When all was said and done, the Dolphins added Jamar Taylor, Dallas Thomas, and Will Davis. All three are solid picks at positions of need for Miami, and they will be broken down in detail later.
But there were a number of other significant moves by the Dolphins that should have a sizable impact on the roster. There were trades of players, trades back, and trades up, so it got a little hectic trying to keep track of everything.
Going into Friday evening, Miami had the following picks: 54th overall, 77th, 82nd, 111th, 146th, 166th, 217th, 224th, and 250th. Here is a somewhat chronological account of all the action that went down.
First, the Dolphins just held onto the 54th pick and used it to take a guy I am really high on in cornerback Jamar Taylor from Boise State. Taylor was the fourth best corner on a lot of people's boards, and he brings a lot of talent to Miami.
He is about 6'0", with good length and strength, essentially a perfect frame for a corner. He's extremely aggressive and isn't afraid to hit, which adds a new element to the secondary. He also has experience in both man and zone schemes, so he's really a great fit.
Heading into the third round, Miami now had the 77th, 82nd, 104th, 146th, 166th, 224th, and 250th selections in its arsenal.
Then they made a solid but relatively unexciting selection in Dallas Thomas, an offensive lineman for Tennessee.
Offensive line depth is never a bad thing in the NFL, and Thomas is a strong, experienced guy who can play either guard or right tackle for the Dolphins.
But Miami wasn't done yet. The Dolphins traded their next pick, the 82nd overall, to New Orleans for the 106th and 109th overall picks.
It seemed like at that point, with Miami now holding seven picks in rounds four to seven and the third round winding down, that Jeff Ireland was going to call it a night.
With that 93rd pick, the Dolphins took Will Davis, an athletic cornerback out of Utah State. He isn't the biggest, strongest, or fastest corner in the class, but he is incredibly quick and aggressive and could be perfect as a nickel corner in zone coverage.
All of these moves come together to make a few significant changes for Miami.
The first is that Miami is finally set at cornerback, and Dimitri Patterson is practically guaranteed to become a salary cap casualty. The Dolphins' secondary now looks pretty scary, with Brent Grimes and Taylor as likely starters with Richard Marshall in the slot and Davis as a backup.
I think Thomas could actually also join Taylor as a Day One starter for the Dolphins, playing right tackle. He doesn't have the highest ceiling, but he's a strong, experienced, fundamentally sound player who could fill in nicely.
The Bess trade was mostly a salary dump, and if Patterson also comes off the books as expected, that will save a good bit of money for Miami.
To keep things organized here: going into the last day of the draft, the Dolphins have the 104th, 106th, 166th, and 250th picks.
Basically, they now have two fourth-round picks each before their original fourth-rounder, and they lost one fifth-round pick and two sevenths while still having three picks on Day Two. Pretty shrewd work by Ireland, and he deserves a lot of praise for the moves and selections.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Bess trade leaves room for the Dolphins to grab a receiver. Quinton Patton has slipped and would replace Bess quite well as a fourth-round selection. Ryan Swope is another good option at wideout.
Andre Ellington and Johnathan Franklin, two talented running backs, are also still available and could be in play with one of the Dolphins' fourth-round picks
Linebackers like Jelani Jenkins, Devonte Holloman, Keith Pough, and Gerald Hodges are all fourth- or fifth-round options. Safeties Tony Jefferson, Phillip Thomas, and J.J. Willcox should all be considered as well.
All in all, I would like to see the Dolphins take Franklin, Patton, and kicker Dustin Hopkins with the 104th, 106th, and 166th picks, respectively. That would really round out their strong first three rounds nicely.
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