If you were looking for the best damn Miami Dolphin’s 2021 NFL Draft review on the internet, and if you’re reading this, you obviously are, then you successfully have found it. Why is the review of the 2021 Miami Dolphin’s draft the best you’re going to find? Well, did you read the title? It says it right there. Case closed where I’m sitting.
First off, hats off to Stone Cold Brian Flores and Chris Grier for taking this draft out behind the woodshed and teaching it a lesson. And that lesson was a lesson in strategy and foresight. The Dolphins made impact picks that set this franchise up for the next few years. And that’s what I think will be a hallmark of a Flores and Grier draft. They’re always thinking about the next few years while also, naturally, caring very much about the present. Their stubbornness when it comes to certain positions is almost at the point of being respected. I enjoy their arrogance at times. The confidence they have in their vision will not waver. That’s what I love about the direction of this franchise. They don’t really care about filling needs that appear like gaping holes on the team. They want their kind of guys with that secret sauce called versatility who they can plug right in and expect nothing less than that player doing their job with no excuses. And if you can’t do the job, they will not hesitate to find your replacement the following year.
Outside of quarterback, I have no reason to think that any one player will have more than a four-year shelf life when they come to the Dolphins. You’ll have your outliers here and there, but by and large, the Dolphins will have much turnover with the roster every two seasons. High valued and thought of rookies aren’t even safe as we’ve seen in the past. If this regime gets a bad feeling about you, you’re going to be gone sooner or later. Beware of getting jerseys of any guy going forward.
On to the best damn Miami Dolphin’s 2021 NFL Draft review out there.
This is one of the two guys that I thought the Dolphins were going to be drafting due to Pitts and Chase being off the board when Miami drafted at #6. I wrote weeks ago that I would take Waddle over DeVonta Smith. I think he brings an element that is less reliant on others, such as a good pass-blocking offensive line. You can get the ball to him short, and he’s more of a threat than Smith to make something out of it.
When Miami was on the clock, I kept telling myself that my head says to take Penei Sewell, but my heart said take Jaylen Waddle. Sewell would have been a great pick. I know that left-tackles such as Sewell come around less often than receivers like Waddle. I get that. But what the Dolphins are building with their skill’s guys like the addition of Fuller and even Bowden last year and now bringing in Jaylen Waddle could be very fierce. Sprinkle in DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki and the Dolphins may really have something here.
I realize almost every offense in the league right now looks great on paper. Every fan of any team can look at their list of names on offense and make the case that they’re going to be scary and say things like, “how is a defense going to be able to cover all this?” Well, offenses every year get guarded for several stretches of time and some flat-out stink, so that’s how. But the table is really set for Tua. If he doesn’t take a healthy step forward, then I’m not sure he makes it to year three due to the cut-throat nature of Flores and company. Unfortunately, he probably won’t get more time, but that’s just where the NFL is headed in regards to the number of time quarterbacks get to show if they have it or not.
I’m not too worried about the ankle injury that Waddle suffered last year for Alabama. Call me nuts, but I don’t get too nervous about rebreaking bones. Ligaments and tendons frighten me a bit more about being reoccurring injuries. Hopefully, the two-headed monster of Godsey and Studesville don’t try and bring Waddle along slowly. Get right after it and use his attributes like we all know he should be used. Don’t overthink it.
I saw many Miami fans saying this was a bad pick, and the reason it’s a bad pick is because of Ted Ginn. I honestly don’t know how the two are anywhere near related since Ginn was drafted 14 years ago, but maybe I’m the weird one here. They’re really fast, but Waddle is the better player. I don’t think I have to get into why he is other than he’s not a one-trick pony.
Oh, and this gif was a great start by Waddle. Yes, I know there’s more to the video of him hugging his family, but you know it was funny.
Who would have thought the Dolphins would draft back-to-back Jaelans who both have injury concerns? It must have been +2,200 on Fan Duel.
Phillips, who many analysts had as their top defensive player in the draft, actually fills one of those gaping holes that the Dolphins had, and that was edge rusher. I think he’ll be at least a rotation guy to start and very possibly will be a day 1 starter. The guy is a beast and has a motor that just doesn’t quit. His power is right in your face and is solid at setting the edge, something the Dolphins have had issues with for years.
The injuries are a slight concern to me. Not the ankle or wrists issues but the multiple concussions. He’s had a bunch, and I can see him getting off to a nice start to his career and then see him walk to the blue tent, and then he’s out for an unknown amount of weeks. It’s tough to predict concussions, and the world we live in doesn’t really screw around with them. My fingers and toes will be forever crossed while Jaelan is in the game. If he stays healthy, Phillips should be a top pass-rusher in the league for years and possibly have multiple pro-bowl caliber years.
Potentially my favorite pick in the draft. This pick has Brian Flores’ fingerprints all over it. Holland was the first safety taken and might be the replacement to Minkah Fitzpatrick that Flores craves. That secret sauce is what you get with this guy, and that’s versatility. Holland can play free safety. He can play up in the box and stuff the run or do wonders covering guys out of the slot. If I’m Erick Rowe or Bobby McCain, I would seriously think about stepping up your game because one of you is probably gone in the very near future.
Holland had nine INTs in his two years at Oregon, so the ball-hawking label fits him. He’s also an established punt returner which is great because maybe they could have Jaylen Waddle not be doing that. I think that would be smart. We don’t need another Preston Williams situation happening.
Flores likes to move all of his defensive players around the field. It’s why we saw a ton of Bradon Jones blitzing last year when no one thought that was going to be a thing. I expect Holland to be used similarly, probably playing a bit more in the back end in the secondary than Jones did.
I’m trying to come up with a Mr. Holland’s Opus name for Jevon, but nothing sounds right. If anyone wants to take the reigns on that, be my guest.
When you thought that maybe the regime was good with their offensive line situation, they go ahead and trade up eight spots to select Tua’s potential blindside blocker. This guy has started for years at Notre Dame, a school that produces elite linemen. He also hasn’t given up a sack in two seasons, which is pretty good if you think about it.
Many analysts had Eichenberg near the end of the 1st round a few months ago. Not sure what made him slide a bit. Perhaps it was Brian Kelly saying out loud that he won’t be a left tackle in the NFL. Kelly looks like he’ll be right, but you might want not want to say that to the public.
With the trade of Flowers and the subsequent talk of Big Bob Hunt sliding to right guard, right tackle was a bit unclear. Now with Eichenberg, I think it’ll be his job to lose come training camp. The Dolphins now have an extremely young offensive line. Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley, Dieter/Skura, Hunt, and Eichenberg, you’re probably going to have three second-year players and rookie starting on this unit. I think this is how Flores wants it so that he can keep bringing in offensive linemen every year and see which combination works the best. Next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if this unit has different guys due to the nature of Flores being very willing to send guys packing or to the bench.
Also, and let’s not forget that Liam Eichenberg might be the first Liam to start for the Dolphins ever. I think that needs to be taken into account.
You think that tight end isn’t a position that the Dolphins would even think about due to having Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, and Adam Shaheen, and then they go ahead, and draft Hunter Long who I had to make sure wasn’t one of Howie Long’s sons. But again, Brian Flores and Chris Grier don’t care about team needs that much. Also, they’re always thinking about the future and the future states that Gesicki and Smythe will be free agents next year.
Now is Hunter Long the air apparent to Gesicki? Who knows at this point. But this regime is preparing themselves for life without one of their tight ends. Does this mean if Gesicki decided to walk next year after asking for big-time money, that the Dolphins won’t look for another, more established replacement than Hunter Long? No, it doesn’t.
Long is a big guy at 6’6 and runs a 4.6 40. That’s not bad at all. He blocks okayish but being a pass-catcher is his best strength. The most fun stat I saw was that he had more catches last year than Pitts. We know Pitts is the better player but remember when we made a big deal that Jarvis Landry had a billion catches every year for like 912 yards? This is like that.
Long is the kind of guy we never see until around week 9, and he has two really nice catches out of nowhere and then we say, “let’s see more of him,” only to not see much more than that. That’s how I see this going down.
You can’t have too many offensive linemen, amiright? Flores and Grier believe deeply in that ideology. Larnel Coleman played at UMASS and played right tackle. He did it well enough to be drafted in the 7th round of the NFL Draft, so kudos to him.
I don’t know what kind of in-depth analysis I can give you here about a guy that will probably be a backup lineman for a while at best. But who knows, Myles Gaskin was a 7th rounder, and now he’s the starting running back, so anything is possible with this regime. Coleman wasn’t drafted for no reason. So if I’m connecting the dots, Coleman will be the starting right tackle to start the year, not Liam Eichenberg. I may have just talked myself into Larnel Coleman being my favorite pick of the draft.
Who said the Dolphins don’t care about the running back position? I know I did but who else said it? Miami took Doaks with their last pick in the draft, and watching his highlight tape; he seems awesome. What stuck out to me is that he’s a very capable pass-catcher. That’s a staple in this offense. All the backs have to be able to catch swing passes and check-downs.
Doaks is 230LBs, so he’s able to run in between the tackles and grind out 1st downs. That’s the kind of back I feel the Dolphins need to compliment Gaskin. The depth chart has Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed, and Patrick Laird ahead of Doaks, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Laird doesn’t make the team. I also wouldn’t be shocked if we never see Ahmed again and never get a reason why. That’s right up Flores’ alley.
The prevailing wisdom is that the Dolphins did great things with this draft. Most websites and analysts are giving them around an A. The thinking is that the Dolphins look like they got four starters with their first four picks. That may be the case. Obviously, time will tell. Waddle and Eichberg will definitely be day one starters, and that Phillips and Holland will play a lot but may not start right from the beginning. Just a guess at this time. Enjoy your Monday and like always, thank you, Laremy Tunsil.
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