With the NFL draft less than two weeks away, teams are continuing their preparation for the three-day event with the hopes of adding players to improve their rosters for years to come.
As they’re doing that, nearly every outlet is trying to predict just exactly who these teams could select in the draft, including Luke Easterling of Draft Wire, whose recent mock draft has the Miami Dolphins selecting Cincinnati edge defender Myjai Sanders with the team’s first pick.
Sanders, 23, spent four seasons with Cincinnati, recording 119 tackles (24.5 for loss), 13.5 sacks and 12 pass deflections. In 2021, Pro Football Focus gave him a 20.2% pass-rush win rate, which is comparable to Jaelan Phillips’ 20.4% he received before he was taken in the first round of last year’s draft.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compared Sanders to Arden Key, who has recorded 9.5 sacks in his first four NFL seasons but has mostly played a rotational role. Here’s what Zierlein wrote about the Bearcat:
“Three-year starter whose unorthodox movements can be off-putting until you realize they also help put him in position to make plays. Whether playing the run or rushing the passer, Sanders is flexible and slippery, making it hard to sustain run blocks and mirror him during pass sets. He needs to diversify his rush counters but has the foot quickness and efficiency of movement to cut a cleaner path into the pocket. Sanders is a segmented mover with a slender build and might need a move to 3-4 outside linebacker to keep from being mauled by NFL blocking. He has the potential to earn snaps as a designated pass rusher.”
If anything, it feels like Sanders projects to be a role player at the NFL level. Miami, like all teams, needs those role players, but they may be able to go after a bigger need.