Omar Kelly: Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects That Fit the Dolphins’ Needs

Teams don’t have to pick in the first or second round of the draft to find an NFL star.

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

And many of these talents, such as wide receivers Tyreke Hill and Cooper Kupp, quarterback Dak Prescott, pass rusher Max Crosby, forward Orlando Brown, tight end Mark Andrews and defenseman Alvin Kamara, are some of the best players in their respected positions.

The 2016 draft had a dozen players selected in the third round or later who became Pro Bowl talents, while the 2017 draft had 13 players selected in the third round or later who became professional bowlers.

So there’s no reason why the Miami Dolphins, who own four picks, the first of which is a third-round pick (No. 102), can’t walk out of the 2022 NFL Draft with multiple spikes.

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

Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall

Tindall was a role player in Georgia all but his senior season, where he finished third on the national championship team with 67 tackles, 7.5 losses and 5.5 sacks in 15 games. He is a smooth engine that can cover a lot of ground. But he lacks a sense of play and has occasionally had trouble with offensive playmakers in space.

Wake Forest Center Zach Tom

Tom played center and spent the last two seasons as a left tackle for Wake Forest. He is athletic, fast, and agile enough to be an effective reach blocker for a pattern outside of the zone the Dolphins intend to use. At 6’4″ and 295 pounds, he’s a bit short (6-4, 304 pounds), so he’s predicted as a Day 3 candidate.

San Diego State player Matt Araiza

Anyone who is called the “god of the punt” must be dynamic, and Araiza certainly is. He has elite leg strength and field-flipping ability that could make him the top pick in the draft since Todd Sauerbrun was ranked 56th overall in 1995. Most NFL insiders expect him to be taken at the conclusion of the fourth round. and can immediately enter the top ten players in the NFL.

Oklahoma edge rusher Nick Bonitto

Former St. Thomas High School standout Aquinas, who earned 18.5 sacks in Oklahoma, is a short (6-3, 248) winger who can transition well into linebacker in the Miami hybrid circuit. He ran 40 yards at the NFL Combine with a 4.54, so there’s speed. As well as flexibility, but he was often consumed when he defended himself.

Arkansas edge rusher Tre Williams

At 6’4″ and 252 pounds, Williams has the explosive first step and the athleticism needed to finish the game. He has the physical tools – length, frame and balance – to effectively establish an advantage. His lateral quickness will probably ensure he gets drafted, but he has a DUI charge and a second-degree domestic violence charge that he has cited less, and teams need to investigate it thoroughly.

Georgia quarterback James Cook

The younger brother of Viking running back Dalwyn Cooke, James possesses his brother’s one-hit-and-jump running style and the ability to smoothly fold treadmills at the second level. However, his small frame (5-11, 199 pounds) indicates he may not be able to handle the workload of 200 touches in an NFL season. In fact, during his four-year college career, he made a total of 230 carries for 1,503 yards (6.5 per carry) and 20 touchdowns.

Baylor wide receiver Taikuan Thornton

Thornton, who posted a 4.28 rush time for 40 yards, is one of the fastest players in the draft class. But 6ft 2in, 181lbs is more than just speed. With 143 passes for 2,242 yards and 19 touchdowns in four seasons at Baylor, Thornton has an impressive reach and nimble hands. He could have been an NFL star with the right training.

Kentucky center Luke Fortner

Fortner has the central build (6-4, 307) and length, as well as the leadership qualities needed to command the offensive line. He is not the best athlete in his place, but he has what it takes to get better. He has a flexible position considering he has spent most of his career at right back and plays with top-notch body control and balance.

Jayden Peavy, Texas A&M umpire

Peavy is a two-year-old starter with the size, length, and power at point of attack to create movement in the trenches. Despite his impressive 6-foot-5 and 308-pound weight, he can be below the pads of offensive linemen. His biggest worry is that he’s been on the ground for too many snaps per game.

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 weighs 6-3, 310 pounds) to produce anchor power. He can move up to the second level and be an effective player in a season or two with the right development.