Hot Takes, Predictions for Dolphins Rookies After 2022 NFL DraftMay 4, 2022
Hot Takes, Predictions for Dolphins Rookies After 2022 NFL Draft
The Miami Dolphins did the best they could to improve their roster with their four selections in the 2022 NFL draft.
Miami made a smart move by choosing a linebacker from Georgia's historic defense in Channing Tindall with its first selection of the draft. The 102nd overall pick provides some depth for the Dolphins at a position that was viewed as one of its biggest weaknesses entering the draft.
Tindall may not come into the NFL with the hype of Nakobe Dean or Jordan Davis, but he could be a useful part of an NFL defense for a long time.
Wide receiver Erik Ezukanma is the only other Miami draft pick who should make an impact right away. Ezukanma's college career flew under the radar because Texas Tech has not been good lately, but his skill set could work with the AFC East side in its quest to provide depth behind Tyreek Hill.
Channing Tindall Fights for Starting Linebacker Position
Channing Tindall was the third Georgia linebacker taken in the 2022 NFL draft, but he could make a case to have the most productive professional career.
Tindall comes to the Dolphins off his most productive collegiate season. He had 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on a defense that produced five first-round picks. He competed in a professional-type environment every day with the likes of Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker and Jordan Davis.
Miami could not have asked for a better fit since it needs help on the second level of defense. That was the one area in which it did not significantly improve in free agency.
Tindall should compete for first-team snaps in training camp with Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker at the inside linebacker positions.
The Georgia product's tackling skills and ability to get into the backfield should stand out to Miami's defensive coaches.
The Dolphins need all the pocket pressure it can get with the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Jets all entering the season with explosive offenses. They need their second-level players to be strong in the pass rush and in wrapping players to prevent big gains.
Tindall can do both, and his time at Georgia should benefit him when he fights for a starting job in August.
Erik Ezukanma Turns into Red-Zone Threat
Erik Ezukanma produced consistent numbers over his last three seasons at Texas Tech.
The fourth-round selection caught more than 40 balls and averaged more than 14.5 yards per catch in each of his final three campaigns in Lubbock.
Ezukanma hauled in 15 touchdown passes during his four-year career inside an average offense that failed to put up massive numbers amid coaching changes.
At 6'3", Ezukanma could turn into a vital part of Miami's red-zone offense. The Dolphins have a lot of speed on the outside, but they could use more physicality alongside Mike Gesicki on the inside routes.
Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will get the majority of the targets from Tua Tagovailoa, but Ezukanma could chip in with a few touchdown catches if he adjusts well to the offense.
He could also be called on in possession-based situations in which Hill and Waddle are off the field or used as decoys. This would be a small role because the top two wide receivers are so important, but Ezukanma can carve out a niche inside the Miami offense because of his size and nose for the end zone.
Cameron Goode Makes Pass-Rushing Impact by End of Season
Cameron Goode was an intriguing seventh-round selection by the Dolphins.
The Cal product is far more interesting than Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson, who will not see the field in 2022 unless there is an emergency situation. He enters the NFL with a ton of experience, and his age (24) may be one of the reasons why he dropped to the final round.
Goode produced 20.5 sacks over five seasons in the Pac-12 and recorded 6.5 in his final year at Cal.
As a seventh-round pick, his goal in training camp should be to make the Week 1 roster, though he might struggle for playing time at the beginning of the season if he makes it.
Goode's pass-rushing numbers are impressive, and if he acclimates well to Miami's system, he could provide depth at linebacker as the season goes on.
Tindall is more likely Week 1 starter based on his draft position, but Goode could have an impact as well if he makes the roster.