Going into the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins had the fewest picks of any team entering the draft, and their first pick was at pick 102 in the 3rd round. Barring a trade of some kind, the Dolphins would have very slim pickings with who they could draft. General Manager Chris Grier said he had some options to move up in the draft to get a particular player but wasn’t willing to give up any of their extra draft capital next year. Who could blame Grier? The Dolphins have two first-round, second, and third-round picks, so they are set up well next year. However, this year the Dolphins were aggressive in free agency and made a blockbuster trade acquiring wide receiver Tyreek Hill, so they made all of their aggressive moves; now it was time to find the best players available when they picked.
The Dolphins, with their 3rd round pick, took linebacker Channing Tindall. If there was one area I thought the Dolphins should be aggressive this offseason, it was finding another inside linebacker. No offense to Elandon Roberts. He has done a nice job, and the team likes him, which is why they gave him a new one-year contract, but they obviously don’t love him to the point where they are willing to give him a multi-year contract. Roberts played well last year, coming off a bad knee injury in 2020, but the Dolphins needed to find a younger player with more speed and who can run sideline to sideline. That’s where Tindall comes in. He doesn’t have to come in and start right away. He could come in and learn from the returning veterans, work his way into the lineup, and play special teams—the way Jevon Holland did last year. I’m not saying he will be like Holland, but he will be worked along slowly and play mostly on special teams, and if he has an impressive camp, maybe he will move up the depth chart. To compliment Jerome Baker, the Dolphins needed to add more speed at the linebacker position. If coached up well, Tindall could be a starter for years.
The Dolphins, in the 4th round, took wide receiver Erik Ezukanma as a big physical receiver. The Dolphins took him to complement their speedy receivers with a more physical receiver who can make the contested catches that DeVante Parker used to make. It also means Preston Williams, your roster spot is far from secure, and you are no longer on scholarship. How does Ezukanma fit in the lineup? I don’t know, but he is the number 4 receiver on the team at best. It will all come down to how he performs in camp as he will be battling Williams, Lynn Bowden, and others for a roster spot as the wide receiver blow-up continues.
The Dolphins then took another linebacker in Cameron Goode. Goode is more of an outside linebacker and defensive end and could potentially fit into the hybrid defense, but he has a lot of work to do. If he is going to make this roster, it’s going to be most likely on special teams and could go on the practice squad. One thing to consider with this pick is that Andrew VanGinkel will be a free agent next year, so possibly the Dolphins are looking to develop someone if they can’t resign him. That’s down the road, though, assuming he can develop properly.
The Dolphins then concluded the draft by drafting quarterback Skylar Thompson; Some wonder why are the Dolphins taking a quarterback? I say why not. The Dolphins could use a quarterback to carry on the practice squad and potentially develop as a backup. He’s obviously not going to make the active roster as the Dolphins will most likely carry two quarterbacks barring injury. The Dolphins had a quarterback on the practice squad who was promoted to the roster in Reid Sinnett, but when the Dolphins released him hoping for him to clear waivers, he was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Dolphins needed a developmental quarterback.
I think the Dolphins did the best they could with what they had. I don’t expect a lot from this class, especially this year, but if the Dolphins get a starting inside linebacker out of this, it could be a win. The Dolphins did all their work before the draft, which tells me they didn’t feel strongly about this class. This draft didn’t have a ton of top-end talent but developmental players. Let’s hope the Dolphins found some players to develop.