The Miami Dolphins have been regularly linked with some top offensive talents in the upcoming draft, but the trenches still need addressing.
Last season, the Miami Dolphins surged to an impressive 10-6 record just one year after slumping to an unsurprising 5-11, showing clear signs of improvements under head coach Brian Flores and his staff.
The 2021 season will bring with it high expectations now that the Dolphins have shown what they are already capable of, which makes landing the right prospects in the upcoming draft even more important than it already is.
General manager Chris Grier has already made some shrewd moves to change the team’s position, originally holding the third overall pick before trades with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles saw the Dolphins move to sixth overall and acquire a number of additional draft capital in this year and beyond.
The move has given rise to some huge expectations over the team landing some top offensive talent in the form of Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts or even LSU Tigers receiver Ja’Marr Chase when they are on the clock at six.
Adding either of those players would provide starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with a legitimate weapon, and improve the team’s strength and depth, but the position that the team must look to address throughout the draft is along the offensive line.
Giving Tagovailoa weapons that he can distribute the ball to will undoubtedly help him, after the team had one of the weakest receiving groups in the league last year due to various injuries and opt-outs, but keeping him upright so he can make those throws are equally important.
Too many collapsing pockets, along with 20 sacks in his nine starts, slowed Tagovailoa’s progress in his rookie year, but he demonstrated flashes of what he could be capable of when given the best protection possible.
The obvious name linked with the Dolphins in this draft is Penei Sewell, who the team could still realistically target with the sixth pick.
If the team opt to add some firepower early on, there are other options later on that could provide depth and competition that should help improve the quality of protection Tagovailoa receives.
The Dolphins have already shown that they can land some excellent players deeper in the draft, with the likes of Solomon Kindley and Robert Hunt being taken in the fourth and second round of the 2020 class respectively.
Sam Cosmi, a three-year starter for the Texas Longhorns, could be available in the third round and could provide the Dolphins with plenty of potential and depth at the tackle position, though there is the possibility he is moved inside early in his career.
Having more options along the line, pushing the incumbents and providing selection headaches for the coaches could help the team to take the next steps and give Tagovailoa additional protection during his second year in the league.
Regardless of when the Miami Dolphins opt to take offensive linemen, whether it is early in the first round or spread throughout all seven rounds, it is imperative that the team does add to an already promising group to give their young quarterback the best chance of succeeding.