Following a return to being a competitive football team this past season, the Miami Dolphins look poised to build on their run in 2021. After going 10-6 this past campaign and narrowly missing out on the playoffs, the roster got better through free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Although the offseason was great overall, they did have a couple mistakes in the rookie selection. It wasn’t anything drastic that will alter the team’s success, but it could hinder them in a few positions.
In free agency, the Dolphins signed many players that will help them compete. The most notable free-agent signing was wide receiver Will Fuller. Fuller will help take the top off the defense for second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and will improve some dynamic offensive play. On defense, the Dolphins signed cornerback Jason McCourty, who will help improve the secondary of this team. After free agency the Dolphins were left to the draft to improve the rest of the team.
Here are two mistakes the Dolphins made in the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Running back Gerrid Doaks (Dolphins’ 7th-round pick)
Although Gerrid Doaks was the seventh-round pick by the team, it was still a reach to take him. He was projected to go undrafted, so if the Dolphins wanted him, they could have signed him after just staying patient.
Doaks is a power back who is good in goal-line situations, but not much else. He doesn’t have the speed to be an every-down running back and is not a pass catcher out of the backfield. Doaks also has a recurring fumbling issue and will need to improve in that department if he is going to see the field.
Although he has some potential upside, his ball-carrier vision is rather low. He will be a project player for the Dolphins. Someone else could have had more value at this spot.
2. Tight End Hunter Long (Dolphins’ 3rd-round pick)
In the third round , the Dolphins took Hunter Long, a tight end out of Boston College. Long offers some upside but will need time to develop, and better options were available at this spot for the Dolphins. Long is a big target and has good hands, which will at least give Tua a decent option in the red zone.
However, he is not a good run blocker and struggles to beat press coverage. Long has the potential to develop into an average NFL tight end, but it is clear he is not ready to compete at a high level. If the Dolphins can polish him up, this may not be a mistake of a pick in a few years, but as of now it is.
Overall, it was a very solid draft for the Dolphins. They got Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips in the first round while adding Jevon Holland in the second. The Dolphins were able to fill many of the holes they had heading into the draft and are primed to make the playoffs this season.
The amount of young talent on this Dolphins team is scary for the rest of the NFL, as they will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.