The Miami Dolphins only selected two defensive players in the 2016 NFL Draft, and they were both defensive backs. One was Baylor Bears CB Xavien Howard, who the Dolphins traded up in the second round to select. Then, after a slew of offensive picks including two more wide receivers, the Miami Dolphins traded with the New England Patriots and selected Jordan Lucas out of Penn State with the 204th overall pick.
Lucas, like Howard, is a big physical defensive back, measuring 6 feet, 201 pounds. He is unique because he is versatile and able to play both cornerback and safety for the team. With Reshad Jones, Michael Thomas and Louis Delmas slated to be the main starters at safety, Lucas should have a chance to make an immediate impact at the corner back position, especially covering the slot as a nickle guy.
Lucas had a very successful career in college over his four seasons. He became the team's starting CB his sophomore year, and appeared in 13, 12, and 9 games over the next three seasons. His numbers are a good reflection of his ability. Lucas totaled 181 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 25 passes defended, and 4 sacks. The numbers that really stick out are the 25 passes defended and the 4 sacks. This kind of production is exactly what the Dolphins need, especially seeing that their secondary struggled to force turnovers last season.
Given that the Dolphins managed to find a strong cornerback in the sixth round with 3 years of starter experience and production, I really love this pick.
Lucas has the rare ability to become the team's next Reshad Jones, a former sixth round pick out of Georgia who became a pro-bowler last season.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-