Dolphins’ Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: Linebackers
With the NFL Draft less than three weeks away, it won’t be long before the Miami Dolphins are “on the clock”. After a 10-6 season that saw the team reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the Dolphins are looking to add pieces to help them get back there.
As the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia nears, we continue a series that takes a look at each position for the Dolphins and how that might affect what Miami does in the draft. The draft will be held from April 27-29.
On Monday, we looked at the defensive line. We now transition to the position of linebacker:
Dolphins’ Picks by Round
Round 1: No. 22
Round 2: No. 54
Round 3: No. 97 (Compensatory)
Round 5: No. 166, No. 178 (Compensatory) and No. 184 (Compensatory)
Round 7: No. 223 (from Los Angeles)
Projected Starter(s): Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, Koa Misi
Kiko Alonso was the leading tackler for the Dolphins during his first season in Miami, but will likely move from the middle to the outside to make way for free agent signing, Lawrence Timmons. After restructuring his contract, the Dolphins will also get Koa Misi back after appearing in just three games last season.
Notable Depth: Neville Hewitt, Mike Hull
Linebacker may be the position where the Dolphins are the thinnest. Neville Hewitt and Mike Hull were two undrafted players that Miami had to rely on throughout the course of last season. Aside from Misi, the Dolphins don’t have a linebacker on the roster that it drafted.
Last Three Picks at Position
Jordan Tripp: Round 5, No. 171 overall in 2014
Jelani Jenkins: Round 4, No. 104 overall in 2013
Joshua Kaddu: Round 5, No. 155 overall in 2012
Draft Probability: Very High
The corps of linebackers for the Dolphins was a noticeable weak spot in 2016. The addition of Lawrence Timmons and getting Koa Misi back from injury should help, but there is no visible depth at the position. The future needs at linebacker have also not been adequately addressed. Miami hasn’t picked a linebacker before the third round since Misi went 40th overall in 2010. Expect that to change this year.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson