DAVIE (AP) – Eager to force more turnovers, the Miami Dolphins drafted two cornerbacks Friday with a knack for interceptions.
Miami added Jamar Taylor of Boise State in the second round, then traded up to select Will Davis of Utah State in the third round.
Taylor made four interceptions last year and Davis had five, while the Dolphins totaled only 10 to tie for fourth-worst in the NFL.
“Both Will and Jamar have very good ball skills,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said. “Taylor is very physical. He can go up and get it or he can knock it out. Will is very good at getting the ball out, too. I think they’re both going to be playmakers.”
A dearth of takeaways contributed to the Dolphins’ 7-9 record and they devoted three of their four picks so far to changing that. Pass rusher Dion
Jordan of Oregon was their first-round choice April 25.
On the second day of the draft, Miami also added guard-tackle Dallas Thomas of Tennessee and dealt away receiver Davone Bess.
Bess is under contract for $3.4 million this year and became expendable when the Dolphins acquired free agent receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson.
“We did some things in the offseason that made us feel better about the position,” Ireland said. “We feel very good about the group we have.”
While tackle was considered the Dolphins’ most pressing need, their early focus was on defense. Taylor, the 54th overall selection, was a three-year starter at Boise State.
His 40-yard dash time of 4.39 was among the fastest at the NFL Scouting Combine.
As the third round wound down, Ireland decided one rookie cornerback wasn’t enough. He traded with Green Bay to acquire the 93rd overall pick and took Davis, a two-year starter at Utah State.
The Dolphins gave the Packers three picks Saturday – the 109th, 146th and 224th.
Taylor and Davis will compete for a starting job after the departure of Sean Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs via free agency.
“I’m just going to try to contribute the best way I can,” Taylor said. “I’m happy to be a Dolphins and, man, I can’t even explain it right now.”
Davis, who broke up 17 passes last season, said the Dolphins are correct that he has a nose for the ball.
“I think that’s one thing I’ve got above a lot of people.”