Welcome to Bulletin Board Material, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot of NFL Draft talk to go over. Let’s get right to it.
Whether it's terrorizing offenses or waiting in a room as he waits for his dream to become reality, Minkah Fitzpatrick exudes confidence.
That's easy to do after you spent three years as an integral part of one of the top college football dynasties.
And that also made it a no-brainer for the Miami Dolphins to grab the versatile defender with the 11th overall pick of the NFL Draft
on Thursday night.
Fitzpatrick flourished in three years under Nick Saban at Alabama. He was a safety, a nickel, a corner. Above all, he was just a really good defender. His natural instincts are off-the-charts for an incoming rookie.
And as he shifts from crimson and white to aqua and orange, his mindset isn't changing. Minkah Fitzpatrick wants to win, just like he did during his college days. And considering the Dolphins haven't won a playoff game since 2000, they want someone with that mindset, too.
Analysts raved about Fitzpatrick, who was deemed a top-10 player in this draft by most pundits. Saban called Fitzpatrick the best defender he has ever coached.
Oh, and he's pretty good at defending tight ends. The Dolphins need that.
So welcome to the NFL, Minkah Fitzpatrick. The dream has become a reality.
FSU's Derwin James first state player off the board
Florida State's Derwin James didn't waver as 16 teams passed over him. He knew he was going to be drafted. It was just a matter of time.
Once the back half of the first round got underway and the Los Angeles Chargers were on the clock, he got the phone call.
He was going to be the 17th overall pick in 2018. It also started a run of seven players in the final 16 picks with ties to the Sunshine State.
The others: Georgia offensive lineman and St. Petersburg native Isaiah Wynn (23rd, New England Patriots), Alabama receiver and Coconut Creek native Calvin Ridley (26th, Atlanta Falcons), University of Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan (29th, Jacksonville Jagurars), UCF cornerback Mike Hughes (30th, Minnesota Vikings), Georgia running back and Fort Lauderdale native Sony Michel (31st, Patriots) and Louisville quarterback and Pompano Beach native Lamar Jackson (32nd, Baltimore Ravens).
The Miami Hurricanes were shut out of the first round for the first time since 2013.
More state players should hear their names called on Days 2 and 3.
What to expect on Day 2
Day 2 of the NFL Draft, which consists of Rounds 2 and 3, begins at 7 p.m. with television coverage on Fox, ESPN and the NFL Network.
For the Dolphins, who own the 42nd overall pick in the second round and the 73rd overall pick in the fourth, look for them to address a combination of tight end, backup quarterback or linebacker. If South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert is available when they're on the clock at No. 42, it would seem the Dolphins would be hard pressed to take him. Notable quarterbacks left for the taking are Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph, Washington State's Luke Falk and Richmond's Kyle Lauletta.
As for the state colleges, there is the possibility for each of Florida, Florida State and Miami to have at least one player selected on Friday.
For the Gators, their best bet is likely nickel corner Duke Dawson, who is projected as a third-to-fourth round pick.
Florida State has a pair of defensive linemen in Josh Sweat (No. 71 overall player by Mel Kiper) and Derrick Nnadi (No. 101 overall).
The Hurricanes could see running back Mark Walton and/or defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh selected by the end of the third round as well.
More news and notes
▪ The Marlins have three veteran reinforcements on the way as early as this weekend.
▪ Familiar faces win Miami Corporate Run as 28,265 runners participate in downtown run