The Miami Dolphins need to improve their receiver group and Ja’Marr Chase could be the perfect early first-round option that could change the offense. The Dolphins need to improve their receiver group and so far in this short off-season, receiver, receiver, and receiver, seem to dominate the draft talk.
That seems the be the mantra of the Dolphins going into preparations for the 2021 NFL Draft. It is arguably the most glaring need on the roster and should be addressed early in 2021. Most mock drafts, including ones from writers at Phin Phanatic, are projecting that Miami addresses the receiver issue early. With Miami having the third pick, they are basically given their pick of player, which will ultimately boil down to DeVonta Smith from Alabama or Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU.
I’ve already talked about the potential for DeVonta Smith in Miami, so let’s consider how Ja’Marr Chase could become the next big receiver in Miami.
Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
2019 stats: 84 catches, 1780 yards, 20 TDs (2020 opt-out)
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com
Chances of Dolphins Drafting him: 40%
There is no question that Chase has all of the skills necessary to succeed at the NFL level. He put together an amazing season on an LSU team that dominated college football. He has great hands, elite route running abilities, and can make tough contested catches. He’s a physical receiver with a complimentary speed that will make him a dangerous weapon for any offense. He is, quite honestly, what DeVante Parker should have been when he joined the team back in 2015.
The answer to the question of Chase or DeVonta Smith comes down to what Miami does with that number 3 pick. If Miami sits at 3, then I believe Smith should be the guy, as I’ve already said many times. But, if Miami decided to trade back, which I believe they should do, they may be able to make a push for Chase at the back end of the top 10.
If Miami makes a trade with Detroit at 7 or Carolina at 8, they are able to pick up some extra draft capital and still get one of the best receivers, if not the best, in the draft. Chase would then have to fall past Cincinnati at 5 and Philadelphia at 6 (one of which will probably take Smith depending on how the rest of the board falls) for Miami to have the chance to pick him, which isn’t totally out of the question. They may miss out on Smith with this move, but Chase as a consolation prize is absolutely nothing to be upset about as he could be just as dynamic as Smith in the NFL.
As much as I love DeVonta Smith as a prospect, Miami will be better suited to trade out of the 3rd pick, gain some more ammunition for later, and walk away with Chase, who will immediately become Tua Tagovailoa’s new best friend.