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Redrafting the 2017 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins first-round pick is in

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NFL: APR 27 2017 NFL Draft Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A few days ago, I mentioned “What If?” week for SB Nation and how we are including a re-do of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins have finally come on the clock with the 22nd overall pick, so it is time to take a look at what the Dolphins might have done in this scenario.

To recap the first 21 picks, so you can see how the board fell, we have:

  1. Cleveland Browns - Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
  2. San Francisco 49ers - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
  3. Chicago Bears - George Kittle, TE, Iowa
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
  5. Tennessee Titans - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
  6. New York Jets - Jamal Adams, S, LSU
  7. Los Angeles Chargers - Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
  8. Carolina Panthers - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
  9. Cincinnati Bengals - Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin
  10. Buffalo Bills - T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
  11. New Orleans Saints - Marlon Humphrey, DB, Alabama
  12. Cleveland Browns - Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
  13. Arizona Cardinals - Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
  14. Philadelphia Eagles - Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
  15. Indianapolis Colts - Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois
  16. Baltimore Ravens - JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
  17. Washington Redskins - Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
  18. Tennessee Titans - Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
  20. Denver Broncos - Budda Baker, S, Washington
  21. Detroit Lions - Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

Leading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dolphins had signed safety Nate Allen, quarterback David Fales, tight end Anthony Fasano, guard Ted Larsen, safety T.J. McDonald, and linebacker Lawrence Timmons. At this point, Miami is still comfortable with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who would not have his knee injury for another couple of months.

Miami’s top needs in this Draft were seen as linebacker, cornerback, edge rusher, and interior offensive line. During the Draft, Miami would address these concerns, adding Missouri defensive end Charles Harris in the first round, linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Ohio State in the second round, then Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley in the third round. The team had two fifth-round picks, adding Utah guard Isaac Asiata and LSU defensive tackle Davon Godchaux wiuth those selections, then ending the draft with a sixth-round selection of Oklahoma State defensive tackle Vincent Taylor and seventh-round pick from Virginia Tech, wide receiver Isaiah Ford.

McMillan has proven to be a solid middle linebacker for the Dolphins, despite an injury that cost him his rookie season. Tankersley looked like a stud cornerback, then slipped in his second year before an injury cost him the end of 2018 and all of 2019. Asiata never could find the form to see regular playing time, but Godchaux has proven to be a steal from this Draft. Taylor was a solid depth option with some great special teams play, but was injured in both 2017 and 2018 before being waived in 2019 and joining the Buffalo Bills. Ford is still sticking around the Dolphins and is probably a bubble player right now, fighting for a sixth wide receiver spot on the roster.

This Draft found some good talent for Miami, but it was headlined by the bust that has been Harris. Miami traded their 2017 first-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round pick - not exactly screaming great return on investment from Harris. He finished his Dolphins career with 61 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Obviously, I am not going to keep Miami’s pick the same.

I thought about running back Joe Mixon with the selection, but at this point, Miami has Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, and Damien Williams on the depth chart, so they have the running backs they need - they just need to not trade them away in the future. Evan Engram or O.J. Howard could make sense.

I wanted a pass rusher, and Takkarist McKinley is on the board, but I think there is another option. Miami’s starting safeties at this point are Reshad Jones and McDonald - two strong safeties. It is the opposite of the issue they seem to have this year, where Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe seem more like two free safeties. While injuries have slowed his development, grabbing Ohio State safety Malik Hooker with the 22nd pick seems like a good move for the Dolphins.

Over three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts after being selected with the 15th overall pick in 2017, Hooker has appeared in 33 games, starting 32 of them, recording 114 tackles, 10 passes defensed, seven interceptions, and one fumble recovery. The Colts have declined to use the fifth-year option on Hooker, but the biggest issue is likely his consistency as he has returned from the ACL and MCL tear he sustained in 2017. He appeared to play better down the stretch last year, and in Miami, he could be the key to solidifying the backend of the defense.

Was Hooker the right pick?

Where should I be looking as we move into the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft?