The Miami Dolphins are 10-5 and on the doorsteps of a playoff berth. Yet, they still currently hold a top-five pick in the 2021 NFL Draft thanks to the Laremy Tunsil trade with the Houston Texans. The question now becomes, what should the team do with that third overall pick? The Dolphins’ wide receiver corps has garnered the most attention of any position on offense recently, but there has been some chatter amongst various parts of the Dolphins fan base about drafting a quarterback to compete with Tua Tagovailoa. So, how might it all sort out?
PFN Insider Benjamin Allbright addresses the Dolphins QB questions
On a recent episode of PFN Weekly, Pro Football Network Insider Benjamin Allbright discussed the Dolphins’ draft plans with his co-hosts, Brett Yarris and Cody Roark. He immediately addressed the rumors flying around about the Dolphins possibly selecting a quarterback in the first round.
“No, they’re not going quarterback. I thought that stuff was a joke on Twitter. I guess I was wrong.”
And Allbright is correct – while Tua has not been off the charts as a rookie, there is more than enough there to invest in a supporting cast around him. That starts at wide receiver.
Note: You can view Allbright talking about the latest on what he’s hearing in the video above. Don’t forget to visit and subscribe to the PFN YouTube Channel for more inside information from around the NFL.
Dolphins wide receiver corps should get reinforcements in the 2021 NFL Draft
The leading Dolphins wide receiver through 15 games is DeVante Parker with 677 yards. Tight end Mike Gesicki trails Parker with 656 yards and nobody else has over 400 yards. Preston Williams could have been somewhere near those numbers had he been healthy this season. Even with two serviceable receivers, the Dolphins should consider a third with their top draft pick.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick despite already rostering Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup and having massive holes to fill defensively. Before the season-ending injury to Dak Prescott, he was on pace for 6,760 yards passing. Lamb had become a big part of that success. On a team featuring a much better defense than the Cowboys, the Dolphins shouldn’t hesitate to take a player they love with the third pick.
Which 2021 NFL Draft receiver makes the most sense for the Dolphins?
Roark believes wide receiver is the right call based on the tape he’s watched of the Dolphins’ offense.
“One of the things that stands out to me is that they just don’t have any of those receivers that create the necessary separation. DeVante Parker is a great receiver. Jakeem Grant is a speedy guy, but these are guys that Tua has to get in line with. I think a guy like DeVonta Smith, that familiarity that Tua has with him back at Alabama, I think that’s necessary. We’ve seen the numbers he’s been putting up this year at Alabama. He’s a legitimate Heisman candidate right now.”
The case for DeVonta Smith
Not counting the College Football Playoffs, DeVonta Smith had 1,511 yards receiving through 11 games and is a Heisman Trophy candidate. Last season with Tua, he went for 68/1,256/14, which gives him two ridiculously productive seasons under his belt.
It’s still early in the process, but there appears to be little chance he lasts until Miami’s other pick in the bottom third of round one. Smith is a fantastic all-around weapon who is a three-level threat and is no slouch with the ball in his hands either. Yet, what is most impressive are his rock solid hands.
The “other” Alabama receiver, Jaylen Waddle
But Smith isn’t the only one from Alabama that could end up a Dolphins wide receiver. Jaylen Waddle was actually outpacing Smith in receiving yards through four games in 2020 before he injured his ankle. The way this young man moves is unfair. Through four games, Waddle averaged 22.3 yards per catch and tallied 557 yards. He also boasted a ridiculous average of 24.4 punt return yards on 20 returns in 2019 for Alabama. And in his five kickoff returns, one went for a touchdown. If his ankle heals, and he tests at the NFL Combine, he should be in sub 4.3 range in the 40-yard dash.
Lest we forget, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase
The final potential future Dolphins wide receiver worth noting is LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase. The only reason he was not a Heisman candidate himself is because his quarterback, Joe Burrow, was the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. It’s possible he would have been the first receiver drafted had he been eligible after 2019.
He accumulated 84/1780/20 in 14 games throughout 2019 and did so in a way that made him appear instantly translatable to a team with good quarterback play.
Chase isn’t a burner, and he is listed at 6-feet-0, 208 pounds, so he’s not a tall jump ball artist. He is, however, physical throughout the route stem and through the catch point. He’s a fantastic tight-window receiver, but that doesn’t mean he cannot separate to all three levels of the field either. His athletic traits simply don’t pop off the screen like you’d expect from a top-flight receiver.