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Grading the Miami Dolphins' rookie class

Laremy Tunsil made the often-difficult transition from left tackle to left guard look easy. AP Photo/John Cordes

The Miami Dolphins had one of their best seasons in recent memory. They won 10 games in 2016, in part due to the immediate production they got from their rookie class.

But did all of Miami's first-year players make the grade? Here is the Dolphins' rookie report card:

First-round pick: OL Laremy Tunsil

Grade: A-minus

Analysis: Most draft experts pegged Tunsil as a "steal" for Miami at No. 13 overall. Those experts were correct as Tunsil helped solidify an offensive line that carried the team at various points. Tunsil made the often-difficult transition from left tackle to left guard look easy. He also filled in at left tackle for three games in place of veteran starter Branden Albert. Durability was an issue in college and Tunsil missed two games due to ankle and shoulder injuries. Otherwise it was a stellar first season as Tunsil proved to be a franchise building block for years to come.

Second-round pick: CB Xavien Howard

Grade: C-plus

Analysis: Howard looked NFL ready from the start with a strong performance in the spring during organized team activities and minicamp. But he had two knee injuries in the summer and fall that required surgery and was in and out of the lineup. Howard had good moments and flashed plenty of potential. He finished with 40 tackles and zero interceptions. But Howard never developed that consistency needed as a starting corner, partially due to the multiple injuries.

Third-round pick: RB Kenyan Drake

Grade: B-minus

Analysis: The good news is Drake took advantage of nearly every opportunity given to him. The bad news is Drake didn't get a lot of opportunities overall. His biggest play was a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that sealed Miami's victory over the Jets. Drake also had an impressive 45-yard touchdown run in an overtime win over the Bills. He only rushed for 179 yards on 33 attempts and should get a bigger share behind starter Jay Ajayi in his second season.

Third-round pick: WR Leonte Carroo

Grade: D-minus

Analysis: The Dolphins traded up to snag Carroo in the third round in hopes that he would push Kenny Stills for playing time. That never happened as Stills upped his game with a team-high nine touchdowns as Carroo struggled to find a role his rookie season. Carroo finished with just three catches for 29 yards. What's also disappointing was Carroo didn't contribute on special teams. That led to being inactive. He had one flash this season with a touchdown catch against the San Francisco 49ers. Otherwise, it was a surprisingly quiet year for the rookie. The Dolphins need Carroo to step up his game in Year 2, especially if Stills leaves Miami in free agency.

Sixth-round pick: WR Jakeem Grant

Grade: C-minus

Analysis: Grant had some shaky moments, especially fielding punts. But Grant also added 604 return yards and a touchdown to justify making him a sixth-round pick. Many sixth-rounders in the NFL don't make the 53-man roster. Grant stuck around because of his ability to make things happen in the open field. Late in the year Miami even put in a package for Grant on offense, although it was seldom used.

Sixth-round pick: DB Jordan Lucas

Grade: D-plus

Analysis: Give Lucas credit for spending the entire season on the active roster. However, Lucas didn't make an impact with just two tackles on special teams. With various injuries at cornerback and safety this season, the versatile Lucas had a chance to climb the depth chart to get playing time. But nothing materialized. He has a lot to prove in Year 2 in order to make Miami's 53-man roster.

Seventh-round picks: TE Thomas Duarte and QB Brandon Doughty

Grades: Incomplete

Analysis: It would be easy to give both Miami seventh-round draft picks an "F" grade. But that would be unfair, considering both players spent much of the season on the practice squad. The Dolphins knew they were taking fliers on two offensive projects in the final round with Duarte and Doughty. Blocking remains a huge issue with Duarte and one that's kept him off the field, despite numerous injuries at the position. Doughty still has a long way to go, which was evident when Miami signed veteran backup T.J. Yates late in the season instead of promoting the rookie when starter Ryan Tannehill injured his knee.