The Miami Dolphins added Texas Tech wide receiver Erik Ezukanma, California outside linebacker Cameron Goode and Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson with their three picks on the final day of the 2022 NFL draft on Saturday.
After the Dolphins started their draft with the third-round selection of Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall on Friday, Ezukanma was chosen in the fourth round, No. 125 overall, Goode was picked with the team’s early seventh-rounder, No. 224, and Thompson with the later seventh-round pick at 247.
It was mildly surprising Miami let its four selections go by without picking an offensive lineman, specifically a center to compete with Michael Deiter. The team addressed last year’s troublesome offensive line from 2021 with free-agent pickups of left tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams but no center.
“We were following our board,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said following Saturday’s slate of picks. “We don’t reach for people. We tried to move up a couple of times, but we had limited resources in terms of being able to move around. As we said before, just because the draft’s over doesn’t mean we’re going to stop looking to improve the roster.”
It’s a possible sign that the Dolphins could still look to add a center in free agency, where former Cleveland Browns starter J.C. Tretter remains available.
“We wanted competition at every position,” Grier said. “We still do have some competition with the offensive line group, with what we’ve gone through here in the spring. [Coach Mike McDaniel] and the coaching staff have been very excited about the group.”
Ezukanma, as a 6-foot-2, 209-pound wideout, presents a bigger body in Miami’s receiving corps after the team traded away veteran 6-3 receiver DeVante Parker to the New England Patriots this offseason.
Getting the bigger pass catcher appears to fit into the Dolphins’ receiving unit, complementing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who are more diminutive, speedy threats.
“It’s going to be a big opportunity,” Ezukanma said in a web conference call with reporters. “You’ve got a guy like Tyreek Hill who’s done it for a long time. Jaylen Waddle being a rookie last year and putting the numbers he put up, it’s going to be a great opportunity to learn from them and take notes and learn from [wide receivers coach Wes Welker], as well.”
Welker, who played for the Dolphins from 2004 to 2006 and came over from the 49ers this offseason with McDaniel, is a Texas Tech alum, like Ezukanma.
Ezukanma can compete in the Dolphins’ second group at the position behind Hill, Waddle and free-agent acquisition Cedrick Wilson Jr. Miami also has the 6-foot-5 Preston Williams, Lynn Bowden and Trent Sherfield, who played with McDaniel in San Francisco, among second-unit options at receiver.
“He competes,” McDaniel said. “It was exciting to watch him play, and I think he fits kind of the energy and skill level we’re looking for. We want guys to be fast or play fast, and doing both with a decisiveness and a team-first passion that he bleeds.”
Ezukanma was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2020, leading the Red Raiders with 46 receptions for 748 yards and six touchdowns. Despite breaking his arm during the following spring practices, he was named second-team all-conference with 48 receptions for 706 yards and four touchdowns, making it three straight years he led the team in receiving.
Able to make contested catches, present a deep threat and provide yards after catch, Ezukanma is also a capable special teams player. Along with Parker, he can help fill the void of 6-4 receiver Mack Hollins, who was also a big special teams contributor and went to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.
Goode is 6-foot-3, 237 pounds and touted for his pass-rushing ability. He had 20 1/2 sacks in his college career with the Golden Bears and can play physically, setting the edge as a 3-4 outside linebacker. In a web conference call with reporters, he said he enjoyed his pre-draft visit with the Dolphins.
A pass rusher is a welcomed addition to Miami’s roster with a defense that blitzes heavily. Goode, who ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, can work in to compete for reps behind starting outside linebackers Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel.
Thompson was a five-year player at K-State and collected 42 touchdowns while throwing 16 interceptions. He is a fourth arm for training camp for a Dolphins roster that already has starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, backup Teddy Bridgewater and Chris Streveler on the roster.
“It seems like, every year, Kansas State pulls an upset,” Grier said. “He’s a guy that has some potential to develop as a quarterback, has some upside.”
The Dolphins’ draft was a small one, especially after trading three of this year’s picks, including the first- and second-rounder, in a five-pick package for Hill.
The team’s focus immediately shifts to the undrafted free agent market following the draft. Miami will look to sign upwards of a dozen undrafted players to fill out the training camp roster.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/30/dolphins-add-receiver-linebacker-and-quarterback-but-skip-out-on-o-lineman-on-final-day-of-nfl-draft/