The Miami Dolphins have plenty of capital in the 2021 Draft and it’s time for them to use it to stock up on a number of offensive weapons.
After a truly impressive 2020 season, which resulted in a 10-6 record, the Miami Dolphins need to take the next step, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The Dolphins’ first winning record since 2016 came predominantly thanks to a staunch defensive effort that ultimately fell short due to injuries by the end of the year, with the offense largely playing a supporting role throughout the season.
This was to be expected, with the Dolphins losing the talents of Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns due to opt-outs and the team’s decision to transition to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after their Week 7 bye.
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With Tagovailoa at the helm, Brian Flores’ team showed flashes of what they could become and changes are already being made to the coaching side of the game; giving their young gunslinger a chance to grow ahead of what is expected to be his first full season as the starter.
But while coaching will make a huge difference to the former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback’s development, the inescapable fact that the Dolphins need some serious weapons to support him still lingers.
With Hurns and Wilson gone, the Dolphins relied heavily on DeVante Parker to lead the way, with the likes of Jakeem Grant and Isaiah Ford some of their best depth options.
Myles Gaskin had an impressive year in the backfield and Mike Gesicki continues to show that he is ‘the guy’ at the tight end position and needs to have the ball thrown to him more often, posting 703 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns with a catch rating of 62.4%.
But it’s not enough to expect the team to make progress in Flores’ third year if new faces are not brought in to give the Dolphins some legitimate threats across the offense – particularly at wide receiver and running back.
The Dolphins are regularly linked with two players with their third overall pick in the draft, Alabama receiver Devonta Smith and Oregon Ducks tackle Penei Sewell.
Solidifying the offensive line is an absolute must for the Dolphins, so Sewell makes the most sense at that spot if he is available, but landing a player such as Smith would be an excellent step forwards in stockpiling talented offensive players.
The Dolphins have four picks in the first two rounds and all four of them should be used on offensive players, including both skill positions such as receiver and running back as well as along the trenches, with excellent growth already shown from rookie linemen Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley and Robert Hunt.
Giving Tagovailoa a wider range of targets in the passing game, as well as a solid one-two punch in the backfield and strengthened protection should allow him to sit more comfortably in the pocket and make the kind of plays seen during his college days.
The Dolphins can use some of their mid-to-late round picks on the defensive side of the ball, but the first two rounds should be dedicated to truly adding impact players to the offense that can go toe-to-toe with the new champions of the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills.