The Miami Dolphins made multiple trades during Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft, moving around in the second and third rounds to pick three players. They picked up positions of need, as well as some depth, in the moves, and they came away with some players who should be able to have an immediate impact on the team. How well did they pick? Truly, we will not know for sure for another 3-4 years, as the players have time to adapt to the NFL and establish themselves as players at the top level.
That does not mean we cannot get an idea of how the pick fits with the team and compare it to other players who were available. Pro Football Focus has been running a live draft grades post throughout the Draft, providing an immediate thought on each player as he is selected. They have liked some of the Dolphins' picks, while finding others to be simply average selections.
Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
Second Round, 38th overall pick
PFF Grade: C+
The Dolphins moved up in the second round, going from the 42nd selection to the 38th, in anticipation of a run on cornerbacks. The run never materialized, but they did get the player they wanted after earlier trade attempts to move up for Myles Jack fell through. PFF is not very high on this selection, explaining:
Miami was linked to cornerback prospects in the first round and they go with the high-upside potential of Howard in the second. His best work is impressive as he has the size and speed to play man or zone coverage, but there are too many bad plays where he simply loses receivers or fails to play the ball. It all evened out to our No. 16 coverage grade in the draft class and a No. 80 ranking on the PFF Draft Board, but if Miami can work out the kinks, Howard could develop into a solid corner.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama
Third round, 73rd overall pick
PFF Grade: B-
Miami waited for their pick to roll around in the opening half of the third round, and picked up a running back who should be able to complement Jay Ajayi in the backfield. Drake has been compared to Reggie Bush, who had his best years as a professional in Miami, and to former Miami running back Lamar Miller, who left via free agency this offseason. The Miller comparison is probably a stretch, but he is a home-run threat with the ball in his hands and he is a receiving threat out of the backfield or split out wide, as well as player able to work as a returner - taking a risk away from Jarvis Landry. PFF liked this pick a little more than the Howard selection, writing:
A movable offensive chess piece, Drake is an explosive athlete with good receiving skills. His 2.07 yards per route ranked third among running backs in the class and he's shown the ability to make plays when lined up out wide. Drake also adds value in the return game.
Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
Third round, 86th overall pick
PFF Grade: A
This pick was a surprise, both because Miami traded back into the third round and because they picked a wide receiver, not necessarily a major need heading into the Draft, though it was considered a possibility for a depth addition. Carroo will give Miami another possession wide receiver, but he also has the speed to get deep, as well as can be a returner if Miami likes him in that role over Drake. If Carroo is anything like the player to whom he compares himself, Anquan Boldin, the Dolphins will have added a really good piece to their offense. PFF likes the pick as well, giving Miami an A, the second "A" pick for the Dolphins joining first-round selection Laremy Tunsil. They explain the grade, writing:
Miami takes one of our favorite receivers in Carroo. Late in 2015 Carroo took over games, ultimately posting a huge +17.8 grade on only 363 snaps. He separates well on vertical routes and he's sure-handed, dropping only two passes all season.
Do you agree with PFF's grades?