The Dolphins had their final selection late in the 1st round with pick number 26, but instead of taking a player, they opted to trade back with the Green Bay Packers to slot number 30. With the 26th selection, the Packers shocked the world and selected Aaron Rodgers potential replacement in Jordan Love (that’s a story for another day).
Miami acquired an additional 4th round selection from the Packers, specifically pick number 136. With the 30th overall pick, the Dolphins added depth at a position that many thought was Miami’s strength, cornerback.
The team selected Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene, a long, physical cornerback who has shown serious promise ever since switching to defensive back from wideout just two years earlier. Igbinoghene (we’re going to need to get used to spelling that and pronouncing it) possesses ample speed, running a 4.48, and plays press coverage very well for a young corner still learning the position.
The Auburn corner will likely enter Miami’s stacked rotation as a slot corner, and his size allows him to match up with more physical receivers and tight ends. There are some flaws though. He is sometimes far too physical and struggles to turn his head when the ball is in the air. However, if he is not asked to cover on the boundary he will be tested far less in these situations.
It is important to note that Miami has many picks remaining, specifically, 13. With multiple picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the Dolphins can still address positions of need with selections of far better value. The Dolphins have a secret weapon in Brian Flores, his ability to coach the secondary is known and he proved it last season with his ability to bring the most out of many players who would not have been given a chance on other rosters.
With Igbinoghene’s raw and explosive skillset, Flores most likely was a fan. This pick would not have been made otherwise. If Flores believes he can maximize the Auburn star, then Miami may have landed a steal, but his need to develop is clear. Obviously it will be tough to determine how good or bad of a pick this right away, but it is important to remember that there were some other talented players on the board at 30. Specifically, two high end safeties in Xavier McKinney and Antoine Winfield Jr.
Regardless, the Dolphins have bolstered the secondary and added high quality depth. The way the Dolphins play defense lends itself to needing many weapons in the defensive backfield. The Dolphins now possess Byron Jones, Xavien Howard, Eric Rowe, Nik Needham, Bobby McCain, and now Noah Igbinoghene. Expect the team to add a free safety on day two, but Igbinoghene’s addition does bode well for the Dolphins defense in 2020.