The 2022 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and the Miami Dolphins still have holes to address even after a busy offseason. Not even the recent acquisitions of Pro Bowl receiver Tyreek Hill and left tackle Terron Armstead have made the two-time Super Bowl champions a complete team, assuming such a thing is even possible.
As of publication, the Dolphins were slated to have five total selections in the 2022 NFL Draft and none in the top 100. As a result, Miami won’t pick until the third round, which only slightly complicates our hopes of doing a traditional three- or four-round draft for new head coach Mike McDaniel‘s team.
For the sake of simplicity, we only used the Dolphins’ current draft selections; there are no trades here that have not already happened. Also, we will not focus too heavily on Miami’s two seventh-round selections because of how erratic the final round can be and the possibility that those players don’t make the final roster. However, we will list who we believe the Dolphins should target with those last two selections.
Based on consideration of the aforementioned prerequisites, our three-round mock draft looks as follows:
Round 3 (No. 102 overall): Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
Although the Dolphins signed Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert in free agency, McDaniel would be wise to add another running back through the draft. Florida’s Dameon Pierce and Arizona State’s Rachaad White are each appealing prospects if either falls to No. 102. White, who totaled 1,456 yards from scrimmage (1,000 rushing and 456 receiving) last season, is an especially intriguing player who could be an excellent long-term fit in the Dolphins’ new offense.
With respect to those two and the idea that both might already be off the board when the Dolphins finally take the stage, we’re going to go with Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams here. The 2020 ACC Freshman of the Year totaled 2,127 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns over the last two seasons for the Fighting Irish. Williams also turned 77 catches into 672 yards and four catches during that span en route to establishing himself as one of the nation’s most explosive running backs.
One could argue the Dolphins should target other positions with their first pick, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. However, Williams has the makings of a player who could thrive under McDaniel’s watch.
Other options: Either of the running backs mentioned above; Ed Ingram, G, LSU; Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA; Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State; Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
Round 4 (No. 125 overall): Marquis Hayes, OG, Oklahoma
By trading out of the first two rounds, the Dolphins all but made it clear they don’t view upgrading the offensive line as an immediate priority in the draft. That doesn’t mean Miami can’t address the trenches on Day 3, especially if Hayes, an All-Big 12 selection, is still available early in the fourth round.
At 6-foot-5 and 318 pounds, Hayes is a brawler who often won his college battles through brute strength. Although he could use a year of development in the NFL, that shouldn’t scare the Dolphins from selecting the Oklahoma standout.
Other options: D’vonte Price, RB, Florida International (if RB not selected in R3); DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky; Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson; Thayer Munford, OT/OG, Ohio State
Round 5 (No. 158 overall): DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky
We mentioned Malone as a possible option at No. 121, so why would he still be available at No. 158? The answer, and we promise it’s not a cop-out, is the draft is extremely unpredictable when it comes to mid-major players on Day 3. It feels like there are always Conference USA and Sun Belt standouts who are seemingly consensus fourth-round prospects but fall to the fifth or sixth round.
Malone, who totaled 59 tackles for a loss and 32 sacks in five seasons at WKU, could go as early as the third round, or he might drop to the sixth round. Teams will need to ask how much of his success against Conference USA opponents will set him up for a productive NFL career.
The 6-foot-3, 243-pound Malone might have a home as a pass-rush specialist who also sees extensive special teams action. It’s not especially sexy, but those are often the players who quietly prove invaluable for Super Bowl contenders.
Other options: Alec Lindstrom, OC, Boston College; D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State; Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB; Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia; Zakoby McClain, LB, Auburn
For those who actually care about the seventh round:
Round 7 (No. 224 overall): Dontario Drummond, WR, Ole Miss: McDaniel seems like the type of coach who would appreciate a player who turned heads under Lane Kiffin’s watch. The 6-foot, 215-pound wideout exploded for 70 catches, 1,028 yards, and eight touchdowns in his final season with the Rebels.
Round 7 (No. 247 overall): Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee: Blankenship had two seasons at MTSU with over 100 tackles and has extensive special teams experience. Keep an eye on him as someone who could crack the 53-man roster.