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Miami Dolphins 2017 NFL Draft Grades

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Miami Dolphins 2017 NFL Draft Grades

The Miami Dolphins 2017 draft is officially over, and the off-season is upon us.

Being the General Manager for the Miami Dolphins is not a job many can handle. Since 2005, Miami has had five GM’s, including current czar Chris Grier. Being in the same division as the Patriots brings some weight, there is a pressure to do the impossible and beat out New England. Excluding the 2008 season when Tom Brady was injured, Miami has not won the division since 2000. The Phins are a team on the rise, it seems Chris Grier has brought some swagger to South Beach. The Miami Dolphins 2017 draft class looks to be a strong one.

General Managers have the final say in who gets picked in the NFL draft. One single pick has a ripple effect for years and sometimes decades. Sometimes, this can make or break a franchise. With that in mind, we take a dive into Miami’s 2017 NFL Draft picks.

1st Round, Pick 22: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

The University of Missouri has a recent history of producing some quality defensive lineman. In three seasons at Mizzou, Harris tallied 34.5 tackles for loss, and 18 sacks. When you look for a true pass-rusher, Harris is the kind of guy you want. Explosive out of his stance, he is nimble for 250 pounds. Has an arsenal of nice spin and swim moves, basketball star in high school explains his great lateral movement. Uses his speed first, then relies on power to get around the edge. Harris can supplement Cameron Wake, but also can drop into coverage fairly well. Not the best run defender, but Miami has guys who can already set the edge. This fills a need, and Miami gets a high character football player. There are a few defensive ends the Phins could have taken a chance on, but this is a smart pick.

Grade: A

2nd Round, Pick 54: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State.

Many analysts and scouts believe McMillan is a first round talent, and I agree. For a player who started at middle linebacker, he can really fly sideline to sideline. As soon as the ball is snapped, he is crashing downhill to lay the wood on someone. A tackling machine at six-foot-two, 240-pounds, McMillan racked up 275 tackles with 18 for a loss in his career. Along with six sacks, he consistently showcases his ability to blitz. While he has to clean up his coverage and shedding blocks a little, he will compete from day one. Miami needs another linebacker in that thin rotation. Lawrence Timmons is just a band-aid, and Kiko Alonso excels on the outside. McMillan can hold his own inside, or kick out if he needs to. Filling another need, the Dolphins get another intelligent football player who could have went in the first round.

Grade: B+

3rd Round, Pick 97: Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Considered somewhat of a sleeper, Tankersley is an interesting pick. He has the potential to be the best corner on the Dolphin’s roster. A two-year starter at Clemson, Tankersley led a very talented secondary. Leading the team in 2016 with 11 pass deflections, he knows how to find the ball. Extremely long, helps him be disruptive at the catch point. Will catch pretty much anything he can get his hands on, phenomenal ball skills. Hauled in eight interceptions in just two years. Tackling isn’t amazing, has a tendency to run away from contact sometimes. This pick adds much-needed depth in a questionable secondary. More competition is never a bad thing, especially on defense. Corner isn’t an immediate need, but this allows much more flexibility on defense.

Grade: B

5th Round, Pick 166: Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah

In a year where offensive guards are scarce, Miami got a mean one in the 5th round. Asiata is a tough, hard-nosed guard with versatility. He can play either guard spot, and has some experience at center. Gives 100 percent effort every play, and demands extra blocks after he pancakes his assignment. Has good stance and power, can uproot defenders on a consistent basis. Asiata’s aggressive nature can get him into trouble, and will sometimes lead with his upper body. Solid pass blocker, but will definitely need to refine his technique in the NFL. Overall, not many better lineman this late in the draft. Not a starter, but definitely a contributor in 2017.

Grade: B

5th Round, Pick 178: Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU

Most people, including myself, were expecting the Phins to address defensive tackle much earlier. The depth and experience behind Suh and Jordan Phillips is underwhelming. However, Godchaux is a force in the trenches. He explodes into the blocker, with good technique and pad level. His hands are quick and powerful, and used to create leverage at the point of attack. Although there are some questions about his motor, he is a high-energy player. Doesn’t have the mass to hold most double teams, but has great gap responsibility. With the right coaching, Godchaux has potential to break the rotation this season.

Grade: B-

6th Round, Pick 194: Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State

This is an obvious attempt at trying to create some depth on the interior defensive line. Taylor has the ability to blast off the line, and is agile for his size. But playing in a pass-happy Big 12 limited the amount of true gap responsibility he was responsible for. In 2016 he collected seven sacks with 13 tackles for a loss. The ability to rush the passer is there, but he often struggles against the run. Whatever his role in 2017 is, expect it to be minimal.

Grade: C-

Round 7, Pick 237: Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech

The seventh round is usually the round where you are taking a chance on a player. For whatever reason, Isaiah Ford dropped to this late in the draft. In my opinion, Miami definitely hit a home run this late in the draft. He recorded back to back 1000-yard seasons, and set multiple receiving records at Virginia Tech. Ford is a quick, sudden cut receiver who stretches the field vertically. Best against zone coverage, he picks defenses apart. However, he gets open due to being a superb athlete. Technique and route running are only areas that need significant work. Ford might end up being a really good wide out for the Dolphins.

Grade: B