Well football fans, we have finally made it to the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. 32 young athletes will achieve their lifelong goals of becoming professional football players when the first round is completed on Thursday evening in Cleveland. Four NFL teams (Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens) have the distinct honor of getting two first round draft picks (usatoday.com).
Perhaps the most intriguing team to watch during the first round of the draft will be the Miami Dolphins. The ‘Fins’ hold the sixth and eighteenth overall selections and rumor has it their focus will be finding weapons for second year QB Tua Tagovailoa. Here are four players that could help the Dolphins immediately.
Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle
Tua would love nothing more than to reconnect with an old Crimson Tide teammate of his like Waddle. Though small in stature at only 5-10, Waddle probably has more speed to burn than any other receiver in the draft. If the ‘Fish’ really want to stretch the field, Waddle makes the most logical sense with the number six pick.
The ankle injury that kept Waddle out for half of the 2020 season does not seem to be an issue. Waddle would be the perfect complement to current Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker which would form a dynamic duo in the downfield passing attack.
LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
Multiple reports have said that the Dolphins have been highly impressed by Chase and rightfully so. Chase stunned loads of NFL scouts at his pro day by running a 4.38 40 yard dash! Chase is taller and thicker than Waddle and brings a good mix of size and speed.
Chase chose to sit out the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft. However, that decision has not seemed to hurt Chase’s draft stock and the Dolphins may end up taking him at number six.
Alabama RB Najee Harris
If the Dolphins really want to take pressure off of Tua, they need to add a powerful running back like Harris with the eighteenth overall pick. Current running back Myles Gaskin is a nice player but he is not an every down type of back. At 6-2 and 230 pounds, Harris has the perfect size to be a bruising NFL running back.
Also, Harris has phenomenal pass catching ability which would open up the screen passing game for the Dolphins in a way that would terrorize NFL defenses. Tua needs a good safety valve option when his downfield receivers are covered and Harris would fill that role perfectly.
Oklahoma State OL Teven Jenkins
If protecting Tagovailoa is a top priority, the Dolphins need some help along the offensive line. Jenkins may be the most physical offensive lineman available when the Dolphins pick at the eighteenth spot. Jenkins is a mountain of a man at 6-6 and 320 pounds.
The Topeka Kansas native loves to punish defenders while run blocking and his aggressiveness is second to none. No, fans will not like drafting a lineman this high, but great NFL teams are built with the big guys up front. Jenkins should have a long and successful NFL career and the Dolphins would do well by adding him to their squad.