This year’s rookies and second-year players are doing
something those before them couldn’t and that’s contribute early on. Miami has
made 15 picks combined from the past two drafts; 7 of those picks are
contributing now and 4 of them start, 5 if you consider Jakeem Grant on return

This is how good teams are built. Building through free
agency isn’t a solid recipe for success and we saw it those couple of years when
they were throwing money at all the big name free agents. Now the team has gotten players like 5th round pick rookie Davon Godchaux out starting on
the d-line with Suh, Wake, and Branch playing like he belongs with those guys.
We spent a first round pick on Charles Harris and he’s
seeing limited snaps but when he’s out there he’s making the most of his
opportunity and he showed that with 2 QB hits, a pass deflection, and a huge sack
on third down with less than 4 minutes left against the Titans this past
Sunday. Cordrea Tankersley was basically thrown into the fire making his first
start against Drew Brees week 4 and he held his own which earned him praise
from the quarterback after the game.
Then there’s the second-year players who showed flashes last
year and elevated their play this year. Xavien Howard was drafted to take over
one of the two corner spots and he did exactly that and hasn’t left any reason
so far to doubt him there. He plays aggressive and doesn’t give off much room
to his receiver so even if its caught there won’t be many YAC.
Laremy Tunsil has had an inconsistent year so far but that
could stem from him playing two different positions in two years. He’s back in
his normal position at left tackle so it might just take time for him to get
going. Kenyan Drake is similar to Charles Harris to the point where both see limited
snaps because there is an established player already at the position. Drake
does well to extend running plays if a hole closes because of his quickness and
ability to cut. Jakeem Grant does give off some scares when he’s back taking
punts but can also be explosive with the ball and he even moved ahead of
Leontee Carroo for that fourth receiver spot when he was just expected to be a
return guy.

It’s important to know that even though these rookies and
second-year players are playing well, they’ll still make those simple rookie
mistakes from time to time but that should be expected and not cause worry because
that can be fixed. Them showing they belong now should be exciting to the team
because they can only get better from here.

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