My next mock draft focuses solely on the Dolphins, and all of their draft picks this year. With four picks in the top fifty, the Dolphins will be able to add some quality players on Day 1 and day 2 of this draft and add guys who should be able to get on the field right away and contribute. We know what the Dolphins’ needs are heading into this draft; WR, RB, Center, and DE/Edge. I think the Dolphins will focus on those spots early as they look to fill out this roster. I also think the Dolphins, when it comes to late-round picks, will see Miami hearken back to their time at the Senior Bowl, where they got a first hand look at a lot of players as the Fins staff coached one of the teams and also had an up-close look at the guys coached by the Panthers staff.
So, without any further ado, here is my 2021 Miami Dolphins 7 round Mock Draft.
Round 1 Pick #6: Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I honestly think the Dolphins will have their choice of the big 4 pass catchers with the 6th pick. I think Atlanta stays at the 4th pick and goes quarterback, and the Bengals, when push comes to shove, will take Penei Sewell. And as much as Kyle Pitts is a “unicorn,” so to speak, at the tight end position, I think the Dolphins go with Chase here not only for the short-term but for the long-term in mind as they rebuild their WR room.
Will Fuller is on a one-year contract and could be gone after this season. Parker and Preston are guys who have been known to miss significant time, and their long-term future in Miami is something many people question. The Dolphins need a #1 WR to build their WR room around going forward, and Chase can be that guy.
Chase is 6’0” and 207 lbs and has every single trait you want out of a wide receiver entering the NFL. Great hands, fast, he can track the ball in the air, and he plays bigger than his size. He is the total package and exactly what this Miami Dolphins offense needs to improve. If you want Tua to take that next step and improve as a quarterback, then you have to give him weapons and improve the group of guys he is throwing the ball to. Chase does just that.
Round 1 Pick #18: Kwity Paye DE Michigan
If there is a player that is a perfect fit for what the Dolphins need right now, it is Kwity Paye. He has the power to push the pocket and get to the quarterback, and he also has great agility and speed for someone his size. He has a motor that doesn’t stop, a competitive toughness that can’t be taught, plus he is strong at the point of attack. If put in the right position, he can live in the opponent’s backfield. And I know Brian Flores will put this kid in the right position to succeed.
The one thing the Dolphins lack on defense is a guy who can put his hand in the dirt and get after the quarterback. While Paye isn’t a finished product, he is a guy who has all of the traits and signs of someone who will be a productive player in the NFL and only get better.
Because this is an odd draft in which 4 (maybe 5) quarterbacks will go in the Top 10, and 4 WR’s and 1 TE will all be gone by pick 12, and there are a bunch of offensive line needy teams between Picks 10 and 17, good pash rushers will fall to Miami. Paye is a guy who can fill a void for the Dolphins at edge rusher, and this is an easy pick to make.
Round 2 Pick #36: Javonte Williams RB North Carolina
Miami Dolphins fan’s long nightmare is over. They finally get their work-horse #1 lead running back. Williams only had 366 carries in college, which isn’t a lot, and he wasn’t over-worked, which is good for any running back entering the NFL. While he doesn’t have the breakaway speed you like, he is a complete back who has good balance and vision and the size to be successful at the goal-line. His ability to break tackles is above average and will serve him well in the NFL. The fact he is an above-average pass blocker also makes it so he can be a three-down back in the NFL, which is a huge plus.
He will compliment Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, and Salvon Ahmed very nicely on the Dolphins. Williams has the highest ceiling of that group and probably also the highest floor as well. Minimal “bust factor” here, as you know what you will get with Williams, and I think his style of play translates very nicely to the NFL. And what I said about Chase is the same here. If you expect Tua to take that next step and improve as a quarterback, then you need to give him a better running game than he had in 2020. And Williams should be able to get on the field right away and do that.
Round 2 Pick #50: Richie Grant S UCF
This is the bye-bye Bobby McCain draft pick. OK, hear me out. I like Bobby McCain as a player and think he is terrific. But the Dolphins have a salary cap issue in that they have literally no cap space. They will have to make a few moves in the next few weeks/months to clear enough cap space to sign this draft class and have some money to spend in season should they need to make a move or two. One of Miami’s easiest moves to create cap space is by cutting McCain, which opens up roughly $5.6 mill in cap space.
With all of that said, the Dolphins look to find a replacement for McCain, and Richie Grant is the pick here in Round 2. Grant is a ball-hawk who had 10 interceptions in his last 34 games, and in his UCF career, he forced 5 fumbles. He has the ability to cover tight ends and can blow up WR screen passes consistently. When Grant is on the field, he is looking to “make a play” on every play, if you know what I mean. He is always in attack mode and looking to make something happen. On top of that, he can play special teams as well, which is a plus as he played special teams at UCF all 4 years. Grant can play in the box or be that centerfielder on defense at the safety position, and I think Brian Flores will love what he brings to the table. Grant was also at the Senior Bowl (granted coached by the Panthers staff), but the Dolphins staff had an up-close look at him, and I think this is one of those instances where being able to see a guy up close at the Senior Bowl comes into play.
Round 3 Pick #81: Josh Myers C Ohio St
The Dolphins must address the center position in this draft. Like running back, it is a position they have put off for far too long. I think getting Myers in Round 3 is a good value for Miami. Do I expect him to come in and start Day 1 in 2021? NO! But if Matt Skura has his “issues” snapping the ball, I think if Myers were forced into action at some point this upcoming season, he would be ok. The hope with this pick is he uses 2021 to work on his game, and of course, a year in an NFL weight room won’t hurt, and a year from now, he is the Dolphins starting center going into 2022.
Myers is a guy who can make the calls for the offensive line and has experience doing that at a big-time school like Ohio St. So, the transition to the NFL in that role should be seamless. He has a perfect size and build for a center and should not be overmatched when lining up against NFL defensive linemen. Myers won’t be pushed around, but you can run around him some. All in all, for a 3rd round pick who should be your starting center a year from now, you can’t go wrong.
Round 5 Pick # 156: Janarius Robinson DE Florida St
The Dolphins double-down at edge rusher and look to add another one here. Janarius Robinson is built like a Greek god, and he has all of the physical traits you look for in an NFL player. At Florida St, though, his production didn’t match his skills and ability, and there were questions about his effort and motor. This is why I think he will fall some in this draft.
Robinson has the perfect strength and size for an NFL Defensive end and has gigantic hands and a large wingspan. He has amazing speed for his size and the ability to chase down tacklers. When he tackles and hits a player, he has tremendous power and force, and when rushing the quarterback, he can bend and flatten into the pocket. Robinson’s only downside is his motor and his lack of production, which can scare off many teams. In Round 5, Robinson is worth rolling the dice on as the physical traits are there; he needs to be coached up some. Oh, and worth noting again, Robinson was at the Senior Bowl (coached by the Carolina staff), and the Dolphins were able to get an up-close look at him.
Round 7 Pick #231: Thomas Graham Jr CB Oregon
Oh, Brian Flores loves his cornerbacks, and if you think an entire draft was going to happen with the Dolphins taking a cornerback, you are sadly mistaken. Graham was at the senior bowl and was coached by the Dolphin staff so that they could get an up-close look at Graham in the pre-draft process.
Graham has great size and is a physical corner, and can play the run really well. He doesn’t have outstanding speed, which is why he is a late-round pick. He is someone who Miami can work with and see if they can develop in time. If he makes the roster, he can contribute on special teams, or at worst, he is a practice squad guy in 2021.
Round 7 Pick #258: Jack Anderson G Texas Tech
I’m not sure Michael Deiter is an NFL-caliber player. Ereck Flowers will probably be gone after this season. The Dolphins need to bring in some interior offensive linemen to develop and provide some depth. And who knows, if they get lucky, maybe be a starter in time. Anderson would be a perfect late-round draft pick to try and develop.
Anderson is big, and he is nasty. He has good size and foot quickness that should translate to the NFL level. He will need to be coached up as his footwork (while quick) isn’t technically great, and he can play out of control at times which will have to be worked on. He must become more consistent play to play. He also will need a full year in an NFL weight room as he doesn’t have great power. Oh, and like many of these late-round picks, Anderson was at the Senior Bowl (coached by the Carolina staff), so the Dolphins were able to get an up-close look at him there.
With many of my late picks, you see the Dolphins using their time at the Senior Bowl to their advantage. In a year with no combine or individual work-outs, the Dolphins being at the Senior Bowl and coaching half the players and being up close with the other half the Panthers coached comes into play big time in this draft.