The Dolphins’ best draft pick from each offseason of the Chris Grier era

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The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of one of their biggest offseasons in franchise history.

They’ve spent a ton of money and draft picks to bring in top-tier talent such as left tackle Terron Armstead, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, runnings backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert and much more.

Now, in less than two weeks, they’ll be looking to add more young players to their roster in the draft with the hopes of finding both contributors and depth to complete their transition from 2021 to 2022.

With that said, it’s a good time to look back on the past drafts with Chris Grier at the helm, and see who the best players Miami ended up with in each year were.

2016: CB Xavien Howard (Second round, No. 38 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Howard has been one of the best in the NFL since he was taken by the Dolphins in 2016. Since he was drafted, no player in the league has had more interceptions than Howard (27) which has helped him make three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

Now that Howard’s contract situation is squared away, the cornerback has said he wants to retire with Miami, so he has the potential to be one of the greats in the franchise’s history.

2017: DL Davon Godchaux (Fifth round, No. 178 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2017 may have been Grier’s worst draft in his tenure. Charles Harris and Raekwon McMillan were the first and second-round picks, respectively, and neither made it to the end of their rookie contracts with the Dolphins.

It wasn’t until Godchaux was selected in the fifth round that Miami found a contributor for four seasons. He recorded 179 tackles and three sacks in his time with the Dolphins while playing 57.8% of defensive snaps. Now, he’s in New England, essentially playing the same amount he did in Miami.

2018: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (First round, No. 11 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

2018 was the complete opposite of the year prior. In the first three rounds, the Dolphins took Fitzpatrick, Mike Gesicki and Jerome Baker. And, while the other two are still around, Fitzpatrick is clearly the best player of the three.

Before he was traded to Pittsburgh just 18 games into his career, he had already recorded 80 tackles, nine passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He really hit stride when he went to the Steelers. He was named first-team All-Pro in both 2019 and 2020.

“What would’ve happened if Fitzpatrick continued with the Dolphins” is a question that will be in Dolphins fans’ heads for a while.

2019: DL Christian Wilkins (First round, No. 13 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Wilkins has been in Miami for three seasons, recording 192 tackles, 20 quarterback hits, 11 batted passes, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and an interception. That’s not even mentioning his offensive role as a fullback that’s allowed him to score two touchdowns.

However, how Wilkins affects the game is much more than what’s happening on the stat sheet. He’s often able to penetrate and allow one of his teammates to clean up the play with a sack or tackle for a loss. On top of his play on the field, his infectious energy is a big part of this team’s locker room dynamic.

2020: OL Robert Hunt (Second round, No. 39 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2020 was an up-and-down draft. Grier took Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene in the first round, and the jury is still out on all three, at this point.

However, in the second round, they grabbed Hunt and Raekwon Davis, two solid contributors. Hunt probably gets the slight edge for being able to play multiple positions on the offensive line and looking like the only competent member of the worst unit on the team for stretches.

2021: WR Jaylen Waddle (First round, No. 6 overall)

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

2021 looks like another home run draft with Waddle and Jaelan Phillips going in the first round and Jevon Holland going in the second. It’s tough to put anyone above the wide receiver who set a rookie record for receptions in a season for the league and the rookie record for receiving yards for the franchise.

Waddle proved to be one of the most dynamic route runners in the league last season with his quick release and impressive footwork. Now, with Hill and a competent offensive line, Waddle should be able to show that he can do even more. He should be able to achieve his goal of putting up more yards after the catch in his second season.

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