Pride of Detroit commenter popcornstadium has been busy in our Community Mock Draft. As the general manager of the Miami Dolphins in our mock, they have already made two picks: Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick and edge defender Yetur Gross-Matos at 18 overall.
Now they have a chance at another immediate starter as they are on the clock with the 26th overall pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock.
With the 26th pick, the Dolphins have chosen Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Here’s popcornstadium with the explanation for the pick.
“Miami’s pass defense was the worst in the league last season according to Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency rankings. They were 27th in passing yards allowed, 30th in opposing QBs’ yards per attempt, and 29th in opposing QBs’ rating. The Dolphins have dedicated resources to Byron Jones in free agency and Yetur Gross-Matos with a first round pick, but safety remains an area for improvement. They address that need here with Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.
McKinney isn’t the most impressive athlete, but that didn’t prevent him from becoming the latest in a long line of pro-ready Alabama safeties. His intelligence and field awareness means that he’s generally in the right position to take away a passing lane or shut down any run after the pass. His instincts are among the best in this class, and he’ll regularly make the perfect break on throws that look open when they leave the quarterback’s hands. He’s also a heavy hitter over the middle of the field who won’t be bullied by bigger wide receivers or tight ends. In the run game, McKinney shows good understanding of angles and arrives with force to meet running backs.
Perhaps McKinney’s most intriguing ability is his versatility. He can account for half the field deep at safety, cover tight ends or slot receivers in man, or even slot into a linebacker position on passing downs. Even if McKinney doesn’t reach his full potential as a starting safety, head coach Brian Flores should be able to find rotational roles for him in any weekly gameplan.
By drafting Tua Tagovailoa at fifth overall, the Dolphins have gotten a new face for their franchise. With McKinney, they’ve got a similar piece for their re-made defense. Scouts and teammates rave about his football IQ and competitiveness on the field. He should quickly become a leader both on the field and in the locker room.”
Grade the Dolphins’ pick
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