Ex-Dolphins 1st-Rounder Gets New NFL Opportunity: Report

Ex-Dolphins first rounder Noah Igbinoghene signs with Commanders in free agency.

Getty Former Miami Dolphins first-round cornerback Noah Igbinoghene is on the move again.

Not every first-round selection is a hit in the NFL, and that statement would apply to former Miami Dolphins cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

The Dolphins selected Igbinoghene with the 30th overall pick in the 2020 draft. Unfortunately, the Auburn product only lasted three seasons in Miami before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys.

On March 17, Igbinoghene signed with the Washington Commanders in free agency, following former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the NFC East rival. ESPN beat reporter John Keim was the first to report the news, informing: “Washington has signed CB Noah Igbinoghene per source. Depth signing/special teams.”

Washington is the third NFL franchise that Igbinoghene has played for heading into what will be his fifth season in the league. He was only on the field for a total of 25 defensive snaps with Dallas according to Pro Football Focus.

Noah Igbinoghene Got Off to Rough Start in First 2 Dolphins Seasons

Igbinoghene was given his best chance to make an impact during his rookie year with the Dolphins, appearing in 16 games and registering 286 defensive snaps. Both were career highs.

Needless to say, it was a rough debut campaign for the youngster. Per PFF, Igbinoghene allowed a 133.9 passer rating when targeted in 2020. That equated to 306 yards and 18.0 yards per reception, as well as three touchdowns over 17 catches.

From there, Igbinoghene appeared in 16 games over his next two seasons in Miami. He had another poor statistical effort in 2021 in far less usage.

During his final year with the Dolphins, Igbinoghene improved slightly over 238 defensive snaps. His passer rating against dropped to 77.1 and his reception percentage allowed was a career-low 47.8%.

Igbinoghene also managed his first NFL interception that season, but his coverage grades were still troubling, and he was flagged for three penalties.

Despite the mild bounce back, Miami elected to trade the first-round talent for cornerback Kelvin Joseph — another struggling draft pick — at the tail end of training camp. Joseph, a second-round selection of the Cowboys, appeared in four games for the Dolphins before he was waived.

He has since spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, and just signed a reserve/future contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in January.

What Will Cam Smith’s Role Be With Dolphins in 2024?

Heading into year two, Miami is hoping 2023 second-round selection Cam Smith doesn’t turn out like Igbinoghene and Joseph. The first step in decreasing those odds is Smith moving up the depth chart in training camp.

“With [Jalen] Ramsey and [Kendall] Fuller and [Kader] Kohou and [Nik] Needham, Dolphins have 4 corners who can play inside or outside,” Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson noted on March 14. “And you can be sure Cam Smith will get a long look on the boundary in May and June OTAs and training camp/preseason.”

But will a “long look” translate into a real role on the defense in 2024?

Smith mostly redshirted his rookie campaign on the defensive side, registering 22 snaps with former DC Vic Fangio’s unit according to PFF. The draft pick did log 210 snaps on special teams, but his cornerback usage was limited.

When on the field, Smith allowed all three of his targets for a total of 24 yards against. This came over just 15 coverage snaps, yielding a passer rating of 100.0 when targeted.

As a run defender, Smith was also credited with two key defensive “stops” and zero missed tackles in his seven remaining snaps. It would be nice to see the South Carolina product get on the field more in year two.

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