Grading the Miami Dolphins’ 2017 Draft
The NFL Draft is in the books and teams can start focusing on adding other pieces, restructuring contracts and getting mini camps underway.
Over the weekend, the Miami Dolphins added seven new faces in the draft, including five on defense and two on offense. With the draft in our rear view, we grade every pick and how the Dolphins did with each and overall:
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Picked: Round 1, No. 22 overall
With the selection of Charles Harris in the first round, the Dolphins addressed a need and added a pass-rushing specialist. Harris can help Miami immediately on obvious passing downs, but has some work to be an every-down end. For a team that plays in a division with Tom Brady and was in the middle of the pack when it came to sacks last year, this is a very good pick.
Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
Picked: Round 2, No. 54 overall
Getting Raekwon McMillan in the second round was a great pick for Miami as it adds a player who should contribute right away to a thin corps of linebackers. McMillan is a solid tackler with a nose for the football and should be a valuable addition for a team who allowed a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry last season.
Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Picked: Round 3, No. 97 overall
Cordrea Tankersley, from a football standpoint, is still raw, but is a very good athlete and has great size for a corner at 6-1 and nearly 200 pounds. Tankersley is athletic and versatile enough to play either cornerback or transition to safety in the NFL. How much of an immediate impact he has remains to be seen, but this pick has the potential to be a great one three or five years from now.
Isaac Asiata, G, Utah
Picked: Round 5, No. 164 overall (from Tennessee through Philadelphia)
The Miami Dolphins traded up to get Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata, who projects as a guard, but played some tackle at Utah. The biggest issue with Asiata seems to be weight, but in terms of talent, he has the chance to be one of the biggest steals in the draft. Don’t expected Asiata to be an opening day starter in 2017, but his versatility over time could make him an asset before 2017 ends.
Davon Dochaux, DT, LSU
Picked: Round 5, No. 178 overall
With projected starters Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips the only two defensive tackles on the roster, this was an area the Dolphins needed to address. Selecting Dochaux does exactly that, but how much impact he makes immediately is in question.
Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State
Picked: Round 6, No. 194 overall (from Philadelphia)
Getting Taylor in the sixth round might be a better pick than getting Dochuax in the fifth. Taylor has a long way to go to be a polished NFL starter, but could make an immediate impact as a run-stuffer. For a team that far from excelled last season, that’s a good thing.
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
Picked: Round 7, No. 237 overall (from Tampa Bay)
With only three receivers who made any contributions last year — albeit, three pretty good ones — the Dolphins needed to address the depth issues at the position and might have struck gold with Isaiah Ford. Ford’s stock likely dropped because of a rough NFL Combine, but there is a realistic chance he could be Miami’s fourth receiver this season. Ford projects mostly as a possession receiver in the NFL, but could be a very good one.
Don’t take the A- grade lightly; the Miami Dolphins had an excellent draft. The Dolphins addressed key needs up front and at linebacker early with Harris and McMillan. Asiata and Tankersley are two versatile players with tremendous upside. While Dochaux and Taylor are more depth guys for the time being, they provide depth at a position that shortly needs it. Like Asiata in the fifth round, the Dolphins may have found another instant contributor on the final day of the draft with Ford in the seventh.
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