The NFL Draft fairy was kind to the Miami Dolphins when 2017 NFL Draft compensatory picks were awarded on Friday. The Dolphins received three compensatory picks, which included a third-round pick and a pair of fifth-rounders.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) February 24, 2017
Compensatory picks, which began in 1994, are typically rewarded to teams that don’t overspend in free agency. As with any other pick, some compensatory picks have turned out to be studs while others end up as duds.
With that said, here’s a look at the three best compensatory picks made by the Miami Dolphins:
3. Jimmy Wilson, DB
Selected: Seventh round, 235th overall in 2011
Years with Dolphins: 2011-14
Stats: 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 2 sacks
Overview: Jimmy Wilson spent most of his four years in Miami as a nickel back, but made 21 starts over that time. Wilson’s versatility allowed the Dolphins to use him either as a cornerback or a safety.
2. Derrick Rodgers, LB
Selected: Third round, 92nd overall in 1997
Years with Dolphins: 1997-2002
Stats: 199 total tackles, 9 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions
Overview: Playing alongside the likes of perennial Pro Bowler Zach Thomas and Robert Jones, Rodgers was a starter from the first day for Miami. In six years with the Dolphins, Rodgers started all but eight games at outside linebacker. In his six years with the team, the Dolphins ranked in the top 5 in total defense three times. As a rookie in 1997, Rodgers earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for recording a pair of sacks in a 31-20 win over the New York Jets.
1. Yeremiah Bell, S
Selected: Sixth round, 213th overall in 2003
Years with Dolphins: 2003-11
Stats: 433 total tackles, 11 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 7 fumble recoveries, 6 interceptions
Overview: In nine years with the Miami Dolphins, safety Yeremiah Bell evolved into the complete package in the secondary with the ability to defend over the top and stop the run. Bell was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009. Over his final four years with the Dolphins, Bell recorded at least 80 tackles in each season and led the team in that category each year from 2008-10. His career-high 100 total tackles in 2008 helped the Dolphins complete the greatest turnaround in NFL history en route to an AFC East title.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson