The Miami Dolphins selected Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene with the 30th overall pick in the 2020 draft. Igbinoghene stands at 5’10” and weighs 198lbs. At the NFL combine, he recorded a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash and a 128-inch broad jump showcasing his speed and explosiveness. It is very apparent that Igbinoghene has limitless potential at the cornerback position and possess certain intangibles that Coach Brian Flores admires. The Dolphins are definitely getting a talented prospect in the Auburn corner, but he has a long way to go before he is a focal point of this Dolphins defense. Igbinoghene is still raw having only played cornerback for two seasons, and he has some technical areas of his game that he needs to improve on. However, if he is put in the right situation and developed correctly, Igbinoghene can be a star in this league.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) July 3, 2020
Igbinoghene is a perfect fit for the Dolphins and he embodies the Dolphins’ new culture. Like a lot of his teammates, Igbinoghene is versatile, competitive, and physical, and his playstyle matches perfectly with Flores’s defenses. At Auburn, he lined up mostly in man coverage pressed upon the receiver which is exactly what the Dolphins like to do. Athleticism and physicality are his biggest strengths, and he uses his speed and explosiveness to overcome his lack of technique. On film Igbinoghene, showcases incredible speed and solid mirroring skills. He has really good hips and is able to redirect his lower half to mirror the receiver. Igbinoghene has the elite body control and an explosive burst, and there are not too many moves that the 200 lb corner can’t handle. He is always in reach of his receiver and stays physical throughout the route. One of his best traits is his competitiveness. When watching him play, it is easy to spot his innate toughness and unwillingness to give an inch. Igbinoghene was a very raw cornerback playing in the SEC, the best conference in college football. He lined up against some of the best college receivers in Ja’Marr Chase, Jerry Jeudy, Van Jefferson, and Devonta Smith and competed against all of him. Igbinoghene shows a lot of promise and has an opportunity to be a part of this up and coming defense.
Although Igbinoghene has plenty of potential, he still needs time to develop and learn the cornerback position. Auburn initially recruited him to play wide receiver, but they had a need at defensive back in 2018 and Igbinoghene took full advantage of the opportunity. He made his first start against Washington, and Igbinoghene led a successful season leading the team in pass breakups. However, since he only recently started playing defensive back, Igbinoghene lacks technique and experience. He has not had the time to gain the experience necessary to develop his coverage instincts, and he uses his athleticism to compensate for this, but sometimes he is unable to make up for it. His physicality can lead him to be extra touchy which can lead to unnecessary penalties, and his willingness to play press-man defense makes him vulnerable at times. Igbinoghene needs to work on his footwork as well as other fundamentals which is why coaching is crucial for him. Igbinoghene has all the tools to be successful, but he needs time to learn the position better and develop as a defensive back.
The Miami Dolphins are the perfect team for Igbinoghene, and Flores is the perfect coach for him and will be the catalyst to his success. Igbinoghene is going to the perfect setup because the defensive scheme lines up with his strengths and the environment is perfect for him to learn in. Coach Flores is a very esteemed defensive mind and had a lot of success coaching New England’s secondary. Flores will be able to develop Igbinoghene’s technique and fundamentals, as those are Coach Flo’s pillars. Igbinoghene will also be joining a very successful and deep secondary room with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Howard and Jones are regarded as the top five in their position group. Jones and Howard could be great mentors for Igbinoghene, and with them, on the team, there is no rush to put Igbinoghene in a huge role. This will allow him the necessary time to gain experience and learn the cornerback position.