The Miami Dolphins have been aggressive this offseason, upgrading the roster and reshaping it to better fit new head coach Mike McDaniel’s vision of the team. They have added offensive weapons, brought back key members of the defense, and positioned themselves to move from a winning franchise to a playoff franchise. But, have they done enough to use a “best player available” approach for the 2022 NFL Draft?
The easy answer is yes, because the team will not be making many selections in the Draft. After the trade for wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs and the trade of wide receiver DeVante Parker to the New England Patriots, Miami’s selections for this year have dwindled. The Dolphins are first on the clock in the third round with the 102nd overall pick. They then have the 125th overall pick, a fourth-round selection, with two more picks, both in the seventh round, at the 224th and 247th overall selections.
With the 102nd overall pick as the team’s first selection, they really can just take the best player available, not overly concerned about the position.
Of course, the “best player available” approach is not a science. How do the Dolphins rank the player versus what the fans think. Position needs always weigh into the big board of prospects, meaning there is no way to view “BPA” without some aspect of the team’s needs.
What are the Dolphins’ top needs heading into the 2022 NFL Draft?
The Dolphins have added tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams this offseason, but they likely could still be looking to continue to develop the line. Center probably makes the most sense, though Miami could consider Michael Deiter as a solid starter for this season. The other option is to look to add a right tackle, joining a competition that likely includes Robert Hunt, Liam Eichenberg, Austin Jackson, Greg Little, Adam Pankey, Larnel Coleman, and Kion Smith. Even just considering a player as a developmental/depth option would make sense.
This is a favorite of fans right now, with an upgrade at the inside linebacker the main focus. Miami seems to like Jerome Baker, Elandon Roberts, and Duke Riley as the main options at the position, with Andrew Van Ginkel and Jalean Phillips likely the starting outside linebackers. Sam Eguavoen fits in as well, potentially playing at either inside or outside position. Adding a player to the interior rotation and freeing up Baker to play more outside is not a bad option for the Dolphins. Adding a depth player who they can develop behind Roberts would make sense as well.
The Dolphins head into the season with Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson as the top three on the depth chart. Lynn Bowden, Jr., seems to be a great fit for the new offensive scheme coming to Miami this year, while Preston Williams has potential to be a contributor to the offense, but he has struggled with staying on the field thus far into his short career. Adding a depth wide receiver, especially one who could add special teams work to his responsibilities, is a smart move for the team.
There is no punter on the Dolphins’ roster. That makes it a huge need. Will the Dolphins use a draft pick on a punter? Could veteran Thomas Morstead be the answer? Something has to happen here, and selecting a punter in the Draft (Matt Araiza) would not be a bad move.
Raekwon Davis is a stud in the middle of the Dolphins’ defensive line, but they need someone behind him on the depth chart. The team can slide people around, and Christian Wilkins has played in the middle of the line, but he has so much ability when he is freed from the double-teams that come as a nose tackle. Miami should consider a true nose tackle this year to provide depth behind Davis.