Miami Dolphins dominated 2021 NFL Draft with high value picks

The Miami Dolphins select Jaylen Waddle at No. 6 in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
The Miami Dolphins select Jaylen Waddle at No. 6 in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2021 NFL Draft process is finally over, and a few teams did a great job getting value and adding talented players to their roster. One team did this better than anyone else: the Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins came into the draft with two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a roster on the verge of making the playoffs last season. Despite barely missing the playoffs, they had a top-three pick given to them by the Texans from the Laremy Tunsil trade in 2019.

Everything was in place for the 2020 AFC East runner-up to have a fantastic draft; however, they weren’t satisfied. They wanted to trade back while staying in a position to get one of the top players on their board. Needless to say, they did just that.

On March 26th, they traded the 3rd overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for a package of picks, including the 12th overall pick and a future first-rounder. Just a few hours after this trade, they agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles in which they traded the 12th overall pick for the 6th overall pick.

According to Jeff Kerr, they went from having just the 3rd overall pick to having the 6th overall pick, the 156th overall pick (from Eagles), a 2022 first-round pick (from 49ers), a 2022 third-round pick (from 49ers), and a 2023 first-round pick (from 49ers).

They went back just three picks and received two first-round picks in the process. Although it took a lot of maneuvering to get the 6th pick, they got a ton of value and will be better off moving forward.

With the 6th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, they picked Alabama wide receiver, Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is an explosive slot receiver who has elite speed and wonderful technique as a route runner. The way he fires off the line of scrimmage is marvelous and makes it difficult for opposing cornerbacks to stay in front of him. He can generate YAC with the ball in his hands and make incredible catches in contested situations, making him an excellent all-around receiver.

Out of the top three receivers in the class, Waddle is probably the best fit for the Dolphins’ roster. They already have two outside receivers in Devante Parker and Will Fuller V, so they need someone who can play in the slot and excel in that role. DeVonta Smith would likely do well in the slot, but you won’t get the most out of him if he’s playing inside.

Waddle can play inside or outside, and his ability to make plays happen with the ball in his hands will make this Miami Dolphins offense and Tua Tagovailoa better.

With the 18th overall pick in the draft, they drafted Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips. Phillips is an athletic pass rusher who wins at the point of attack with excellent bend and technique. He can also stop the run and does a great job disengaging from blockers to pick up tackles for loss. He has the talent to be a Myles Garrett level player, but he does come with some risk.

Phillips started his collegiate career at UCLA and was forced to retire after suffering multiple concussions. He played extremely well once he returned from his early retirement, but there is a chance that he may be forced to retire again if he deals with more concussions in the NFL. Phillips is a high-risk, high-reward prospect due to his worrisome injury history. Still, his talent is undeniable, and he has the potential to be a perennial pro bowler and maybe even an All-Pro.

The Miami Dolphins continued to hit on their picks in the second round as they drafted Oregon safety Jevon Holland and Notre Dame tackle Liam Eichenberg with the 36th and 42nd pick, respectively.

Holland is a good athlete who can tackle and was a productive ballhawk in college. In 17 games at Oregon, he had nine interceptions, which is extremely impressive. He’ll play a lot as a rookie because the Dolphins desperately need help at safety.

Eichenberg is one of the more underrated players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Although he doesn’t have the length or foot speed to be a left tackle in the NFL, his pass sets are textbook, and he has the athleticism and technique to excel as a guard.

Both Eichenberg and Holland have the chance to start and make an impact as rookies.

The Miami Dolphins dominated the 2021 NFL Draft, drastically improving their roster and the future of their franchise. They drafted four top 50 prospects within the first two rounds and got multiple first-round picks through pre-draft trades. All four of their first and second-round picks have a good chance to make an impact in their rookie year, and both Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips have pro bowl upside.

A few teams had fantastic drafts, but none got as much talent and value as the Miami Dolphins. They made many great moves, and their decisions will positively affect their franchise for years to come.