This Thursday, the 83rd-annual NFL Draft will kick off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which means the Miami Dolphins are about to add some new employees. For Fins fans, the draft sparks both good and bad memories. There's getting Dan Marino in 1983, and then there is, well, nearly everything else.
OK, the Fins' ratio might not be quite that bad, but it certainly feels that way to long-suffering fans who vividly remember their team wasting countless opportunities to make the squad. That was then, though, and this is now. A new day has arrived, one that provides the Dolphins a chance to un-suck themselves, right their past wrongs, and add the franchise's next future Hall of Famer.
Here is everything you need to know about the three-day window the Dolphins have this week to add good football players to their team. The men they choose will not have a say in this, but don't feel bad for them — they'll be paid handsomely.
When is the NFL Draft, and where can I watch it?
That used to be such an easy question, but over the past few years, money, as always, has complicated things. The NFL Draft is now a three-day event. The first round begins Thursday at 8 p.m.; then Friday night at 7 p.m., Rounds 2 and 3 happen. Saturday at noon, Rounds 4 through 7 close out the selections.
All the coverage is spread across NFL Network, Fox, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN 2. It's really up to you and what panel annoys you least. For all you cord-cutters, NFL.com, ESPN apps, Fox Sports app, or fuboTV are options to stream.
When will the Dolphins select?
The Dolphins draft picks are as follows: 11th (1), 42nd (2), 73rd (3), 123rd (4), 131st (4), 209th (6), 223rd (7), and 229th (7). For those of you wondering about how late you'll have to stay up Thursday night to see whom the Dolphins pick in the first round, you can take a guess by multiplying picks before them (ten) by minutes each team has to make a selection (ten minutes). When you add in a bit of lag time to begin the draft, our best guess is that Miami will choose between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Of course, the Dolphins could always move up or down in the order, so set an app notification if you can't stare at the TV all night.
Who will the Dolphins pick?
We have no idea, but this handy-dandy Mock Draft Database compiled by the folks at the Phinsider will give you an idea of what every expert thinks Miami will do in the draft. According to their math, the player the Dolphins are most forecasted to select is Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, followed by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The Phinsider also points out that the experts mark the Dolphins' three likeliest positions to be addressed in the first round as defensive tackle, quarterback, and linebacker, in that order. No one expects the Dolphins to take a wide receiver, which fans can tell you almost ensures the team will take one.
If the Dolphins trade up, whom would they take?
They certainly seem to have a love affair with Mayfield. If he drops to, say, the Colts' sixth pick, the Dolphins might be tempted to splurge. Then Fins fans would rejoice but later realize their team drafted a guy named Baker who wears a headband.
Which player would you like the Dolphins to draft?
This isn't about me, but since you asked: Derwin James, Florida State's safety. He can play linebacker, safety, cornerback, or whenever you want him to play. He's a beast.
Two questions: What Do the Dolphins need most, and what do the fans want most?
Let's address the latter question first: Dolphins fans, like most fans, want the shiniest new toy. In the NFL, that's most definitely a quarterback. Specifically, Mayfield is the sexy choice on social media. There are about four quarterbacks who would intrigue a portion of the Dolphins' fan base, including UCLA's Josh Rosen. Lamar Jackson would be an exciting second-round pick if he lasts that long.
As far as what kind of player the Dolphins need most, well, how long do you have? The Dolphins need just about everything. Offensive guards, linebackers, another defensive lineman, a cornerback, possibly a safety, and depth across the board at every position on the football field. One could argue quarterback is the least of the team's concerns, but with Tannehill's knee ligaments proven to be made of Twizzlers, a young signal-caller qualifies as a need.
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We know they are going to screw this up. How will they screw this up?
It's honestly hard to imagine the Dolphins messing this one up. Actually, it's not that hard. In fact, it's totally imaginable. Normally, picking 11th overall isn't the sexiest spot, but with possibly five quarterbacks going before Miami is on the clock, the Dolphins could basically be picking fifth or sixth in the "Non-QB Draft."
But they're the Dolphins, which means they can still screw this baby up, Dion Jordan-style. They could select a guard, which they need, and bypass, say, Derwin James, who is a steel-toed ass-kicker with bad intentions on every snap. That is a very believable example of how the Dolphins could drive you to drink on a weeknight and miss work Friday.