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Miami Dolphins 2017 NFL Draft Recap

Hello Miami,

First year head coach Adam Gase finally got his shot at being the head honcho making all the calls. Gase not only help improve Ryan Tannehill’s game, but he helped guide the Dolphins back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Adam Gase didn’t have to incorporate a wildcat type of offensive to make his team good either, so that’s a double bonus on his part. Gase and Kyle Shanahan are very similar in the way of being very confident in their ability to take whomever on offensive and turn them into stars. Realizing this, Gase wants to stock and pile up on the defensive side of the ball in order to give his offense plenty of opportunities to drive down the field and score. How did Miami do in obtaining some good guys to bulk up the defense? Let’s dive right in to the draft and find out.

-1st Round, Pick #22: Charles Harris – Linebacker (Missouri)

  • Listed as a linebacker, but will be a 4-3 defensive end for Miami. The Dolphins didn’t quite have a pass rusher to line up opposite side of Cameron Wake, well now they have one. Charles Harris was a pass rush artist in college and will hopefully will continue to do so at the next stage of his career. Journeyman William Hayes is the current starter above Charles, but anyone would be foolish to think William will keep that job full time all year long. Harris has good burst off the line and can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. Miami needed a player like Charles Harris. His versatility will come in handy if the Dolphins run into another season full of injuries. Something also to ponder is the fact Miami released Dion Jordan earlier this year, the bust from the 2013 draft Miami selected third overall. Charles Harris is essentially replacing him and should exceed Dion Jordan’s legacy pretty quickly.

-2nd Round, Pick #54: Raekwon McMillan – Linebacker (Ohio State)

  • Miami needed to upgrade and add depth at the linebacker position. Raekwon McMillan does just that. He doesn’t do many things that stand out on film or impress you with his athletic build, but he is a solid football player that will do anything asked of him extremely well. Kiko Alonso is a returning starter that had a great season last year and Miami also brought in free agent Lawrence Timmons who is still has some gas in the tank. This core looks so much better on paper than the previous year. Raekwon McMillian will come in and compete with Koa Misi for the final starting spot in the 4-3 scheme. Either way, this front 7 for the Miami Dolphins is looking pretty fierce and could be a sleeper dark horse. Love these first two picks for Miami and I’m glad they noticed the strength of their team while adding talent to capitalize and build upon their defense.

-3rd Round, Pick #97: Cordrea Tankersley – Cornerback (Clemson)

  • Defense, defense, defense. The thing I like about the triple defensive addition is that it addressed all three levels. Charles Harris, Raekwon McMillian and Cordrea Tankerseley very well could be the young trio Miami decides to build around in the future on defense. Some may argue that Miami needed to boost their secondary, but fact is they were a solid group that is better than most anticipated. Byron Maxwell isn’t as good as he thinks he is, but still is a good quality corner that can shadow some teams’ number one. Tony Lippett was the teams’ leading interceptor while Bobby McCain and Xavien Howard contributed a good amount as well. Tankersley increases the depth and talent of this secondary for sure and is in a good mix to help this team compete against the likes of the AFC’s top tier teams (Patriots and Steelers). Tankersley may not be the starter, but he’ll certainly make an impact for Miami right away.

-5th Round, Pick #164: Isaac Asiata – Offensive Guard (Utah)

  • Isaac Asiata is a tremendous run blocker and helped guide Joe Williams to spectacular rushing totals last college season. Now he’s on another team that wants to feature a bruising back in Jay Ajayi and Isaac can absolutely make a difference if given the opportunity. Miami doesn’t have the best guards in the league and many projected for them to grab Forrest Lamp in the first round, but with him still on the board at pick number 22, the Dolphins decided to go another route and get someone that better fit their system. This year wasn’t the best draft class to obtain a franchise type offensive lineman, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any diamonds in the rough to discover in the later rounds. The first offensive lineman wasn’t selected until pick number 20 and there were only two selected in the whole first round altogether. That created the market for offensive lineman for the whole draft and caused a domino effect throughout. Good starting quality offensive lineman fell farther than they should have and because of what round they were drafted in, certain people disregard them or disapprovingly put negative reports toward them. Isaac Asiata will be an upgrade for this team.

-5th Round, Pick #178: Davon Godchaux – Defensive Tackle (LSU)

  • The Dolphins could not stop the run last year. They allowed 4.84 yards per rush attempt last season. They need a way to stuff the running lanes and stop the ball carrier. Also, if you look at the Miami Dolphins official depth chart you’ll notice the lack of defensive tackles on the roster. You have obvious starters Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips atop of the depth chart then nothing, nada, zilch. The Dolphins emphasized how much they want their defense to help guide them to a winning season and be successful. Davon Godchaux is a fifth rounder, but he’ll be in a prominent role as a rotational player early in his career. I also want to make note that he was a projected second to third round player, so Miami must feel like they got a good quality player here in the fifth round. Even if he doesn’t pan out, he’s still a well needed body to serve as depth.

-6th Round, Pick #194: Vincent Taylor – Defensive Tackle (Oklahoma State)

  • Miami continues to build their defensive unit. Mentioned with Davon Godchaux above, the Dolphins did not have any depth behind their two starters, so grabbing two defensive tackles here late in the draft makes complete sense. They got their run stuffer with Davon Godchaux and now they grab their pass rush type defensive tackle. Vincent Taylor disrupts the pocket on his way to rushing the quarterback; he even led his team last year with 13 tackles for a loss and seven sacks. Special teams are an important part of his game too as he tied the nation in blocked kicks. He and Godchaux will be a nice complementary duo coming off the bench.

-7th Round, Pick #237: Isaiah Ford – Wide Receiver (Virginia Tech)

  • Um, what? This has low risk, very high reward written all over it. I remember watching this prospects tape pre-draft and thought to myself that this kid would go higher than his fourth round projection, not falling all the way to the seventh round! I do not care what anyone says or thinks about this kid because he can flat out play some football and the Dolphins got themselves a steal late in the draft. Everyone know Jarvis Landry is the number one guy in Miami, but no one has really stood out enough to grasp and really take control of the number two spot. Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are the other two receivers that have made plays from time to time, but have unfortunately been inconsistent at times. Realistically, Jarvis plays majority of his snaps from the slot, so Isaiah Ford technically has to beat out one of the other receivers [Kenny or DeVante] in order to see a prominent role in the offense. Cannot believe Isaiah Ford fell this far. Great selection here in the seventh for the Dolphins.

 

Using six of their eight selections on the defensive side of the ball was the first step in acquiring an elite defense. We’ll see how these rookies perform their first year as I anticipate every single player seeing the field early and often throughout the year. Think this draft class is really underrated considering almost every player will be in important starting or rotational role, which doesn’t happen too often these days. No matter how you look at it, the Dolphins executed their draft plan and got the appropriate players they needed on their roster. Call me crazy, but they could compete with the New England Patriots within the conference and at least split a game with them. We’ll see how it plays out, but until next time, have a great day!

-Austin Thomas

 


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