NFL Draft 2021: Which mock picks are most popular for Miami Dolphins?
Miami needs at least one wide receiver and running back and perhaps an offensive lineman, edge rusher or safety. If Dolphins general manager Chris Grier plays his cards right, his squad should be an AFC East force for years to come.
It's a bit difficult to fill out mock drafts before free agency fills needs. The free agency period will begin March 17 and Miami is expected to proceed thoughtfully, acting not as drunken sailors, but an intrigued shopper with a solid credit limit.
It's always fun to look at who the experts are mocking to the Dolphins. So let's take a look at the most popular selections among 10 notable recent mock drafts:
1. Ja'Marr Chase, LSU, WR (4 selections: Charley Casserly, Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Austin Gayle) — Casserly says Chase reminds him of DeAndre Hopkins of the Cardinals. Gayle, of Pro Football Focus, notes Chase was utterly dominant as a 19-year-old true sophomore, when he last played football.
2. DeVonta Smith, Alabama, WR (3 selections: Mel Kiper, Lance Zierlein, Josh Tolentino) — Kiper wants to see Smith and Tua Tagovailoa reunited. Tolentino of The Athletic notes Smith posted 215 yards and three touchdowns in the last national championship game at Hard Rock Stadium.
3. Penei Sewell, Oregon, OT (2 selections: Vinnie Iyer, Doug Farrar) — Iyer of the Sporting News suggests Sewell has "smooth agility for pass protection and rock-like stature for the running game." Farrar of USA Today notes Tagovailoa was weak when pressured: 95 drop backs with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
4. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, WR (1 selection: Todd McShay) — In McShay's scenario, the Dolphins trade down to 8 in a deal with the Panthers. It's unlikely Miami would select Waddle with the third pick, but there are some draft experts who prefer Waddle over Smith because of Waddle's blazing speed and sterling yards-after-catch.
Our take: The idea of picking up a future first-round pick or multiple second-round picks by moving down no lower than eight is intriguing. The Dolphins would hope that somehow Waddle or Smith were available there, knowing it's possible one or both could be gone. We can make an educated guess at this moment that if locked into three, Miami would go with Chase, who is strong, fast and has the jaw-dropping film of a future star. The wrinkle would be if Grier sees Sewell as another Anthony Munoz. If the man with final draft day say for Miami comes to that conclusion, there can be little to argue with the trench-fortifying selection of Sewell.
1. Najee Harris, Alabama, RB (3 selections: Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Josh Tolentino) — Brooks sees a lot of former Bears running back Matt Forte in Harris, which is important because the Dolphins' backs must be good receivers. Tolentino values the familiarity Harris already has with Tua.
2. Greg Rousseau, Miami, Edge (3 selections: Charley Casserly, Austin Gayle, Lance Zierlein) — "With just one full year of tape to his name and a good chunk of his sack production coming from an inside alignment, Rousseau might be a bit of a risk," Zierlein writes. "But he is very long and has traits that GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores should love."
3. Jaelan Phillips, Miami, Edge (1 selection: Todd McShay) — McShay believes Phillips has the suddenness and length coming around the corner that Miami needs to complement Emmanuel Ogbah.
4. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, LB (1 selection: Mel Kiper) — Kiper sees Owusu-Koramoah as an instant starter at linebacker, alongside Jerome Baker and Kyle Van Noy.
5. Zaven Collins, Tulsa, Edge (1 selection: Vinnie Iyer) — Collins is a high-impact playmaker with explosion, agility, quickness and range, according to Iyer, who believes he'd mesh well with Miami coach Brian Flores.
6. Kadarius Toney, Florida, WR (Doug Farrar) — Tagovailoa needs a security blanket and Farrar believes Toney fits the bill. According to the USA Today journalist, Toney can take a simple slant or screen to the house with his short-area speed and ridiculous elusiveness.
Our take: If the Dolphins don't land a receiver with their first pick, it makes a ton of sense to grab the best available play-maker with their second pick. If there is a pass-rusher on the board that Grier and Flores believe can change games, that player must be considered. But after missing out on so many highly-skilled running backs who flourished as rookies last season, it probably makes the most sense to strongly consider one here, whether it's Najee Harris or Travis Etienne of Clemson.