Mar 2, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Utah Utes offensive lineman Isaac Asiata speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2017 NFL Draft come to a close on Saturday with Rounds 4-7. Let’s take a look at the Miami Dolphins Day 3 grades
The Miami Dolphins were the receivers of good fortune through the first two days of the 2017 NFL Draft. Though they passed on Reuben Foster when he fell to them in the first round, they were ultimately okay after taking Charles Harris as Raekwon McMillan answered their linebacker needs in Round 2.
After a strong start, though, they ultimately wound up with four picks on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft. With a few needs left to address, what did the Dolphins do with their selections?
The Miami Dolphins came into the 2017 NFL Draft with a lot of question marks on the defensive side of the ball. One of the biggest question marks in my mind — and the minds of many fans — however was at the offensive guard position. Coming into the NFL Draft, the Dolphins were slated to have Ted Larsen, Kraig Urbik, and Jermon Bushrod fighting it out for two spots. Guard was a massive need.
The Dolphins chose to pass over that need in the first two days of the NFL Draft, instead focusing entirely on defense. Without a pick in the fourth round, fans were getting ansty about the talent that would be left along the offensive line. With their first pick in the fifth round, the Dolphins were given a gift with Utah’s Isaac Asiata.
Asiata is the prototypical run-blocking guard. He’s big and strong. He’s also very strong technically. Perhaps the biggest thing to like about him; however, is that he’s got a mean streak about him. He’ll play to the echo of the whistle, and won’t be afraid to mix it up to protect his guys. You have to love that type of intensity and loyalty.
Asiata can struggle when he’s asked to move, as he’s a big-bodied guy who isn’t a great athlete. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem in Miami, however, as theirs is a power-rush offense. In pass protection, Asiata has a tendency to struggle against smaller, faster guys who can cancel out the strength advantage he has.
The Miami Dolphins followed up the Asiata pick by returning to the defense. After the selection of the massive guard from Utah, there was one glaring hole left. Defensive tackle. The Dolphins were abysmal against the rush last year, and they know it. They’ve taken steps in free agency and the NFL Draft to get stronger in this area.
In an effort to round out the defense, the Dolphins drafted Lousiana State’s Davon Godchaux. Godchaux doesn’t come to the team without risks, though. In his final year of high school, he tore both the ACL and LCL. He has seemingly recovered from the knee injury, but that’s always a concern. The bigger concern with Godchaux; however, is his conditioning.
Defensive Tackle,Miami Dolphins
Godchaux came to the NFL Combine overweight and measured over 20 percent body fat. That size doesn’t translate to strength, either, as he was only able to put up 18 reps in the bench press. Additionally, he was unable to finish his workout at the NFL Combine after he suffered a hamstring injury during his 40-yard dash.
Ultimately, Godchaux is a talented defensive tackle who has the skills of someone who should have gone a round or two earlier. Conditioning and a couple off-the-field concerns likely drove him down draft boards. This could be one of many steals in the 2017 Miami Dolphins draft.
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Round 6, Pick 10: Vincent Taylor, DT – Oklahoma State
Originally the Dolphins came into the NFL Draft with three selections in the fifth round, and none in the sixth. After some wheeling and dealing during the fifth round, the team ended up with only two selections in Round 5, picking up a selection in the sixth round.
With the pick they added, the Miami Dolphins doubled down at the defensive tackle position. At the 10th pick in the round, they drafted Vincent Taylor from Oklahoma State. The addition of both Godchaux and Taylor instantly takes a position of weakness into something solid. If nothing else, Taylor will be able to provide the team with some depth at the position in the event of injury.
Taylor is exactly the type of player the Dolphins were looking for coming into the NFL Draft. He’s an intelligent guy and plays with high intensity and effort. He has a great first step, and is quick for his size, getting inside guards and wreaking havoc in the backfield. He has good play recognition and can be a real asset inside against the run.
Defensive Tackle,Miami Dolphins
He’s going to need to hit the weight room hard if he’s going to be a contributor on passing downs. He’s not strong enough in his lower body, and his speed isn’t going to be as much of an advantage at the next level. He doesn’t have the strength to compete if he’s doubled, but he could be a valuable asset in a rotation with Phillips.
One of the positions that the Dolphins were very solid at coming into the NFL Draft was wide receiver. The team has Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker penciled in as the starters. They also have guys like Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant on the bench. Most people would have thought wide receiver wouldn’t be a target for the Dolphins today.
However, when a guy with second or third round talent falls to you in the seventh round, you have to take that chance. In today’s NFL, you can never have too many playmakers. That’s exactly what Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford is, a playmaker. The fact that he slipped all the way to the seventh round is astonishing.
Ford is likely going to have a difficult time seeing the field to start his career with the talent ahead of him. He’ll come in and likely be no better than fifth on the depth chart to start training camp. But it’s no secret that the development of last year’s third-round pick, Carroo, has been slower than the team would like. Ford is the kind of talent that could supplant Carroo if he doesn’t start coming around quickly.
Wide Receiver,Miami Dolphins
Moreover, the selection of Ford gives the Dolphins some flexibility moving forward. Number one receiver, Landry, is going to be looking for a new contract after the season. The team has made it very clear that they intend to keep their in-house talent around, but Landry may command more money than we’re willing to pay. It’s also no secret that Parker has struggled to stay on the field. He’s had an amazing ability to come down with one nagging injury after another. Drafting Ford today provides insurance if Parker goes down again.