Dolphins add Alabama’s Raekwon Davis, a massive defensive tackle, in second round of NFL draft

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The Miami Dolphins continued the theme of fortifying the trenches on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL draft.

Miami used its first second-round selection (pick No. 39) to draft Louisiana-Lafayette offensive lineman Robert Hunt, adding him to the first-round selection of USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson.

And with the team’s second pick in the draft’s second round (pick No. 56), the Dolphins selected Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis.

The 6-foot-6, 311-pound Davis, who was projected as a second- or third-round pick, produced 175 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his four seasons at Alabama. He can play defensive tackle, nose tackle and defensive end.

Davis played all along the Crimson Tide’s defensive line, which means he’ll fit seamlessly into the Dolphins’ 3-4 hybrid scheme that utilizes multiple fronts.

Davis is praised as a “sudden mover” and a good athlete, especially for a player his size. But he never lived up to the superstardom that was expected of him.

“He was handled up front. He was good against the run, but you want to see a little bit more pass rush, a little bit more disruptive,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr said of Davis. “Pass rushing is something he has to improve and develop.”

Only five teams were worse than Miami when it came to defending the run last season. The Dolphins allowed 2,166 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 485 attempts, which averages out to 4.5 yards per carry.

The recent release of Jonathan Ledbetter and Gerald Willis makes addressing the defensive line a priority for the Dolphins.

Willis was the only backup to defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Christian Wilkins on the 53-man roster, and Ledbetter, Avery Moss and Zach Sieler were the only 3-technique defensive ends on Miami’s training camp roster.

Wilkins, Miami’s 2019 first-round pick, and Godchaux collectively had just four sacks and seven tackles for loss last season.

The Dolphins bolstered their defensive line in free agency, signing edge rushers Kyle Van Noy (four years, $51 million), Shaq Lawson (three years, $30 million) and Emmanuel Ogbah (two years, up to $15 million) to improve their pass rush.

Adding another defensive tackle or two in the draft would be beneficial for Miami, especially since Godchaux is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

The Dolphins’ defense finished last in the NFL in several categories last season, including points allowed (30.9) and yards per game (397.8).


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