We’re back to the Miami Dolphins in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft for their second of three first-round picks. With the fifth overall pick, the Dolphins took Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but now interim general manager popcornstadium has got his eyes set on the other side of the ball.
With the 18th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins have taken Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. Here’s popcornstadium with the reasoning:
“The Dolphins have to be a little disappointed with the way the first round fell so far. Runs at two positions have sapped the talent available at some of their biggest needs: offensive tackle and wide receiver. Instead of taking a second-tier prospect at one of those positions, the Dolphins find value in edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos.
Gross-Matos has prototypical physical features for a pass rusher in Brian Flores’ defense. Though he didn’t run at the NFL Combine, he shows impressive burst and quickness on the field. His frame is ideal for an edge rusher, measuring nearly identical to blue chip prospect Chase Young. He also compares favorably to Young statistically. He totaled 111 total career tackles to Young’s 98, and 36.5 tackles for a loss to Young’s 40.5.
Gross-Matos wracked up those numbers through a non-stop motor, mature understanding of his gap responsibilities, and effective use of his long arms to maintain leverage on offensive linemen. Those arms are the trait that jumps out most, as he uses them to keep blockers away and create a huge tackling radius. He’s able to hold his point as a play develops before powerfully and decisively bursting into the backfield to bring down a back or pressure the passer.
Gross-Matos’s paltry 18.5 career sacks are a bit of a blemish on his record, but that’s why we’re talking about him as a mid-first round pick instead of the top of the draft. It will take time and coaching for Gross-Matos to improve his hand technique and expand his set of reliable pass rush tools. In fact, taking a high-floor, low-ceiling offensive tackle like Josh Jones would probably be better for their record in 2020. But just like with Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins are playing the long game selecting a player with the potential for dominance in 2021.
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