Minkah Fitzpatrick dressed right for his role Thursday at the NFL draft in Dallas Preston Tucker Atlanta Braves Jersey , wearing a white double-breasted suit that looked like it was straight out of "Miami Vice."
Next stop: South Florida.
The Dolphins selected the versatile All-America safety from Alabama with the 11th overall pick. Fitzpatrick was widely projected as a likely top-10 pick and said he had no inkling he would wind up with Miami, which made his eye-catching choice of outfits a happy accident.
"I was just trying to do something that wasn't too bright, wasn't too flashy, but also stood out a little bit," he said with a laugh.
What the Dolphins liked most about Fitzpatrick's look were the two national championship rings he wore. He became a starter as a freshman and helped the Crimson Tide win titles in 2015 and 2017.
He had a school-record four interception returns for touchdowns at Alabama and gives the Dolphins a playmaker in the secondary, where he'll be paired with Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones.
"My dream wasn't just to make it to the NFL, but to be a great player in the NFL," Fitzpatrick said. "This is just the beginning."
The Dolphins need the defensive help. They allowed 24.6 points last year to rank fourth-worst in the NFL, and salary cap concerns then led them to release their best defensive player, five-time Pro Bowl tackle Ndamukong Suh.
At Alabama, Fitzpatrick ranked among coach Nick Saban's favorite players. Last season he won the Bednarik Award and Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive player and defensive back.
In Miami he's expected to be deployed on occasion as a linebacker, as a blitzer or against big receivers.
"He's like a Swiss army knife," Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. "He does a lot of things really good. His skill set gives your defense a chance to be flexible and do a lot of different things."
Miami took Fitzpatrick over Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea despite glaring needs at those positions.
With the addition of Fitzpatrick http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-darius-leonard-jersey , veteran T.J. McDonald might be moved to linebacker. He started the final eight games at safety last year.
There had been speculation Miami might devote its first-round pick to a quarterback for only the second time since 1984, but four QBs were taken in the top 10 picks .
"We didn't think any of the quarterbacks would make it to us," Grier said. "We talked to a couple of teams about maybe moving up or down, but nothing real serious. If one of those guys was there, we would have talked about it, but we just didn't think anybody would be there."
The Dolphins will instead wait until a later round to draft a potential eventual successor to Ryan Tannehill 鈥?if they do so at all 鈥?and Luke Falk of Washington State might be the choice.
They'll also try to address needs at linebacker, defensive tackle and tight end in coming rounds. Their picks in the second and third rounds Friday are Nos. 42 and 73 overall.
PLAYERS TO PICK UP
MIKE SOROKA (SP, Atlanta Braves, 38 percent owned in Yahoo) – Soroka returned from the disabled list Wednesday, and despite being on a pitch limit, he made the most of his return to the mound against the Mets. He allowed just one hit and one walk in 6.1 innings, while striking out four batters. He won’t ever be a huge strikeout pitcher, but he should be owned in the majority of leagues as a fourth starter.
WILLY ADAMES (SS Youth Danny Shelton Jersey , Tampa Bay Rays, 11 percent) – Adames will get every chance to earn the everyday shortstop role for the Rays. He has the upside to contribute across the board, and he should be owned in 12-team leagues with a middle infielder.
MIGUEL SANO (3B, Minnesota Twins, 81 percent) – Sano is owned widely but might be at his low as a fantasy asset. The Twins shocked the baseball world by sending him to Triple-A on Thursday, as he’s struggled to get it going after his 2017 All-Star season. If you have the patience and the room, now’s the time to buy low on Sano, who has out-of-this-world potential.
TOM MURPHY (C, Colorado Rockies, 1 percent) – If a catcher has a pulse, fantasy owners should be interested. Chris Iannetta or Tony Wolters aren’t a threat, as they aren’t even hitting their weight. Murphy, meanwhile http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , was hitting .289 in Triple-A, and he just got the call to Colorado. He’s a power-hitting catcher with a pedigree, and that gives him a real chance to be a top 5 catcher in fantasy going forward if he gets everyday at-bats.
TWO-START PITCHERS TO STREAM
DYLAN COVEY (SP, Chicago White Sox, 18 percent) – Covey has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners this season with his good strikeout rate, low walk rate and 2.29 ERA for the White Sox. There are better matchups out there than Cleveland and Oakland, but Covey should earn your trust in a two-start week.
MIKE MONTGOMERY (SP, Chicago Cubs, 17 percent) – Montgomery has filled in admirably for the injured Yu Darvish. He gives an added boost to those in points leagues, as he has relief pitcher eligibility. Montgomery is slated to start against the Dodgers and at the Reds next week.
JAIME BARRIA (SP, Los Angeles Angels, 27 percent) – With Shohei Ohtani out for the foreseeable future, Barria will get his shot to stick in the Angels rotation on a full-time basis.
HITTERS TO STREAM
BRIAN ANDERSON (3B Dallas Goedert Jersey Eagles , Miami Marlins, 46 percent) – If Anderson were in any other market, he’d be more highly owned. Anderson and the Marlins get six games against the Giants and the Rockies on the road next week. He’s worth streaming and owning for the long run.
JAY BRUCE (OF, New York Mets, 34 percent) – The newly-signed three-year deal hasn’t quite worked out for Bruce or the Mets yet, but Coors Field could be the scenery he needs to get going.
DUSTIN FOWLER (OF, Oakland Athletics 4 percent) – In Oakland’s six games next week, only one is scheduled to be against a lefty, which benefits Fowler. The Padres and White Sox are both in the top 10 for stolen bases allowed by a team this year. Expect Fowler to get plenty of run.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, .
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