A look back at the Miami Dolphins 2016 rookies
The Miami Dolphins season is not over yet and hopefully it will be another month before it is. But the regular season is.
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Miami entered the 2016 NFL Draft with a plethora of needs. From linebacker and corner to guard, tackle, and running back. The Dolphins didn’t get all of what they wanted or what they needed but they got some guys who could make a difference.
How much of difference did the Dolphins rookies make in 2016? A lot more than the class of 2015 did although to be fair, most of the ’15 class were not given much opportunity in their rookie seasons.
Instead of grading out the players with A’s and B’s, we will grade them based on what they have shown for the future potential as trending up or down.
Tunsil, a natural tackle dropped to the Dolphins 13th position following a released video 10 minutes prior to the draft. Tunsil struggled early as he made the switch to guard but his play has improved over the year and he has become one of the better lineman on the team. Tunsil missed a couple of games due to injury but was also able to slide outside and cover for Branden Albert when he was injured.
Trending: Way up. Tunsil’s future in Miami looks very good.
It’s hard to grade Howard. He started the season and looked good then missed almost all of it with an injury. His return the last couple of weeks has been mixed as he acclimated to the NFL but he has shown that he can play at this level and should get better with a healthy off-season.
Trending: Despite the injury battles and missed games, Howard’s future looks like it could be really good.
Drake hasn’t carried the ball much this year but when he has, he has been a dynamic player to watch. His reverse field touchdown against the Bills was amazing and he added a game saving kick return touchdown as well. Drake, despite his lack of carries (33 on the season) started showing he will make a solid compliment to Jay Ajayi.
Trending: Up. Drake is showing the same drive he did in college and with more opportunities he should continue to improve.
Carroo was supposed to be the outside version of Jarvis Landry but Carroo couldn’t get on the field in a busy Dolphins wide-receiver group. When he was able to get on the field he made little impact. At one point Carroo was passed over in favor of an undrafted rookie. That tends to speak towards his practice habits.
Trending: Down. Any player whose practice habits leaves him off the active roster in favor of an undrafted rookie, in this case Rashawn Scott, there could be a problem.
Grant was supposed to be the so quick you can’t catch him returner and at times he looked the part. Most of the time however Grant didn’t make a big impact in the return game. Despite returning one punt for a touchdown, the Dolphins opted to use Jarvis Landry more often than Grant. Especially when they needed a big return. Grant has a lot of work to do.
Trending: Despite his diminutive size and his elite speed, Grant’s season wasn’t what many expected and because of that his future isn’t guaranteed either. He is trending down.
Jordan Lucas & Thomas Duarte & Brandon Doughty
The final three players drafted by the Dolphins do not have enough game tape to define what they could potentially bring to the team down the road.
Trending: Due to all three having a lack of playing opportunity they remain neutral.