The Miami Dolphins 2017 draft is complete. After selecting seven players over the last three days Miami turns their attention to undrafted rookies and getting back to work.
This of course means it’s time to grade the draft. Which means that you will likely read those grades then complain about why grades are given to a draft that has not even touched the field of play yet. And I will ignore the call for me to be fired.
I’m kidding, well sort of. The reality is you can’t grade a draft until a year or two down the road and sometimes it takes a little longer. On paper you can grade how Miami filled their needs and how well they added depth. It’s subjective.
Charles Harris – round 1
On Friday Harris was a B after the teams second round pick it bumped to an B+. Harris will not see the field on all three downs every series in 2017 but let’s remember the Dolphins don’t want him to. In fact they don’t want Cameron Wake to either. Or Andre Branch, or William Hayes. Miami wants to rotate and Harris will do that all the while learning how Wake plays the game. Harris will eventually replace Wake for good and while he is a pass rush specialist. He is a very good pass rush specialist.
Raekwon McMillan – round 2
Many predicted the linebacker to go in round one and the fact that he was still on the board in round two at pick 54 was very surprising. The Dolphins could have gone with the more rounded Zach Cunningham but Miami liked McMillan’s speed and run support ability. McMillan is a tackle machine, much like new MLB Lawrence Timmons and OLB Kiko Alonso. Both of who registered 100 tackles in 2017. The Dolphins have put emphasis on stopping the run and McMillan should help that.
Cordrea Tankersley – round 3 (compensatory)
Tankersley has some coverage issues but has room to grow and develop. The idea is that in another year he will have progressed enough to possibly take over for Byron Maxwell on the outside. Tankersley needs to work harder on his initial hit and less on his reaction to slow down but overall he is a talented CB who will contribute in nickel situations and on special teams in 2017. He must however improve in his run support because it is a glaring weakness.
Isaac Asiata – round 5
Asiata may be the best draft pick of this class and should be a day one starter at either guard position. He is a mean mauler guard who plays 100% every snap. Asiata brings an attitude to the team and it’s still unclear why he fell to round five. Miami moved up the draft board to get him swapping 5th round picks and another 5th for a sixth round pick. Asiata could and should be a fun player to watch throughout camp and through the season. He isn’t a fast moving guard but Miami drafted him to be tough and bruising.
Davon Godchaux – round 5 (compensatory)
The Dolphins entered the 2017 draft needing defensive tackle help. The top of the draft was not thick in day one starters at the position so Miami waited until the value started to show. Godchaux will help the Dolphins because his is good against the run. Miami was not thrilled with what they saw in Jordan Phillips last year and know they have to be able to rotate him. That may not be Godchaux this year but he should see plenty of playing time in his rookie season.
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Vincent Taylor – round 6
Back to back defensive lineman and both have different skill sets. Where Godchaux plays well against the run, Taylor is a pocket collapsing upfield pusher who can wreck havoc on passing downs. He will join the rotation if he can show the same capabilites as he did in college and get more consistent.
Isaiah Ford – round 7
Ford could be a major steal in the 7th round. He will need to get acclimated to the physicality of the NFL but he has excellent hands and is a quarterback friendly receiver who makes himself available to the QB. Ford is an excellent selection and should see a real chance to make the roster on a crowded unit. In 2016 the Dolphins kept Landry, Carroo, Stills, and Parker. With Stills back in the mix the Dolphins still have room to see if Ford can earn a spot.
The Dolphins finished the weekend strong with the drafting of Ford and the overall picture of the draft indicates that Miami is looking to improved depth with quaility players who have great upside and potential who will start in another year or two at the most.
Of this years class, four players could be starting making big impacts on the roster and another player has the potential to become a top 4th receiver.