The 2016 NFL Draft was at its theatrical best the past couple of days, with the Miami Dolphins firmly on center-stage. Let's take a recap of the players the Miami Dolphins selected on Thursday and Friday night.
Round 1, Pick # 13: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss, 6-5, 310 LBS
For every young prospect, the NFL Draft is the biggest night of their lives. Unfortunately for Laremy Tunsil, the dream turned into a nightmare just two hours before the Los Angeles Rams were due on the clock with the first pick of the draft.
An early favorite to be selected No.1 in the draft, Tunsil took a tumble all the way to Miami at No. 13 after Tunsil's twitter account was hacked and a video released showing him smoking marijuana through a gas mask. Things got worse when someone then hacked into his Instagram account and posted a screen shot showing a text message exchange between the prospect and assistant athletic direct of Ole Miss, John Miller, for money.
Football clubs up and down the country immediately crossed out Tunsil's name from their draft boards. However, as the player was falling, Miami General Manager Chris Grier took to the phones and did his due diligence on Tunsil. Miami's fact-finding mission ended with the stance that the player was No. 2 on their draft board, the origin of the video was from several years ago, he ‘loves' football and individuals make mistakes.
Miami will be hoping that Tunsil can put this episode behind him, and help an offensive line that was woeful last season. The player has good size and length for the position, but also rare athletic ability with nice light feet for a big man. He can mirror those speedy pass rushers, but also handle the power to sit in his stance and anchor. The Dolphins have gambled and missed before (see Dion Jordan), but will be hoping that this time, they got the steal of the draft.
Round Two, Pick #7: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor, 6-0, 201 LBS
On the second day of the draft, Miami addressed one of the weakest positions on the team. The Dolphins packaged their second round pick and their fourth to move up four spots with the Baltimore Ravens, to select cornerback Xavien Howard. Xavien Howard fits the new prototype that Miami wants from their corners, having the length and physicality to stand up against those big wide receivers, as well as being well-versed in a press-heavy scheme.
Ironically, Howard has been compared by many analysts to Miami's latest recruit, Byron Maxwell from the Philadelphia Eagles. Miami will hope both players inject some much-needed talent in a secondary that was beaten far too much last season.
Round Three, Pick #10: Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama, 6-1, 210 LBS
Miami has been searching this offseason for a committee of running backs. They are confident they have their physical back in Jay Ajayi and made the move on Friday night to add the explosive Kenyan Drake to the backfield. Drake is a very versatile player, with good size and speed. He can run through the middle, on the outside and also has experience in the passing game. Very light feet and good vision, Drake can accelerate quickly, leaving defenders trailing behind him.
However, Drake has battled with injuries, including a broken leg and arm at college. Is he injury prone, or was it just bad luck? He also won't be an every-down back, but that's not what Miami appear to be looking for.
Round Three, Pick # 23: Leonte Carroo, Rutgers, 6-0, 211 LBS
Miami Dolphins fans up and down the country have been questioning the team's decision to trade three draft picks - this year's sixth round pick (186) and the team's 2017 third and fourth round picks - on yet another wide receiver. However pause for one moment. Carroo is an extremely productive player with twenty touchdowns in the past two seasons for Rutgers. In 2014 in particular, Carroo had an excellent season with 55 catches, 1,086 receiving yards and 19.7 yards per catch.
Carroo will become a solid deep threat for Miami, with good speed (4.5 in the 40-yard dash), size to match up against those bigger cornerbacks and possibly the softest hands in the draft. Add in the prospect that Kenny Still may not be in Miami next year, and the Dolphins are definitely planning ahead with this pick. They would have selected him in the second round, but they jumped on him when he fell to the third.
What do you think of Miami's draft picks in rounds 1-3? Let's hear your views!
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.