Miami Dolphins 2021 NFL Draft Recapby Ethan Hewette May 5, 2021 0 comments
The Miami Dolphins had a lot of draft capital to work with for the 2021 NFL Draft. The most significant needs for this team were to give Tua Tagovailoa more weapons, bolster their pass-rushing abilities, and continue to build their offensive line. Luckily, the Dolphins had five picks inside the top-100, and they potentially checked all three of those boxes. The Dolphins traded up, sending the 50th overall pick and a 2022 third-rounder to the New York Giants for their 42nd pick. The Dolphins have put their faith in Tua and continued to build their team around the second-year quarterback.
Make sure to check out all of our 2021 NFL Draft Team Recaps.
Best Pick: Jaelan Phillips (Round 1, Pick 18)
While some may think picking Jaylen Waddle deserves to be here, that isn’t the case. The Dolphins used the sixth overall pick to pick up the burner receiver of the draft but hit a home run with their second first-round pick. Phillips, if it wasn’t for health concerns, could have gone top-10 based on talent alone. The former UCLA Golden Bear then Miami Hurricane produced during his final college season with the Hurricanes putting up eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. However, Phillips was diagnosed with two concussions at UCLA, and that had many teams worried. However, from pure talent and potential perspectives, Phillips has the versatility and tools as a pass rusher to be an instant impact lining up opposite Emmanuel Ogbah.
For more on Phillips, check out our scouting report on him here.
Worst Pick: Hunter Long (Round 3, Pick 81)
This pick, by far, was the Dolphins’ biggest slip-up in the draft. Long garnered many touches at Boston College during his college tenure. Still, he was neither the best tight end available at this spot nor was it the most significant need for the Dolphins on day two. Tight end was probably the only spot on Miami’s squad they didn’t need to address with a top-100 pick. Most notably still left on the board at this pick was Ohio State running back Trey Sermon. He would have been an immediate impact on the Dolphins’ offense.
Now credit is due where credit is due; Long would be a welcome addition to a tight-end needy team. The former Eagle had 57 receptions for 685 receiving yards in 2020, averaging 12 yards per catch. However, this pick is planning for the potential future as the Dolphins currently have four tight ends that are essentially guaranteed a roster spot.
Sleeper Pick: Jevon Holland (Round 2, Pick 36)
Don’t be too quick to judge this selection by the Dolphins. Was Holland the best safety on the board here? No. Could the Dolphins have gotten better value addressing a different position? Maybe. However, Holland fits into head coach Brian Flores‘ defense pretty well and could be a solid slot corner moving forward. The former Oregon Duck played all over the defense, including boundary and slot corner, and reps at safety. Holland is also a playmaker forcing nine interceptions in two seasons. This would be a welcome addition to a defense like the Dolphins’ that thrived off turnovers in 2020. The fit, versatility, and Holland’s athleticism make this pick an intriguing one, and it will be fun to watch how Holland develops in Flores’ system.
For more on Holland, check out our scouting report on him here.
The Dolphins needed this to be a home run draft, and unfortunately, it did fall a little flat. Waddle is considered a reach due to injury concern. Offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg has some teams and scouts questioning if he is even a legitimate NFL prospect. Thus, making people wonder why they traded up for him. Plus, the Long selection left a lot of people scratching their heads. In round seven, the Dolphins added a couple of decent depth pieces in tackle Larnel Coleman out of Massachusetts and running back Gerrid Doaks out of Cincinnati. However, the Dolphins still have a vacancy for a three-down running back, and the offensive line questions still haven’t been answered.
Overall Grade: B-