Miami Dolphins 2021 NFL Draft: Way-too-early 3-round mock draft

2021 NFL Draft prospect, Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect, Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Kenny Gainwell, 2021 NFL Draft
Kenny Gainwell, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) /

858. Pick Analysis. RB. 2. Kenny Gainwell. player. Scouting Report. Memphis

After trading away Kenyan Drake last season, many expected the Miami Dolphins to snag a potential franchise running back with one of their many 2020 NFL Draft picks. However, unless you count seventh-round converted quarterback Malcolm Perry, the Dolphins completely ignored the position. They will go forward in 2020 with veteran Jordan Howard as their primary back.

Running back now stands out as one of the most obvious needs on the Dolphins’ roster and they will have plenty of 2021 NFL Draft capital to address the position if they wish. In the second round of this mock, they take one of the most interesting offensive weapons in the class, Memphis’ Kenny Gainwell.

Gainwell is an extremely quick and elusive back who is incredibly difficult to bring down in space. He is explosive in the open field and has more power than you would expect in his relatively slight frame. Gainwell is a tough and aggressive runner who rarely goes down on first contact and always seems to be finishing forward.

As impressive as Gainwell is as a runner, his upside as a receiver is perhaps even more intriguing. Gainwell played a lot of slot receiver for Memphis last season and showed impressive natural route running ability and soft hands. He secures the ball well and does a great job of getting upfield quickly after the catch. He is a tremendous natural pass catcher who is going to be a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield at the next level.

With tremendous upside as both a runner and receiver, Gainwell fits the modern NFL extremely well and could easily be the first running back off of the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. Snagging him in the second round would be an ideal scenario for the Miami Dolphins.