Every year, there is always one sleeper pick found in the NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins currently have eight picks in this year’s NFL draft and would love to find one of those sleepers in the later rounds.
Plenty of focus will be on first-round draft picks, but many great NFL players were picked in the later rounds.
Dolphins fans will hope that their team can find some sleeper picks late in this year’s draft. Here are players to look out for that head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier should consider.
Jonathan Adams (Wide Receiver- Arkansas State)
Wide receiver is a position of need for the Dolphins. Ja’Marr Chase is seen as the top wideout coming into the draft. Despite this, he may be taken by the Cincinnati Bengals at 5, or the Fins may take offensive lineman Penei Sewell or tight end Kyle Pitts instead of Chase. Even if Miami takes chase, Adams should still be an option to consider with the injury records of DeVante Parker and Will Fuller.
Adams can be a great sleeper pick for any team and is predicted to go between rounds 3 and 7. However, his college numbers make him an intriguing one, a selection that could be made on the third day but could improve the Dolphins roster.
His speed and explosiveness have been questioned, along with his route running. He also has a record of dropped passes. On the other hand, he has been noted to make some acrobatic catches whilst in coverage. His run after catch ability, size, and strength have also been praised.
During his four years with Arkansas, Adams initially struggled with just 25 receptions during his first two seasons. In his final two years, He grew into the role. He recorded 851 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in 2019, before his 1,111 yards in 2020, along with 12 touchdowns.
It is clear to see from the stats recorded by Adams in college that he takes time to adapt. There would be no pressure for Adams to hit it off straight away. Flores would most likely initially limit Adams’ game-time. With concerns over speed and the bedding in time, Adams could spend time in the slot alongside Parker, Fuller, and potentially Chase.
Jaelon Darden (Wide Receiver- North Texas)
Darden is also someone who needed time to adapt in college, with even better stats than Adams.
During his time with North Texas, Darden failed to get more than 600 yards in 2017 or 2018. In 2019, he managed to record 736 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns. Improvement arose again in 2020, catching 19 touchdown receptions and 1,290 receiving yards.
Darden is also seen as someone who will be drafted on the final day. Speed appears to be one of his strengths, running a 40-yard dash around the 4.47 and 4.48 region.
Darden saw an improvement in contested catches and went for 90 or more yards in 80% of his games in 2020.
His hand size, ability to create separation, and catch confidence have come into question, with Darden said to attempt too many one-handed catches.
You cannot ignore the numbers, and Darden is a great sleeper pick option for the Dolphins in the late rounds of the 2021 Draft.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) April 16, 2021
Chuba Hubbard (Running Back- Oklahoma State)
Running back has been a problem position in Miami for some time. Jay Ajayi was effective but was not at the franchise long enough. Myles Gaskin showed plenty of potential but many fans feel the Dolphins need more.
Teams often need multiple running backs to be successful. Gaskin, along with Salvon Ahmed and either Harris or Ettiene, is a good running back room. Hubbard could fit in nicely, especially if the Fins don’t draft Harris or Etienne.
2019 saw Hubbard’s best season, where he recorded 2,094 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. 2020 saw a dip in numbers, but this was due to a limited number of games, with just seven played. In those 7 games, Hubbard recorded 5 rushing touchdowns and 625 rushing yards.
Hubbard has been praised for his “willingness to get upfield” by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, as well as his potential to be a committee back. However, Zierlein has also critiqued Hubbard for his ball security, along with his vision and change of direction.
Hubbard’s stock appears to have fallen despite a great statistical season in 2019. He is a player that Miami should look at if available in the fifth or sixth round.
Elijah Mitchell (Running Back- Louisiana)
Mitchell’s stock also appears to have fallen despite a brilliant 2019, where he recorded 1,147 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.
In just 10 college games during the 2020 season, Mitchell recorded 878 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.
Mitchell is someone that people feel can share carries early on in their NFL career. He is seen as someone who can be an early-down option. He has also received criticism for his pass-catching skills.
This would be the sleeper pick in the draft that Miami could consider on the final day, with Mitchell, someone that can be a pound and ground running back due to his 218-pound physique.