Omar Kelly: The Best Prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft Who Needed the Dolphins

Omar Kelly: The Best Prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft Who Needed the Dolphins

Omar Kelly: The Best Prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft Who Needed the Dolphins

Teams should not require first- or second-round selections in a draft to locate an NFL star.

History proves that players drawn in or after the third round have just as good a chance of becoming elite talent in the NFL as those drawn in the first two rounds.

And many of these talents, including receivers Tyreek Hill and Cooper Kupp, quarterback Dak Prescott, pass rusher Max Crosby, offensive lineman Orlando Brown, tight end Mark Andrews and tailback Alvin Kamara, are the best players in their respected positions.

The 2016 draft featured a dozen players who became Pro Bowl talent in Round 3 or later, and the 2017 draft featured 13 players who became Pro Bowlers in Round 3 or later.

So there’s no reason why the Miami Dolphins, who have four selections, the first of which is a third-round pick (No. 102), can’t walk away with a few studs from the 2022 NFL Draft.

Here’s a look at 10 possibilities that should be available after the draft’s top 100 picks best fit the needs of Miami’s position:

Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall

Tindall was a role player for all but his senior season at Georgia, where he was third on the national championship team with 67 tackles, 7.5 for losses and 5.5 sacks in 15 games. That is a fluid that can cover a lot of ground. But he lacks a sense for the game, and sometimes had issues covering up aggressive playmates in space.

Zach Forest Center Zach Tome

Tom played center before spending his final two seasons as Wake Forest’s left tackle. He is athletic, fast and mobile enough to be an effective access barrier for outdoor field plans that the dolphins intend to run into. At 6-foot-4, 295 pounds he is a small size (6-4, 304), which is why he is offered as a third-day pick.

San Diego State Painter Matt Araiza

Anyone nicknamed “Punt God” must be dynamic, and Ariza certainly is. He has elite power in his foot and the ability to turn over areas, which could make him the most drafted punter since Todd Sauerbrunn took 56th overall in 1995. Most NFL insiders expect him to lead the way to the conclusion of the fourth round, and could immediately become a top-10 punter in the NFL.

oklahoma edge rusher nick bonito

The former St. Thomas Aquinas High standout, who logged 18.5 career sacks at Oklahoma, is an undersized (6-3, 248) edge rusher who could well transition to an outside linebacker in Miami’s hybrid scheme. He ran 4.54 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, so there’s speed. So is the flexibility, but he often got swallowed up while defending the run.

Arkansas edge rusher Trey Williams

Williams, who stands at 6-foot-4, 252 pounds, has an explosive first step and the athleticism needed to finish plays. He has the physical tools – length, frame and balance – to effectively set the edge. His lateral speed likely ensured that he would be drafted, but he has a DWI charge and a second degree home attack charge, which he took in less plea, requiring teams to investigate thoroughly.

Georgia Tellback James Cook

Leaving Vikings’ younger brother Dalvin Cook behind, James possesses his brother’s one-cut, jump-cut style of running and the ability to seamlessly stack the lanes that run through the second level. However, his modest frame (5-11, 199) indicates that he may not be able to handle the 200 touch-per-season workload in the NFL. In fact, during his four-year collegiate career he handled a total of 230 carries, achieved 1,503 rushing yards (6.5 per carry), and scored 20 touchdowns.

Boiler Receiver Tyquan Thornton

Thornton, who was at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash, is one of the fastest players in this draft class. But the 6-foot-2, 181-pounder is about much more than just speed. Thornton, who caught 143 passes for 2,242 yards and made 19 touchdowns in his four seasons at Baylor, has an impressive grip radius and sticky hands. He can become an NFL star with proper coaching.

Kentucky Center Luke Fortner

Fortner has a center frame (6-4, 307) and length, and the lead is characteristic for commanding an offensive line. He is not the best athlete in his position, but lays the necessary foundation to get better. He has the flexibility to position, given that he spent most of his career on the right guard, and plays with top body control and balance.

Texas A&M D-Lineman Jayden Peevy

The PV is a two-year starter with size, length and power at the point of attack to create some movement in the trenches. Despite his impressive 6-foot-5, 308-pound frame, he is able to get under the pad level of opposing offensive linemen. The biggest concern is that he ends up having too many snaps per game on the field.

Virginia Tech Center Brock Hoffman

Hoffman, a former Coastal Carolina standout who finished his college career at Virginia Tech, uses leverage and a wide base (he’s 6-3,310 pounds) to power the anchor. He can climb to another level and with the right kind of development will be an effective puller in a season or two.