After trading the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the No. 30 overall pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick, the Miami Dolphins selected CB Noah Igbinoghene out of the University of Auburn.
On the surface it’s confusing as to why Miami drafted a CB after already having the two highest paid players in the NFL at that position. The Dolphins’ Xavien Howard is entering his second year of his five-year contract extension and Miami acquired Byron Jones from the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 free agency. Howard is being paid $75 million dollars across the five year span and Jones is being paid $82.5 million dollars across five years as well.
So obviously these two aren’t losing their starting jobs.
Still, all three can play on the field at once. But how?
Igbinoghene is a nickel. Not only can he fluctuate between positions, but all three of these CBs can rotate without it being a problem. Drafting Igbinoghene opens the door for Jones to play safety.
Did a Light Bulb Go Off in Your Head Yet?
Last season Brian Flores began moving defensive players to different positions to see how they fared. This is what lead to safety Minkah Fitzpatrick being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, for the now Austin Jackson pick. Flores said he wanted to put the best 11 guys on the field, even if it meant throwing their positions out the window. So now, Flores is able to do that with this deadly trio.
Dolphins Take Igbinoghene Over Multiple Safeties
This move also tells us that despite safeties Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit on the board, Flores and General Manager Chris Grier have more faith in Igbinoghene, Jones and Howard to rotate positions than their confidence in the top safeties in the draft.
Igbinoghene began his college career as a wide receiver, but switched to the opposite side of the ball to begin his sophomore campaign.
He’s extremely physical from snap to whistle with the strength to alter route timing from press. Igbinoghene’s naturally aggressive instinct to ambush catch tries and he’s good in run support and offers early special teams help while he continues developing.
Development Needed for PI, Footwork
However, he sometimes struggles with finding the ball and is often flagged for pass interference. Thankfully, this is a skill that will improve with development. Howard was also dinged with this in his NFL draft profile prior to him being drafted and the improvement in his game could foreshadow Igbinoghene’s.
Furthermore, the Dolphins are going to need to monitor his footwork and fluidity as he enters the NFL. With playing just two years as a CB his development is just a little behind where it should be. Miami will also need to teach him to tackle lower on the body so he isn’t burned with missed tackles.