Dolphins’ ideal two-round NFL draft scenario: Playmakers, pass-rushers and a center


MIAMI — It will be a shock if the Miami Dolphins do not depart the primary two rounds of the 2021 NFL draft with at the very least one (and extra probably two) playmakers to assist quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the offense.

With the draft about two weeks away (April 29-Might 1 in Cleveland, ESPN/ESPN App), time is working out for projections. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. launched a two-round mock Tuesday that has the Dolphins taking Florida tight finish Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 total choose (after a commerce up with the Atlanta Falcons from No. 6) and Michigan defensive finish Kwity Paye at No. 18. Kiper additionally has them taking North Carolina working again Javonte Williams at No. 36 and Michigan offensive sort out Jalen Mayfield at No. 50.

The most recent mock by ESPN’s Todd McShay had Miami taking Alabama extensive receiver DeVonta Smith at No. 6 and USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 16 after a commerce up. The “what I might do” mock by ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum had the Dolphins getting LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase at No. 6 and Vera-Tucker at No. 18.

We’ll depart the complete mock drafts to Kiper, McShay and Tannenbaum. However at present, we lay out the best-case situation and lifelike projections for every of the Dolphins 4 picks within the prime two rounds. This is a take a look at some potential selections Dolphins basic supervisor Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores may face on draft day.

First spherical, No. 6 total

Greatest case: Their desire between Chase and Pitts

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Joey Galloway has a tough time deciding which extensive receiver he would draft first: Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith.

A dream situation? A number of scouts that spoke with ESPN imagine Chase is the draft’s clear No. 1 receiver whereas Pitts is taken into account one of the best tight finish prospect in at the very least a decade. That is a win-win alternative.

The Dolphins buying and selling from No. 3 total to No. 12, then again to No. 6 tells us they probably have a small (perhaps three to 5) group of elite non-QB prospects graded intently collectively and can be ecstatic to land anybody from that group. An informed guess is that it consists of Pitts, Chase, Smith and perhaps Oregon offensive sort out Penei Sewell and Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle.

Who would Miami choose on this situation? I give the slight edge to Chase over Pitts right here, however both can be an amazing choose, including an infusion of uncommon playmaking potential.

Reasonable: Smith

Some take into account a situation the place Atlanta drafts Pitts at No. 4 and Chase goes to Cincinnati at No. 5 with Smith falling to Miami at No. 6 a worst-case situation for the Dolphins. I would not.

The Smith disrespect has gotten out of hand. Sure, he is solely 170 kilos, however the Heisman Trophy winner was very sturdy at Alabama, his clean potential to separate and get open reminds some scouts of Corridor of Famers Issac Bruce and Marvin Harrison, and he was extra productive final 12 months towards SEC defenders than any pass-catcher in current school soccer reminiscence — together with Chase and Pitts. Soccer Outsiders projected Smith because the draft’s most efficient receiver over the subsequent 5 years.

The highest three picks this 12 months — by the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 1 total), New York Jets (No. 2) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 3) — are projected to be QBs. If Miami agrees with the overall consensus that Chase and Pitts are the draft’s prime pass-catchers, it’s going to hope a fourth quarterback and/or Sewell goes within the top-5 so it could possibly draft the one who falls to them. The draft may go that manner, nevertheless it additionally would not shock me if Miami takes Smith over Pitts or Chase.

Additionally price watching: Sewell, Waddle and Northwestern offensive sort out Rashawn Slater

First spherical, No. 18 total

Greatest case: Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons

Early within the draft course of Parsons was talked about as a candidate for the Dolphins’ prime choose, however the inflow of quarterbacks, playmakers and offensive linemen prone to be drafted early means defensive expertise will get pushed down. You may make the argument that Parsons is the draft’s finest defensive participant, so odds are towards him being obtainable at No. 18. Nevertheless, he performs an off-ball linebacker place that has been devalued in recent times, so he may fall into the mid-teens.

Parsons matches the Dolphins’ love for versatile defenders. He can cowl sideline-to-sideline, defend cellular QBs and rush the passer as a blitzer and edge rusher. If Miami is snug with Parsons and he is obtainable, he’d be an amazing choose.

Reasonable: Paye or Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari

Alabama working again Najee Harris can be a robust chance right here and it might be a troublesome choice to choose him vs. ready for a again, however groups are likely to see extra worth drafting pass-rushers larger, in order that’s the best way we go on this situation.

Ojulari is my favourite EDGE prospect and matches as a 3-4 outdoors linebacker in Miami. He holds up properly towards the run for his measurement (6-foot-2, 249 kilos), has proven manufacturing together with his pace rush, and there is upside if he diversifies his pass-rush strikes. Getting him at No. 18 can be a win. Paye is not as polished as Ojulari, however he has a measurement benefit, measuring 6-2 1/2, 261 at his professional day. Miami EDGE Jaelen Phillips‘ concussion issues (he medically retired in December 2018 earlier than transferring from UCLA) makes him dangerous for a first-round choose.

Additionally price watching: Harris, Phillips, Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins, Vera-Tucker and Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins

Second spherical, No. 36 total

Greatest case: Harris

Run up the cardboard. Harris is an ideal match as a three-down full again who might be a focus of the Dolphins’ offense, and he is obtained an amazing relationship with Tagovailoa. Odds are he is most likely passed by No. 36, however working backs do have a tendency to slide decrease than they’re projected. Just one again went within the first spherical in every of the previous two drafts, and a few scouts favor Clemson’s Travis Etienne to Harris this 12 months.

Reasonable: Williams

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Matt Miller seems at Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams and wonders if they are going to be taken within the first spherical of the NFL draft.

The Dolphins have to land one of many top-three backs within the draft after putting out in 2020. We polled 9 expertise evaluators on the draft’s top-three backs. The outcomes proved this can be a Large 3 group, not only a Large 2. Williams’ bodily working type is paying homage to Las Vegas Raiders again Josh Jacobs or a extra athletic Chris Carson (Seattle Seahawks). He can be match.

Additionally price watching: Etienne, Miami defensive finish Gregory Rousseau, TCU security Trevon Moehrig, Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh and Mississippi receiver Elijah Moore

Second spherical, No. 50 total

Greatest case: Alabama heart Landon Dickerson

If he had not suffered a knee harm in December, Dickerson would most likely be a first-round choose. The Dolphins want a long-term heart and Dickerson can be good worth at No. 50. Even when he does not contribute a lot early in his rookie season coming off a torn ACL, he brings the toughness, management and run-blocking potential the Dolphins need.

Reasonable: Wisconsin-Whitewater heart Quinn Meinerz

The Dolphins obtained a variety of worth from teaching the Senior Bowl this 12 months, and it’s best to pencil them in to draft at the very least one participant they noticed over the last week of January in Cell, Alabama. Meinerz was a practice-week star, having a variety of success towards big-school defenders. He appears like a Flores man. Fellow Senior Bowl heart Creed Humphrey of Oklahoma is one other worthy possibility.

Additionally price watching: Humphrey, Oregon security Jevon Holland, Wake Forest defensive finish Carlos Basham Jr., Houston defensive finish Payton Turner and Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning

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