With the draft less than a week away, PhinPhanatic.com will look back at the past seven Miami Dolphins draft classes. Each article will examine who the Dolphins selected in the draft. Today we look back at 2016.
After the Ricky Williams saga, who would have thought a ‘bong video’ would turn out to be a positive for the Dolphins but that is exactly what happened on draft night last year.
Ten minutes before the draft began someone hacked Laremy Tunsil’s Twitter account and posted a video of him smoking marijuana from a ‘bong mask’. With little time to react, several teams steered clear of Tunsil but not the Miami Dolphins who selected G/T Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss with the 13th pick in the 2016 Draft.
Other teams’ loss was Miami’s game as Tunsil stayed out of trouble and started 14 games at LG/LT last year. With the departure of Branden Albert, Tunsil appears primed to be Miami’s starting LT for the next four years, at least. Pick Grade: A
The Dolphins wanted CB Xavien Howard, Baylor badly enough that they traded away their 4th round selection to move up four spots 42nd overall to 38th) to get him.
Howard battled two knee injuries/surgeries and only started 6 games in his rookie year and didn’t record an interception. It’s way too early to give up on Howard and Miami is expecting a major contribution from him in 2017. Pick Grade: B
With the 73rd overall pick, Miami selected RB Kenyan Drake from Alabama. Coming out of college, Drake was considered a speedy running back with excellent kick-return potential but scouts worried about his durability and that he didn’t start at Alabama.
In his rookie season, Drake was used sparingly as a running back but averaged 5.4 yds/carry last season. His biggest contribution was as a kick returner averaging 30.5 yards on his 13 kick returns, including a 96-yard TD against the Jets.
Adam Gase probably would like to get Drake more involved in the offense this season so expect Drake to exceed the 33 carries he got last season while continuing to be Miami’s primary kick returner. Pick Grade: Drake B
In a surprise move, the Dolphins traded back into the third round and selected WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers with the 86th selection. To make that move, Miami surrendered their 3rd and 4th round picks in the 2017 Draft.
Carroo may turn out to be a stud but when a team gives up two future mid-round selections, you don’t expect that player to have three receptions and end the season behind an undrafted rookie (Rashwan Scott) on the depth chart. Pick Grade: Carroo D
As a result of the second round trade, Miami did not have a selection in the fourth round.
The Dolphins traded their 5th round pick to New England in exchange for two 6th round picks and a 7th round pick.
Due to the 5th round trade, Miami came into this round with two selections. Their first pick (186 overall) was used on WR Jakeem Grant from Texas Tech.
The selection of Grant was similar to the reasoning behind the Drake pick. Grant’s speed made him a potential play-maker and added value as a kick returner. Grant did nothing on offense but returned a punt for a TD against the Titans. However, his four fumbles on punt returns relegated him to second-string punt returner at the end of the season. Pick Grade: C
S Jordan Lucas, Penn State was Miami second 6th round pick (204). Lucas was limited to eight games on the active roster and he was credited with two assists on tackles. Unless he contributes further on special teams this year, don’t expect to see Lucas on the Dolphins in 2017. Pick Grade: D
Miami finished out the draft by selecting two players: QB Brandon Doughty (223) from W Kentucky and TE Thomas Duarte (231) out of UCLA. Both players spent the entire season on the Dolphins practice squad; a place they figure to remain in 2017 if they aren’t outright waived. Pick Grade: D for both
In summary, Miami got a steal with Tunsil, a possible starting CB (Howard) and a potentially solid backup/KR at RB (Drake). Those gains are offset by the sour taste in fans’ mouths over the Carroo pick that took two valuable selections away from Miami in this year’s draft. Overall Draft Grade: B-