The Miami Dolphins finished the season last time round with 10 wins, a 5 win improvement on the previous campaign. Some astute Draft business has fans hoping that they can continue improving into next season.
The Dolphins, who are not amongst the favourites for the Super Bowl, did however see a flurry of online sporting bets placed on them after the NFL Draft. That’s as a result of a number of national analysts openly lauding the Dolphin’s for their draft picks.
In this article we look at all 7 picks and analyse whether or not they will make Brian Flores’ side a force to contend with next season.
Who did the Dolphins draft?
Before we get down to brass tacks, let’s have a quick look at all 7 of the Dolphin’s draft picks:
- Jaylen Waddle: Alabama WR – 6th Overall pick (First round)
- Jaelan Phillips: Miami DE – 18th Overall pick (First round)
- Jevon Holland: Oregon Safety – 36th Overall pick (Second round)
- Liam Eichenberg: Notre Dame OT – 42nd Overall pick (Second round)
- Hunter Long: Boston College TE – 81st Overall pick (Third round)
- Larnel Coleman: UMass OT – 231st Overall pick (Seventh round)
- Gerrid Doaks: Cincinnati RB – 244th Overall pick (Seventh round)
Now, let’s take a look at what each player will bring to Brian Flores’ Dolphins side.
The Dolphins first action in this year’s NFL Draft was to reunited Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jaylen Waddle. If reports are to be believed (along with Dolphins social media posts) the two have a near telepathic connection out on the field that the team will be hoping to benefit from in September.
General Manager Chris Grier targeted Waddle to add a new dimension of speed to the team’s offense. There is also talk of the team using him to return kicks but one problem with that suggestion is the fact that Waddle suffered a tough injury last time he played with the special teams unit.
In the short-term the Dolphins may be better served trying to exploit Waddle’s electric pace and his speed off the catch. Especially when you consider the on-field relationship that he already has with Tua Tagovailoa.
(See what all the hype is about with Jaylen Waddle.)
The Dolphins selection at defensive end has been met with mainly positive reviews from analysts who recognise the talent of the young Jaelan Phillips. His discipline is what marks him out from his contemporaries making him a real asset at the edge, which is exactly where the Dolphins needed help last season.
If Phillips can put his concussion issues behind him, he could go on to become an excellent player for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins third pick was Jevon Holland, a player that they hope will be able to replace the released stalwart Bobby McCain as starting free safety.
Holland, who sat out last season amidst Covid concerns had already shown enough natural talent and ability to attract the interest of not just the Dolphins, but other upwardly mobile NFL franchises.
In order to fully fill Bobby McCain’s cleats though, Holland will need to up his organisational game and work on his confidence to loudly and clearly lead his teammates on the field.
(Jevon Holland is an incredibly talented player who, with a little confidence could go on to great things in Miami.)
Brian Flores wanted tough guys with a fighting spirit from the Dolphins Draft picks and in Liam Eichenberg he has gotten just that. The former Notre Dame offensive tackle is big, strong and has an iron will.
In his former side’s blowout win over Florida State, Eichenberg didn’t think twice about returning to the field with an eye swollen shut to help his team to the victory. Over three years he also started 38 consecutive games, showing his hardiness and willingness to give everything to the cause.
Technically he’s a solid player too who has everything at his disposal to stake a claim for a regular starting berth in the coach’s line up.
Last season Long led Division I in receptions and receiving yards for a tight end to surpass Kyle Pitts. That wasn’t due to a dearth in talent at BC, but because Long is a pass-catching machine with a powerful presence and a good football brain.
He should be the perfect all-round player to compliment Mike Gesicki in the seasons to come.
(Hunter Long is an exceptionally gifted and rounded player that will be a real asset to Brian Flores’ team going forward.)
Prior to taking up football, Coleman was a talented basketball star with the NBA in his sights. Basketball’s loss is football’s gain though with the 6 foot 6 Coleman looking to grasp the opportunity afforded to him by the Dolphins.
The 22-year-old is definitely one for the future, athletically he is an absolute monster who wouldn’t get pushed around in the NFL. Technically there is work to do, but if the coaching staff can work successfully with him, Coleman could go on to become a seventh-round steal.
With time slipping away it looked as if the Dolphins would bow out of the Draft without selecting a quality running back. Then, with the 244th pick Chris Grier selected Gerrid Doaks, an injury prone RB out of Cincinnatti.
Obviously, with a history of injury problems Doaks is somewhat of a gamble, but one definitely worth taking. He’s a great ball carrier, a pass protector and most importantly a leader out on the field.
Was the Dolphins draft a success?
The only way to categorically know whether or not the Dolphins have had a successful Draft is to time travel to this time next year. In lieu of that all we can do is speculate on the evidence we have so far which is generally positive.
The Dolphins have recruited in areas that they were weak in and brought in players matching the profile targeted by Brian Flores. Will these additions fire the Dolphins to the Lombardi Trophy? Probably not, but Dolphins fans can at least be hopeful of an improvement on last term.