Like in 2022, the Dolphins sat through long stretches of the 2023 NFL Draft with a league-low four picks. Miami had no first-round pick and two each on Day 2 and Day 3, with selections in the second, third, sixth and seventh rounds. Despite needs at tight end and offensive line, the Dolphins stayed true to their best player available philosophy on Day 2, which landed them a cornerback and running back.
On Day 3, the Dolphins came away with a wide receiver they intend to convert to a tight end and an experienced offensive lineman.
Here is what you need to know about the Dolphins’ four-player class.
Cam Smith, No. 51 overall
School: South Carolina
Height/weight: 6-0, 180 pounds
Key Stat: Smith was targeted 70 times in the last two seasons and broke up 15 passes while intercepting four, according to Pro Football Focus.
Quote: “He’s a talented athlete. He’s versatile. He’s played a lot outside. He’s played nickel. It’s just the football player and the instincts, so we’re just excited. We thought he was a good fit and where he was in the draft, we just couldn’t pass on the opportunity.” - General manager Chris Grier
Devon Achane, No. 84 overall
Position: Running back
School: Texas A&M
Height/weight: 5-8, 188 pounds
Key Stat: Achane was the only Power Five player to score as a rusher, receiver and kick returner in 2022 and earned first-team All-SEC honors as both a running back and all-purpose back.
Quote: “I’m a very unique player. I have a very unique skill set. I feel like I can do a lot. I can be a running back. I can line up at receiver and they also might want to use me on special teams, so I feel like me having all those good abilities, I feel like it’s hard for a defense to be able to cover us when we’ve already got threats that are already on the team. I just feel like me getting added to this offense is very scary.” - Achane
Elijah Higgins, No. 197 overall
Position: Tight end
Height/weight: 6-3, 235 pounds
Key Stat: Higgins forced 17 missed tackles on receptions in 2022, tied for ninth-most among Power Five wide receivers, according to PFF.
Quote: “This day and age, converting a receiver to tight end isn’t as abstract as it used to be, only because half the teams are playing spread and [two-point stances] anyway. Even if they’re called a tight end, they’re playing receiver stuff anyway. So, you get kind of used to projecting people to do things like that and we felt very comfortable and confident that he fit the bill for that.” - Head coach Mike McDaniel
Ryan Hayes, No. 238 overall
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-6, 298 pounds
Key Stat: Hayes came to Michigan with no experience at offensive line but converted from tight end and eventually made 30 starts. He didn’t allow a sack in 2022.
Quote: “He’s played a lot of football. He’s a smart kid, competitive, tough. He’s been coached at a good program. ... Just watching him and over the years develop and compete and play, for us it was very exciting at this point of the draft to add him into our group of guys to come in and compete.” - Grier