The process of evaluating 2021 NFL Draft talent has begun, and connections start to form between teams and players over the coming months. Once the college and NFL seasons get underway, the picture will become more apparent as to which individuals are worthy of playing at the next level and where they will continue their playing careers.
Part of that evaluation process is the mock draft, and Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Nick Farabaugh recently released his 2021 4-round NFL Mock Draft. Below, I will discuss the players that Farabaugh has connected to the Miami Dolphins in this 2021 mock draft review. The team is loaded with ammunition to continue their exciting rebuild and the players discussed here could be part of that next step.
The Dolphins are looking to improve and to the AFC playoffs, and eventually to the Super Bowl. Find out how these selections below will help them get closer to that goal.
Round 1, Pick 5: Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
The first player under review as Farabaugh’s top pick for the Dolphins in this 2021 mock draft is Purdue receiver, Rondale Moore. A diminutive and explosive gadget man for the Boiler Makers, Moore has been a reception machine during his first two years in the Big Ten. He would add an excellent underneath option for the Dolphins. Moore is the perfect fit to go with outside receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams and could give Miami an elite trio of wide receivers for years to come.
Moore set the college football world on fire as a true freshman, racking up 114 catches for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also added 213 rushing yards and two more scores. However, he missed all but four games due to injury last season and remains a prime bounce-back candidate in 2020. I mentioned Moore as one of four potential fits for Miami back in June, while Ian Cummings recently tripled down with Moore as the Dolphins’ pick at number five overall in his three-round mock draft.
Therefore, the PFN experts all agree that Moore makes a world of sense for Miami. He is a contender to be the first wide receiver selected next April, and the Dolphins could very well be the team that pulls the trigger. Moore provides big plays as a receiver in the slot, in the backfield, or on the outside. This versatility gives him exceptional value and makes for a tremendous weapon on this team.
Round 1, Pick 13: Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
The Dolphins improved their offensive line by leaps and bounds this past offseason, with the additions of free agents Ted Karras and Ereck Flowers and the draft choices of Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, and Solomon Kindley. However, there is more work to be done to get this unit where it needs to be to protect their new franchise signal-caller, Tua Tagovailoa.
And who better to continue that rebuild than with Tagovailoa’s college teammate and protector, Alex Leatherwood. A former five-star high school recruit, Leatherwood has been a standout at guard and tackle during his time at Alabama. As Alabama’s left tackle in 2019, he made 13 outstanding starts and was named a second-team All-SEC performer by the Associated Press.
With the Dolphins, Leatherwood could contribute in a multitude of ways as a rookie. Depending on how their 2019 picks pan out, he could end up starting at either tackle spot for Miami. Paired with Jackson, Leatherwood would help form one of the more formidable bookends in the AFC. With the 13th overall pick of this 2021 mock draft, this review shows that the Dolphins could do worse here than Farabaugh’s selection of the big, 6-foot-6, 310-pounder.
Round 2, Pick 37: Quincy Roche, EDGE Miami
In addition to poor offensive line play, the Dolphins had incredibly abysmal results from their pass rush in 2019. Their top pass rusher in terms of sacks (5) last season was Taco Charlton, who is no longer with the team. Charlton was claimed off waivers from Dallas before their week three matchup, after being a failed former first-round draft pick.
Even after signing Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, and Emmanuel Ogbah in free agency, the Dolphins need some young pass-rushing help. And Miami could turn to their local college outlet for help in that area with Quincy Roche. A former standout at Temple, Roche decided to finish his playing career with the Hurricanes as a graduate transfer and teams with Gregory Rousseau to form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the nation.
Roche is an extremely underrated player this early in the 2021 NFL Draft process and could see a big-time rise in his stock during the upcoming season. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Roche amassed 13 sacks in 2019 and has the frame to get bigger and stronger at the next level. He is speedy off the line and has the outstanding length for the position. He would be a fantastic rotational piece for coach Flores and an eventual starter on this Dolphins’ defense.
Round 2, Pick 45: Najee Harris, RB Alabama
Miami continues to add playmakers to the offensive side of the ball with Farabaugh’s selection of Alabama’s Najee Harris in the second round. Harris is an ultra-talented former top recruit that bided his time behind star runners like Josh Jacobs, Damien Harris, and Bo Scarbrough. Harris finally started to shine as a starter for Alabama in 2019 and may be the best overall value player discussed in this 2021 mock draft review for the Dolphins.
Harris is a big back that runs with extreme power and vision and showcases some incredibly soft hands for the RB position. His seven receiving touchdowns in 2019 were the most all-time for a Crimson Tide running back in a single season. Pairing Harris with his college QB Tagovailoa would be another wise investment for the Dolphins.
Miami added to their running game this offseason by signing former Chicago and Philadelphia RB Jordan Howard as a free agent. The team also traded for San Francisco speedster, Matt Breida. This dynamic duo should jumpstart Miami’s offense in 2020.
However, Howard only signed a two-year pact, and Harris is a true every-down back that could flourish in Miami with Tagovailoa. He would be the early-down starter as early as 2021.
Round 3, Pick 69: Trevon Moehrig, S TCU
The Dolphins moved on from former Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones this offseason and are looking for players to step up in 2020. The team returns Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe as starters at the safety spots, while introducing Texas rookie Brandon Jones to the fold. After the season, Miami will be looking for more depth and playmakers in the secondary, and TCU’s Moehrig could fit in nicely.
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The 2021 safety class is deep and versatile, and TCU offers a duo in Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington that could be real difference-makers at the next level. A first-team AP All-Big 12 selection, Moehrig was arguably the most valuable player for the Horned Frogs last season. He accumulated 62 total tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and 11 passes defended in 12 starts.
He has excellent range and is one of the better cover men at the safety position. To review, he is a dark horse to become the first safety selected in 2021 and presents excellent value for the upstart Dolphins in the third round of this 2021 mock draft.
Round 4, Pick 100: Tyler Shelvin, IDL LSU
A former fifth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Davon Godchaux has been a consistent and underrated performer for the Dolphins. He started all 16 games the past two seasons, including every game at nose tackle last season. He ranked second among all DL in 2019 with 75 combined tackles, while also adding two sacks and a pass deflection.
Godchaux is a free agent after the 2020 season, and his future in Miami is uncertain right now. The team prepared for his loss by drafting another strong NT prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, Alabama’s Raekwon Davis. However, more depth is needed, and the Dolphins could look back to Godchaux’s alma mater for his eventual replacement.
LSU’s Tyler Shelvin is one of the top interior prospects available in the 2021 NFL Draft and the best run stopper in the entire class. He started thirteen games in a breakout sophomore season where he accumulated 39 total tackles from the nose tackle position.
As I conclude this 2021 mock draft review, Shelvin is a logical replacement for Godchaux on this Dolphins’ defense and would compete to start right away.
Scott Gorman is an NFL Draft writer and analyst for PFN covering the Miami Dolphins. You can follow him @sgormanPFN on Twitter.