Chris Grier has done a fantastic job infusing the Miami Dolphins with talent the past two off-seasons. Like any GM though, he has his share of missed draft picks. No matter how much film study or background work you do, the draft will always be an inexact science.
Sometimes players elevate their game when they get to the NFL and other times they fall off a cliff. Each of these players has either struggled to replicate their college success or hasn’t taken off like some evaluators thought they could.
When you talk about Chris Grier’s draft mistakes, Igbo tends to be at the forefront of the conversation. It’s hard to fault Grier for the pick though. When you turn on Noah Igbinoghene’s college tape, there is a ton to like.
Noah Igbinoghene vs Ja'Marr Chase (2019)— George Forder (@GeorgeForder3) May 16, 2021
4 tgts / 2 catches / 20 yards / 1 pbu
He had some rough games this past season, but don't sleep on @Noah_Igbo9. With more experience, he can be a top corner.
Patience. #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/mGuf8kfrw1
This was the same Ja’Marr Chase that absolutely dominated the NFL after a year off from college ball. Igbinoghene showed some real potential to be a lockdown-type of corner in the NFL. He’s always been a high-level athlete (the son of two Olympians) with good movement skills.
He has historically struggled with playing the ball once it’s in the air- the more instinctual aspect of the position. This was true in college and it has remained an issue at the NFL level. The fact that Igbinoghene made the switch to corner after his freshman season at Auburn could have something to do with that, but he’s had three seasons in the NFL to perfect his craft.
Verdict: Will go down as a Dolphins’ draft bust
Never say never, but last season was probably his best opportunity to solidify some kind of future with the organization. The Dolphins had injuries to all of their starting corners at one point or another last season. Igbo had a nice moment icing the victory against Pittsburgh but failed to even dress for some of these contests.
With the addition of Jalen Ramsey, the emergence of Kader Kohou, and the return of Nik Needham/Xavien Howard, what is Igbinoghene’s best-case scenario? He makes the team as a 5th corner and contributes on special teams... maybe?
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still young (just 23) and has some intriguing skills to build around. Some team out there will take a shot on him in hopes that he can develop into something more, I’m just not sure it will be the Miami Dolphins at this point. Maybe he plays out the last year of his rookie deal, but that is likely the end of his time in Miami.