Miami Dolphins rookies shine on Saturday against the Raiders
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins seem to have drafted a pretty good draft class this year and on Saturday night, they showed why fans should be excited.
The Dolphins played host to the Raiders on Saturday and lost on a final drive missed field goal, Jason Sanders’ first miss of the season. Miami lost in the same way the Buccaneers lost to Miami last weekend.
While the running game left questions in the minds of fans, the passing game seemed to flourish well enough, but the rookies have given fans a reason to be excited about the future.
Third-round pick Channing Tindall.
After two weeks of preseason football, we know that Tindall still has a lot of work to do but the rookie’s speed and pursuit angles have been good and his point of attack has also been noticed.
Tindall was credited with six total tackles, four of them solo. That’s a good outing for the young interior linebacker and his play was consistent.
Erik Ezukanma shined in his first extensive action.
In preseason week one, Ezukanma showed a couple of flashes in very limited play but against the Raiders, Ezukanma shined in the second half. EZ-E as he is being called posted a second-half stat line of six receptions for 114 yards including an incredible turn adjustment on an inside pass from Skylar Thompson.
EZ is making a case for the 4th WR role on the squad and to be honest, it’s a walkaway for him at this point. He is running exceptional routes and his hands have been near perfect.
Cameron Goode has not gone unnoticed, quite the opposite.
In week one, I noticed Cameron Goode more than I did Tindall. On Saturday night against the Raiders, I noticed both and could see a future where both linebackers are the starters. Is that time now? Of course not, but down the road, these two could be very good in Miami system.
Goode, like Tindall, has been consistently good and making plays. He had five tackles, three solo, and one of those was for a loss against the Raiders. He is standing out and will provide Miami quality depth, for now.
Skylar Thompson brings a different feel to the game.
On Saturday, Tua Tagovailoa directed Miami for two opening series before giving way to Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater looked rusty. Yes he made a couple of nice throws but he looked slower than I remember.
In the 4th quarter, Thompson came into the game and the fans were ecstatic. Thompson brings a different energy to the offense. He is that young slinger who is competing but more importantly, he is getting better each day.
Thompson was the best QB statistically on Saturday night. He was 9 of 10 for 129 yards and one touchdown. He also led the Dolphins on the final field goal attempt at the end of the game. Bridgewater, who played two-quarters of football was 10/20 for 119 yards taking one sack for safety. I’m not saying that Thompson is better than Bridgewater but he is making a strong case to be kept on the final 53-man roster.
Grades for each of the rookies
There is no question that each of them receives a grade of “A”. All of Miami’s draft picks stood out Saturday night giving fans a reason to believe that the future of this team is being built from within.