Miami Dolphins: 2021 NFL Draft late-round sleeper targets
With a middling free agency period highlighted by the signing of former Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller, the Miami Dolphins will be reliant upon a strong 2021 NFL Draft class to elevate themselves into the post-season. Despite ranking among the top of the NFL regarding 2021 NFL Draft assets, the Miami Dolphins will be tightly strung after the first two days with a total of three selections in the final four rounds.
With a distinct need for top-end talent from their first-round selections, Miami’s goal within the latter rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft will be to procure defensive depth and find potential offensive gems which managed to slip through the cracks of the second day of the draft. Taking after former mentor Bill Belichick, can Brian Flores emulate the success of the New England Patriots in the latter portion of the NFL Draft?
A top-heavy inside linebacker with a brutish style of play, Mississippi State linebacker Erroll Thompson is an anvil on wheel capable of stuffing running lanes on any given snap. Listed at 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, Thompson matches well physically with the vast majority of running backs he faces in the whole. Combined with a fleet-footed lower half, Thompson is impressively mobile for his size.
Despite his stereotype of being a ‘bruiser’ linebacker, Thompson is adequately quick in space. A valuable trait, Thompson can be a three-down linebacker fulfilling the responsibility of covering the seam. This fluidity and short-area quickness translate into his aggression against the run as well, capable of splitting blockers on outside zone handoffs to the opposite side of the formation.
Within a position group that lacks a single leading name, the Miami Dolphins linebacker production will be a group effort from a variety of skillsets. Filling a niche role as a run-stopping linebacker, Thompson could one day start at inside linebacker if he is able to round out his game and make the most of his athleticism.