The projections continue for the 2021 NFL Draft with the latest early three-round Mock Draft published by PFN’s Matt Valdovinos, and it is time to review these selections for the Miami Dolphins. Each team has improved drastically, and that includes Miami. The Dolphins once again have a host of draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and currently project to have five choices within the top 69 players. Below, I will review all of the players assigned to the Dolphins by Valdovinos in his early 2021 three-round mock draft, in what could be a franchise-changing event for a proud Miami team.
On the heels of a 2020 NFL Draft where Miami landed their next potential franchise quarterback, the Dolphins could use 2021 to take the next step towards their third Lombardi trophy.
Round 1, Pick 5: Micah Parsons – LB Penn State
Miami head coach Brian Flores has done a tremendous job turning a young and unproven defense into a strong group that should be extremely competitive once again in 2020. The unit finished near the bottom of the pack in 2019, but adding top talent in the 2021 NFL Draft could quickly make this unit one of the elite options in the AFC.
One player that would make this defense elite is Penn State star linebacker, Micah Parsons. I have previously discussed Parsons as one of the standouts in a potentially historic Penn State class. He is a versatile inside linebacker prospect with a tremendous blitzing ability that could play on the edge. Parsons is a top-five player in this class and could be a potential game-changer at the next level for the Dolphins.
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Round 1: Pick 13: Jaylen Waddle – WR Alabama
As previously mentioned, the Dolphins finally landed the heir to the Dan Marino throne in the 2021 NFL Draft with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. The excitement abounds for Miami fans as Tagovailoa readies for his rookie season with the quarterback-starved Dolphins. The Dolphins could use the 2021 NFL Draft as a means to upgrade the offense around their new quarterback, and the selection of Waddle is an excellent example of that.
Waddle is a top-five receiver option for the Dolphins as an explosive and twitchy player with a similar ability to the Kansas City Chiefs’ own Tyreek Hill. He caught two touchdowns from Tagovailoa last season at Alabama and six overall for the 2019 season. Their built-in rapport will provide a quick chemistry on-field and a boost for the entire offense.
Round 2: Pick 37: Ar’Darius Washington – S TCU
The Dolphins have gone to great lengths to improve their secondary this offseason with the addition of free agent Byron Jones, as well as 2020 NFL Draft picks Noah Igbinoghene (30th overall) and Brandon Jones (Round 3, 70th overall). However, the safety position lacks that star power needed to make this unit elite.
Washington was one half of a dynamic duo at safety for TCU last season that included fellow stud, Trevon Moehrig-Woodard. Although he is a tad undersized at 5-foot-8 and 179 pounds, Washington is a ball hawk for the Horned Frogs covering a lot of ground on the back end. He has excellent range and knows how to get his hands on the football, as evidenced by his five interceptions, and seven passes defended during the 2019 season. Adding Washington here would be a great value and an embarrassment of riches for a young and promising Miami secondary.
Round 2, Pick 45: Jayson Oweh – EDGE Penn State
While most of the talk of the 2020 Penn State defense has revolved around Parsons, the team has a pair of exciting edge rushers in Shaka Toney and Jayson Oweh. As a redshirt-freshman in 2019, Oweh started only one game but impressed with his explosion and quickness en route to five sacks for the Nittany Lions on the season.
Oweh is a physical specimen that could wreak havoc as a full-time player and starter for Penn State this coming season. His upside is immense, and Valdovinos wrote back in June that Oweh is “one player who could surprise and be the first EDGE defender selected in the 2021 NFL Draft”. For a team in pressing need of young pass-rushing help, Miami could have one of the 2021 NFL Draft steals here with Oweh as the 45th overall pick.
Round 3, Pick 69: Samuel Cosmi – OT Texas
The offensive line was the theme early and often for the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft. The team drafted USC’s Austin Jackson in the first round, Louisiana’s Robert Hunt in the second, and Georgia’s Solomon Kindley in the fourth. The overhaul of this unit continues here with the 69th pick and Texas Longhorn tackle Samuel Cosmi.
Cosmi is a player that possesses all the necessary tools to be a great starter at the next level and could even sneak into the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Therefore, the Dolphins capitalize on a future starter and grab Sam Ehlinger’s blindside protector here in the third round. Cosmi was a second-team All Big-12 selection in 2019 as a 13-game starter for the Longhorns. He could be an option at right or left tackle for the Dolphins, and his selection is a home run as the final pick reviewed in this 2021 early three-round mock draft.