The Miami Dolphins head into the draft with a plethora of needs across the roster. One of the less egregious ones is at linebacker, where Miami could benefit from some more athleticism and game-changing talent like Micah Parsons, in the middle of their defense.
Miami’s linebackers played well last season, but there seemed to be a lot of issues, especially in the running game, that plagued this unit. They are one good player away from being a stud unit in the league.
Enter, Micah Parsons.
Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State
2019 Season Stats: 109 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery.
Chances of Dolphins taking him: 60%
(Stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
Chances of Miami taking him: 80%
Parsons is an athletic freak at linebacker. Able to both rush the passer and stop the run, Parsons cemented himself as one of, if not the best linebacker in college football during the 2019 season. While he didn’t play in 2020 due to Covid-19, Parsons shouldn’t see a major drop in his value going into the 2021 draft.
Parsons brings a lot to the table. He is a great run-stuffing linebacker, evident from his play in the Big Ten where he consistently dropped running backs behind the line of scrimmage with ease at Penn State. He also showed good skills in the passing game that could translate well to Miami’s 3-4 defensive scheme. There is no doubt that Parsons is in the top 5 of Miami’s early draft big board.
Miami has some good linebackers on the roster in Jerome Baker and Kyle Van Noy, but they need another player that can be on the field for all three downs and Parsons is that type of player. There may be, however, a few obstacles to him coming to Miami.
The biggest obstacle to Miami taking Parsons, especially at number 3 overall, is the need. Miami desperately needs help at other parts of their roster, most notably wide receiver. With that pick at 3, Miami could easily take DeVonta Smith and solidify their receiver corp. They could also take Penei Sewell, who is a generational talent at tackle, which can’t hurt a young offensive line.
The question then becomes, is Parsons at that same level, and is there a huge drop-off between him and the next best linebacker? I do believe that Parsons is both a game-changing talent at linebacker and is significantly better than the next best linebacker, based on his 2019 play.
And yet, I still think that Miami should go with Smith at number 3 overall because he solves a much larger need in Miami’s roster. That being said, I would not be upset if Parsons ends up a Dolphin in April.