The Miami Dolphins have struggled to a 1-3 start to the 2020-2021 NFL season with losses to the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and the Seattle Seahawks. There are apparent holes on this team that will need to be fixed via free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Dalton Miller recently conducted a two-round 2021 Mock Draft, and upon review, the Dolphins came away with several key players who could contribute immediately next season.
Round 1, Pick 8: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The Dolphins kick off this 2021 Mock Draft review with a boost to the defense and Penn State edge rusher, Jayson Oweh. The talented starter for the Nittany Lions is an absolute freak of nature at the defensive end position and is expected to post insane workout numbers following the 2020-2021 season. At 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, he is the prototype for the hybrid edge/outside linebacker prospect for the Dolphins.
He recorded five sacks in 2019 as a rotational player but should see a spike in both playing time and production with the decision made to opt-out of the season by fellow top prospect Micah Parsons. Oweh is slated to begin his season against the Indiana Hoosiers on October 24th, and all eyes will be on the exciting young pass rusher. He has a chance to rise up the draft boards quickly this season, and a top-10 selection here is not nearly out of the question for Oweh and the Dolphins.
Round 1, Pick 11: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (Fla.)
Miami Hurricanes’ edge rusher Gregory Rousseau dominated as a redshirt freshman last season and burst onto the 2021 NFL Draft radar with 15.5 sacks in seven starts. As I review Miller’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft, his selection of Rousseau is impactful because he is a versatile player that could fit in a four-man front or as a five-technique in a 3-4 scheme. He is the perfect chess piece for a coach like Brian Flores and would be an excellent fit for the Dolphins in 2021.
I previously compared Rousseau to another top NFL Draft prospect in Jadeveon Clowney. However, Rousseau’s size and strength also compare favorably to fellow Hurricanes’ great in Calais Campbell. Keeping Rousseau in Miami with the 11th overall pick would be an excellent coup for the Dolphins and provide a second stud rusher at one of Miami’s most troublesome areas.
Round 2, Pick 40: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Dolphins made some significant strides so far in the running game this season behind surprise starter Myles Gaskin and newcomers Matt Breida and Jordan Howard. The offensive line has noticeably improved, allowing Miami to create more prominent running lanes that help open up the offense. However, the team could use a real difference-maker and home run threat in the backfield behind eventual franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
And who better to team with Tagovailoa than his former teammate, Alabama’s Najee Harris? The Crimson Tide running back is an apparent home run pick by Miller in the second round of this 2021 Mock Draft, because Harris possesses all the tools to be a three-down back at the next level for the Dolphins. He has exciting athleticism, vision, and balance for the position, with underrated hands in the receiving game. He’s an instant starter in Miami and could be among the AFC’s best behind this resurgent offensive line.
Round 2, Pick 43: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
Back in May, I wrote about Nasirildeen’s 2021 NFL Draft prospects and his potential to become the next Isaiah Simmons. With his size and athletic ability, Nasirildeen is a player that could be used all over the defense at the next level. He has outstanding coverage ability and is one of the better tacklers at the safety position in this class. Nasirildeen was forced to miss the first three games, including the Miami game. His 2020 debut is up in the air, as he continues to recover from a knee injury suffered against Florida last season.
Nasirildeen’s return is much anticipated and will provide a massive boost to the Florida State secondary. While he may not possess the same top-10 upside as Simmons, Nasirildeen is a potential first-rounder that would be a steal at this point for the Dolphins. Miami is looking for a long-term starter at both safety positions, and Nasirildeen could step in right away for coach Flores on this defense.