It’s that time of year again, the post-draft grades. I know, I know many of you are saying grading a draft a day or two after it happens is silly; you really need 2-3 years to give a fair grade to any draft.
And you are 100% correct.
It is about grading the organization and front office on who they took when looking at the team needs vs who else was on the board at the time of the pick. As well as the overall logic and thought process behind the selection.
So, let’s get to the Dolphins’ draft grades without any further ado.
Rd 3 Pick #102
The Dolphins linebacker unit was adequate to poor in 2021. It lacked speed and was very one-dimensional with its talent on the field. Andrew Van Ginkel is a good player but is truly a pass rush specialist who struggles in space. Jerome Baker is a solid all-around linebacker, but many would say he is no better than solid.
Elandon Roberts is only a two-down linebacker who cannot play on passing downs. The remaining players of the group like Sam Eguavoen, Duke Riley, and Brennan Scarlett are marginal NFL players at best.
Tindall is a diverse player who will bring energy and speed to this Dolphins linebacker corps and front 7. His speed will allow Josh Boyer to use him as a Blitzer to get after the quarterback, and he is also someone who can drop back and is athletic enough to cover tight ends and running backs.
His sideline to sideline speed will also make him a big asset in the run defense as he can track and attack ball carriers and be that heat-seeking missile who can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Rd 4, Pick #125
With all of the investments Miami has made this offseason at wide receiver, some were a bit surprised they went with a wide receiver here in the 4th round with only their second pick of the draft. I was a bit surprised as well.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad pick, but with bigger needs at running back and the offensive line, you can make the case wide receiver might not have been the top priority here. But on the flip side, is Miami deep at receiver?
We know Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedric Wilson are the top three at that position, but what does Miami truly have after that?
An always injured Preston Williams, who you can’t count on. Lynn Bowden missed all of 2021 and didn’t impress much in 2020. Trent Sherfield has recently signed this offseason, but let’s be honest, most Miami Dolphins fans wouldn’t recognize him if he knocked on their front door.
So the Ezukanma selection I get on some level. He is a big receiver who gives this group some size and will be a big red-zone target. His college stats are good but take it with a grain of salt as he played in the Big 12, where playing “defense” is optional.
He is another toy for Mike McDaniel and a weapon for Tua, so I understand the pick. Not sure I love it, though. Especially since WR Calvin Austin from Memphis was still on the board, which I think his style translates better to the NFL. Center Zach Tom was still on the board, as was guard Darrian Kinnard, who may all have been better fitted for the Dolphins and would have filled a bigger need.
Rd 7, Pick 224
Much of what I said about the Channing Tindall selection carries over with Goode, who Miami took in Round 7. Miami needs to be more athletic at linebacker and have better speed at that position.
Goode does just that and gives Miami another guy who hopefully can be an upgrade over Duke Riley and Sam Eguavoen.
Goode is undersized and doesn’t have a true linebacker position (SAM, WIL, MLB), but he does possess good speed and, if coached correctly, could be a productive player for Josh Boyer.
This is pretty solid for a 7th-round pick, and I think there is an excellent chance he will make the 53-man roster.
Rd 7, Pick #247
Before we dive in here, let’s get one thing out of the way; THIS PICK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TUA!
No matter what happens with Tua in 2022, Skylar Thompson isn’t part of the equation. The long-term goal is to develop Thompson into a decent player and trade him in a year or two for a mid-round or early-round pick. Or, develop him enough where he can be a capable and excellent backup quarterback and 2nd on the depth chart no matter who the starter is.
Yes, in a perfect world Miami at pick #247 hit a home run like the Patriots did, taking Brady at #199 all of those years back. But that is a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal so keep your expectations in check.
Thompson doesn’t have a big arm, big hands, or intimidating size but what he does have are heart and guts. He can make play with his legs and is an asset in that way. This kid plays tough and leaves it all on the field.
For one of the last picks of the entire draft, Miami took a lottery ticket and hopes to turn it into something. I like the logic; I like the player, I like this pick. I probably like it more than most, I admit, but it is a sound pick here for Chris Grier.
When you are at the end of the draft, it is better to take a lottery ticket type guy in Sklar Thompson rather than a borderline player who will struggle to make your practice squad.
OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: B
With only four selections and not a pick until #102 I thought Miami made the most of what they had. They didn’t make any trades to move up or down the draft board and they didn’t part with any of the selections they have in the 2023 draft either. Tindall should be a day one impact player and Ezukanma should see the field in certain groupings this season. Goode has a solid shot of making the 53-man roster and being a special teams contributor as a rookie as well. While not an exciting draft, it was a solid draft for the Dolphins given they didn’t have much to work with.