Greg Cote

In a swing-for-the-fences NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins just settled for solid contact

Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is selected 11th overall by the Miami Dolphins during the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is selected 11th overall by the Miami Dolphins during the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Minkah Fitzpatrick might turn out to be a great NFL player. I had him taken fourth overall in my own NFL mock draft — seven spots sooner than the Miami Dolphins selected him in the first round on Thursday night. He has the Nick Saban/Alabama pedigree. He's a versatile defensive back, a natural safety who can also chip in at cornerback.

Do you feel the "yeah, but" coming?

It feels like the Dolphins could have swung for the fences in this first round and instead settled for solid contact. It feels like the Dolphins took a step, when a leap was available.

Buffalo traded up to get their quarterback of the future Thursday in Josh Allen. So did Arizona, jumping up one spot ahead of Miami to select Josh Rosen. The Dolphins had the draft capital to also trade up to stake a commitment to the most important position — and to make a statement that Ryan Tannehill is OK but not the solution. They stood pat.

The Dolphins also had the chance, once the draft's BIg Four QBs all were off the board, to be bold and daring and maybe select dynamic Louisville dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson. To aim high. To gamble a bit on the upside. But they played it safe.

Miami is coming off a 6-10 season, and an offseason in which they let Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey all get away. After Jay Ajayi the season before. This is a franchise that needs bold moves, not safe ones.

This also is a franchise that just top-drafted a player who does not fill one of the team's most pressing needs.

It seemed like this was the draft to go for the home run. And that the Dolphins just hit a solid single.

But that's just my initial reaction. What is your gut feeling on Miami's first-round pick relative to who they might have/could have had?

Here's your poll. Vote now:

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