15. MYLES GASKIN | WASHINGTON | #9 | SR | 02.15.97 (age 22.2) |
Lynwood, WA | 5092 | 205 | 6th RD | 7.5
Doesn’t have great strength or top notch speed but runs with real heart and passion. Gaskin amassed 5,788 total yards during his career and finished as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 5,323 yards and touchdown leader with an impressive 62 scores in 52 games played. He bypassed an opportunity to boost his draft stock by declining his invitation to the Senior Bowl. He’s a ping pong ball in the open field and might be viewed as nothing more than a slasher at the next level.
An elusive, cutback runner, who runs with a low center of gravity and waits patiently for his holes to develop. His burst and ability to make defenders miss are two of his most impressive traits, not to mention he has spin moves for days. An attentive runner with natural instincts, plus a proven track record of being durable and dependable. Will line up out wide, has been used as the wildcat in short yardage situations and has even tossed a touchdown pass in the red zone. Also a return man. Shows the ability to gallop his way through the tackles with the ball in his hands. Surpassed the 1,000-yard barrier in each of his four seasons played.
Will look to run out of bounds if presented the opportunity, rather than putting his head down and fighting for the extra yardage. His short stature and lack of size may attribute to that type of mentality. In his defense, he did manage to make strides in this department as a senior. Has relied upon his agility too much at times and spends too much time dancing instead of capitalizing on his quickness and taking the yards that are given to him. His pre-snap stance is rather upright. Doesn’t embrace the blocking role well and has limited experience playing on special teams. A durable player, he did miss two games due to injury during his career.
Quick, fast and explosive. Ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons at Washington. Good vision/instincts. Quick to hole, with cut-back ability and the patience to set up blocks. Makes good decisions when on the move. Makes people miss in the open field. Good short route runner. Strong hands. Effective after the catch. Durable performer. Protects the ball.
Size -- not a power runner and very average after contact. Logged a lot of touches at Washington, and with his small frame, how much tread remains? Average in pass protection, where he can get overpowered. Production dropped in many areas last season.
The Way We See It:
Gaskin was a very productive college running back, but I doubt that will carry over to the NFL. While he is quick, fast and elusive, Gaskin lacks power and the potential to produce much after first contact. There have been players like him in the past who were very good in college only to do nothing in the NFL. I see Gaskin as a role player at the next level. Will be a useful contributor if a team deploys him properly, meaning limiting his touches to 10-12 per game. If used in that role, Gaskin can be a solid. But he must get stronger and learn to become a better pass protector. A Day 3 prospect who can be helpful under the right circumstances.