Davie, FL - The previous weekend saw the 2023 NFLHC draft come and go with a flurry of excitement. The Dolphins made 5 selections in the draft and are excited to introduce those selections to the fans. The rookies will be traveling to Miami over the next few weeks to begin rookie minicamps and OTAs.
SS Antonio Jackson 6-1 202 R Bowling Green [Zone Coverage] [+1] 80
2022 Stats: 9 Tackles, 1 PD
2021 Stats: 49 Tackles, 1 TFL, 6 INT, 8 PD
Antonio Jackson is a prospect that was flying up everyone's draft boards after his impressive performance at the combine and during his pro day. The 2021 MAC Defensive player of the year had one of the more impressive seasons in recent memory which lead opposing coaches to do everything in their power to avoid him in 2022. Jackson showed impressive athleticism for the position at the combine running a 4.52 40 yard dash. Draft analyst Adam Schefter projected Jackson to have a very high likelihood of success and according to head coaching consultant @vtgorilla "We are excited to have someone with Antonio's skill set and are excited to pair him with our new athletic free safety Michael Bryan. We also think there's a lot of potential in playing Jackson with current strong safety Michael Williams in some big nickel type packages."
WR Jermaine Jennings 5-11 194 R Appalachian State [Speed] [+1] 79
2022 Stats: 46 catches for 492 yards and 4 TDs
Another player that really helped themselves during the combine was the speedster Jermaine Jennings out of Appalachian State. Jennings ran a blistering 4.29 40 yard dash which was the fastest among wide receivers, and put up impressive agility numbers in the shuttle and 3 cone. When asked about Jennings, Head Coach/GM smckenz3 said "We basically sprinted up to the podium to take Jermaine, we love the athleticism he displayed in college and at the combine. Right away it gives us a weapon in the slot and someone who should grow into a #2 wide receiver opposite J.C. His big play ability should bode well for us right out of the gate."
RB Gabe Ciamo 6-0 174 R Toledo [Speed] [-2] 80
2022 Stats: 302 Carries for 1,848 yards, 6.12 YPC and 22 touchdowns
Considered one of the more controversial picks of the draft the Dolphins selected the speedy workhorse out of Toledo Gabe Ciamo. The back was one of only a handful of full time starting backs who averaged over 6 yards per carry for the entire season. Originally considered a potential first round pick the selection was met with harsh criticism from the draft panel, when asked about the move smckenz said "We felt that Gabe's value had reached a point of being underrated, especially with the next to last pick in the 3rd round. Gabe put up ridiculous numbers while at Toledo and had showed a good amount of athleticism at the combine. We have checked out his knee issues and our medical staff is confident it will not be an issue going forward. Everything pointed to him being a 3rd round selection and we were happy to get him at the end of the round. We think he will provide immediate value as a 3rd down back to help alleviate some of Marcus' workload during the regular season."
FS Jeremy Whitehead 5-11 206 R LSU [Zone Coverage] 79
2022 Stats: 14 tackles, 1 INT
Jeremy is another player who was hyped as a potential 1st round selection heading into the 2022 season. Coaching consultant @vtgorilla raved about the potential of Whitehead in the future. "With the signing of Michael Bryan in the off-season, we felt that we had addressed our immediate need at the free safety position, however; when we saw that Jeremy was still available at the end of the 4th round we felt the value was too good too pass up. We expect him to play mostly special teams this season as he adapts to the professional game, but expect he can grow into a starter down the road."
OG Edward Meyer 6-2 259 R Oklahoma State [Run Blocking] 78
Edward Moyer is another guy we felt was a fantastic value pick with our 4th round compensation pick. Meyer helped pave the way for Oklahoma State superstar Amral Brown, and should provide great depth on the Dolphin offensive line. Head Coach/GM smckenz3 said "We think Ed can grow into a starter down the road, and we are always looking to get younger especially in the trenches."
In other draft weekend moves the Dolphins went out and got punter Graham Chandler from the Washington Redskins. Coaching Consultant @vtgorilla raved about Chandler's potential "We were one of the bottom teams in the league for punting last season, and we felt that Graham showed a lot of growth over the off-season. We wanted to bring him in and give him a chance to compete for the starting job."
As the rookies prepare to head to Miami for rookie mini camps we should get a clearer picture of who will be in line to contribute right away. However one thing that is clear is the front office prioritized athleticism this off-season.
As usual thanks to @HAFFnHAFF for making my fancy graphics. These things are fantastic.