The Miami Dolphins entered the 2021 NFL draft with a bevy of draft capital and made the most out of it. Miami is a team on the rise and its timeline to being a playoff team just got shorter.
Below are grades for the Dolphins’ draft picks.
Dolphins NFL draft picks:
1. Round 1 (Pick 6) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle has game-breaking speed that can stretch defenses to their limit and is a well-rounded prospect. He is the closest thing to Tyreek Hill in this draft class. This is not a terrible pick or even a bad one by any stretch of the imagination. It is just that with this high of a selection there are other choices that could prove to be of better value.
Oregon’s Penei Sewell was still on the board at this time. The front office could have selected Sewell and make him the anchor of an offensive line for years to come. Then, the Dolphins could have addressed the wide receiver position in the second round by getting someone like Rondale Moore of Purdue.
When it comes to receivers in the mold of Waddle, their potential is maximized when paired with passers who have a cannon of an arm. Think of Hill with Patrick Mahomes or Stefon Diggs with Josh Allen. While Tua Tagovailoa has shown promise as a starting-caliber quarterback, his arm talent is not one of his strengths. Of course, there are still many creative ways to use speedy wideouts.
Miami already has a speedster in its roster in Will Fuller, but he is very injury prone and is just on a one-year deal.
Dolphins Grade B+
2. Round 1 (Pick 18) – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Philips stays in Miami. Getting arguably the top player in a premier position at the 18th pick is a win for the Dolphins. Had Philips been healthy he would have been a top-10 talent. He has everything you look for in an edge defender.
At 6’5, 266 pounds, Philips is very athletic and has the size and length to exceed at the position. He is a force both against the pass and the run and displays the bend to be a problem for offensive linemen.
Dolphins Grade A
3. Round 2 (Pick 36) – Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
This is a good value selection as the Dolphins were able to nab one of the best players available at a position of need. Holland is incredible in coverage and will wear many hats for a quickly improving defense. He has the ball skills and fluidity to even play cornerback and the quickness to cover the slot.
He significantly raises the ceiling of the secondary. Some may prefer selecting TCU’s Trevon Moehrig over Holland as he was widely considered the top safety in the class.
Dolphins Grade A
4. Round 2 (Pick 42) – Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Eichenberg is a refine offensive lineman prospect, who can man either tackle spot or slide inside at guard. He displays good quickness and wins with technique. Eichenberg is pretty athletic and can engaged linebackers at the second level.
The only issue with this pick is that Miami had to trade up for a player who probably would have been available had they stayed still at number 50. Texas’ Samuel Cosmi and NDSU’s Dillon Radunz are similarly graded compared to Eichenberg and were taken after the 50th pick.
Dolphins Grade B
5. Round 3 (Pick 81) – Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Long will be a big-bodied target for Tagovailoa. He has reliable hands and is a solid route-runner. Long is tough to bring down and will fight to get additional yards. While he may not be a force in run blocking, he shows the determination to be one.
Long will need to get stronger at the professional level and his overall game could use some polish.
Dolphins Grade B-
6. Round 7 (Pick 231) – Larnel Coleman, OT, Massachusetts
Coleman has long arms and is a great athlete. He will add much-needed depth to the Miami offensive line. Coleman stands at 6’7 and comes in at 300 pounds, so he is a bit leaner than most tackles. At this stage in his career, he is more of a project, who might crack the starting lineup someday.
Dolphins Grade B-
7. Round 7 (Pick 244) – Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati
Doaks is a power back, who can be utilized in early down situations or short-yardage plays. He is not the fastest guy out there, but he has this initial burst that can throw off defenders. Doaks does not project to be a contributor in the passing game.
It will be an uphill climb for Doaks before he can be part of the running back committee.
Dolphins Grade C+