The Heat are out of the playoffs and Hurricane football is months away from any real action. Aside from hoping Jeffrey Loria hurries up and sells the Marlins, that means most Miami fans have entered prime season for speculating about who the Miami Dolphins will select in the NFL Draft this week.
The Fins have the 22nd pick in the first round in Thursday's draft. Do they plug one of their many holes on defense? A linebacker? How about another cornerback? Maybe a defensive lineman?
Nope. This team should nab more offense. More specifically, they should take Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. Yes, a running back. Simmer down, Canes fans, and consider the facts.
Everyone will tell you the Dolphins have too many holes on defense to spend a first round pick in one of the few areas the team is solid, thanks to Jay Ajayi's breakout year. Everyone will tell you the Fins need to take their gazillionth defensive tackle instead. Mock drafts will tell you they should take the fourth-best cornerback available that 21 other teams didn't want.
But in the words of another Florida State alum, ESPN'S Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend!" That is the mindset of a loser. The Dolphins should create the most dynamic backfield in the entire NFL, and make that their identity. They should run offense sets with both Ajayi and Cook in the game and let defenses try to figure that out all week.
Cook is a dynamic football player who can change an entire offense. Why would the Fins pass on that ability for a linebacker some teams had on their boards as a second-round talent? Been there, Eddie
Here are the facts: Cook ran for 4,464 yards and scored 46 touchdowns at FSU. He is the definition of a home run-hitting running back who can turn a screen pass into an 86-yard score. The Dolphins have Ajayi to eat up those hard-to-get yards and tired out defenses. If they could also mix in the speed and elusiveness of Cook as a change-up, the combination would be a nightmare for defenses.
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Granted, the Fins current back-up running back, Kenyan Drake, is the same kind of player — but Drake doesn't have Cook's talent. Drake could concentrate on being a threat on special teams, and the Dolphins would have big-play potential all over the place.
If you're scoffing at this argument, ask yourself this: Would you want the Dolphins to trade their first round pick for Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman? Would you take the sure thing NFL playmaker at 22? You should, in a heartbeat. Just like Freeman, Cook starred at Miami Central High School and FSU, and he's a much more complete football player than Devonta. Freeman lasted to the fourth round. Cook won't.
If the Dolphins want to help Ryan Tannehill become an elite quarterback, the quickest route would be to give him the best running game in the NFL. With Ajayi and Cook in the backfield for years to come, the Dolphins could have just that.
Take a linebacker in the second round — he will still be there. Cook is the football player who gives the Dolphins the best advantage every Sunday, and the best chance to win.