Luke Allen's final 2023 Miami Dolphins draft grades

NFL Combine - Portraits
NFL Combine - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

A week removed from the NFL Draft, we've had time to digest and get to know the Miami Dolphins' 2023 draft class. With only four picks in the entire draft, there was speculation Miami would look to wheel and deal for additional picks, but the Dolphins stayed put with their own four picks and drafted four young newcomers to hopefully bolster their roster.

Here is how I think the Dolphins did in the draft, pick by pick.

1. Round 2 (51st overall): Cam Smith, CB South Carolina

Cam Smith
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Grade: B+

The Dolphins' first pick in the draft came on Friday night in round two, where they selected the University of South Carolina's Cam Smith. Smith, possessing great length at 6'1 with 31 and 1/8 inch arms, started 19 games in three years in college. What sticks out to me when watching Smith's tape is his versatility. It's hard to find him pre-snap because he is so versatile, moving from outside corner to slot corner fairly often. The Dolphins pick up a solid, versatile depth piece in the secondary and do a nice job of not reaching for a tight end or offensive lineman.

2. Round 3 (84th overall): Devon Achane, RB Texas A&M

Devon Achane
LSU v Texas A&M / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Grade: A-

Devon Achane was one of the best running backs on my board going into the draft. It makes complete sense the Dolphins wanted to add another body to their running back corps. Achane is a smaller body at 5'8, 122 lbs, but he plays much bigger. An exciting blend of speed, strength and a little bit of 'beast mode', Achane may be the sleeper of the round. He will be a spark plug for the Dolphins offense.

3. Round 6 (197th overall): Elijah Higgins, WR/TE Stanford

Elijah Higgins
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Grade: B+

The Dolphins wait out three more rounds until their next selection in the sixth round and their pick is Elijah Higgins from Stanford. Higgins was more of a wide receiver than tight end at Stanford, but it appears the 6'3 pass-catcher will find his role at tight end in Miami. It's a really nice pickup for the Dolphins, as Higgins is another versatile player with experience both split out wide as a receiver and lined up inside as a tight end. The big-bodied pass catcher produced 59 catches for 704 yards and scored twice for Stanford last season.

4. Round 7 (238th overall): Ryan Hayes, OL Michigan

Ryan Hayes
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Grade: C+

With their final pick in the seventh round, the Miami Dolphins selected Michigan offensive tackle Ryan Hayes. Any time you can grab an offensive lineman from Michigan, you should probably do so. Hayes, who initially signed on with Michigan as a tight end, converted to offensive tackle and carved out a nice little niche for himself as a swing tackle for Michigan over the last few seasons. Again, the Dolphins draft a versatile player who can play multiple positions, which is becoming a recurring theme here. While Hayes doesn't have stellar tape and may be better off converting back to tight end, Miami gets decent value here in one of the last picks in the draft.

Overall grade: B+

The Dolphins went into the draft with only four picks and only a few glaring needs on the roster, namely tight end. Miami was creative in how they addressed the tight end position, drafting a receiver and offensive tackle with tight end experience. However, the main takeaway here is that the Dolphins did not reach -- they took their best player available with their first two picks. Defensive back and running back are two positions in which you can never have enough depth.

Do I think Miami knocked this draft out of the park? No. But did the Dolphins miss on any picks here? I don't think so. Cam Smith should immediately contribute as at least a situational defensive back and Devon Achane should get some carries next season, while the two hybrid tight ends should both be able to compete for significant playing time.

But these are all preliminary grades. We won't know how good this draft class is until we see these rookies on the field. It'll be exciting to see how each draft pick carves out their role and what sort of impact they will have on this team. The bottom line is I think the Dolphins did what they needed to do, but it's up to the individuals to prove it out on the field.