The Dolphins won ten games and earned a wildcard playoff berth to secure their best season in nearly a decade. The defense, ranked 29th in the league, needed help and the first selection was Charles Harris, the long-limbed, explosive athlete with a nose for the ball. He can beat blockers off the edge while maintaining a low pad level with the ability to turn ninety degrees. Can make himself small and slippery, getting through creases. Five of the seven selections were on the defensive side of the ball. The big ticket free agent was former Steeler Lawrence Timmons. Harris has made a great first impression in OTAs as a consistent disruptor. The pass rush specialist lined up against last year’s first round tackle Laremy Tunsil and he produced numerous pressures and would-be sacks. Harris is displaying a huge tool box of moves and counters to get to the passer. He has been explosive off the ball, uses his hands like a veteran, and has been showing off his rip and spin moves. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan has demonstrated his strength, motor, and speed during OTAs. The three linebackers in the mix for fall action are veterans Kiko Alonso, free agent pickup Laurence Timmons, and McMillan. The thick and sturdy ex-Buckeye brings a violent level of impact to his game. Very strong lower body, he looks to be an asset in zone pass coverage. Cordrea Tankersley is getting snaps as a backup corner and a versatile defender who can cover receivers in the slot. He has the talent to help both inside and outside. Tankersley has learned how quickly NFL quarterbacks make decisions and challenge corners. He also has learned how complex NFL coverages are compared to college defenses. The ex-Tiger has been real aggressive during OTAs as a press corner. Isaac Asiata is getting work at center as well as at guard with Mike Pouncey recovering from injury. The ex-Ute has impressed his coaches with his brute strength. Ndamukong Suh has also beaten up on the rookie and has taken Asiata to the school of hard knocks. Asked how many wins he had against Suh during one-on-ones and Asiata replied “none”. He will be competing for a backup spot. Davon Godchaux, along with fellow draft class defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, are two run stuffers who are fighting to get in the rotation behind Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. Godchaux has flashed explosive sideline to sideline agility in OTAs. He plays with toughness and energy. Vincent Taylor knows how to get his hands up in the throwing lane and he has batted down passes in OTAs to prove it. Taylor blocked five kicks in college and he may use those long arms and big hands as a special teams’ asset. The Dolphins also like his ability to press the pocket as a pass rusher. Isaiah Ford has a chance to win the number four receiver spot in a crowded wide receiver room which includes Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Leonte Carroo, and Rashawn Scott. The most prolific receiver in Hokie history dropped in the draft due to his 4.66 time in the 40-yard dash. Landry went through that a few years ago. GRADE: AVERAGE.
FREE AGENCY: Former Steelers’ linebacker, Lawrence Timmons, was the Dolphins’ target in free agency and he was signed for 11 million in guaranteed money. Others brought in include Ted Larsen (OC/OG), Nate Allen (FS), Jermon Bushrod (OG), Anthony Fasano (TE), TJ McDonald (SS), John Denney (LS), and David Fales (QB).
NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Damore’ea Stringfellow (Mississippi) WR and De’Veon Smith (Michigan) RB.