Wow, what a draft for the Miami Dolphins. While most people though the team would stack up on defense with their draft picks. the Dolphins drafted best player available for the first time in years and got 6 offensive players out of 8 picks, with the other two picks being defensive backs in rounds 2 and 6.
This was the steal of the draft, and the Dolphins got so lucky. It was really a tough night for Tunsil, who had his Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked in the same night, leaking a video of him smoking weed through a gas mask, a video that we now know was taken at least two years ago (though nobody really knows for sure). I really don't care about what happened to him in the past, because from what I can tell regarding the Laremy Tunsil from college, this was the best possible scenario that could happen to Ryan Tannehill and this offense. Adam Gase absolutely loved this pick, as Tunsil was the overall highest rated player in the entire draft, AND fills a need. Kick Ja'Wuan James or Tunsil inside, and the Dolphins fix two problems at once. Obviously, the team and organization will need to help keep Tunsil clean off the field, but that shouldn't be too hard given Adam Gase's no nonsense philosophy. Not to mention Tunsil will get to learn from Ndamukong Suh and Branden Albert while he's young. Not bad. ABSOLUTELY GREAT PICK HERE BY THE DOLPHINS!
At first, I really didn't like this pick, as the Dolphins gave up their fourth round pick to move up to take Howard, because GM Chris Grier anticipated a "run" on cornerbacks at that spot, which never happened. However, as I research Howard more and more, I am liking him a lot more. Howard is big at the position at 6-foot-1, 201 pounds and runs a sub 4.5 forty-yard dash. Howard says his game is similar to Darrelle Revis and Byron Maxwell, who will likely start opposite of Howard on the other side. One of the starting CB jobs is Howard's to lose, and he has the size to fit Vance Joseph's in-your-face press coverage scheme.
I have a feeling this will end up being my favorite pick of the draft. A lot of experts said Drake was a better back than last year's Heisman winner Derrick Henry. Drake is extremely fast for his 6-foot-1, 210 pound frame, running a 4.45 forty-yard dash. Where Drake will make his living in this offense is as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and on special teams, where he will replace Jarvis Landry as the team's return man. Drake is known for his highlights and big plays, such as his kickoff return for a TD against Clemson in the National Championship Game. Drake will compete with Jay Ajayi for the starting role, but will likely find his niche as a 3rd down back and on special teams and passing downs at first.
If you love Jarvis Landry, you're going to love Carroo. What a sweet name too! The Dolphins traded back into the third round just to grab Carroo, who GM Chris Grier said the team loved heading into the draft and saw him as a 2nd round talent following his visit to South Beach. Carroo is like a speedier Landry, with over 20 TD's in college and with extremely sure hands. He plays special teams, runs nearly perfect routes, and is electrifying with the ball in his hands. He can play slot, but does his best work outside. I really like this pick, as Carroo will likely replace Kenny Stills next season, who will enter free agency.
After another trade with the Vikings, the Dolphins added their second straight WR in a row, this time the draft's fastest. Grant is absolutely tiny, but will cause match-up nightmares with his speed, quickness, and precise route running. His 4.34 turned heads at his pro-day, and Grant will challenge Kenyan Drake as one of the team's return man. Grant will be a nightmare in open space, where he is extremely crafty and elusive. He very well could develop into one of Ryan Tannehill's favorite targets.
Doughty is already going to come in and compete with Matt Moore and Logan Thomas as the Dolphins' 2nd and 3rd quarterback. He led the FBS in passing for two straight years, totaling 4,830 yards, 48 touchdowns and only 10 picks as a junior. He will have the ability to learn from QB guru Adam Gase, where he can be molded into a backup and ultimately challenge Matt Moore for the backup role. Doughty is a project, but has the size as 6-foot3, 217 pounds to become successful down the road in this league.
Along with Tunsil, I think this was the steal of the draft for the Dolphins. Duarte was projected as high as the fourth round, and the Dolphins got him in the 7th for a tremendous value. Adam Gase loves the TE position, and Duarte will likely compete to replace Dion Sims as the team's second TE behind Jordan Cameron, giving the Dolphins the option of running 2 TE sets. Duarte has the size at 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, and has been reported to be up near the 238 pound range. He catches the ball really well in traffic over the middle, and plays more like an athletic WR, high-pointing balls and winning the 50/50 contests up in the air. I bet Duarte ends up becoming the team's second starting TE by season's opener.
Overall, this was a star-studded draft for the Dolphins, getting guys Chris Grier called "Alphas." These are the type of players that bring a positive attitude and leadership to the team, and will help Adam Gase change the culture in Miami. While the team failed to address the DE and LB positions, these are positions that can addressed in FA once teams start weeding through their rosters.
There's a lot to be excited about behind this draft class, which is filled with match up nightmares and playmakers.