Grading the Dolphins' first pick in the NFL Draft
After selecting seven players in the NFL Draft, the Dolphins - like the rest of the league - moved quickly Saturday evening to add undrafted players.
Here’s a running list of players reportedly heading to Miami (and check back often for updates):
• UM receiver Malcolm Lewis. Overcame a gruesome ankle injury as a freshman and finished his UM career with 62 catches for 650 yards, a 10.5 average, and three touchdowns. Had 17 catches for 211 yards, a 12.4 average, and one touchdown last season.
Lewis also returned 21 kickoffs for 470 yards in his career, a 22.4 average.
He will compete with Leonte Carroo, Jakeem Grant, rookie seventh-rounder Isaiah Ford and former UM teammate Rashawn Scott and the undrafted Arkansas player detailed below, among others, for two roster spots.
This signing was confirmed, via text, by agent Malki Kawa.
• Arkansas receiver Drew Morgan: The 6-foot Morgan had 65 catches for 739 yards (11.4 average) and three touchdowns last season.
In his career, he had 138 catches for 1763 yards, a 12.8 average, and 14 touchdowns.
Morgan returned four punts for 37 yards and three kickoffs for 58 yards as a senior. He announced his Dolphins signing on Twitter.
Pro Football Focus said Morgan’s catch rate of 72.2 percent when lined up in the slot (35.4 percent of snaps) ranked first in the SEC and his 2.12 yards per route run ranked seventh.
PFF’s assessment of him: “Morgan has a lot of the skills and tools needed to be a solid receiver in the NFL but there is one big issue. His upright running style is the root of all his negatives. He gets pushed around both at the line and in his routes because of how straight up he is, and it’s a big reason he can’t win contested catches. If he could figure out a way to fix that, he could easily develop into a big-time slot receiver and possibly even move outside to the “Z” receiver role. But even if he doesn’t fix that, his savvy route-running and quick footwork should allow him to provide competition and maybe even playing time in the slot as a rookie.”
• Houston defensive end Cameron Malveaux. At 6-6 and 270 pounds, Malveaux had 17 tackles for loss with four sacks, five pass breakups and three fumble recoveries in his career, including seven tackles for loss last season.
Here is NFL.com’s assessment of him:
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of an NFL defensive end with broad shoulders, a large wingspan and a good overall weight distribution. Flashes good initial quickness off the snap, varying his rush. Quick enough to slice through gaps to disrupt on runs to the outside and accelerates smoothly, showing intriguing overall athleticism. Good effort in his lateral pursuit. Uses his length to rip down ballcarriers. Improved awareness of passing lanes as he gained experience, recording five tipped passes over his career. Voted a team captain in 2016. Good bloodlines. Uncle, Felman Malveaux Jr., played wide receiver for the Washington Redskins in 1997 and 1998 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1999.
WEAKNESSES: Struggles with pad level and is too easily rooted out of position due to his lack of leverage and core strength making his less effective than his size would suggest as a run defender. Overly reliant on his initial burst to split gaps, showing little coordination between his hands and feet as a pass rusher recording just four sacks in 52 career games. Resorts to simply pushing and pulling with opponents, getting stuck at the line of scrimmage and rarely making impactful plays.
IN OUR VIEW: Malveaux will get a long look from every NFL team simply because of his measurables but the tape does not match up. He split time between defensive end and tight end in high school and if he shows the ability to catch the ball cleanly in pre-draft workouts, he could be asked to switch back to the offensive side of the ball at the next level.
• UNLV cornerback Torry McTyer. He had three career interceptions, including two as a senior. Also returned 20 kickoffs last season for a 19.2 average.
• Punter Matthew Haack. Finished 19th in the country with a 43.9 average last season but is a major longshot to unseat veteran Matt Darr.
• Georgia cornerback/safety Maurice Smith. A grad transfer from Alabama, Smith had 50 tackles, sixth most on the Bulldogs, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 11 games, all starts. He was a team captain.
• Akron cornerback Larry Hope. He transferred from UM after one year and played two seasons with Akron, finishing with two career interceptions. He had 48 tackles and one pick last season.
• Virginia offensive tackle Eric Smith. The 6-5, 300-pound Smith was a two-star prospect out of Decatur, Ga., in 2013 but developed well with the Cavaliers.
• Temple defensive end/linebacker Praise Martin-Oguike. Highly productive player who last season had 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 54 tackles.
In his career, the 6-1, 255-pound Martin-Oguike had 17.5 sacks, 27.5 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
• Michigan running back De’Veon Smith (confirmed by his agent via text). Ran for 846 yards on 4.7 per carry last season with 10 touchdowns. Also caught 16 passes for 66 yards.
For his career, he had 2235 yards rushing on 4.5 per carry and 22 touchdowns. He’s 5-11 and 228 pounds.
• Mississippi receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow (confirmed by the player on Twitter). The 6-2 Stringfellow caught 46 passes for 716 yards, a 15.6 average, and six touchdowns last season. Had 102 career catches for 1478 yards, a 14.5 average, and 12 touchdowns.
Here is Lance Zierlein’s assessment of him on NFL.com: “Big receiver with average speed but an ability to track the ball and win it at the high point. Might not ever be dynamic enough to be a dangerous starting target, but he has the body control and competitiveness to work the second and third levels with some success. Improved route-running should improve his separation ability but average starter might be his ceiling. His best fit could be with a West Coast offense.”
• Stanford receiver Francis Owusu. A great athlete who ran a 4.34 in the 40 at his Pro Day, with a 39-inch vertical jump. The 6-3 Owusu caught just eight passes for 113 yards (a 14.1 average) in six games last season and 34 for 482 in his career, with three touchdowns.
• Northwestern Oklahoma State defensive end Joby Saint Fleur, a small school prospect, announced he is joining the Dolphins.
• Southern Illinois linebacker Chase Allen. For details on him, please click here for my April 7 post on his visit.
I had posts with in-depth analysis on each of the four Dolphins draft picks Saturday. Please click here for that.