Miami Dolphins 2023 Draft Picks

RD 2 – Pick #51 CB Cam Smith 6’1 180 – South Carolina

With the Dolphins first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Dolphins selected CB Cam Smith from South Carolina. With Smith, the Dolphins add another DB who has a penchant for being around the football. Besides running fast, just as importantly, Smith processes fast. He follows the QB’s eyes well and gets to the ball very quickly. Another very important quality for a DB in the NFL is loose hips, and Smith turns very well, sinking his hips to remain low to the ground and remain balanced. I wasn’t expecting us to grab a CB with our first pick, but we definitely got a competitive one. The Jets now have Aaron Rodgers, so we will need to be solid in our secondary. With safety Brandon Jones coming back from injury, along with versatile DB Nik Needham also coming back from injury, Smith gives the Dolphins flexibility and depth if needed. Smith can play multiple positions, outside CB, inside CB as well as safety, and Vic Fangio likes versatility, which is precisely why we acquired Jalen Ramsey.

RD 3 – Pick #81 RB Devon Achane 5’8 188 – Texas A&M

I think all of us were hoping the Dolphins would add a young RB to their veteran stable. There were other running backs that had my interest, but Achane fits the bill quite nicely. Achane is an explosive offensive force. The Dolphins have added yet another home run threat to their arsenal. Pronounced Duh-vaughn A-Chain, Devon Achane will see early reps at PR/KR, giving him some guaranteed action immediately as a return man. Achane has true breakaway speed, running a 4.32, but he’s a very shifty, slippery runner as well, and he runs harder than his smallish stature infers. Like most of our RB’s, none of them are the physical, wear you down type of RB, they are all fast, quick, solid receiving running backs that given space can break off big runs. I would expect Achane to see some plays early on and eventually work himself into the RB rotation. He runs hard in between the tackles despite his smallish stature, and is always a threat to take on all the way, with quick, sharp cuts and shifty moves.

RD 6 – Pick #197 TE Elijah Higgins 6’3 235 – Stanford

Elijah Higgins has been a big slot receiver who has the potential to add some weight and potentially make the transition to TE. He’s a willing blocker, but at 6’3 and just 235, he’s not quite the ideal size. Higgins is a pretty good route runner, which gives the Dolphins something to work with,in the passing game, but he was available in RD 6 for a reason, his hands. He has suspect hands, and that has to improve if he’s going to be any kind of version of George Kittle. Still, he has upside who as I mentioned, is a very willing blocker, so throw out any notion of a slot receiving TE in the mold of former Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki. We have Tanner Conner in the fold, we’ll see what type of player Higgins can potentially become. First he has to make the roster, which will be difficult this year as our depth is excellent throughout the roster.

RD 7 – Pick #238 OT Ryan Hayes 6’6 298 – Michigan

With the Dolphins final pick in this year’s draft, Hulk must have been thrilled that we finally addressed the O-line, selecting OT Ryan Hayes from Michigan. Sorry Hulk, that was dripping with sarcasm. Despite being 6’6, Hayes 32.5″ arms are not the prototypical length to play OT in the NFL. However, the Miami Dolphins do have a successful OT in their history who also had short arms, one Mark Dixon who was 6’4 290, so who knows? Odds are though, Hayes would have to make the transition inside to OG. Hayes, a former HS TE and DE, Hayes is not a nimble or fluid athlete as his position versatility would suggest. Hayes does possess the much needed mean streak to play O-line in the NFL, and he’s a very motivated player. He was a very strong run blocker at Michigan, but he did struggle against speed rushers. Another reason he may move to move to OG. We currently have 10 offensive linemen on the roster, Armstead, Eichenberg, Williams, Hunt and Jackson are the starters, with Christian, Cotton, Feeney, Jones and Lamm as backups. I also feel there’s a good chance we might sign another vet OT as a backup, and Brandon Shell, who played very well in that role, would be ideal.

Here is a list of Undrafted Free Agents the Dolphins have brought in:

Miami Dolphins Undrafted Free Agents

As always, there may be more players that have not been updated as of the creation of this list, apologies in advance for the accuracy of this list.

In summation, What I wanted to to get out of this draft was 2 players who have a legitimate chance to make an impact this season, and of course beyond. I believe we accomplished this, although I expected one of those players to be at the TE position, I obviously had different ideas than the triumvirate of Grier, McDaniel and Fangio. Regardless of my pre-draft feelings, Cam Smith will help our team this season, and hopefully he takes the sting out of the Iggy miss. A lot of different players saw action in our secondary due to injuries, so I would think Cam Smith will get plenty of opportunity to vie for playing time. There is no question in my mind that 3rd pick Devon Achane will contribute a lot to the special teams unit as a return man, and will quickly be incorporated into the run game as well. He’s a difference maker, and while we have veteran running backs on the roster that are capable, as I’ve said countless times, no RB on this roster is a bell cow back, and honestly, all of them fit better in a running back by committee effort, as durability is a concern for all of them, including our new draftee Devon Achane. The NFL is going in this direction anyway, there are fewer teams these day that rely heavily on one RB, those that do usually end up with injured RB’s and then are forced to change their philosophies, and thus their entire offense to adjust. We’re already there, so interchangeable parts are what we’re about right now.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1,014 Comments