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The Blitz: Shula 50-Year Anniversary, Mel Kiper Mock Draft

Don Shula: 50 Year After His Hiring

Feb. 18, 1970 was the date that changed Dolphins history forever. Fifty years ago today, team founder Joe Robbie named Don Shula to be the Miami Dolphins' new head coach.

It was a hiring that would leave a lasting impact that still lives on to this day. Shula accomplished a number of historic accomplishments during his time with Miami, including two Super Bowls and the only perfect season in NFL history. His 347 wins are the most by any coach in league history and he had just two seasons with a losing record in 33 years as a head coach.

In His Own Words, Shula talks about the decision to leave Baltimore and bring his family down to South Florida. Fifty years later, read about what brought the legendary head coach to Miami and how it all went down.

New Mock Drafts From Kiper And Casserly

Two well-known analysts in football released new mock drafts this morning. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and NFL Media Analyst Charley Casserly both dropped new editions today, this one being Casserly’s first of the offseason.

There was a noticeable difference at the top of Kiper’s second mock draft. His previous prediction of Tua Tagovailoa to the Dolphins has changed. Kiper has the Alabama prospect going at No. 3 to the Detroit Lions, while Oregon's Justin Herbert is slotted in Miami's No. 5 pick.

Kiper says there are still plenty of factors in play as the draft inches closer, including the possibility of trades and the looming free agency period.

"This pick also seems like the perfect spot for a team to trade up to get a quarterback, whether that's Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or someone else," Kiper said about the No. 3 spot.

He also believes there is uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position for Miami.

"What's tough to predict is whether the Dolphins will instead look to the deep quarterback class in free agency, where they will have almost $100 million to spend," Kiper said.

On the other hand, Casserly slotted Tagovailoa into the No. 5 spot.

"It will depend on how his hip checks out with team doctors," Casserly writes. "Do the Dolphins have to trade up to make sure they get him? Are they interested in Justin Herbert?"

As for the later first-round picks, there was a slight discrepancy between the two analysts. Kiper believes the Dolphins will build the offense with their other two picks.

At No. 18, Kiper has Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas coming to South Florida, and his college teammate – running back D’Andre Swift – at No. 26.

"Thomas has dropped a little bit since he went in the top 10 in my Mock Draft 1.0 last month, but that's because this tackle class is so good at the top," Kiper said. "Given its depleted roster, Miami should go with the best prospect available in Round 1, and that's Thomas at No. 18."

He also had big praise for Swift.

"I have a higher grade on him than I did on Josh Jacobs last year," Kiper writes about Swift. "This is a great way to build the Miami offense, though it still needs some pieces to get back on track."

Casserly believes the Dolphins will go defense at No. 18, but also predicted a running back at No. 26.

C.J. Henderson, former Florida Gators cornerback, was Casserly's pick at No. 18.

"The Dolphins have many needs and could go a lot of different ways in this slot. The strongest prospect at this point in the draft is a corner.

At No. 26, Casserly has J.K. Dobbins, the Ohio State prospect, heading to Miami.

"The Dolphins need a running back, and Dobbins has the modern tools to thrive at the position in today's NFL."

Jerome Baker Surprises Young Fan

Yesterday on "Good Morning America," 8-year old Keoni Ching was on the morning show to discuss about his project to eliminate his classmates' school lunch debt.

Ching, a Miami Dolphins fan from Washington, came up with the idea during "Kindness Week" at his school. He made custom keychains to raise money and help alleviate the debt of his fellow classmates. In total, Ching raised more than $4,000 and eliminated lunch debt at his and six other area schools.

It caught the attention of thousands around the country and the act of kindness landed Ching on national news show. In addition to a new laptop from the hosts, Ching was surprised by a visit from Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker. Baker gifted Ching a customized jersey and provided him and his family with tickets to a Dolphins game during the 2020 season.

DCC Less Than Two Weeks Away

The Dolphins Cancer Challenge is less than two weeks away, but there's still time to support the cause.

On Feb. 29, over 3,400 people will take part in the DCC X. Bike rides will take place all over South Florida from Boca Raton to Miami along with a 5K at Hard Rock Stadium.

The marquee initiative of the Dolphins Foundation has been dedicated to fighting cancer since 2010. More than $32 million has been raised since 2010, with all the proceeds going to cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

You can still register for the events or donate to the cause at the Dolphins Cancer Challenge website.

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