2017 Final Draft Analysis

Well, the draft is over and done with, and the undrafted players have already latched on.

After the dust has settled, the Dolphins–with the worst linebacking corps in the NFL–added one linebacker.  One.  Not a typo.

So here’s who we have:

Charles Harris OLB

Raekwon McMillan LB

Cordrea Tankersley CB

Isaac Asiata OG

Davon Godchaux DT

Vincent Taylor DT

Isaiah Ford WR

We’ve already discussed Harris, who could be great or he might not ever see the field for a while.  Every single year we hear how the latest Dolphins defensive coordinator is going to limit Cameron Wake and not let him play as much.   And then by Week 3, they realize just how irreplaceable Wake is, and they let him play again.  Maybe Harris is finally the one who, when Wake needs a rest, comes in and fills Wake’s shoes adequately.

McMillan is a fine player AND he plays a position we need.  A+ on that pick.

Tankersley is a head scratcher.  I have no problem a DB, but most of the scouts say this kid is raw, handsy (will get too many PI’s called against him), and slow to react on running plays.   Is he any better than Bobby McCain?

Asiata breaks my dream of an all defensive draft, but I can’t complain.   I see him starting on opening day.   He has a ferocity to him that we lack.   When I picture Larmey Tunsil, I see a bong mask.  When I picture Ju’Wuan James, I see a big happy smile.  When I see Asiata, I see a mean motherf’er.  I’m really glad we re-sign Jermon Bushrod, and now Asiata can play left guard and Bushrod on the right.  That leaves Anthony Steen at center, and James and Tunsil at tackle.   Not bad at all, especially with Kraig Urbick and Ted Larsen as experienced backups.  Am I forgetting anyone?

Next we took a couple of defensive tackles to go along with Suh and Jordan Phillips.  These are depth picks, and we didn’t get much productive from our DTs in 2016.  Although they are not glamorous picks, I have to appreciate that Dolphin management took a chance at upgrading some depth at a position that, if Suh ever goes down, we have nothing else.   We’d be dead in the water, so some backup was needed.

And then, as we all knew would happen, the Dolphins just couldn’t go without drafting a WR…just to piss me off.   Right after the draft, we also chose a ton of undrafted players, like every team does.  Among them were 5 other WRs.   Why not simply wait and chose Isaiah Ford as an undrafted free agent, instead of wasting a draft pick on him?  It’s not like anyone wanted him and we were in danger of losing him.  He was on nobody’s radar.  We should have snagged some hungry linebacker prospect

Here are just a few of the many players the Dolphins chose after the draft.   Ford should have been on this list:

OT Eric Smith
RB De’Veon Smith, Michigan
WR Drew Morgan
WR Francis Owusu
WR Damore’ea Stringfellow
DE Cameron Malveaux
DE Joby Saint Fleur
LB Praise Martin-Oguik
LB Chase Allen
CB Torry McTyer
CB Maurice Smith
P Matt Haack

Please Note:   Many of these “signings” are not official yet, and many have just been “reported” by word of mouth from the player talking to a friend, or posted it on Facebook, for example.  Treat all the names as rumors until the Miami Dolphins officially announce something.


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  1. Dolphins only drafted one linebacker because they also picked up one in free agency. Remember Lawrence Timmons? Mcmillan will come in and compete with Koa Misi for the strongside linebacker spot with Timmons in the middle and Kiko on the strongside. Harris should be a definite upgrade at the DE position where he can come in on passing downs and spell our starters. With Wake, Branch, Hayes, and Harris at the DE that position should be fortified. The d-line picks should also add quality depth to a much needed area. I liked the Tankersley pick also. Another quality depth add to a much needed area. Tankersley can get some snaps this year and replace Maxwell next year when he’ll be a cap casualty. Plus part of the reason the team was so bad on defense last year was all the injuries. With the additions on defense now if someone get hurts there shouldn’t be a huge drop-off in talent at certain positions. Namely at corner and in the linebacking corps. The only position the Dolphins didn’t address was free safety but I understand why. There was a early run on the more coveted safeties at the top of the second round that started with the Cards trading up to get Budda Baker and then Marcus Williams, Marcus Maye, etc.., coming off shortly thereafter. So by pick 54 the only top safety left was Obi Melifonu and apparently Mcmillan was higher on their board. Not spectacular but definitely a solid draft in my opinion.

    1. Author

      Yes, I think it was wise to avoid safeties, only because the good ones were already gone and only the iffy, so-so ones remained. I’d rather draft a solid offensive guard that a questionable safety.

  2. Admin, you didn’t mention Pouncey. Think he might get hurt again? 😁 And I think you’re right in saying we really didn’t need to waste a pick on a receiver. Maybe to challenge Grant? Idk. And someone please tell me why we didn’t draft a QB? Jay- please address that one! 😂

    1. Author

      Yes, it was a bit of a sarcastic joke to leave Pouncey out of my comments about the o-line. But seriously, the management has to assume/prepare for him being available for like 3 games this year, rather than assuming he will play 16 games. History = facts. He was healthy in weeks 15, 16, and the playoffs. Then all of a sudden he’s on crutches again attending a murderer’s funeral. Baffling.

    2. @ Sean

      The only thing I can say about them not drafting a QB is that they’re just dumb and delusional.

      If they think TannePuke is the answer at QB their is no doubt they’re hallucinating BIG TIME!!

      Mediocrity is the ceiling with this QB.

  3. @Sean

    We didn’t draft last QB because we had no picks to wast and there were no QB left in the 3rd round that would have competed with anyone on our staff.

    This was not a QB draft and the Dolphins, much to Jays frustration, already have the QB they want in place and probably have Moore for another 3 years as his backup!

    That said I think (Depending on who comes out of the NCAA for the draft) next year could be a good year to find a QB in the mid rounds that you can develop so I would be looking for your QB then.


    You didn’t leave anyone out on the OL last I saw Punchy was hobbling around with crutches just like last year and the year before. I HOPE he could have an injury free year, obviously so do the Dolphins, but this ensures we don’t need to have him all year.

    Tankersley I like the tape on him. Yes he gets beat some and yes he uses his hands to much but is there any question that our position coaches are really good? Consider that last year we were basically signing guys from McDolbalds and putting them in coverage. Not that they did great but they keep us in most games.

    So give me a kid with a world of ability and let the coaches lose on him and I’ll take it and see whT happens!

    Overall I’m very pleased with this draft. I do agree the WR is a head scratcher since we can’t keep the ones we have but maybe they have other plans. With his size I can see him on the practice team but Gase has coveted a punt returner so maybe that it? Who knows

    1. Brian, you need to learn how to spell…….then come back and post! LOL

      1. @Jay

        Learn to think and then come back and post……..

        If you actually did that I’d never see another post from you again!

        1. @ Brian

          Tell your mom to buy you spellcheck for Christmas. Then come back and post. No one can take you seriously WHEN YA CANT SPELL!!!

    2. @Brian You hit on the nose. I totally forgot we had signed a quarterback, a guy named “Fales” to compete with Doughty. My bad. I get the impression the team isn’t really sold on him.

  4. Asiata has also played center so if Pouncey gets hurt he can slide in there possibly.

  5. Should have taken a flyer on an OT for depth as I’m not sure who would go out there if someone is injured. I hate when they move a OG and then need to replace them too. Either way love the Asiata pick good value and will most likely start. Also upgrades the oline interior depth with that move.

    I’m seeing Harris being listed as an OLB but you would think McMillan will play there.

    Overall some guys may not start but they’ll play and injuries will happen they’ll be better prepared for them now especially on D.

    1. Nice thought about Harris……. I do think they will pencil McMillan in at OLB.

      One thing about Harris that I can’t understand is that the knock on him is that he is poor against the run. This would be a HUGE problem if Miami played a 4-3 defense but I am pretty sure Gase said he is staying in the Wide 9.

      One of the benefits of the Wide 9 is that is that the “Wide-9” player (Which is Wake now but could be Harris down the road) is a pure pass rusher, usually a speed rusher and he aligns out wide angled back toward the QB and has very limited responsibility in the run game. The wide-9 rushers whole job is to get of the ball, blow up the tackle, dip their shoulder and get to the QB.

      The reason the wide-9 works so well for speed rushers is that it gives the DE the clear advantage because he has a few extra steps to build momentum before the tackle gets in the way. Go watch some tape of Cam and you will see he executes the 9 spot to perfection.

      Wake is one of the big reasons the Dolphins play a Wide-9 and it looks like they want to plug Harris right in there.

      I would think thats where he is put so Cam can mentor him because if they don’t find a DE who can get that great Cam Wake Jump and execute the 9 spot then it renders the Wide-9 almost ineffective.

      Now imagine a 9 spot on the left and right side of the line rushing the passer! Late in games I could see this if Harris can learn the technique. Cam has in the past lined up on the right side of the line. I would love to see that look late in the year against Brady!

      Anyhow not to knock on your evaluation of Harris Admin but I don’t think Miami was looking for him to stop the run in much the same way they don’t look to Cam for much support in that department although Cam is much better in run support now then earlier in his career. I just think with the Patriots in our division you have to pick your poison.

      Stop the running back for 1 yard gains or get the QB on the ground.

      Late in most games the RB is on the beanch or in as a pass blocker and the QB is throwing every down!

      I’ll take the Wide-9 and see where it gets us.

      1. Yes makes sense Harris most likely will only be used for now in a pass rushing role even inside on 3rd and long sub packages. He’ll have his moments of glory…

      2. Author

        The 9-wide took us to one of the worst rushing defenses in NFL history. The D needs an overhaul. I feel that Gase is a little too stubborn, like Joe Philbin, when it comes to saying things like “It was the right defensive call. But we just didn’t execute.” When your players don’t execute on a regular basis, then you really need to look at the scheme, as well as the execution. I have no problem is the D’s game plan is “Wake, you just attack the passer and don’t worry about the running game.” But if you do that, then someone else behind Wake DOES have to worry about the running game, and we didn’t have to manpower to do so.

        1. Yes I agree with most of what your saying but I don’t know that our LB last year would have looked any better in a 4-3.

          Your line of reasoning is, “If it doesn’t work change it!”

          Gase seems to think, “If it doesn’t work change the personal!”

          I don’t think that is Gase being stubborn I just think he wants to run the Wide 9 and in today’s pass always NFL it makes sense IF you can get the personnel in to run it because it dramatically shifts the advantage to the DL and you usually have at lest one DE in the face of the QB without a blitz.

          The problem is that you need good LB to execute it which we didn’t have last year.

          I don’t fault Gase for sticking with it. Look how much experience the guys left on defense have in it now.

          If we had flip flopped from one defense to another and then back again it would have had no continuity and seemed like the coaching staff didn’t have a plan they believed in.

          Gase believes in the Wide 9 and coaching the guys who get it and adding replacements for the guys who dont. Eventually everyone should get on the same page.

          1. Author

            Agreed, but I don’t think he changed the personnel well enough. Zach Vigil gets cut? Mike Hull rides the bench? Never moving Kiko Alonso because we don’t want him to change positions?
            None of those moves made sense to me, but I can respect that Gase saw things that we didn’t.

            1. @Admin

              Again I can support some of what your saying. I like Vigil and still don’t know why we let him walk especially since he coast relatively nothing to keep.

              I thought last year we kept Alonso as the MLB because we didn’t have anyone else who could line the defense up! Not saying he did a great job but remember the series they tried Rambo at MLB that was an absolute disaster. If I remember we had back to back injuries and they moved him from safty to the MLB for three snaps and then I think it was the patriots scored a TD as we looked as lost as ever.

              I just vaguely remember this so don’t hold me 100% to that account but the question remains. Last year who else would we have put at MLB. Didn’t we try Hull there for a minute too?

  6. The Dolphins signed 3 different wide receivers as undrafted free agents right after the draft. Welcome to the world of preseason games

  7. Also in a wide 9 the OLB which is where they will probably use Mcmillan is responsible for the C gap that is vacated by the 9DE. One of the reasons we sucked so bad last year at run stopping was that our LB just weren’t very good.

    To play a gap assignment the LB must have good instincts to make the right initial jump.

    Do they jump into coverage or into the gap?

    If you chose wrong and jump into coverage on a run play the RB is in the gape BEFORE you can recover meaning a 5+ yard run

    If you choose wrong and jump into the gap on a pass play then your out of position and going to beat badly….. we saw this all year last year.

    Now there are TWO things that everyone has said are Mcmillan’s strengths.

    Instincts and sure tackling!


    He may not have the speed to run with elite TE or Slot Receivers but I think the hope is he isn’t going to be as out of position as Dan Butler, Mike Hull, or Spencer Paysinger.

    Also when you look at Timmons who they signed earlier this year McMillan is in that same mold. Great instincts and when he hits you you hit the ground!

    Alonso was a BEAST his rookie year which was only four years ago! Since then he has been injured consistently. Last year he played almost the entire year (his entire year) injured and still had a decent showing.

    The claim by Miami is that he is 100% healthy and they think he will stay that way. I of course am assuming this based on his 4 year extension and lets hope so because if he can get back to the performance he had when he was healthy our LB group will be a huge step up from what we are all used to seeing,

  8. Author

    Yes, exactly what i posted above.
    “our LB just weren’t very good” We just didn’t have the talent to fill gaps and push blockers aside. Also there’s a lot of intelligence needed. If you’re an outside backer, you have to contain the run coming at you, but also be prepared in case you have to cover the tight end. The great ones read the play quickly and adjust. The bad ones wait to see what was happening, e.g. Jelani Jenkins and Spencer Paysinger.

    1. @Admin

      “The 9-wide took us to one of the worst rushing defenses in NFL history.”

      I’m just suggesting that it wasn’t the 9-wide that was to blame.

      Rather it was probably years upon years of bad drafts and FA signings and bad coaching. I suspect that with the LB we have on the roster now the run defense will be greatly improved running the same defensive scheme.

  9. I’m glad the draft was almost all defense, injuries killed this teams defense last year and now there’s no question the depth will improve especially as these guys get older. I do wish Miami drafted a linebacker instead of a defensive end in the first round. Timmons definatly fell off a little last year and that was in a contract year on a good defense, it’s safe to assume his best days are behind him. For some reason I really see him falling off quicker than wake, I might just be a homer but wake is unbelievable I wouldn’t be surprised if he has 2 good years left in him. If smith ends up really good I’ll be wrong but it will be interesting to see who has a better career him or foster. Also I have no idea why Miami picked McMillan over Zach Cunningham who is more athletic and better suited to play in today’s NFL. I like the pick only because it a linebacker but that’s gonna be interesting to see who has a better career also. Overall glad Miami went heavy on defense, but definatly not the defenders I would of picked.

    1. Author

      Yeah, I think one of you readers pointed out that Mel Kiper said McMillan woulda been a great NFL player 10-15 years ago, but he won’t be good in the current NFL. we’ll see.

      1. Timmons isn’t a great pass coverage linebacker, and now neither is McMillan. In today’s NFL you really need two linebackers that can cover. Miami only has one Alonso, if he gets hurt opposing tight ends are going to have a field day against this defense. I’m trying to make sense of this pick but I just can’t, I get the run defense was terrible but it’s not like the pass defense was much better.

  10. Lol I meant Harris not smith I can’t even remember the guy’s name

  11. Also to add I like the corner pick I have absolutely no faith in bryon maxwell and Miami will have to pay him a shit ton next year, so hopefully this guy replaces Maxwell by that time.

    1. Author

      I’m not giving up on Maxwell. He has a lot of haters, i know. He had some production after he got benched early. Pretty much everyone is saying this is his last year, but let’s see how he does. Paying him big money in 2018 wouldn’t be the worst thing if he can be consistent. Much better than bringing in a cheaper old vet or rookie. Save a fe dollars on the salary cap is not as important as stopping Tom Brady 2 or 3 games a year.

      1. If he plays well this year I agree the team should bring him back, I just don’t see it happening, but i definatly hope your right. He did play better late in the year before he got hurt.

        1. Author

          True. I just don’t like reading crap about the Dolphins definitely won’t pick up his contract in 2018. Man, we haven’t even started 2017. let’s worry about that first!

  12. Dolphins can cut Maxwell next year with no dead money cap hit and a cap savings of 10 mil. So unless he plays like “in his prime Revis” next year his ass is adios in 2018. They drafted Mcmillan with the expectation that he can play SAM in the event of another Misi injury. And he was boosted by the fact that he’s a sure tackler as opposed to Cunningham who is more athletic but missed plenty of tackles. Plus Cunningham isn’t suited to play strongside because of his smallish frame. Only weakside and maybe mike. Mcmillan is reportedly pretty good in zone coverage as far as defending the pass and seeing how he’s only 20 he has time to improve as a man to man guy in coverage. With Timmons, Alonso, Mcmillan, Hewitt, and Misi rotating at linebacker that position should be drastically upgraded for 2017. Dolphins defense may actually have quality depth this coming season. Only glaring hole is at free safety and with all the safeties selected in the draft i’m banking on a quality vet getting cut. Hell where’s Jairus Byrd going to end up?

  13. A big part of the reason the D didn’t look good was that they were on the field the whole game. TannePuke’s many 3 n outs, failure to convert 3rd downs, and pathetic time of possession would hurt even the best of D’s.

    A decent QB would help the D as well as the O.

    1. Jay a big part of why the defense didn’t look good last year is a lot of the guys playing defense weren’t very good!

      Miami had the 28th most 3 and outs which probably makes you feel like a big man with your little comment Jay but if you were and intellectually honest person and knew anything about using google you would also know that New England had the 27th most 3 and outs and guess what idiot?

      NE had a pretty good defense and they don’t need a new QB

      Take your silly can’t think arguments elsewhere

    2. Although I will give you some credit because you put slightly more thought into this comment then your usual “Tannapuke sucks” comments so thanks for that!

  14. TannePuke also sucks on 3rd down conversions. 31st in the league.

    Who needs that??

  15. The easiest way to improve the D is to GET A BETTER QB!!




    1. TannePuke got a job as a car salesman?

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