This year's NFL draft was quite a slow one for us Miami Dolphins fans. With only four picks through seven rounds and none until the third round, we fans had plenty of time to sit around and listen to the talking heads tell us how great or bad everyone else was doing in the draft.
Of course, the reason that we had so few picks in this year's draft, especially at the top of the draft was due to the trade for star wideout Tyreek Hill. Miami sent their first-rounder (#29), their second-rounder (#50), as well as a fourth-rounder in this year's draft to go along with a fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder in 2023’s NFL draft to the Kansas City Chiefs to obtain Hill's services.
Below you will see what grades various members of the media handed out along with their thoughts on why they gave the grade that they did.
ESPN+ - Mel Kiper Jr.
Most of the Dolphins’ early draft capital in this class went to Kansas City in the trade for Tyreek Hill; general manager Chris Grier said his staff will “just watch Tyreek highlights” on Day 1 of the draft. So what did Miami get with the four picks it did have?
Linebacker Channing Tindall (102) could be a steal. I projected him to go early in Round 2, and the Dolphins landed him late in Round 3. He played in 50 games at Georgia but was behind Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker on the depth chart, which meant he never actually started a game. But when you put on the tape, he was flying around and making plays. He also tested off the charts at the combine for his size. Tindall found a great fit in Miami.
Wideout Erik Ezukanma (125) is 6-foot-2, but when I watched his film, I saw he dropped way too many passes. Linebacker Cameron Goode (224) could make the team as a situational edge rusher. Skylar Thompson (247) is a fun, late-round quarterback to try out, but he probably is a long shot to make the roster.
Dolphins fans are surely excited about adding Hill, but there’s not a lot to rave about with this class, outside of Tindall.
CBS Sports - Pete Prisco
Best Pick: They waited to take a player until the third round because of trades, but they nailed their first pick taking linebacker. He is a playmaker who will be better in the NFL than he was at Georgia.
Worst Pick: I didn’t like the choice of receiver from Texas Tech. Isn’t this a team with a lot of receivers already? Why not another position?
The Skinny: They didn’t pick until the third round because of trades, including to get. He was worth getting, so that helps this grade. And I love Tindall.
NFL.com - Chad Reuter
Miami did not have early picks because of trades for receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who are obviously very good players. But only time will tell whether the lost draft capital was too high a price to pay. The Dolphins were also without their original third-round selection after trading that pick last April to move up for offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg. However, they used a third-round compensatory pick acquired in the Trey Lance deal with the Niners to land a nice chase linebacker in Tindall.
With a fourth-round pick gained from a 2021 draft day trade with Pittsburgh, the Dolphins snagged Ezukanma, a reliable receiver without elite speed or quickness. Goode could play inside or outside for the Dolphins, as an instinctive player who fell under the radar at Cal. The Dolphins did not draft a center, potentially leaving Michael Deiter to handle those duties, but did find a potential backup signal-caller in the “toolsy” Thompson.
Grade Day 1: B
Grade Day 2: B+
Grade Day 3: B
Average Grade: B
Fox Sports - Rob Rank
Any analysis of the Dolphins’ 2022 draft must recognize the fact that Miami gave up its first, second, and fourth-round picks for wideout Tyreek Hill, arguably the most explosive player in the league. As such, the Dolphins made an NFL-low four draft picks over the weekend and, with former Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall a notable exception, I was not impressed with their actual draft haul.
Even Tindall, at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, was a curious selection given that his best attributes are his range and closing ability — not the bulk and physicality most see as critical to playing inside linebacker in Miami’s 3-4 alignment. I do like the size and physicality of fourth-round wideout Erik Ezukanma, but receiver hardly seemed a position of need for a club already boasting Hill, Jaylen Waddle, free-agent addition Cedrick Wilson and Preston Williams, among others. Seventh-rounders Cameron Goode and Skylar Thompson also were curious selections.
The Dolphins did nab a couple of undrafted free agents who boost this year’s rookie class. Kellen Diesch from Arizona State ranked as my favorite offensive tackle in this year’s East-West Shrine Bowl, and Idaho State’s Tanner Conner is similarly built and as talented as big slot/tight end Mike Gesicki.
With all due respect to Dolphins GM Chris Grier, this felt like an offseason in which Miami dedicated its greatest attention to veteran free agency and the trade for Hill. With Tindall a potential exception, I would be surprised if the Dolphins receive much production from the actual rookies of this draft class.
Pro Football Focus
Day 1: Miami had no first-round pick after trading with Kansas City for receiver Tyreek Hill.
Day 2: Miami’s first pick in the draft came in the third round at No. 102 where they drafted linebacker Channing Tindall. He 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.
Day 3: Erik Ezukanma brings some size (6-foot-2, 209 pounds) to the outside, which Miami needed after dealing DeVante Parker. He put up over 600 receiving yards in each of the past three seasons at Texas A&M and averaged over 15.0 yards per reception over the course of his college career. Miami continues to add talent for Tua Tagovailoa to work with on offense.
New York Post - Ryan Dunleavy
Key Picks: Channing Tindall (LB, Georgia), Erik Ezukanma (WR, Texas Tech)
Had to make the most of the fewest picks of any team in the draft (four). The rangy Tindall went a ways toward capitalizing.
The Washington Post - Mark Maske
The Dolphins sent their draft, in effect, to the Chiefs in the trade for WR Tyreek Hill. The question of whether they surrendered too much for Hill can be answered another time. The Dolphins sat out the first 101 picks before taking speedy LB Channing Tindall late in the third round.
Miami Dolphins: They had a draft-low four choices, though did pick up LB Channing Tindall (Round 3) from that championship Georgia defense. But GM Chris Grier spent this year’s assets to pry WR Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs after previously ensuring he’d have a pair of first-rounders for a QB-rich 2023 draft ... just in case.
NBC Sports - Nick Goss
The Dolphins didn’t have a ton of picks. They dealt a first-rounder, second-rounder, and fourth-rounder from this draft to the Chiefs as part of the Tyreek Hill trade earlier this month.
They did find solid value in Georgia linebacker Channing Tindal in the third round, but overall this Miami draft class is nothing to be too excited about.
Sports Illustrated - Conor Orr
This is a small class thanks to the Tyreek Hill trade, but it still managed to surprise me. While the Dolphins gobbled up another YAC wide receiver, they didn’t select a true Mike McDaniel running back or help the offensive line. The Thompson pick was interesting if it has any meaning beyond just a backup. Thompson is really athletic and has a kind of faster Carson Wentz-ian vibe to him. Could the pick be inferring that the Dolphins are going to run a good deal of zone read and want a QB versed in the system? Could Thompson be a special package guy? Should we just go to bed?
Sporting News - Vinny Iyer
The Dolphins were handcuffed into a quiet draft for GM Chris Grier and new coach Mike McDaniel given they gave up a total of five significant picks this year and the next for Tyreek Hill. Tindall did fill a need well to try to upgrade linebacker but there isn’t anything else to see here with a developmental pass rusher and passer late.
Yahoo Sports - Eric Edholm
Favorite pick: Tindall
Tindall emerged last season as a playmaker on a super talented defense after spending most of his career prior to that on special teams. 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, and this was a need position. Really good value where they got him.
Least-favorite pick: Ezukanma
He was relatively consistent and productive year to year, and even made more downfield catches than you might imagine. But with average length and athleticism, he appears to have little upside, and good teams appeared to have little trouble taking Ezukanma out of games if they wanted to. It’ll be an uphill climb to dent the WR depth chart.
Overall: Having used many of their picks as ammunition to acquire veteran talent, namely Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, this was never going to be a massive draft class for the Dolphins. So we’re factoring in the trade activity as a big piece of this puzzle. Adding value and athleticism with Tindall, that’s about where the actual draft excitement ended for Miami. Big picture, this was an important utilization of assets to make Miami better in head coach Mike McDaniel’s first season at the helm
SBNation - James Dator
Miami didn’t select until the third round because of their trades, but they got a good player in Channing Tindall. I do think it’s a huge problem that they didn’t get a decent offensive lineman, even with their limited picks. It was the biggest area of need for Mike McDaniel’s new-look offense, and they might regret not addressing it. With such a lean class there wasn’t really a “worst” pick, but both their 7th rounders were going to be UDFAs.
Pro Football Network - Ryan Gosling
With four picks, the Dolphins were only able to do so much, but they still did more than most expected. And that’s even with the Skylar Thompson pick in Round 7, which was largely without purpose. The team’s other seventh-round pick, Cameron Goode, is an athletic linebacker with a versatile projection at the next level.
Channing Tindall came in a similar mold in Round 3, but his tackling ability downhill makes him an exciting run-and-chase LB. The best pick of this class might end up being Round 4’s Erik Ezukanma, who’s a perfect fit in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Everyone talks about Ezukanma’s contested-catch ability – which is very good – but he’s just as good of a RAC threat, with some of the best contact balance in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Fansided - Mike Phillips
It is important to factor in the Tyreek Hill trade into the Dolphins’ draft class, which sapped first and second-round picks to secure the star wide receiver’s services. That did make it surprising when Miami used its fourth-round choice on another receiver, Texas Tech’s Erik Enzukama, since he is going to be a depth piece and that pick could have gone towards help in the trenches. Having Hill will be extremely important at the end of the day but the Dolphins didn’t do enough to maximize the picks they had left.
Touchdown Wire - Doug Farrar & Mark Schofield
Thanks to the Tyreek Hill trade, the Miami Dolphins were not on the clock until the end of the third round. They added Channing Tindall, an explosive athlete at linebacker who, if nothing else, gives defensive coordinator Josh Boyer the ideal spy on third-down situations to contain athletic quarterbacks. Georgia let him fly around the field and rely on his athleticism, and in that kind of role he could thrive.
Wide receiver is not a huge need for the Dolphins, given the presence of last year’s first-round pick Jaylen Waddle and the trade for Hill, but Erik Ezukanma gives them a big-framed receiver that was lost with the trade of DeVante Parker to the New England Patriots.
The Ringer - Danny Kelly
After trading multiple picks for Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins’ first pick didn’t come until late in the third round. The team grabbed a rotational Georgia linebacker in Channing Tindall, who’s raw but hyper athletic and explosive when flying downhill. Texas Tech receiver Erik Ezukanma is an intriguing mid-round pickup because of his run-after-the-catch talent, and Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson is a fine seventh round flier. Miami didn’t have much to work with and consequently didn’t come away with a whole lot in this draft. Dolphins fans can take solace in the idea that Tyreek Hill is a de facto member of this group (but I’m only including draft-day trades in this exercise).
Bleacher Report - Alex Ballentine
The Miami Dolphins are seemingly trying to emulate the Los Angeles Rams’ approach to the draft by trading many of their picks for established veterans.
- The Dolphins pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason, sending the No. 29 pick along with 2022 second- and fourth-rounders and 2023 fourth- and sixth-rounders to the Kansas City Chiefs for star wideout Tyreek Hill. That left Miami with only four picks to use this year.
- Channing Tindall is the highlight of the class. His sideline-to-sideline speed should help him get on the field as a rookie. Part of that will be in sub-packages, but he should also be a factor on special teams.
- The Dolphins took wideout Erik Ezukanma in the fourth round, but he didn’t even make the top 200 on B/R’s final big board. Luckily, they won’t need him to make an immediate impact with all of the changes they’ve made to their receiver room this offseason.
So as usual the grades for our Miami Dolphins are all over the map. The USA Today gave the Dolphins their highest grade out of this list with an A- while The Ringer’s Danny Kelly gave the Dolphins the lowest mark on this list with a D.
Out of the 18 different draft grades the Dolphins received one A-, one B+, two B’s, four B-, four C’s, four C-, one D, and one D-. And if grades for players that have yet to play at the NFL level mattered the team would have received an average grade of a C+ (2.23 average).
As a fan of the Miami Dolphins what grade would you give the team for this years draft?
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