Miami Dolphins 2021 Draft Class ranked 3rd best in the entire NFL
A tumultuous, roller coaster-like campaign for the Miami Dolphins in 2021 was a difficult one to stomach. 7 game winning and losing streaks failed to provide the team with a true identity, and there are more question marks going in to the current off season than we had at this point last year.
But one of the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster year was the crop of rookies. Miami had a trove of early selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they made the most of their opportunity based on the production we saw from the players that they selected.
Jaylen Waddle led the team in every major receiving category, and broke the rookie record for most catches in a single season. Jaelan Phillips had his ups and downs, but the 18th overall pick showed flashes of the dominant pass rusher that he could become by amassing 8.5 sacks, just a half sack off of the team lead. One of the biggest steals of the draft could end up being Jevon Holland, who was one of the highest rated safeties, rookie or not, of the entire season.
While us Dolphins fans had a front row seat to the flashes of potential and greatness, the national media is often less kind to the team from Miami. But NFL.com had been putting out a series of rookie grades based on division and overall, and the Dolphins have garnered some respect.
When looking at the divisional rankings, the “A-” grade that the writers gave Miami doesn’t seem very powerful. The New England Patriots also received a grade of “A-“, buoyed heavily by the presence of Mac Jones as their first round selection. But the grade looks far better when examining the overall list for the league.
Due to their maximization of Day 2 picks, the Kansas City Chiefs were the only team to receive a solid “A” grade. The case was similar for the Denver Broncos, in addition to their selection of Patrick Surtain II in the first round. They came in as the second highest-rated rookie class of 2021, and the Dolphins followed immediately after.
Miami’s class is ranked higher than those with some of the biggest names to come out of the 2021 Draft. The Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati Bengals are ranked number 5, and the highly-touted class that the Dallas Cowboys put together comes in at number 7.
While it is difficult to gripe about a ranking of 3rd overall, the fact that the Patriots received the same grade as the Dolphins is borderline preposterous. Sure, Mac Jones was impressive enough to lead his team to the playoffs, and even qualified for the Pro Bowl. (As an alternate. And only participated due to the real AFC QBs backing out. And ran 65 yards and danced like a buffoon on a play that didn’t count).
It was not even close to the best rookie QB performance we’ve had even in recent memory, yet his presence is the reason that NFL.com ranked the Patriots so high on the list, considering that the rest of their draft class was mediocre at very best. Aside from Jones, the 7 other players that New England selected started a total of 4 combined games, and four of them saw zero snaps on the season. Compare that to the seven players that the Miami Dolphins drafted: 73 total games played and 52 starts. And both teams received equal grades?
Fix it, NFL.com.