This year’s NFL Draft is going to surprise some people and Miami Dolphins fans may want to rethink what they believe to know. Each year there are some “what the hell” draft picks and this year may be no different.
Peter King points out in his 2021 NFL Draft primer, that a lot of players this year will have smaller sample sizes in their college career. Recently I mocked University of Miami edge rusher Greg Rousseau to the Dolphins at 18 but upon further reading, should he even be on a first-round board?
This is the case for many players who have small collegiate samples after opting out of their 2020 seasons. This is a pitfall that teams like the Dolphins, who are still rebuilding, must avoid. Most playoff teams can absorb a bust this year but for the Dolphins who are banking on adding to their roster with a plethora of early draft picks, they need to be near perfect.
Last year, the Dolphins took some risks in round one with Austin Jackson who needed to be developed more and Noah Igbinoghene who needs to develop as well. Both could turn into great football players but last year they were far from it.
This year, plenty of players will come into the league with question marks. At the top, many believe that Ja’Marr Chase is a can’t miss prospect because of his 2019 season with Joe Burrow at QB yet last year he too opted to stay off the field due to COVID. His draft stock isn’t hurting but should it?
We would love to think that players won’t be penalized by staying home but that isn’t a reality when you are talking about millions of dollars being handed out to them over the course of four or five-year contracts.
Seniors should be o.k. They are the ones who have at least a couple of years on tape to show but general managers will be hoping that what they see on tape is enough to give them assurances that they will be good prospects.
The NFL Draft is always a shot in the dark and despite many players coming with a “can’t miss” label, that is rarely the case and there are far more misses than successes in the NFL. This year more than any other, Miami has to be smart with their selections and if they can identify players with solid upside, they could come out of this draft in a great position for the future but taking risks early is not smart because some of those risks very well may turn out to be horrible decisions.