The 2016 NFL draft has come and gone and with it the Miami Dolphins have gotten a bit better. There are still plenty of holes to fill and more undrafted free agents to sign, but lets look at what the Phins were able to do in the draft.
|1(13)||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|6(11)||Jakeem Grant||WR||Texas Tech|
|6(29)||Jordan Lucas||S||Penn State|
|7(2)||Brandon Doughty||QB||Western Kentucky|
For my thoughts on the Tunsil pick you can check here. Basically, I love the pick and I think he will help out on the O-line tremendously. Tannehill will no longer have an excuse to get his pocket presence together. I feel the situation surrounding Tunsil was overblown and you will not hear much from that anymore. It all about football from here on out.
I discussed the Howard, Drake, and Carroo picks in this article here. I think these are all solid picks. Xavien Howard will likely be the opposite corner to Byron Maxwell. Kenyan Drake can help on 3rd downs and be the main returner for special teams. Leonte Carroo will have to carve out a role as the 4th receiver and be ready to step in for injured players. Miami made some questionable trades to get Howard and Carroo, but I won’t criticize them for going after players they want. These guys have to be ready to contribute.
Now, the real picks I want to get into are the last 4 picks all made in round 6 & 7. First up we have another WR in Jakeem Grant out of Texas Tech. It was a head scratcher as why the Dolphins took another wide after just getting one in round 3. Chris Greir basically said that they liked his speed and potential as a Tavon Austin like player. I don’t care that they want more wide outs, but why not fill a need and grab a potentially better player all in one move. LB Scooby Wright was available and I would have liked to see the Dolphins take him. The Dolphins failed to get any linebackers and that will hurt them eventually. They have little depth at that position and the DT position. So I would have preferred a need pick in that situation, but I hope Grant pans out and he fits in. The next pick filled a need and was a good all around pick up in Jordan Lucas. Lucas is a safety out of Penn State and he can play corner too. Miami still needed help in the secondary even after drafting Xavien Howard, so this was a great pick. Lucas was a good ball defender at Penn and he can add depth to the secondary seeing as ho the Dolphins traded Jamar Taylor to get him. Taylor was traded to Cleveland along with the Dolphins 7th round pick to get Cleveland’s higher pick.
This next pick was the one that me happier than probably any other pick. The Dolphins, after 4 years, have drafted a QB in the draft. All be it, it was the seventh round, but Brandon Doughty is not your average seventh round pick. For more on him you should read this here. Long story short, Doughty put up some real prolific numbers at Western Kentucky and he possesses the accuracy of an NFL quarter back. I love this pick and I hope Doughty is able to impress in camp. The dolphins typically only keep 2 QB’s on the roster and they already have Matt Moore backing up Tannehill. They also have Logan Thomas on the practice squad, but I think Doughty can beat out him and maybe overtake Moore for the back up position or force a 3 QB roster set. We will see, all in all, I wanted QB competition for Tannehill and now he will get it. Look for Doughty to be Adam Gase’s QB that he builds as his back up plan.
The last pick was a TE/WR, Thomas Duarte, from UCLA. I like what I have seen from Duarte, though he is listed as a WR he has said that he is a TE. That is good because the Phins need TE’s not more wides. Duarte is 6’2″ and 231 lbs. He said that he emulates Jordan Reed, the TE in Washington. His reviews are promising, but It is always hard to make the team as a 7th rounder. We shall wait and see.
TE Duarte write up. pic.twitter.com/PrVLN3qb9D
— Joe W (@Joe_W_Dolphins) April 30, 2016
It was a long draft process and the Dolphins seemed to have gone after all the players that they wanted. They missed out on the obvious needs like a starting tailback and linebacker, but hey will have to address that through free agency. At the end of the day it is always hard to grade a draft class before they have played, but I will try. The Dolphins did get a possible pro bowl tackle in Tunsil and a stud corner in Howard. They took some interesting Offensive weapons in Drake and Carroo. Then finally a QB in Doughty. So I think they hit most of the points I wanted them to hit in a fairly weak draft.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B-
Keep up with the latest Dolphins news by following me on Twitter. I will also have an update on the undrafted free agents that sign with Miami soon.