Dolphins added depth through draft -- but not at expected positions

Check out the best plays of newest Dolphin Cam Smith (0:43)

Check out the best highlights that contributed to a stellar college career for South Carolina's Cam Smith. (0:43)

MIAMI -- If the Miami Dolphins proved anything during this year's draft, it's that they know how to learn from previous mistakes.

This four-man class might not make the same waves other teams will experience from a full slate of picks, but it served a specific purpose -- addressing areas that nearly sank the Dolphins last season.

Drafting cornerback Cam Smith in the second round didn't fill a glaring need, especially after they traded for Jalen Ramsey in March. But the Dolphins were a Xavien Howard injury away from an emergency at cornerback, with Byron Jones and Trill Williams both missing last season, and Nik Needham missing 11 games.

And in a conference with some of the best quarterbacks in the league, as general manager Chris Grier said, it's never a bad time to add cornerback depth.

"In this league, and especially in the AFC, with a lot of talented quarterbacks and teams, we can never have enough corners -- as we experienced last year with the rash of injuries that we dealt with," Grier said. "So excited to add [Smith], he’s excited to come, so we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Miami's defensive backs missed a combined 57 games to injuries last season. But even when this unit is fully healthy, there's an opportunity for Smith to earn meaningful snaps this season.

Grier said Smith's flexibility convinced them he would be a good fit under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who is keen to deploy five defensive backs more often than not.

"The cool thing about the defensive backfield in general, I think Vic has hit this on the head a number of times, but five DBs on the field, it happens almost three-quarters of the time in the National Football League now," Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. "In Vic’s defense, in his system, if you understand it, there are a lot of different ways you can get on the field. There is some position versatility that if you go back to his history, there have been various people that have played in different spots."

The Dolphins made a pick in the third round that might not have made sense on the surface, taking Devon Achane at No. 84 overall, but McDaniel made it clear why the former Texas A&M running back, who ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, was en route to South Florida.

“Speed we generally like around here," McDaniel said. "But I think it’s more of you feel like there’s a fit in terms of a guy fitting within your existing team. You’re always keeping in mind that you’re adding players to the team and really think that that group in particular, the running back room for us is very important.

"And he is fast. Chris and I share that -- we do have affection for that trait.”

The Dolphins re-signed their entire running backs room but lacked a productive third back behind Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. Achane should find a role as a versatile offensive weapon after catching 65 passes in his three seasons with the Aggies.

Achane was the only player in college football to record a rushing, receiving and returning touchdown in each of the past two seasons.

"I’m a very unique player. I have a very unique skill set," Achane said. "I can be at running back, I can line up at receiver and they also might want to use me on special teams. So I feel like me having all those good abilities, I feel like it’s hard for a defense to be able to cover us when we’ve already got threats that are already on the team.

What RB Devon Achane brings to the Dolphins' offense

Check out the highlights from Texas A&M standout Devon Achane, the newest member of the Dolphins.

"I just feel like me getting added to this offense is very scary.”

Miami went into the draft thin at multiple positions, but tight end and offensive line seemed to stand out as more prevalent than the rest -- outside the building, at least.

Grier addressed both positions with picks in the sixth and seventh rounds, but admitted they didn't agree with the outside perception of their team's needs.

“You know, when we do our board, we go through it, and there were a lot of good players that were picked ahead of us," he said. "We look at every position, we go through it. I think you guys are probably more worried than we are, in terms of the position depth at [tight end and offensive line]. But at the end of the day, we added a good football player.

"We’re happy. And like we say, it doesn’t end with the draft. There’s still guys we’re talking to in free agency, on the streets. So we’re still working through it, and we’ll keep adding the players we think fit for us.”