Teams shouldn’t need a first- or second-round pick in the draft to unearth an NFL star.

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

And many of these talents, players like receivers Tyreek Hill and Cooper Kupp, quarterback Dak Prescott, pass rusher Maxx Crosby, offensive lineman Orlando Brown, tight end Mark Andrews, and tailback Alvin Kamara are some of the best players at their respected positions.

The 2016 draft featured a dozen players selected in the third round or later who became Pro Bowl talents, and the 2017 draft had 13 players taken in Round 3 or later who became Pro Bowlers.

So there’s no reason that the Miami Dolphins, who own four selections, the first of which is a third-round pick (No. 102), can’t walk away from the 2022 NFL draft with a few studs.

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

Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall

Tindall was a role player at Georgia for all but his senior season, where he ranked third on the national championship team with 67 tackles, 7.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks in 15 games. He’s a fluid mover who can cover a lot of ground. But he lacks a feel for the game, and occasionally had issues covering offensive playmakers in space.

Wake Forest center Zach Tom

Tom played center before spending his final two seasons as Wake Forest’ left tackle. He’s athletic, fast and mobile enough to be an effective reach blocker for an outside-zone scheme, which is what the Dolphins intend to run. At 6-foot-4, 295 pounds he’s a tad undersized (6-4, 304), which is why he’s projected as a third-day selection.

San Diego State punter Matt Araiza

Anyone nicknamed the “Punt God,” has to be dynamic, and Araiza certainly is. He possesses elite power in his leg and the ability to flip fields, which could make him the highest-drafted punter since Todd Sauerbrun was taken 56th overall in 1995. Most NFL insiders expect he’ll be taken by the conclusion of the fourth round, and could immediate become a top-10 punter in the NFL.

Oklahoma edge rusher Nik Bonitto

The former St. Thomas Aquinas High standout, who logged 18.5 career sacks at Oklahoma, is an undersized (6-3, 248) edge rusher, who might transition well to outside linebacker in Miami’s hybrid scheme. He ran a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, so the speed is there. So is the flexibility, but he often got swallowed up when defending the run.

Arkansas edge rusher Tre Williams

Williams, who is 6-foot-4, 252 pounds, has an explosive first step and the athleticism needed to finish plays. He has the physical tools — length, frame, and balance — to effectively set the edge. His lateral quickness likely ensures he’ll be drafted, but he’s got a DWI charge and a second-degree domestic assault charge, which he took a lesser plea to, that teams need to thoroughly investigate.

Georgia tailback James Cook

The younger brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, James has his brother’s one-cut, jump-cut style of running and ability to stack running lanes seamlessly through the second level. However, his slight frame (5-11, 199) indicates that he might not be able to handle a 200 touch-per-season workload in the NFL. In fact, during his four-year collegiate career he handled a total of 230 carries, gaining 1,503 rushing yards (6.5 per carry) and scoring 20 touchdowns.

Baylor receiver Tyquan Thornton

Thornton, who was timed at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash, is one of the fastest players in this draft class. But the 6-foot-2, 181-pounder is more than just speed. Thornton, who caught 143 passes for 2,242 yards and scored 19 touchdowns in his four seasons at Baylor, has an impressive catch radius and sticky hands. He could become an NFL star with proper coaching.

Kentucky center Luke Fortner

Fortner has a center’s frame (6-4, 307) and length, and the leadership traits to command an offensive line. He’s not the best athlete at his position, but possesses the foundation needed to get better. He has position flexibility considering he spent most of his career at right guard, and plays with top-notch body control and balance.

Texas A&M D-lineman Jayden Peevy

Peevy’s a two-year starter with size, length and power at the point of attack to create some movement in the trenches. Despite his impressive 6-foot-5, 308-pound frame he’s able to get under the pad level of opposing offensive linemen. The biggest concern is that he ended up on the ground 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’s 6-3, 310 pounds) to manufacture power to anchor. He can climb to the second level and would be an effective puller in a season or two with the right kind of development.


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