The Miami Dolphins traded offensive lineman Ereck Flowers to the Washington Football Team on Tuesday, sparking speculation that they may be in the market to take Oregon’s Penei Sewell sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reported the news of the Dolphins’ apparent interest in Sewell:
As great of a prospect as Sewell is, Miami shouldn’t take him. Beasley’s colleague, Barry Jackson, also reported that a source close to the Dolphins organization would be “beyond stunned” if Sewell was Miami’s pick.
Sewell is the consensus top offensive lineman in the 2021 class. Sometimes, taking the best player available is a great course of action to take. For a team like the Fins, who are loaded with draft capital, perhaps this would be the best course of action in the eyes of some.
But not when there are multiple other options near the top of the draft who much better fit what Miami needs to take the next step as a legitimate AFC contender.
Miami Dolphins have invested plenty in their offensive line
It was a bold move to spend three 2020 draft picks on the offensive trenches and expect big things. However, the unit played well enough as a whole for Miami to win 10 games, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.
Austin Jackson should be better in his second season as a pro, Robert Hunt was surprisingly effective as a rookie, and Solomon Kindley proved that his time with the Georgia Bulldogs prepared him to start out of the gates as a fourth-round pick.
That sophomore trio is showing signs of a strong foundation. With continuity in the same system and an offseason program to build chemistry, the unit should be much improved in 2021 to block for hopeful franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Speaking of Tagovailoa, the priority should now be to find him another premium pass-catcher.
Prospects Miami Dolphins should target 6th overall in 2021 NFL Draft
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts could still be on the board when the Dolphins go on the clock, but given his elite talent, it’ll be hard for the Atlanta Falcons to pass him up at four. Should Pitts still be there, though, it’d be a no-brainer choice, as Tagovailoa would have two excellent, athletic pass-catchers at the position in Pitts and Mike Gesicki, which would elevate the play of Miami’s incumbent receivers.
But let’s just pretend like Pitts won’t be there, because that’s almost too good to be true. If you really want to set up Tagovailoa for success, why not reunite him with one of two transcendent talents who happened to be his college teammates at Alabama?
Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith is catching some grief for being undersized, yet he’s an electrifying playmaker who Tagovailoa already has built-in chemistry with. The Dolphins have a burner in Will Fuller who can take the top off a defense and a physical outside presence in DeVante Parker. Imagine the opportunities Smith would have to tear it up in the short passing game.
Then there’s the possibility of Jaylen Waddle. Also a product of the powerhouse Alabama program, Waddle’s game-breaking speed is being compared to the likes of Tyreek Hill. Those players don’t come along very often. Although he was buried on the depth chart to a degree with the Crimson Tide and was banged up in 2020, Waddle has the makings of a special NFL receiver.
No need for the Fins front office to overthink this. Since Miami’s defense is so strong under coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier has already invested plenty in the offensive line, it’d make the most sense for the Dolphins to acquire either Pitts, Smith or Waddle to kick off the first round.
And hey, with another pick at 18th and two second-round selections at Nos. 36 and 50, Grier could still go for a lineman relatively early if he really wants. At No. 6, though, it’s time to set the tone and ensure Tagovailoa has the maximum means to succeed in a relatively make-or-break 2021 season.