Once again we have a divided Miami Dolphins fan base and this time it is over the NFL draft. Some well-known pundits have favored the picks made. Chris Simms lending high praise is frightening, to be honest.
I would guess that most fans overall are happy with the results of this draft, but sore thumbs tend to stand out. There was a time that I would get upset over players I coveted not getting selected. Over time that has gone down to almost nothing. Also, I added just looking at positions of players and needs more than a certain player.
I was happy of the trading back lower in round two to pick up an offensive lineman. There have been past drafts where I am wanting a lower pick used like this and it just keeps dropping. Not discounting more recent drafts with first rounds used for them.
There seems to be a cycle where it is certain positions that get drafted higher. Linemen were left out overall in higher rounds, some were taken high, here and there. As the saying goes: Build from the inside out. This is good to see and hopefully, it continues.
The safety position was among this group of players also. I can remember in past drafts, were none taken at all. Jevon Holland being picked 36TH overall was a bit surprising to me but not upsetting. Looking at the video clip of him making a perfect tackle in the open field could be used as an NFL PSA on how to have form in tackling. Sometimes it can get out of hand and players think they are flying missiles out there.
The running back position continues to be among this group of players and fans and pundits have shown backlash. Gerrid Doaks being picked last almost seems like throwing meat to the lions kind of move. Maybe pass blocking is favored highly until this line gets better adapted. It is being built mostly with rookies from drafting.
Seeing this post draft was music to my ears. I had been wondering why it was just Mike Gesicki was getting most of the work there, and many have long stated that was a strength of or new rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. I then looked at the top pass catchers for the amount of use in the slot, and it was lower than expected. I’m going to guess that most of them while not used there much, are very capable.
Jaylen Waddle would be among them, other players brought on were supposed to develop and be used there, but to no avail. Will Fuller is said to be very good in the slot, while also not used there much.
Lately, the duo of Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle is being talked up as a way to open the run game by leaving a safety back by the threat of their combined speeds running outs. On the surface this makes sense, but a threat alone on an offensive scheme doesn’t get you very far. An example of this is the run options that Tua is also supposed to excel at sans a running game to be feared.
Let me bring back the saying “Build from the inside out” and key on the word “build”. Yes, the team just had a ten-win season, and we all want to win now. It is a long view to get this right and be there season in and season out.
It takes time to build the lines up and get them both right.
It also takes time to get the ball successfully to Waddle or Fuller should they both be going out deep together. Some patience will be needed. I almost wish that first pick was for lineman Penei Sewell now to speed this along.
There will be growing pains, and they could creep in at the most unexpected moments. I am as excited as anyone for the upcoming Miami Dolphins season and hate to be Debby Downer, but all the bases should be covered
Dolphins 2021 draft class:
1-6: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
1-18: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
2-36: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
2-42: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
3-81: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
7-231: Larnel Coleman, OT, UMass
7-244: Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati
I had a feeling and wrote that more than half of the draftees should be for offense, two of seven is a bit of a surprise. It’s probably a good sign that the front office is standing by their statements of standing by and building for their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. However this draft did lean with more offensive talent, and that shouldn’t be discounted. A little luck is nice at times.
I brought up growing pains and with it should also come some luck, maybe more good bounces, and good calls. With adhesion and more talent brought into this build, luck could also tag along.
Enjoy these lower picks now, because if this build keeps working out they will be harder to come by.