DAVIE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Dolphins had plenty of options when it was their turn to pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
A rebuilding project has left the Dolphins perceived as NFL lightweights, and to help change that, they used their top pick on a 315-pound defensive tackle, Clemson’s Christian Wilkins.READ MORE: Living Large: 1000 Museum Boasts Penthouse With South Florida's Only Helipad
The Dolphins went 7-9 in 2018, and after shedding numerous veterans from the roster this offseason, they’re widely expected to be worse this year under new coach Brian Flores. The Dolphins’ odds for winning the Super Bowl are 250 to 1, longest in the NFL.
Even so, Wilkins was so happy to be selected by Miami that he celebrated by leaping into Commissioner Roger Goodell on the draft stage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Miami passed on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 13 overall pick, and instead attempted to shore up a defense that last year allowed 6,257 yards, most in franchise history.READ MORE: 'To Police Well, You Have To Be Well Yourself:' Program Addresses Officer Mental Health
The draft was deep in defensive linemen, and some projected Wilkins as a top-10 pick. Last year the first-team All-American had 15 tackles for a loss and six sacks to help the Tigers win the national championship. He’s the first Clemson scholarship player to earn a degree in 2 1/2 years.
Miami has used a first-round pick on a quarterback only once since 1983. Well-traveled veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with the Dolphins in March, and they’ve acknowledged he’s merely a caretaker, but the draft wasn’t deep at the position.
The Dolphins might pursue Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen, who is on the trade market after the Cardinals used the No. 1 overall pick to take quarterback Kyler Murray of Oklahoma. Arizona took Rosen with the 10th overall pick last year, and the former UCLA star had a rocky rookie season.
With a multitude of needs still to be addressed, the Dolphins have one pick in the second round and another in the third round Friday. They’ll be in the market for a defensive lineman and right tackle, among other positions.MORE NEWS: Police: Glades Middle School Teacher Arrested After Pursuing Romantic Relationship With Former Student
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