Dolphins were planning to draft LB Myles Jack at No. 13

Myles Jack
Myles Jack

The Dolphins never expected Laremy Tunsil to be available with the No. 13 pick.

But they were ready to grab linebacker Myles Jack.

If Tunsil hadn’t been on the board, the Dolphins were going to draft linebacker Myles Jack, according to a source.

The Dolphins believed he might have needed surgery down the road but believed he would have been fine early in his career.

With concerns over his knee, Jack dropped all the way to the second round — No. 36 overall (fifth pick of the second round).

The Dolphins also tried hard to trade up for Jack in the second, but weren’t able to pull it off.

Miami was also interested in cornerback Eli Apple with the No. 13 pick. Once he went to the Giants at No. 10, the Dolphins were going to draft Jack, if Tunsil wasn’t there.

If Apple and Jack had both been on the board, it appears that Miami would have taken Apple over Jack.

Receiver Leonte Carroo, the Rutgers receiver the Dolphins traded up to get in the third round, was considered a second rounder, according to a source. So the Dolphins obviously have high hopes for him.

If the Dolphins were going to take a cornerback, Xavien Howard was the player they targeted all along. So the trade up for him isn’t a surprise.

Top players still available for Dolphins in NFL Draft

Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich
Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich

It’s Day 3 and the Dolphins still have three picks left — a fifth-rounder (No. 147 overall) and two seventh-rounders (No. 227 and No. 231).

Here are some of the top players still available who could be of interest to Miami:

Linebacker:

Despite the addition of Kiko Alonso, the Dolphins could use help at linebacker. GM Chris Grier acknowledged the team was trying to trade up early in the second round yesterday so it seems like they were trying to land Myles Jack.

But they ended up going with cornerback Xavien Howard, running back Kenyan Drake and receiver Leonte Carroo on Friday.

There are still some decent linebackers available.

It was considered a weak draft for middle linebackers and Reggie Ragland — who Buffalo grabbed in a trade up — is the only true inside linebacker who has already been selected.

Tyler Matakevich isn’t the biggest player but he was extremely productive at Temple. He might not make it to the fifth round.

Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers was projected by some as a second round draft pick but he’s still on the board.

Clemson’s B.J. Goodson, Arizona’s Scooby Wright III, Stanford’s Blake Martinez and Oklahoma’s Dominique Alexander are available.

At outside linebacker there are some talented undrafted players.

Ohio State’s Joshua Perry, Wisconsin’s Joe Schobert, West Virgnia’s Nick Kwiatkowski, Akron’s Jatavis Brown, Oklahoma’s Eric Striker and Minnesota’s De’Vondre Campbell are available.

Defensive end

The Dolphins this year are banking on two aging defensive ends in Cam Wake and Mario Williams.

But at this point in the draft they probably aren’t getting a player who will contribute anymore than the current reserves Andre Branch, Damontre Moore, Chris McCain and Terrence Fede.

It never hurts, however, to take a pass rusher. While there are no surprises left at defensive end (all of the projected top players were selected) here the top players available.

Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper, Appalachian State’s Ronald Blair, Northwestern’s Dean Lowry, Utah’s Jason Fanaika, Grand Valley State’s Matt Judon, Southern Utah’s James Cowser, Penn State’s Anthony Zettel, Notre Dame’s Romeo Okwara and Vanderbilt’s Stephen Weatherly are all on the board.

Defensive tackle

Aside from Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins production at defensive tackle was average at best last year.

But like defensive end, Miami would probably be getting a depth player at this point in the draft.

However, there are some talented defensive tackles still available — including four of the top 10 players still left on ESPN’s Todd McShay board — Baylor’s Andrew Billings, Notre Dame’s Sheldon Day, Texas’ Hassan Ridgeway and Michigan’s Willie Henry.

Clemson’s D.J. Reader and Temple’s Matt Ioannidis are also available.

Tight end

Jordan Cameron will start again for the Dolphins this year and Dion Sims will back him up. But Cameron and Sims are both in the final years of the deal and it’s unclear how big of a role Sims will play for new coach Adam Gase.

South Carolina’s Jerrell Adams is the top tight end left.

UCLA’s Thomas Duarte, Harvard’s Ben Braunecker, Montana State’s Beau Sandland, Western Kentucky’s Tyler Higbee, South Carolina State’s Temarrick Hemingway and East Carolina’s Bryce Wiliams are available.

Quarterback

The Dolphins haven’t drafted a quarterback in the Ryan Tannehill era but it might be time to select a developmental player.

Michigan State’s Connor Cook is still on the market and it would be surprise to see him drop out of the fourth round. The Dolphins would seemingly have to trade up for him unless he has a real free fall.

Mississippi State’s Zac Prescott, Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, Arkansas’ Brandon Allen, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty and Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld are the top players available.

Dolphins trade up to draft Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo

The Dolphins traded up to select Rutgers receiver Leonte Carroo with the No. 86 overall pick in the third round.

Miami gave Minnesota its sixth-round pick this year, and a third and fourth round pick next year.

Carroo put up lofty numbers at Rutgers with 29 touchdowns in three seasons.

He had 39 catches for 809 yards (20.7 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns in 2015.

“It was a best player available (pick),” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said. “He was a target player — 29 touchdowns in his career. He adds toughness and has speed for a big guy.”

Grier said Carroo will play special teams and compete for offensive snaps right away.

The Dolphins already had a solid trio of receivers in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills.

Stills contract is up after this season.

First-year coach Adam Gase is trying to build a potent offense.

“You’re adding another alpha personality to (the group),” Grier said. “It will be interesting.”

Carroo is confident, describing himself “as a much faster Anquan Boldin.”

“I’m very physical,” he said. “I rely on my speed a lot. I only had three career drops.”

The Dolphins were willing to give up next year’s third and fourth round picks because they will receive compensatory picks after losing free agents Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon.

CBS Sports scouting report:

STRENGTHS: Solidly built with firm muscle definition for his frame. Displays terrific athleticism and body control to be a threat all over the field, changing gears well with vision to weave through defenses.
Detailed route-runner who understands how to fool defensive backs in his routes, using timing to bait and get the hips of defenders turned in his breaks. He also proven an impact player on special teams coverage.

WEAKNESSES: Only ordinary height and length. Arrested and charged Sept. 12 with simple assault under domestic violence and suspended two games by the program.

COMPARES TO: Golden Tate, Detroit Lions — He’s not as explosive as Tate, but Caroo’s ability to weave through a defense and use his strong hands to grab balls reminds of the Detroit starter.

IN OUR VIEW: Carroo isn’t a workout warrior, but his film speaks volumes and is the reason he’s a top-five senior wide receiver prospect for the 2016 class. At Senior Bowl practices, Carroo showed off an exciting blend of initial quickness, agility and acceleration to sneak behind the defense, as well as strong hands and the vision to track passes over his shoulder.

September 27, 2012;Baltimore, MD, USA;Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks a 45 yard field goal during the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

How would you grade the Miami Dolphins’ second-, third-round picks?

Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, left, head coach Adam Gase, center, and Mike Tannenbaum, executive vice president of football operations, right, talk about the Dolphins' top draft pick Laremy Tunsil at a news conference, Friday, April 29, 2016 in Davie, Fla. Tunsil was selected 13th overall in the NFL draft Thursday night. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, left, head coach Adam Gase, center, and Mike Tannenbaum, executive vice president of football operations, right, talk about the Dolphins’ top draft pick Laremy Tunsil at a news conference, Friday, April 29, 2016 in Davie, Fla. Tunsil was selected 13th overall in the NFL draft Thursday night. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In Thursday’s first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins made arguably the biggest splash of the evening, selecting tackle Laremy Tunsil with the 13th pick overall.

While many have lauded the Fins’ boldness in adding the Ole Miss star — who came under fire after a photo of him smoking out of a bong surfaced just before the draft — others, like ESPN commentator Jon Gruden, have voiced their concern.

(RELATED: 6 factors in the Tunsil situation the Dolphins need to be considering)

But we’d rather hear from you. How would YOU grade the Miami Dolphins’ first-round pick of Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil … and their second- and third-round selections, respectively, of Baylor defensive back Xavien HowardAlabama running back Kenyan Drake and wideout Leonte Carroo from Rutgers?

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Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil: I’m the best player in this draft

Dolphins' Adam Gase, Laremy Tunsil and Mike Tannenbaum
Dolphins’ Adam Gase, Laremy Tunsil and Mike Tannenbaum

Dolphins rookie offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil has a simple message.

“It’s just a blessing to be here,” he said repeatedly.

After a bizarre botched introductory press conference when the Dolphins front office showed up but Tunsil wasn’t there, Tunsil finally met with the media an hour later but didn’t have much to say.

Dolphins head of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said Tunsil had an allergic reaction and initially couldn’t make it.

Social media went wild, speculating that the Dolphins or Tunsil were hiding from the media.

Then he showed up unannounced about an hour later but wouldn’t answer any questions about the video that showed him smoking out of a bong while wearing a gas mask, accepting money from Ole Miss coaches or the hack that nearly ruined his life.

“I’m drafted, I’m in the NFL,” he said. “So I’m happy.”

Tunsil said the Dolphins organization doesn’t have to worry about him.

“They got a good guy who will put everything on the line for this team,” he said.

“They gave me a chance and I’ll show them why I’m the best player in the draft.”

Tunsil said he suffered an allergic reaction on Thursday after arriving to the Dolphins facility. When asked if it was food related he said “probably” and added that it’s happened before.

Tunsil was arguably the nation’s top pass protector at Ole Miss. He said he doesn’t know much about quarterback Ryan Tannehill but that he heard from him after he was drafted on Thursday.

“He texted me yesterday,” Tunsil said. “It’s exciting to know he has my back.”

Dolphins coach Adam Gase said it’s too early to say whether Tunsil will play tackle or guard this year.

Tunsil didn’t say whether he’s ever played guard.

“I’ll play wherever they want me,” he said.

The Tunsil puzzle: 6 factors the Dolphins need to be kicking around

Many Dolphins fans today are celebrating the selection of the offensive lineman who may be the best talent in the draft. That’s fine. Optimism is why the gods included April on the NFL calendar. Still, logistics aside, if he were taken by the Patriots, would the same fans quickly brush aside concerns that some NFL teams did not? How much of fans’ vision is colored by the color of the jersey?

TunsilForgetting for a moment the logistics, what if, instead of going to the Dolphins in the first round, Laremy Tunsil had landed in New England?

That’s just one of several questions I have about the selection. You should have some, too, because the fact is, you don’t know, I don’t know, the Dolphins don’t know and even Laremy Tunsil doesn’t know if, in a few years, this selection will be remembered as genius or reckless. It’s hard to picture much in-between.

This is not to say I would not have taken Tunsil if I were Chris Grier, Mike Tannenbaum and Steve Ross. Their file on him is a thousand times thicker than mine, orchestrated by respected security chief Stu Weinstein.

Here are issues they (and we) all should be kicking around:

1. “Half the kids in college do it.”

The video posted on social media of him with a bong and a gas mask sparked an avalanche of responses, including a series of tweets from former Dolphin Jared Odrick on how pot is legal in some areas and pointing out the hypocrisy of the NFL toward recreational drugs compared to more serious, violent crimes. (Interesting to note that one team that admitted wiping Tunsil off their draft board was the Ravens, former team of one Ray Rice.)

Food for thought: Let’s not turn this into a debate about what what’s not egregious and what ought to be legal. Tunsil, a player with NFL talent, jeopardized his future by using the bong, compounded it by doing it in the presence of others and worsened it even more by allowing it to be recorded.

Tunsil admitted those were unwise choices Thursday night. Hopefully he’ll learn. With Roger Goodell around, he has no choice.

2. Was it an isolated incident?

It’s an uncomfortable issue to raise on draft night, but Grier faced that very question, plus another on whether his first-round selection loves football more than drugs. Tunsil was asked if he has a drug problem.

Grier: “There’s no doubt he loves football and football’s very important to him. So for us, we were very comfortable and once you talk to him and spend a little time, the coaches upstairs and the scouts, the room was jacked when we got him.”

Tunsil: “I do not have a drug problem. You can check all of my college tests, I never failed one.”

One other box to check: The one that says Tunsil handled Thursday night with grace and class far beyond anything anyone could have expected. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face or get him to stop saying how “blessed” he was to be a Miami Dolphin.

3. It’s mind-boggling how much prep work goes into the draft.

Think about it. The Dolphins were picking 13th overall. Tunsil was one of the top prospects on everyone’s board. Miami had no chance at him … right? So why waste time checking his background when there are hundreds of other guys who realistically could be in play? Why talk to his college coaches, high school coaches, the nurse who helped deliver him on Aug. 2, 1994?

Because stuff happens.

The video was news to you and me. It wasn’t to Grier.

“We had done work and we had known about it,” he said. “The video’s two years old, so from all the information we had we were comfortable with it.”

Grier added, “Stu Weinstein, as you guys know, is one of the best security guys in the league, security directors. (We have) done a great job of researching (Tunsil’s) background. We spent time with him at the Combine. Our area scout, Matt Winston, has done a great job in terms of researching him, spending time with him at the pro day. This is a guy — he has done personality tests, all the stuff we do.”

Initially, Tunsil inferred the video was older than two years but finally confirmed that yes, it’s from two years ago.

4. Tunsil admitted taking money from Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director.

Similar to the recreational drug issue. We could go on forever over whether college athletes should be paid (c’mon, of course they should be). We could debate whether his financial problems were legit (sure seems so).

Not the point. It’s 2016, it’s against NCAA regulations, but Tunsil did it anyway. He also was suspended half the season for taking other impermissible benefits.

Bad judgment? No other options? You decide.

5. Sometimes, you luck into a bargain.

Remember 1983? There was a QB from Pitt with a rumored drug problem. The Dolphins took a shot anyway at No. 27.

Character questions zapped Warren Sapp and Randy Moss in the draft, couldn’t torpedo Jameis Winston, and caused Johnny Manziel to fall to No. 22.

Moral of the story: Most of those guys overcame it, but every case is different. Overthinking sometimes is as bad as underthinking.

6. The unquestioned villain.

No debate necessary here. Someone in possession of the video offered to sell it to Deadspin, which declined.

That’s probably the someone who also just happened to post the video right as the draft began to maximize the hit on Tunsil’s wallet.

Does it get any lower than that?

NFL Draft 2016: Grade the Miami Dolphins’ pick of Laremy Tunsil

Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss walks on stage after being picked #13 overall by the Miami Dolphins during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss walks on stage after being picked #13 overall by the Miami Dolphins during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

So-called NFL experts are always offering up their grades of teams after the draft.

But we’d rather hear from you. How would YOU grade the Miami Dolphins’ shocking first-round pick of Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil?

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NFL draft game: Dolphins fans want RB Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State

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Welcome to Draft Day! And as you know, today couldn’t be any more important to the Miami Dolphins if Kevin Costner and Jennnifer Garner were running their front office.

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Last week we asked you to answer some questions to help the Fins make their first-round pick. And loads of you did just that.

Over 3,000 people played the game, and the people couldn’t have been clearer in terms of what they’re hoping the Dolphins do tonight.

You want Ezekiel Elliott.

Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes uses the stiff arm on Mark Murphy #37 of the Indiana Hoosiers during a first quarter run at Ohio Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes uses the stiff arm on Mark Murphy #37 of the Indiana Hoosiers during a first quarter run at Ohio Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Sure, the talented running back from Ohio State would likely require Miami to trade up from No. 13 — and Ohio State players haven’t exactly turned out smashingly for the Dolphins in the past — but about 18 percent of you say he’s the guy the team needs most to get back into the AFC playoff hunt.

Defensive back is another obvious need for the Fins after losing former All-Pro Brent Grimes to the Buccaneers. And the DB you said would be the best fit for the Dolphins at No. 13 is William Jackson III from Houston, who ended up with a smidge over 11 percent of the vote.

Corner Eli Apple, another Buckeyes prospect, came in third overall at 10 percent.

Reggie Ragland of Alabama was the top linebacker according to your selections, while Michigan State’s Jack Conklin came in as your favorite offensive lineman.

Here is the full list of possible draft picks:

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Miami Dolphins mock draft: You get to make the first-round pick!

A Dolphins fan at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on September 20, 2015.  (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
A Dolphins fan at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on September 20, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The 2016 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and the Miami Dolphins currently have the 13th pick in the first round.

Fans and experts alike have opined on who the Fins will select, but now it’s YOUR TURN.

Answer the questions on the bottom of the game to see whose name you think we should hear on April 28 in Chicago.

Click here to get to our Dolphins draft game.

How the Titans-Rams trade affects the Dolphins in the NFL Draft

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The Titans and Rams pulled off a blockbuster trade on Thursday with the Rams moving up 15 spots in the draft to select No. 1 overall.

North Dakota's Carson Wentz is in prime position to be selected No. 1 overall
North Dakota’s Carson Wentz is in prime position to be selected No. 1 overall

Tennessee moves down to No. 15 overall. The Titans also pick up two second-round draft selections, a third-rounder and a first- and third-round pick in the 2017 draft.

It was a ton for the Rams to give up in hopes that they land a franchise quarterback.

So how does this affect the Dolphins, who have the No. 13 overall pick?

Probably not much.

The assumption now is that the Rams will draft either quarterback Carson Wentz or Jared Goff with the top overall selection.

LA Times’ Sam Farmer reported that the Rams are more likely to take Wentz but that Goff is in the mix.

Most analysts expected the Titans to select left tackle Laremy Tunsil with the first pick.

But neither Goff nor Wentz were expected to last beyond Philadelphia at No. 8 overall. So that should remain the case.

Tunsil should remain a top-five pick.

The trade likely means that Goff and Wentz will be gone by the time the Eagles make their selection, which makes it more likely Philadelphia selects running back Ezekiel Elliott.

So that could have ramifications for the Dolphins, if you’re someone who believes Elliott could have made it to No. 13. But it was unlikely he would have lasted that long, even if the Eagles landed a quarterback at No. 8 (which, mind you, was the Dolphins’ original pick that they traded to Philadelphia for cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso).

The biggest loser here could be San Francisco, which was in prime position to land a quarterback.

Cleveland, at No. 2, could very well take Goff if the Rams select Wentz.

San Diego, Dallas, Jacksonville and Baltimore have the next four picks. None of them were likely to take a quarterback, although the Cowboys were possibly interested.

So assuming that Goff and Wentz now go 1-2 to the Rams and Browns, the 49ers’ only option at quarterback would be Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, who might be a reach at No. 7.

If the 49ers don’t draft Lynch, then their next two biggest needs are a tackle and receiver. Assuming Tunsil is gone, that could make Ronnie Stanley an attractive pick.

Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell is the best receiver in the draft, but he’s been dropping on boards and could be a reach at No. 7. The Dolphins have taken a look at him, but it still seems unlikely they take a receiver in the first round in back-to-back years.

The 49ers are pretty solid on defense right now, and the Dolphins are more likely to take a defensive player with the No. 13 overall pick.

So the only way this trade affects the Dolphins is if it pushes Elliott down to No. 13, which is unlikely. If anything, he’s in stronger position now to go in the top eight.

If the Dolphins were hoping to draft Stanley — and that seems unlikely as well — he’s now more likely to go in the top 10.

The smart money is still on the Dolphins taking a cornerback, linebacker or pass-rusher in the first round. And it’s hard to see how this trade changes that.