Another day and more reports and speculation about the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft to be held in North Texas, and specifically, about what is a talented quarterback class. This time, it involves the Heisman winning QB from Oklahoma, Baker Mayfield, and his continued momentum towards being an early pick.
The bad news for everyone not holding at least a 10 if not sooner pick in round one? It looks like someone will take him or make a trade with a team who wants to “jump into” a top 10 spot to take Mayfield.
And that would include a team very interested in Mayfield, that sits just outside of that top 10, the Miami Dolphins.
First the latest news and info on the interest/pursuit of Mayfield came from Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko:
The Baker Mayfield series rolls on:
— What some NFL greats and not-so-greats have to say about Baker's mindset
— Baker's cross-country visit tour: CLE ✈️ BUF ✈️ Giants ? Jets ✈️ MIA ✈️ DEN ✈️ ARI
— John Dorsey with another food truck zingerhttps://t.co/EtshGusfVq
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) March 29, 2018
As Klemko lays out, there are not only suitors like the Browns (who have the first and the fourth picks), the Giants (#2) and the Jets (#3) who will be meeting at their facility with Mayfield in coming days, but there is also a team name in his story that is very interesting, but doesn’t currently have a top 10 pick.
That team is the Fins AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills.
Are they just doing diligence and being prepared for all scenarios?
Then again, with having the 12th pick, the 22nd pick, and having stock piled other second and third rounders in previous trade, are the Bills preparing to vault up? One of those trades was dealing their 2017 starter Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland in March.
A source close to the Bills management and their thinking told F.F.I. after Mayfield’s pro day, they are very much going to be a “buyer” and try to trade into the top five. And maybe even, trade to the Giants second spot.
The source telling us, what others already know and can forecast, that Giants new GM Dave Gettleman used to be the Bills GM Brandon Beane’s boss. Therefore, there is great possibility for some kind of deal if Buffalo wants to be aggressive.
Of course, the Giants need a successor to QB Eli Manning too, and most of their fans are poised to riot, if they don’t take a quarterback themselves with that second pick.
And now, back to the Dolphins.
As we have written, they also have met repeatedly with Mayfield, as it’s more likely that he would last out of the top five, if not that top 10 than USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen or UCLA’s Josh Rosen would.
And, Klemko has the Dolphins listed as one of the teams that will bring Mayfield to their facility soon for yet another interview.
We further know that the Miami has Ryan Tannehill coming of ACL surgery and just signed veteran Brock Osweiler to a one year deal, too. So, they don’t have to have a quarterback at all costs in the first round.
Still, if you really want the Sooners signal caller, and it’s now apparent that someone, including the Bills (whom you will see twice a year) are after him, you have to strongly consider a trade up, yourselves.
The pursuit of Mayfiled is obviously one of the big topics in South Floirda, and the news cycle will only ramp up in the coming days and weeks.
Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay
Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.
It just looks and feels that way.
Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.
Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.
Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.
The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.
Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.
Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.
It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.
Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.
The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year they got off to a 3 – 0 start.
So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.
Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.
No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.
Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field
Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Here’s what to watch:
Dolphins defensive coordinator Burke under scrutiny
It has been a tough few weeks for the Dolphins all the way around, but specifically on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles are mounting. And when you throw in a player pouting and essentially pulling a mutiny on the sidelines last Sunday, it’s not good for the defensive coordinator.
That’s what happened a week ago when Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones refused to go back in the game on two occasions during the second half of the Dolphins close 13 – 6 win over the Jets. It’s been a big topic in South Florida for the last few days, and it obviously has defensive coordinator Matt Burke having to answer for what’s going on in the defense of meeting rooms, practices, etc.
Dolphins Live: Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke meets with the media. https://t.co/2145Fq3uaU
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 8, 2018
As the press continued to poke at him about the Jones situation, you could tell that Burke is over it, as is coach Adam Gase, and they want to move on for this week. However, Jones didn’t make that any easier, when he basically refused to apologize for not wanting to play.
And, moving past it may also be easier said than done, when the opponent is All-Pro quarterback and former League MVP Aaron Rodgers at his house, Lambeau Field.
Yes, the Dolphins have some pass rushers, and that would include second-year defensive end and former number 1 pick Charles Harris returning to practice this week after a calf injury, and he may be able to play. Veteran Cam Wake came alive pressuring Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold repeatedly, and registering a couple of sacks.
However, the defensive plays have been few and far between, as the Dolphins have lost four of the last five games.
That brings us back to Burke, who was elevated after coaching the linebackers in 2016, when Vance Joseph left Miami to become Denver’s head coach. After spending his entire pro career as a linebackers coach, this is his first opportunity to be the guy in charge of the defense.
So, he and Gase can get aggravated with the questioning of what we’re seeing, but the bottom line is: if the Dolphins defense doesn’t continue to step it up, like they did last week, there is going to be much more scrutiny of him.
The oddsmakers have the Dolphins as double-digit underdogs to Rodgers and the Pack.
Now, let’s see if Burke’s unit will rally together, play solidly and give Miami a chance to win Sunday.
Miami Hurricanes1 day ago
Is Mark Richt coaching for his job next two games?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers5 days ago
Bucs staying with Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t appear to be Koetter decision only
Tampa Bay Buccaneers6 days ago
Redskins take classless social media “dig” at Bucs coach Koetter
Jacksonville Jaguars5 days ago
Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey implied Monday he wants out of Jacksonville