The Miami Dolphins wasted no time shaking up the NFL Draft. Already, they've made a number of notable trades, including a deal that saw them ship out the No. 3 overall pick to San Francisco for No. 12 and other assets. Brian Flores' club later moved that first-rounder to the Eagles to get back inside the top 10 and are now slated to pick No. 6 overall. Needless to say, it was a pretty wild game of musical chairs. Even with them now being in a new spot in the draft, the Dolphins are still well-positioned to bring in some high-quality talent to help Tua Tagovailoa.
How will they exactly do that? Here's one way the Dolphins' 2021 draft could play out (h/t The Draft Network's mock draft machine):
|Round (Overall Pick)||Prospect||College|
WR Jaylen Waddle
EDGE Kwity Paye
RB Javonte Williams
LB Jamin Davis
IDL Milton Williams
S Darrick Forrest
OT Alaric Jackson
|7 (258)||TE Quintin Morris||Bowling Green|
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LSU's Ja'Marr Chase was the target at No. 6, but the Bengals took him off the board right in front of the Dolphins, which sent them to Plan B in Alabama's Jaylen Waddle. Of course, there is a familiarity there between Waddle and Tagovailoa from their collegiate days and Miami could have just as easily gone with fellow 'Bama pass-catcher Devonta Smith in this spot as well. However, we leaned toward Waddle due to his blazing speed and game-changing abilities. He also has extreme promise as a returner, which could be the type of versatility that Flores -- a disciple of Bill Belichick -- could find endearing. Waddle may be an immediate impact type of player and could benefit from learning the ways of the NFL from fellow deep threat Will Fuller, who signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins at the start of free agency.
From there, Michigan's Kwity Paye was an ideal find at No. 18. The edge rusher could be drafted much earlier than this spot, but if he falls to the Dolphins he's someone with tremendous upside whom Flores will love to unleash on a weekly basis. The 6-foot-4, 277 pounder plays best with his hand in the dirt, is very athletic, and has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Outside of the first round, the Dolphins could look to upgrade a running back position that has been something of a headache for them over the past few years. Miami's 3.9 yards per carry was the fourth-worst in the NFL and they may look to rectify that by bringing in Javonte Williams out of UNC. He's young (will be 21 at the start of the season) and is the type of powerful back that the Dolphins have been searching for.
The offensive line was an area that was targeted much earlier in the draft but opted to select Waddle over Oregon tackle Penei Sewell. However, Iowa's Alaric Jackson -- who may go much higher than where this mock had him -- is an intriguing addition as the Dolphins continue to try to build a wall around Tagovailoa. He played left tackle at Iowa and at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds he has the frame of an NFL tackle. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz also has a history of developing strong NFL linemen and Jackson could be the latest from that lineage. He would be a welcome sight for Miami as it continues to add young pieces to that O-line after drafting Austin Jackson (USC) and Robert Hunt (Louisiana-Lafayette) in 2020.