The Miami Dolphins have traded linebacker Raekwon McMillan and a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick, confirmed by Dolphins head coach Brian Flores Saturday.
Miami gets a pick swap on day three of the NFL Draft next season while Las Vegas gets a run-stopping LB who will compete for snaps with a small LB group in need of depth.
Long Career Prediction From Flores
The 24-year-old McMillan, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, was a second-round pick for Miami in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Ohio State University. He has started 28 out of the 29 games he has played in during the last two seasons.
“He’s somebody who I have a lot of respect for,” Flores said. “He’s a talented player… I think he’s going to have a long career.”
McMillan Falling Down Dolphins Depth Chart
In those 28 games over the past two seasons, McMillan has fallen down the depth chart after the Dolphins acquired LBs Elandon Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Both signed in free agency from the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles respectively.
McMillan also looked to be on the fringe of the roster due to his lack of playing time during training camp and almost seemed to be the odd-man-out in formations. He was reportedly being considered as a cut-candidate, but once again Flores and General Manager Chris Grier got something out of almost nothing.
Promising Numbers After Missing Rookie Season
McMillan missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL but managed to get the starting middle linebacker job in 2018. He finished that season with 105 combined tackles and two forced fumbles in 16 games. In his career he has 177 combined tackles, two forced fumbles and two pass deflections.
LB: No Longer a Weak Spot For Miami
McMillian is a few years removed from being a second-round pick but is a talented LB and was a smart addition for one of the weakest positions on the roster. That being said however, the LB is no longer the weakest spot for the Dolphins in present-day.
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Miami also features LB Jerome Baker in its secondary, along with former Patriot left outside LB Kyle Van Noy, right outside LB Andrew Van Ginkel, LBs Avery Moss and Trent Harris who were just re-signed and a handful of rookies.
With McMillan gone in Miami, Dolphins LBs Van Noy, Grugier-Hill and Roberts are the likely candidates who should benefit the most and all see an increased role on defense. Flores has also coached Roberts while he was the defensive coordinator with New England.
McMillan Joining a Roster in Need of Depth
The Miami defense has also undergone multiple changes this offseason by acquiring defensive end Shaq Lawson, cornerback Byron Jones in addition to those LBs. The new look didn’t feature McMillan, who now joins a struggle LB corps in Las Vegas. The current projected starters include unrestricted free agent from the Chicago Bears, Nick Kwiatkoski, UFA from the Los Angeles Rams, Cory Littleton, and 2017 college free agent signing Nicholas Morrow.