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2023 NFL Draft: Which Tight End is the best fit for the Miami Dolphins?

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Tight End is one of the Miami Dolphins’ biggest needs ahead of the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft after the team moved on from Mike Gesicki in the offseason.

Miami does have Durham Smythe, who recently signed a two-year extension worth up to $8.75 million, who’s a valuable inline player, but so far in his career has been too ineffective to be the sole threat in the passing game.

2023’s TE class is one of, if not the strongest position groups in the entire draft, with plenty of prospects likely to be taken in the first three rounds.

Whilst the Dolphins are without a first-round pick, they do have the 51st and 84th overall selections, where there should be a few players who can make an impact in Mike McDaniel’s offense.

Who are the best Tight End prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft?

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1. Dalton Kincaid – Utah – 6ft 4in 246lbs – Round 1 prospect

Kincaid is mostly regarded as the best tight end this year and is expected to go in the first round, therefore likely being out of the Dolphins’ reach.

In 2022, the man who is the best-receiving prospect in this group put up 890 yards and nine touchdowns on the year, and whilst not the best blocker, he has enough to get by in the pros.

Kincaid has a nice get-off, and accelerates quickly, almost like a receiver which is one of his best traits. He’s also difficult to bring down, with 397 yards after catch in 2022, the most in the class.

2. Michael Mayer – Notre Dame – 6ft 4in 265lbs – Round 1-2 prospect

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Mayer is an all-around tight end, who is the best option to come in and succeed right away. He’s an accomplished blocker who’s also a terrific receiving weapon.

In 2022 Mayer amassed 809 yards, and nine touchdowns, and lead his fellow draftees in catches in traffic, putting up 17, six more than anyone else.

He’s more of a big-body traditional TE, which has prompted many, including myself, to have him as the best prospect in this class. If Mayer falls to the second round Chris Grier should be working the phones trying to move up to the front.

3. Darnell Washington – Georgia – 6ft 6in 264lbs – Early Round 2 prospect

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Washington is huge! He’s one of the tallest in the class at almost 6ft 7in, whilst also possessing a huge wingspan. He’s an absolute beast in the run game and has the potential to be the best TE in this draft.

Whilst he’s not the receiver that Kincaid or Mayer are, he’s got a tonne of potential and has the ability to go up over the top and win in the pros. 4.65 was an insane 40 yard dash time at the combine.

Although Washington is a project, he has so much upside that it’s unlikely he’ll be there at 51 for the Dolphins. After an impressive combine, he’s rising up draft boards. 

Who’s the best fit for the Miami Dolphins on Day 2?

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1. Sam LaPorta – Iowa – 6ft 4in 249lbs – Round 2 prospect

LaPorta is another great receiving tight end and one who stretches the field. He’ll be hard to bring down with his 4.59 40 time and 20 missed tackles, which was enough for the 2nd most in CFB in 2022.

He’s more of a Mark Andrews-style player, rather than the traditional Iowa product that we see in the likes of George Kittle and TJ Hockenson, but like Kincaid, he has enough in the run game to be a starting TE in the league.

LaPorta had the fourth most snaps in a zone run-blocking scheme last year, making him a great fit for Mike McDaniel’s offense, as Kittle was in San Francisco. If he can be half the guy in the run game, they’re onto a winner.

2. Tucker Kraft – South Dakota State – 6ft 5in 255lbs – Round 2-3 prospect

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Much like Mayer, Kraft is more of a common NFL tight end than Kincaid and to an extent LaPorta. His tape at South Dakota State shows an impressive understanding in the run game.

Whilst he’s not got the speed to take the top off a defense that some other prospects have, Kraft is another tight end who comes alive when the ball is in his hands.

2021 was a very good season for Kraft, but he was unfortunately injured for part of 2022, which paired with his production being at a small school has resulted in him being considered a late second to early third-round prospect.

3. Davis Allen – Clemson 6ft 6 in 250lbs – Round 3 prospect

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Allen is another who’s trending upwards as we move closer to the draft. He was a great red zone target at Clemson and another all-purpose tight end who can help out in the run game. 

Like LaPorta, Allen has more experience at zonal blocking than most of the top prospects, with PFF giving him a desirable grade in both zone and gap-schemed runs.

Allen went for 443 yards and five touchdowns from 39 receptions in 2022, whilst catching 11 of 12 balls in traffic, which was second to only Michael Mayer, showing he has reliable hands.