Between 2009 and 2015 the Miami Dolphins had between six and eight wins every season. In 2016 they finally started to push through by going 10-6. With key players like quarterback Ryan Tannehill, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, safety Reshad Jones, and others all locked up for multiple years, it’s time for Miami to really make a push.
To do that, they really need to hit on a two or three picks in the 2017 NFL draft to push them over the top to contend with the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider is up in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft to find a player who can help Miami take a step.
53. Miami Dolphins: Desmond King, S, Iowa
Nogle: There are several players still on the board who could make this an interesting decision for the Dolphins. A large part of me wants to just go ahead and double down on linebacker after picking up Haason Reddick in the first round, probably adding either Jarrad Davis or Raekwon McMillan here. However, there are other needs Miami has, and with Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons both signing new contracts, picking another linebacker here could actually be detrimental to the Dolphins.
That brings us back to a needs list of cornerback, defensive tackle, safety, and guard. There are options available for each of those positions, with players like cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, guards Dion Dawkins and Dorian Johnson, defensive end Jordan Willis, defensive tackles Larry Ogunjobi and Chris Wormley, safety Desmond King, and guard Isaac Asiata all jumping out as possibilities. This is a strange draft because it does feel like Miami could take one of these players here, but there is also a chance that same player could be available when the Dolphins pick late in the third round as well.
I’m making this pick based on who I think would be able to immediately step into a starting role for the Dolphins — both as an evaluation of the player and as an evaluation of the need for Miami. Willis, Ogunjobi, and Wormley probably all end up as depth on Miami’s roster for at least the 2017 season if not longer. That does not seem to be value for a second-round pick. Jackson could be the right pick, but Miami likes the bigger cornerbacks, and Jackson would likely move inside, where the team already has Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and Michael Thomas all capable of being the nickel cornerback.
That really leaves me with three guards (Dawkins, Johnson, and Asiata) or a safety (King). As much as I want the Dolphins to upgrade the guard position and give the offense effective pass protection and run blocking, the offensive line can either be addressed in the third round or the team can be set with whomever comes out of the Ted Larsen, Kraig Urbik, Anthony Steen position battle. That brings us to King.
King was my second choice for a safety pick at this point, but Buffalo Rumblings grabbed Marcus Williams, who I think is a true free safety in the league. I think King gets there, but he does have a little transition to make moving from being a cornerback to being a full-time safety (he could also provide Miami depth at cornerback if needed this year). He will still be a great pairing with Reshad Jones, which will allow Jones to do what he does best up in the box. Selecting King allows Miami to put him into the starting lineup with Jones, using Nate Allen as the primary reserve, along with Michael Thomas, then Walt Aikens and A.J. Hendy battle for reserve playing time/special teams work. This also covers at least the first half of the season as T.J. McDonald serves his suspension.
Analysis: That was probably the most well-reasoned explanation ever provided in 11 years of the SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft. If you look all the way back to the 2015 season, King was considered a first-round pick. He's gotten picked apart some because of his size and speed, but the production is there. In the past two seasons he’s had 31 passes defended and 11 interceptions. King clearly knows how to play the ball, and if his athleticism can keep up in the NFL he could be a stalwart in the secondary. The pick makes the Dolphins seem pretty heavy at safety, but King could ultimately be a two-position defensive back.
Dan's top five players remaining
- 26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
- 41. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
- 45. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
- 46. Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
- 50. Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
- 1-22: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
- 2-54: Desmond King, S, Iowa
What grade do you give the pick of King by the Dolphins?
This poll is closed