Did the Miami Dolphins Get the Steal of the NFL Draft in Mohamed Kamara?

The injuries that derailed the Miami Dolphins' 2023 Super Bowl hopes are still a factor in 2024. Drafting Mohamed Kamara was a smart hedge by Chris Grier.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — At least the Miami Dolphins shouldn’t have to worry about pulling Justin Houston and Bruce Irvin out of retirement for a playoff run this year.

Yes, general manager Chris Grier’s decision to double up at pass rusher in the NFL Draft — taking Penn State’s Chop Robinson in the first round and then Colorado State’s Mohamed Kamara in the fifth — was a value play for the Dolphins.

But given how crippling late-season injuries were to the team’s championship hopes last year, it was probably also a need pick, too.

Miami Dolphins’ Mohamed Kamara 2024 Outlook

Kamara and Robinson will report to minicamp next week for their first practice as pros. Two weeks later, they’ll participate in their first OTAs.

The latter will be a good early test of their readiness to contribute. If Miami’s rookie EDGEs can hold their own against veteran tackles Terron Armstead, Austin Jackson, and Kendall Lamm (assuming all three participate), head coach Mike McDaniel and defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will breathe a sigh of relief.

In part, that’s because it’ll suggest that the Dolphins could get by should Jaelan Phillips or (more likely) Bradley Chubb be unavailable for the opener.

And while Robinson rightfully has the highest expectations based on his draft position (the Dolphins took him with the 21st pick), don’t discount Kamara having an impactful role in Year 1.

Why? He probably should have gone a round earlier than he did (158th overall). And in 2023, draft position wasn’t predictive of production.

Standout Rookie Pass Rushers

Kobie Turner (Los Angeles Rams) led all rookies with nine sacks in 2023. He was a third-round pick.

So were the Rams’ Byron Young (eight sacks) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher YaYa Diaby (7.5).

“To be honest, I’m very excited, but I also am very, very angry going the round that I did,” Kamara said last weekend. “That’s just my personality. I knew I could’ve went higher and I wanted to go higher, but the lovely team of Miami picked me up and I’m going to give them that burning desire.

“I have a chip on my shoulder, so it just got even greater. So everybody else, all 31 other teams, look out because the way I’m about to play against these guys, you should’ve picked me before. That’s just the type of person I am, so respect to those guys and I’m grateful for Miami for picking me up, but I know what I’m going to bring to the field and every other team has to see me.”

MORE: Grading the Dolphins’ 2024 NFL Draft Picks

If Kamara’s tape is any guide, what they’ll see is a relentless pass rusher who more than makes up for what he lacks in size (6-1, 248 pounds) with athleticism.

He ran a blazing 4.58-second 40-yard dash (with a 1.58 split) at the NFL Scouting Combine, and broad-jumped 10 feet.

But this is no workout warrior. He’s an excellent football player, earning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2023 after producing 13 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.

He was particularly effective on third and fourth downs, with a 27.2% pass-rush win rate, per Pro Football Focus.

That’s why most expected him to go at least a round earlier than he did last weekend. He was the No. 123 prospect (and No. 12 EDGE) on the PFN consensus big board.

“We were kind of surprised he was there,” Grier said. “The guy has a tremendous motor. When you watch him play, he just plays hard. He’s relentless, his motor, and just loves football.

“… This guy loves football and is very prideful and feels he’s better than some people that were selected in front of him and he made it known. He’s very excited to be here and that we took a chance on him.”

KEEP READING: Dolphins’ 53-Man Roster Projection on Defense

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