The Miami Dolphins used the 2017 Draft to improve the defense. It was evident about the commitment to that side of the ball with five of the team’s picks were to add starters and depth.
As Thomas Galicia of Bleacher Report wrote, “The hope with this year’s draft is that Miami can continue to build on the success of a surprising and satisfying 2016 season. One could say the success started in the draft, as the [Miami] Dolphins saw offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil fall to them at 13 due to unfortunate circumstances. Then in Round 2, the team drafted Xavien Howard, who showed promise at corner in his rookie season.”
As fellow Inscriber Digital Magazine Rick O’Donnell told me as the draft unfolded, the Miami Dolphins may not be making exciting picks, but they are making smart picks. If the defense can force their opponents off the field so the offense can score at will, the mission will be accomplished.
While I was determined to see the Miami Dolphins use the first few rounds to help the pass rush and the secondary as well as add an offensive lineman, I was only partially correct. The players selected may not have been the ones I originally predicted, but they will help fill needs and provide depth.
Here is a look at the Dolphins seven draft picks and analysis from their draft picks back in April.
Round 1, Rock 22 – Charles Harris, Defensive End, Missouri
I had Taco Charlton at this spot for months, but Harris makes a world of sense. The Missouri product will contribute right away and eventually replace Cam Wade. Harris has one of the best first steps off the snap in this draft and could be a double-digit sack artist in his second season Grade – A-
Round 2, Pick 54 – Raekwon McMillan, Linebacker, Ohio State
There were other linebackers on the board to choose from (Zach Cunningham) but the Dolphins fill a need here with a solid player. I like his size at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds. He has good speed and will right into the rotation. Along with Kiko Alonzo and Lawrence Timmons, the Dolphins have a nice trio in the middle of the defense. Grade – B
Round 3, Pick 97 – Cordrea Tankersley, Defensive Back, Clemson
There were one or two publications that had Miami taking the Clemson product with their first pick. So, in my Mel Kiper voice, this is great value at this spot. He is a solid cornerback at 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds. Miami traded down to get him, which makes it an even better pick. Grade – B+
Round 5, Pick 164 – Isaac Asiata, Guard, Utah
I had Asiata going in the third round, so I am not sure how he slipped this far. There was so much talk about Miami landing Forrest Lamp in the first round, so I am a bit shocked they waited to this pick to shore up the offensive line. A definite grader at 6-foot-3 and 323 pounds. He has a chance to earn a starting job in training camp. Even after his late round selection. Grade B
Round 5, Pick 178 – Davon Godchaux, Defensive Tackle, LSU
The Dolphins got a good one here. At 310 pounds, he could stand to gain some weight and would remain effective. Miami finished 2nd to last in rush yards/att (4.84) allowed last season. South Florida welcomes any and all defensive line help. He will work his way into the rotation and earn more playing time as the year progresses. A future starter for sure. Grade B-
Round 6, Pick 194 – Vincent Taylor, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma State
Another one of those big linemen who may be a bit underweight when facing strong offensive linemen. In fact, Taylor gets after the pocket from the middle of the defense and has enough leverage to push the center and guards back at the point of the snap. Overall, it’s a good move to get this kind of depth this late in the draft. Grade C
Round 7, Pick 237 – Isaiah Ford, Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech
According to Galicia, coming in at 6’1″, 194 pounds, Ford has great length to be able to play on the outside but could bulk up some. He was productive with the Hokies in 2016, nabbing 79 receptions for 1,094 yards and seven touchdowns. This is a strong move, not only to add a fourth or fifth wideout to the receiving corps, but Ford could help the return game as well. Grade C
Analysis – Did I mention this team had a plan and filled needs? In looking over the Miami Dolphins’ choices, it is obvious Head Coach Adam Gase is getting his offense ready to move toward the top of the NFL. The defense needed help. It needed youth, speed, and athleticism. This draft afforded them those type of players.
Grade – B