“ %$#& it, send it in! ”
A few weeks ago, if you asked me which player I most wanted to see in a Miami Dolphins uniform, the answer would’ve been Penn State linebacker Michah Parson. I think I even went as far as saying ‘no matter what.’
But then Houston fell even further than we imagined, and that once uncertain top-5 draft pick was now A TOP-3 PICK!, opening up a world of options for Chris Grier and the Miami Dolphins.
Now instead of Parsons, my focus began to shift to Oregon’s Penei Sewell, the once-in-a-lifetime offensive lineman—or so experts say. Sure, an offensive lineman as talented as Sewell would fortify the wall in front of Tagovailoa for many years to come. But it begged the question, was an offensive lineman that dire of a need after investing three high draft picks a season ago?
Moreover, would the impact of an offensive lineman greatly outweigh that of a playmaking wide receiver? A WR like Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, who just had one of the greatest seasons in college football history?
DeVonta Smith’s Season Was Incredible
• Heisman Trophy Winner
• National Champion
• Unanimous All-American
• Led FBS in REC, REC YDS, & REC TD
• Set SEC Career REC YDS & REC TD Records
• Set SEC Single-Season REC YDS & REC TD Records pic.twitter.com/UVFnfr1xNi
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 12, 2021
I wasn’t sure the answer to that question.
Much like I wasn’t sure who my top wide receiver was heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ja’Maar Chase opted out of this year, so many people forget how good he was from week to week in 2019. But deep down a part of me was always leaning towards Tua Tagovailoa’s #1 target, dating back to his days at Tuscaloosa. And after last night’s record-setting first half at Hard Rock Stadium, it should no longer be a debate.
With the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins should draft DeVonta Smith.
I don’t care that he’s undersized.
Marvin Harrison was, too, and continues to be the name thrown around most when trying to project how DeVonta Smith will impact the next level. Smith can do everything, as we saw time and time again during his time at Alabama.
Much like Harrison, his route running and ability to create separation is a thing of beauty. Smith plays much larger than his small frame and has no problem going up and high-pointing the football. Best of all, he can play inside and outside, and when paired with Miami’s current stable of wide receivers, looks pretty darn scary on paper.
Knowing that the Dolphins will have a bunch of different options in April is definitely reassuring. Some think it would be in the team’s best interest to trade down with a quarterback hungry team and still land one of the nation’s top wide receivers. But why get cute and risk it?
We don’t know who will be calling the plays for Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense in 2021, but we do know how the offense should look. Last night vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes, we watched Steve Sarkisian call a beautiful game. Smith was unstoppable, yes, but Sark did a wonderful job of putting him in a position to succeed.
Miami needs to bring in an offensive coordinator that can innovate. Someone that can use scheme and pre-snap motion to create some of those opportunities we saw last night. But most importantly, they need to bring in game-changing playmakers.
There will be lots of talk between now and the draft on who the Miami Dolphins should select at 3 or trade down with to acquire additional draft capital. But when the dust settles, there should be only one player’s name called when Roger Goodell takes the podium to announce the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
DeVonta Smith caught 235 passes for 3,965 yards and 46 touchdowns in four seasons at Alabama.
first look at devonta smith in a dolphins uniform pic.twitter.com/LXXB4oinmk
— josh houtz (@houtz) January 12, 2021