Wow!  What an emotional rollercoaster this weekend as a fan of the Miami Dolphins.  Coming into the draft, the Dolphins had significant draft capital, 14 picks, and all.  A busy free agency period that saw the likes of Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Jordan Howard, and more, the Dolphins needed to address some of their biggest needs.  Here is my recap of the Miami Dolphins draft picks with letter grades for each.

Round 1, Pick 5- Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

Did you happen to see my video Thursday night?  As Tua was selected, many Dolphins fans began to celebrate.  Why the celebration?  Tua is a generational talent.  Sure he has had injuries,  but the Dolphins are in the full belief the worst is behind him from his hip injury and he is the guy going forward.  His impact is already being felt in Miami, now we can’t wait to see him get on the field in 2020

Tom Ernisse’s Grade:  A+


Round 1, Pick 18- Austin Jackson, OT USC

The Dolphins came into this draft process, admitting they are worried about their offensive line.  After taking their new starting quarterback, it was time to keep him upright.  In comes Austin Jackson.  At 20 years old, Jackson is an athletic tackle with quick feet.  He needs to improve technique, getting a strong punch at the snap on his man, but he should start right away at LT.  This was a huge need and the Dolphins took the best player they felt at 18.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: B- 


Round 1, Pick 30- Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn

This pick caught me by surprise, but after thinking about it, this move made a ton of sense.  The Dolphins traded back to this pick from 26 and picked up a 4th round selection from Green Bay.  The Dolphins brought in Byron Jones this offseason but decided they needed another press-man cornerback.  Igbinoghene played the second-most snaps in the country (210) at man to man coverage.  He fits what Flores wants in his corners.  This allows other players on defense to do more.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: B


Round 2, Pick 7- Robert Hunt, OG Lousiana

Robert Hunt was someone I personally didn’t have as an early pick.  But in the video above, you can see a mean streak to him.  On his call with the reporters, he said: “you don’t get in trouble for destroying people on the football field, so why not do it?”  Yeah, I think we are going to like this kid.  He is a nasty run blocker who loves to punish his opponents.  What’s not to like here?

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: B


Round 2, Pick 24- Raekwon Davis, DT Alabama

Davis had high expectations in the last few years but seemed to never hit the ceiling.  Brian Flores was ecstatic with him being available here.  Due to his versatility, size, and strength, he is an easy fit along the defensive line next to Christian Wilkins.  Can Coach Flores get the most out of him?  He has all the tools to excel at the next level.  He just needs to play with more urgency and fight through defenders.

Tom Ernisse’s Grad: B-


Round 3, pick 6- Brandon Jones, S Texas

Brandon Jones is a great pick.  While he lacks versatility, he plays with a relentless motor and he is aggressive.  With the departing Reshad Jones, Jones fits the bill of a hard-hitting, in the box safety.  The man also studied 32 teams defensive playbooks while training for the combine, so he could discuss how he would fit with each team schematically.  He should pick up this defense quickly and be a rotational guy immediately.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: A-


Round 4, Pick 5- Solomon Kindley, OG Georgia

Remember earlier when I mentioned the Dolphins knew they had to address their OL and protect their new investment?  Well, Chris Grier’s first trade of this draft moved the Dolphins up, using their 2 picks later in the 4th to slide up the board to take Kindley.  While this pick is interesting, as they took Hunt, who is also a guard.  Kindley is a massive guard who is a road grinder.  He needs to improve in pass protection but you can see him starting right away and kicking Hunt to RT potentially.  More beef up front!

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: B


Round 5, Pick 9- Jason Strowbridge, DE UNC

Strowbridge is a good player, but he doesn’t have the speed to play outside in a 4-3.  I can see him kicking inside in a 3-4 set.  He is explosive and can move OL fairly easily with upper body strength.  I will be intrigued on where Coach Flores will use him if he makes the roster.  He is a good edge setter and can blow up run plays.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: B-



Success!  I was pounding the table the first 2 nights of the draft for the Dolphins to get a starting-caliber running back to pair with Jordan Howard.  After being disappointed, Chris Grier totally redeemed himself with this transaction.  Breida has been in a timeshare while in San Francisco.  Even so, he averages 5 yards per carry and can catch out of the backfield.  Miami finally has a solid 1-2 punch to take the pressure off Fitzpatrick/Tua.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: A


Round 5, Pick 19- Curis Weaver, OLB Boise State

Some may call this highway robbery.  I had Weaver mocked in the first on the podcast back in March.  Many had 1st/early 2nd round grades on him.  He slipped to the 5th and the Dolphins made a move to secure him.  Weaver easily fits in at OLB in a rotation with Jerome Baker, AVG, Kyle Van Noy, and Vince Biegl.  Chris Grier finally putting all these picks to good use.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: A


Round 6, pick 6- Blake Ferguson, LS LSU

Huh?  Taybor Pepper did a good job last year coming in replacing John Denney.  This pick shocked me, as I felt this wasn’t a huge need.  Ferguson most assuredly will get the job this summer and will be the Dolphins LS going forward, as the Dolphins released Taybor Pepper on Sunday afternoon.  Question is, could they have had him as an UDFA?

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: D


Round 7, pick 32- Malcolm Perry, QB/WR/RB Navy

This pick made me smile.  The Patriots had NUMEROUS conversations with him and the Dolphins took him with their second to the last pick of the draft.  While a long shot, he has Julian Edelman style of play written all over him. While a long shot to make the roster, Perry has amazing skill and should allow the Dolphins unique play calls if he is on the roster.

Tom Ernisse’s Grade: C


Round 7, Pick 37- TRADE TO SEATTLE

Getting a 2021 round 6 selection is great value, especially with this pick originally 5th from last.  Dolphins now have 10 selections in next year’s draft, which will allow the same versatility as this year.



Dolphins came into this draft with massive spots to fill on the OL, they took care of that by selecting 3 players (Jackson, Hunt, and Kindley).  They needed to address long term solution at QB, they got, in my opinion, the best one in this draft.  Pass rushers you ask?  Check.  How about secondary starters/depth?  Check.  Chris Grier traded for Matt Breida, Curtis Weaver, and a 2021 6th round pick. All in all, a terrific draft for the Dolphins.  2020 is looking bright, and so is the long term future