Though a draft really can’t fairly be assessed until a few years down the road, that doesn’t stop the flood of draft grades we see in the days right after it wraps up.
When it comes to the 2019 draft, the immediate conclusions generally are favorable to what the Dolphins did this year, particularly when the trade for quarterback Josh Rosen is factored in — something not every analyst did.
With that in mind, here’s a sampling of what national analysts had to say about the Dolphins draft.
Nate Davis, USA Today
“First-round DT Christian Wilkins is a highly productive, talented and versatile player and one likely to emerge as a strong locker room voice, all things this rebooting franchise badly needs. Third-round G Michael Deiter was another nice pickup for a team that had deteriorated in the trenches. But the trade for QB Josh Rosen looks like a heist. Not only did the Dolphins obtain a capable passing prospect for the next four years, they only have to pay about a third of his total salary. Factor in the acquisition of the Saints' 2020 second rounder, and Miami's new regime is off and running nicely.”
Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated
“There really was no wrong direction for the Dolphins to go in this draft—with an all-new coaching staff and mediocre roster, the team is undergoing personnel overhauls on both sides of the ball. First-time head coach Brian Flores, having spent his entire career until now in New England, is expected to employ a Belichick-style scheme which would mean an emphasis on size and strength along the D-line. Interestingly, Christian Wilkins, though a highly regarded first-round talent, doesn’t completely fit this profile. Wilkins’s game is built more on movement than force. He can, however, align at multiple spots, which is key in Flores’s system.
“Getting Josh Rosen with the 62nd overall pick (plus a fifth-rounder next year) is incredible value. Rosen was in a no-win situation with the Cardinals last year and should not be viewed any differently than he was coming out of UCLA. He will almost certainly start right away and play behind Michael Deiter, who started every game the last four years at Wisconsin and fills a left guard spot that was devoid of any starting caliber options prior to this draft.”
Chad Reuter, NFL.com
“Wilkins is a quality person and an excellent player with the versatility to play anywhere on the line. The team never really replaced Ndamukong Suh, and Wilkins has the ability to be really disruptive inside.
“We absolutely take the Friday acquisition of Josh Rosen into account in this grade. Landing the second-year QB for a late-second-round pick this year and 2020 fifth-rounder was an absolute bargain. Trading down in Round 2 in a deal with the Saints before making the Rosen deal was also a great move. Deiter meets an important need at guard, especially with Rosen in place.
“Van Ginkel is still growing as a player, but he has real potential as a pass rusher. Prince will get a chance to play at right tackle as a rookie, though he'll need to be more consistent to earn the job. Gaskin is not exceptional in any area but will be tough to cut.”
Mel Kiper, ESPN
“New GM Chris Grier has started the rebuild in the right way, though, stripping spare parts (and big contracts) and starting fresh while picking up future assets, like a 2020 second-round pick from the aggressive Saints on Friday.
“And since we thought the Dolphins were more interested in the 2020 quarterback class — they passed on both Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock in Round 1 — the low-risk trade for Josh Rosen makes an awful lot of sense. They gave up just a late second-round pick (No. 62) and a 2020 fifth-rounder to add a supertalented signal-caller who went No. 10 overall a year ago. He's also on a cheap deal for the next few years with his signing bonus already paid, so even if he's not the long-term answer, it will be easy to move on. I wouldn't rule out Miami still being in the 2020 QB sweepstakes, but I like the Rosen deal.
“Miami added an underrated interior pass-rusher in Christian Wilkins at No. 13 overall, and for a team desperate for sacks, he will provide a boost. He's also going to be a great locker-room presence. Michael Deiter (No. 78) was my third-ranked guard, but he started games at tackle, center and guard for the Badgers. Isaiah Prince (No. 202) is a sneaky candidate to start at one of the tackle spots. Myles Gaskin (No. 234) was extremely productive in college, but you wonder what all those carries have done to his body.”
Dan Kadar, SB Nation
“The Dolphins fleeced the Cardinals. First Miami dropped down from No. 48 to No. 62. Then it used the No. 62 pick to trade for quarterback Josh Rosen, a potential franchise quarterback. If he’s not, he’s cheap and the Dolphins can move on easily.
“In the first round, the Dolphins helped fortify their defensive line with Christian Wilkins at No. 13. He specializes at getting pressure. Guard Michael Deiter, taken at No. 78, fills a big need. He’s experienced, playing four years at Wisconsin, and should step into the starting lineup. He’s one of the better picks inside the top 100.
“Miami’s last pick, running back Myles Gaskin, has a real chance to stick on the roster. He’s a slippery back who will make tacklers miss.”
Steve Serby, New York Post
"GM Chris Grier only had to surrender the 62nd pick and a fifth-rounder for Rosen, who will overcome Ryan Fitzpatrick and begin his 2019 audition. What a steal. Wilkins is a baller and positive locker-room presence who shores up horrific run defense post-Ndamukong Suh. OL Michael Deiter is an interior mauler."
Doug Farrar, USA Today
“We could stop this right now and give the Dolphins an ‘A’ for getting Josh Rosen away from the Cardinals for a swap of second-round picks and a fifth-rounder. Kudos to Miami’s front office for waiting it out and taking advantage of Arizona’s confusion at that position. As to the Dolphins’ actual draft, the returns look less spectacular. 13th-overall pick Christian Wilkins is as clean off the field as you’d ever want, but he’s limited to a one-gap three-technique role if you want him to dominate. Third-round Wisconsin guard Michael Deiter is decent in a phone booth, but has athletic limitations. Ohio State offensive tackle Isaiah Prince is a developmental pass-protector, If there’s a steal in this class, it might be Washington running back Myles Gaskin, an undersized fireplug who ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons with the Huskies. Getting a potential franchise quarterback for pennies on the dollar is what takes his draft out of the fire."
Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News
“Chris Grier got a key defensive building block for Brian Flores in Wilkins. Deiter will be a solid run blocker for years to come. Miami is undergoing a massive rebuild, however, so there was a limited amount of moving the needle with limited value.”
This story will be updated continuously as draft grades are published.