Dolphins’ Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: Specialists
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 Sunday, we rounded out the defense by looking at the secondary. We now move to special teams to conclude our series:
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): Andrew Franks, Matt Darr, John Denney
The Miami Dolphins are probably set when it comes to specialists. The Dolphins re-signed long snapper John Denney in the offseason. Though last season didn’t go as well as 2015, punter Matt Darr has a thunderous leg. Kicker Andrew Franks hasn’t been that reliable, but did get better as last season went on.
Notable Depth: Winston Chapman
Long snapper Winston Chapman has been brought in to challenge aging John Denney for the duties at the position.
Last Three Picks at Position
Caleb Sturgis: Round 5, No. 166 overall in 2013
Brandon Fields: Round 7, No. 225 overall in 2007
Brent Bartholomew: Round 6, No. 192 overall in 1999
Draft Probability: Low
There is a small possibility that the Dolphins will bring in a placekicker to compete with Andrew Franks, but after the way Franks ended last season, it seems unlikely. Over the final 10 weeks of 2016, Franks was 9-for-11 on field goals, including a 55-yarder that forced overtime in Week 16 at Buffalo.
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