Why the Miami Dolphins should stay and use pick 21 in the 2024 NFL Draft

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The 2024 NFL Draft is 66 days away and the Miami Dolphins are on the clock. This will be the first time in the coach McDaniel era that the Dolphins will have a pick in the first round.

Unlike McDaniel’s offense, this pick probably won’t be very flashy or sexy. This pick will probably be about stability and physicality, something this team needs on offense.

Miami will pick 21st in the draft because of how they finished the season. Much has been said about Miami drafting a quarterback and other mock drafts even have Miami selecting an edge rusher. With so many needs on the offensive line, I try not to pay too much attention to those mock drafts. 

Miami has several needs coming into the 2024 season. Christian Wilkins is due a big payday. Jerome Baker and David Long Jr each have one year left on their contracts. Waddle, Holland, and Phillips will all be playing on the final year of their rookie contracts before being eligible for extensions. 

Five offensive linemen are due to be free agents at the start of the NFL year. In 2024 three more offensive lineman will hit free agency. These two instances give credence to the Dolphins drafting a guard, tackle, or center with the 21st pick in the draft.

My good friend Scott Salomon will advocate for trading back in a very offensive line-heavy draft. He might even say trading back would give the Dolphins more draft picks at a time when more picks are exactly what they need. Quite frankly, I agree with Scott, Miami needs more draft picks.

Unfortunately, I don’t trust Chris Grier enough to trade back for more picks and choose the proper players. Chris Grier has a track record of missing players; choosing Igbinoghene over Trevon Diggs, Charles Harris over T.J. Watt, and Mike Gesicki over Dallas Goedert just to name a few.

It is because of these misses that I’ll take my chances picking 21st. Picking twenty first would require less talent evaluation on the part of Chris Grier. 

The 2024 NFL Draft has at least 10 offensive line prospects that can start on day one. Aside from the various line prospects available there are also several teams ahead of the Dolphins who also need offensive line help.

Of the 20 teams ahead of the Dolphins, 11 ranked in the bottom twelve in pass protection for 2023. Although many of these teams have various needs outside of o-line, gambling by moving further back could see the Dolphins losing out on a top tier lineman. 

Joe Alt, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Taliese Fuaga, JC Latham, Amarius Mims, Troy Fautanu, Tyler Guyton, and Jackson Powers Johnson all have first round grades. I’m not sure who’s counting but, that list is less than 20.

Chicago, Washington, and New England could potentially select a quarterback for their new head coaches. By staying at 21 Miami almost assures themself a shot at one of the top offensive line prospects.

Standing pat at 21 doesn’t guarantee anything for Miami but, the chance of landing a Jackson Powers-Johnson or an Amarius Mims are that much higher than if they trade back. Staying at 21 should help the Dolphins select a franchise altering offensive lineman. It will be up to Chris Grier to select the right one.