Armando Salguero

What I’m hearing in the hour before the 2017 NFL draft begins

With stellar showings at the Senior Bowl and combine, Temple linebacker Hasson Reddick has apparently helped his draft stock.
With stellar showings at the Senior Bowl and combine, Temple linebacker Hasson Reddick has apparently helped his draft stock. AP

Clearing out the notebook before the 2017 draft begins:

The Miami Dolphins will definitely consider a linebacker at No. 22 overall if their strong desire to land a highly rated (by them) edge rusher is not within the realm of possibility.

In that regard, I’ve mentioned Jarrad Davis here and here. I’ve even covered the possibility Reuben Foster slips to the Dolphins at No. 22 overall here.

I’ve not previously mentioned Haason Reddick.

So let me tell you what I know about him: The Dolphins met with him privately but I have been unable to confirm a visit to team headquarters despite reports that he visited. (Visits do not necessarily signal interest or confirm the team will pick a player).

I’m told by sources some within the Dolphins building think he’s a perfect WILL linebacker from Day 1. Others think Davis is superior although he seems more likely to be a fit at SAM because of his better run defense. Whether either are part of the team’s nickel package would be interesting.

In the nickel, the Dolphins employ two linebackers. And Kiko Alonso is definitely one of those.

The Dolphins have a ton of needs, but here's who Adam Beasley thinks the team might pick in this year's draft.

So would either Davis or Reddick displace the more experienced but perhaps more coverage challenged Lawrence Timmons in the nickel? That would be the eventual hope when you’re picking that player in the first round. But it would depend on how quickly the rookie (whoever that is) figures out assignments and play speed as that takes time for some players.

Reddick is the more explosive pass rusher, sources say. Davis seems the better run defender and sideline to sideline tackler, those same sources agree.

Reddick was productive at Temple as a senior when he collected 22 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. But his draft stock soared when he impressed teams at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. He did have a reputation for missing tackles at Temple -- and that against inferior competition than what is found in the Southeastern Conference where Davis played.

Davis has probably been more consistent year over year and also had a good showing throughout the pre-draft process. He is a much better tackler.

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The Dolphins come into this draft without a fourth-round selection because that pick plus a third was dealt last season to Minnesota in the trade that brought Leonte Carroo to the Dolphins.

How does that matter now?

Well, it means the Dolphins have much less ammunition to move up if they are inclined to do so in the first round.

If, for example, the Dolphins want to move from No. 22 overall to No. 18 where the Titans are reportedly auctioning the spot, it would take 120 points on the draft trade chart. If the Dolphins had two threes instead of just one, they could trade away the second of those and move up to No. 18.

Without the pick, the Dolphins would have to give up all their fifth-round picks and still fall short of the mark necessary to make that deal.

So trading up in the first round? The Dolphins would have to entice someone with their third-rounder or a pick next year.

Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote breaks down the Miami Dolphins' first-round pick in the NFL draft.

The more likely scenario for the Dolphins if a trade is in the offing would be a trade down.

It is a distinct possibility, particularly given EVP’s Mike Tannenbaum’s penchant for moving throughout the draft and the teams multiple needs, including defensive end, safety, guard, safety, linebacker, and cornerback.

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So safety?

The Dolphins love safeties. The Dolphins want to add a safety in this draft.

The Dolphins have so much homework on safeties it is not funny.

So I expect the Dolphins to get a safety at some point.

The Dolphins showed significant interest in nine, count ‘em, nine safeties. Those include Jabrill Peppers, Shaquill Griffin, Obi Melifonwu and Marcus Maye.

Not all of those are first rounders. Actually, none of those might be first rounders. But you should take their names into account.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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