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Dolphins add receiver, linebacker and quarterback, but jumps out at O-lineman on final day of NFL draft – Boston Herald

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 third round by Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall on Friday, Ezukanma was selected in the fourth round, No. 125 overall, Goode was selected with the team’s early seventh rounds, No. 224, and Thompson with the later selection in seventh. round of 247.

It was, to put it mildly, surprising that Miami let its four choices go by without choosing an offensive lineman, specifically a center to compete with Michael Deiter. The team tackled last year’s cumbersome 2021 offensive line with free-agent pickups by left tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams, but no center.

“We followed our board,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said after Saturday’s list of choices. “We do not reach out to people. We tried to move up a few times, but we had limited resources in terms of being able to move around. “As we said before, just because the draft is over does not mean we stop trying to improve the roster.”

It’s a possible sign that the Dolphins could still look to add a center in the free agency where former Cleveland Browns starter JC Tretter remains available.

“We wanted competition at every position,” Grier said. “We still have some competition with the offensive group, with what we have been through this spring. [Coach Mike McDaniel] and the coaching staff has been very enthusiastic about the group. ”

Ezukanma, as a 6-foot-2, 209-pound wideout, presents a bigger body in Miami’s receiving corps after the team swapped veteran 6-3 receiver DeVante Parker out for the New England Patriots this offseason.

Getting the larger catcher seems to fit into the dolphins’ receiving unit, complementing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who are more diminutive, quick threats.

“It’s going to be a big opportunity,” Ezukanma said in a web conference with reporters. “You have a guy like Tyreek Hill who’s been doing it for a long time. When Jaylen Waddle was a rookie last year, and with the numbers he put up, it’s going to be a great opportunity to learn from them and take notes and learn. of [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 an alum from Texas Tech, just like Ezukanma.

Ezukanma could compete in the Dolphins’ second group at the position behind Hill, Waddle and free-agent acquisition Cedrick Wilson Jr. Miami also has 6-foot-5 Preston Williams, Lynn Bowden and Trent Sherfield, who played with McDaniel in San Francisco, among other unit options at the receiver.

“He’s competing,” McDaniel said. “It was exciting to see him play and I think he fits the level of energy and skill we’re looking for. We want guys to be fast or play fast and that they do both with a determination and a team-first passion as he bleeds. “

Ezukanma was a first-team All-Big 12 team in 2020, leading the Red Raiders with 46 receptions on 748 yards and six touchdowns. Despite breaking his arm during the following spring training sessions, he was named the second-team all-conference with 48 receptions for 706 yards and four touchdowns, making it the three years in a row he led the team in receiving.

Ezukanma is able to make controversial catches, pose a deep threat and provide yards after catches, and is also a skilled special teams player. Together with Parker, he can help fill the void left by 6-4 receiver Mack Hollins, who was also a major contributor to special teams and went to the Las Vegas Raiders in freestyle.

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 visit to the Dolphins before the draft.

A pass rusher is a welcome addition to Miami’s list with a defense that is blowing hard. Goode, who ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash on his professional day, could work in to compete for reps behind starting outside linebackers Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel.

Thompson was a five-year-old player in K-State and collected 42 touchdowns while throwing 16 interceptions. He is a fourth arm to training camp for a Dolphins list that already has starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, backup Teddy Bridgewater and Chris Streveler on the list.

“It seems like Kansas State gets upset every year,” Grier said. “He’s a guy who has some potential to develop as a quarterback who has some advantages.”

The Dolphins’ draft was small, especially after swapping three of this year’s picks, including the first and second rounds, in a five-pick package for Hill.

The team’s focus shifts immediately to the undisturbed free agent market after the draft. Miami will look to sign up to a dozen exhausted players to fill out the training camp list.

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