Prior to the 2016 NFL season, if a second AFC East team was going to make the playoffs as a Wild Card it was likely going to be the New York Jets. However, the Jets had a terrible season in 2016, and out of nowhere, the Miami Dolphins made an incredible run to the playoffs. The Dolphins were one of the hottest teams in football during the second half, and while they were crushed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, they have to be happy with where their organization is headed.
First-year head coach Adam Gase appears to have changed the culture in Miami, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill played some of the best football of his career. The Dolphins defensive front was pretty impressive as well, as Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake struck fear in the hearts of their opponents. Despite losing Olivier Vernon to the New York Giants, the Dolphins defense was strong, but they need to add to the unit if they want to stay a playoff team.
Derek Barnett of Tennessee is one of the more explosive players in this draft, and he has the motor to be an impact player at the next level. Barnett broke Hall of Famer Reggie White’s career sack record at Tennessee this past season, and he should bring that kind of impact to the NFL. He is as good off the ball as any player in this draft, and he and Wake would form incredible bookends at the edge for the 2017 NFL season.