8 WR’s in this 2022 NFL Draft ran official times under 4.4 seconds. Everyone’s getting excited here because we know we need to add talent at the WR position, but I caution, NFL Free Agency precedes the NFL Draft so we have to see how we upgrade our team via Free Agency. We can go crazy over certain guys at various positions, all positions of need for our team like WR, OL, LB, RB and not necessarily in that order, but how we add to the roster in Free Agency will determine how we draft, and what positions will be a priority.
This Miami Dolphins fanbase has gone crazy the last few years because we’ve had so many high picks at our disposal (with mixed results). The top of last year’s draft appears to have been a slam dunk. Jaylen Waddle is the explosive WR we needed and he caught a high volume of passes last season. Jaelan Phillips really came on as the season progressed as a pass rusher. Jevon Holland was an absolute bright spot in the secondary as a safety and showed he is a playmaker. The next 4 picks are a work in progress although I do believe Liam Eichenberg will be one of our starting OT’s, most likely RT. TE Hunter Long had a rough year and didn’t make it easy for the Dolphins to move on from now free agent TE Mike Gesicki. OT Larnel Coleman got a shot game 17 and lasted only 1 half before coming out with an injury and RB Gerrid Doaks spent the season on the PS.
In 2020, armed with three 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks, the Dolphins got only fair results for such a potential haul. QB Tua Tagovailoa was our first pick at #5, followed by young OT Austin Jackson at #18, and then DB Noah Igbinoghene at #30 who’s been invisible in 2 seasons. I’m higher than a lot of folks on Tua, and definitely higher than almost everyone on Austin Jackson. I’m almost willing to say with certainty that Austin Jackson will be our starting LT in 2022. If we address the O-line properly, and give Tua a running game and another weapon at WR/TE, easily done BTW, I think we’ll see a big leap in year 3 for Tua, maybe similarly to what the Bills saw with Josh Allen. Bringing in former Dolphins standout DB’s Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain is a welcome sight, and should be especially good for Noah Igbinoghene. Iggy is signed through 2023 and has a 5th year option for 2024 so he can potentially be under Dolphins control for another 3 seasons. It would be wonderful to get this kid right as he does have lots of talent. Pick #39 OL Robert Hunt has been a promising player on the O-line and looks to be perennial starter. DT Raekwon Davis (Pick #56) had a tough start being injured early but had a decent season and his size and athleticism is a plus. Safety Brandon Jones (Pick #70) had a breakout season and solidified his standing in the secondary. He was impressive doing all the things MFFF was supposed to do, blitzing the QB, playing up at the LOS making tackles. Jones had 5 sacks, 10 QB hits and 79 tackles last season 6 tackles for a loss. This does put fellow safety Eric Rowe’s future here in peril. The lone Dolphins left from this draft is OG Solomon Kindley who both Randy and I don’t believe is finished here either. He was a mauler in the run game in 2020 but was replaced by Liam Eichenberg at LG and eventually Austin Jackson when he was moved inside and Eichenberg to LT. He should be part of the rotation on the O-line because he’s a mover. If he can get himself in better shape, come in a little lighter and quicker, he could be that.
So as we watch the NFL Combine and drool over players, don’t fall in love my friends, because who we get in FA will give us an idea, and only an idea of which way we go in the draft. Odds are we will be filling our roster with a WR, OL, RB, LB in the draft regardless, but the key is what will be the priority and in what order will be looking for those players. Not to bore the heck out of you but I feel we must address the O-line with a minimum of one veteran that we can just put in a spot and consider that spot is taken care of. I said weeks ago, before we even hired former 49ers coach Mike McDaniel as our HC that OG Laken Tomlinson would be a good choice. Now with McD here it makes it even more likely. I know we like C Tyler Linderbaum, the top rated interior OL in this draft, but if we pick up say Ted Karras and Laken Tomlinson in free agency, it makes it less likely we’re going to spend pick #29 or even our next pick on the O-line. If we sign WR Mike Williams or some other starting quality WR then we’re not drafting WR Jameson Williams or any other WR with our top pick. You get the drift, be patient Dolphins fans, we’ll have a better picture on our draft approach once we complete free agency and get our roster remade. In any case, enjoy the combine, it’s always fun to picture certain players in a Dolphins uniform although we all know here most of them never materialize no matter how much we want them and project them here.