Smith recently agreed to terms with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, the Dolphins are on the hunt for another option.
“Dolphins tight ends coach Jon Embree intends to go to various campuses to work out a handful tight ends in the weeks ahead, according to a source involved with one of those draft prospects,” the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson wrote. ‘They’re being active’ at that position, the source said.”
Losing out on Smith might sting a bit, but Dolphins fans can take solace in the fact that he has been a relative disappointment in the pros. Last season, Smith played in just eight games (one start) and finished the season with 25 catches, 182 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
His lack of production was a big reason why the Vikings felt compelled to make a midseason trade for T.J. Hockenson.
Still, Smith does offer a pass-catching option from the tight end spot, and the Dolphins are in need of such a player. So, how could the Dolphins decide to target in the upcoming draft? There are a number of options.
One option seems to be Pennsylvania State University tight end Brenton Strange. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and general manager Chris Grier were seen speaking to Strange at Penn State’s pro day recently.
Coach McDaniel, Chris Grier & OC Frank Smith talking to Brenton Strange 👀
— Bobby Shouse (@B_Shousejr) March 24, 2023
Jackson offered some other prospects that could be available for the Dolphins when they make their first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft at the No. 51 overall pick.
“Tight ends projected to go in the second and third rounds include Utah’s Dalton Kincaid (projected 38th overall in ESPN analyst Jordan Reid’s mock draft), Georgia’s Darnell Washington (45th), Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave (54th), Iowa’s Sam LaPorta (60th), South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft (72nd) and Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker (84th),” wrote Jackson.
The truth is that landing one of these talented youngsters on a rookie deal could be the best option for the Dolphins. They already have a lot of money committed to the offensive side of the ball, and getting a talented player for cheap would help even some things out financially.
Still, there’s no doubt that whiffing on Smith puts the Dolphins at a disadvantage from a draft standpoint. As fans know well, the team is already thin when it comes to draft picks this year and currently slated to make just four picks this year.
Interestingly, Reid’s aforementioned mock draft on ESPN has the Dolphins selecting Schoonmaker with their second-highest pick at No. 84 overall.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins end up using that No. 84 pick to land a tight end. Clearly, they are doing their due diligence to try to find the best fit on the draft board.