Waiting 101 picks before being on the clock for the first time is a long time to wait. The Miami Dolphins did exactly that Thursday and Friday night as they watched the first- and second-rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft unfold, then had to wait for most of the third round as well. Miami’s trade for wide receiver Tyreek Hill earlier this spring cut their draft capital for this year, but there were not many complaints about it then or now.
As for what the Dolphins actually did when they were on the clock, the team used the 102nd overall pick to add Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall. Lance Zierlein from NFL.com writes of Tindall in his draft profile, “Inside linebacker who proved his toughness and dependability in Georgia’s stop unit. Tindall played in a great scheme surrounded by NFL prospects, so projecting his pro potential is a little trickier. He has average size and instincts for work between the tackles, but the pursuit speed and tackling talent to run and hit from sideline to sideline. Play recognition versus the run and pass should improve with additional playing time. Tindall should be an early backup and instant four-phase special-teamer with the potential to eventually step into a starting role.”
That draft profile also has a quote from an unnamed scouting director from an NFC team. He stated, “Underrated player. He deserves more accolades as a player but with so many guys in that front, he gets forgotten a little bit.”
What do the analysts from around the league think of Miami’s selection of Tindall?
Dolphins fan Twitter grade
Snap grades. Dolphins pick Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall with 102.— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) April 30, 2022
Tindall should be a nice addition to the middle of the Dolphins defense. He’s a plus athlete and has the ability to be molded into a three-down player.
Grade: None given
As a dynamic athlete with outstanding speed, quickness and burst, Tindall is an ideal developmental prospect to groom for a bigger role down the road. The Georgia standout should excel as an A-plus special teams contributor until he is ready to compete for playing time as a potential starter.
Channing Tindall isn’t nearly as instinctual as his teammate Nakobe Dean, but man can the kid fly sideline to sideline. Blitz him consistently and never ask him to turn his back to the line of scrimmage, and Tindall is going to produce. This is a great fit in Miami.
Tindall was a rotational defender for the Bulldogs with no starts in his Georgia career, but he is an explosive athlete (4.47 40-yard dash and 42” vertical jump). While he’s occasionally a step slow to diagnose, he covers ground in a hurry and delivers some big hits as a run defender. He is my 75th-ranked prospect.
The Dolphins did not have a second-round pick after the Tyreek Hill trade and sent their third-round selection to the Giants in a trade last year to move up for OT Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg must become a good starter for that deal to tip in Miami’s favor. They did receive a third-round pick, however, from the Trey Lance trade last year. They spent that pick on Tindall, who fills a need as an inside linebacker with great speed.
A nice spot for Tindall, who emerged last season as a legitimate playmaker on a super-talented defense. He’s not yet facile in coverage and will need help getting lined up at times, but the top-shelf athleticism will ease his development. Miami can use more athletes like this to groom.
The Dolphins finally make a pick, and it’s a fantastic one. Tindall was stuck behind elite talent at Georgia, but made the most of his few opportunities to get on the field. That won’t be a problem in Miami, where his athleticism should be on full display.
Grade: None given
The Dolphins brought their entire corps of inside linebackers back this offseason, but it’s still a thin group overall that could use a sideline-to-sideline defender. Enter: Tindall. The former Bulldog is one of the fastest linebackers in this draft and should contribute quickly. Especially in a division that features one of the most dynamic players in the NFL in Bills QB Josh Allen, it was critical for the Dolphins to add as much speed as possible to the middle of their defense.
Good things happen for those who wait. Just ask Georgia’s Channing Tindall.
Tindall waited three years before he became a starter on the Bulldogs defense. He needed time to transition from a high school edge-defender into a capable and reliable off-ball linebacker.
“I didn’t know a lot about inside linebacker,” Tindall told reporters in September. “I just knew it was going to take me a little while to understand it. I didn’t try to use it as an excuse to leave or anything like that.”
Once in the lineup, Tindall’s sideline-to-sideline speed became a critical component to Georgia’s run to the national championship. The 230-pound linebacker ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Tindall doesn’t need to be in the starting lineup to impact a game, though. His energy can be beneficial as a sub-package defender or on special teams, where he excelled during his time in Athens.
The former Georgia linebacker isn’t likely to unseat either Jerome Baker or Elandon Roberts, but he may be able to contribute in some of the Miami Dolphins’ sub-packages. Tindall can make his mark early on special teams, as he did during his Bulldogs career.
As he gets more comfortable and takes advantage of his speed, he can probably push Roberts out of the lineup.
Speed, speed, and more speed. A blur on the field. But very unpolished as a LB and not a coverage type yet.
Tindall’s calling card was flat-out speed, combined with great range and finishing ability whenever getting a chance to produce in the Bulldogs’ loaded national championship defense. He fills a big need for the Dolphins and is a great value.