The Miami Dolphins set the NFL world ablaze Friday afternoon just in time for happy hour is set to begin at The Blue Martini. Minutes after completing a trade to send the No. 3 pick to San Francisco in exchange for No. 12, a 2022 third rounder (Adam Schefter later clarified it is not 2021), and first round picks in 2022 and 2023, the Dolphins
made me delete the entire f***ing mock draft and write-up I was working on traded the twelfth pick, a 2022 first, and their own fourth round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for No. 6 and a fifth round pick. So if you are keeping track at home and don’t have trade whiplash yet, here is the net return for the Dolphins:
Receive: No. 6 and No. 156 in 2021, San Francisco’s third-round pick in 2022, San Francisco’s first round pick in 2023
Dealt: No. 3 to San Francisco and No. 123 to Philadelphia, both being 2021 picks
So now, what does this all mean? Well, it means the 49ers are likely out of the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes as teams don’t typically trade two future first round picks to go up and grab anything but a quarterback; especially since the only other prospect viewed as possibly franchise-changing at a position of value is Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. The 49ers won’t be taking Sewell anyway as they just signed Trent Williams to the richest tackle deal in history. On the Watson front, should the Dolphins choose to pursue the embattled Texans signal caller, they are now armed with an additional future Day 1 and Day 2 picks.
There is no reason to think that anything is imminent with Watson to Miami, however, given the quarterback’s ongoing civil lawsuits and the Dolphins’ public commitment to second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, who showed promise in his rookie campaign. Until there is reason to think, otherwise, the new sixth pick figures to be going toward further talent to surround Tagovailoa. Here is a new mock draft using the updated picks, using The Draft Network mock simulator.
No. 6: Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver LSU
This could be a perfect spot for Florida tight end Kyle Pitts given his production and measurables, but also because Mike Gesicki is entering his contract year for the Dolphins. In this mock, he went fourth to the Falcons, though The Draft Network does not account for trades, which is something Atlanta is believed to be clamoring for in hopes of finding a quarterback-hungry team like Miami did. Another name off the board here is Sewell, who went second to the Jets. While I doubt the Jets take Sewell at two, given their belief in Mekhi Becton and their mixed feelings on Sam Darnold, if he gets past two, I doubt he gets past Cincinnati at five.
Regardless, at least three quarterbacks will go in the top five, meaning Miami will have the opportunity to nab one of Sewell, Pitts, Chase, DeVonta Smith, or Micah Parsons. Here, I chose to go with Chase, who I believe to be the odds-on favorite to be selected here anyway. Chase is a physical receiver who fights for the football and is a terror after the catch. At the LSU Pro Day next Wednesday, expect to see him run in the low 4.4s or even a sub-4.4. A player who can get separation, make plays after the catch, and free up DeVante Parker for a No. 2 corner is everything Tagovailoa could want. If the coaching staff fell in love with Smith at the Senior Bowl, it could be him here, especially if Chase goes beforehand, but for now give me the highly-productive LSU receiver.
No. 18: Najee Harris, running back Alabama
The jury is split on where exactly Harris will go. Some think the Arizona Cardinals are a threat to select him at 16 following the departure of ex-Dolphin Kenyan Drake. Others think he falls to Buffalo or Tampa at the end of the first, with some believing he could be had in the second. A year after missing out on JK Dobbins by mere minutes, general manager Chris Grier jumps at the opportunity to get the Alabama back here.
To call Harris a bowling ball would be like calling Godzilla a minor civic inconvenience. He is a battering ram who is top end speed, elite athleticism, and is a physical runner. He could change the Miami offense in one offseason, forcing teams to account for the run for the first time in years. Myles Gaskin is a solid change-of-pace back, but Harris could give the Dolphins 20+ carries per game, allow for Tagovailoa to become more lethal in the play-action game, and instantly make the offense two-dimensional. If you are the Dolphin front office, you’re holding your breath for him to make it there, but if he does, you give the card to Usain Bolt to run it to the stage.
No. 36 Gregory Rousseau, defensive end Miami
In the same sort of quickness, Miami would love to get this local name on a card at this point in the draft. I could see a scenario where Harris and Rousseau both go to Miami but are flipped in their respective spots. After trading away Shaq Lawson and releasing Kyle Van Noy, the Dolphins badly need some pass rush help. Rousseau is a monster off the edge at 6’5 and 260 Lbs., and many projections have him falling this far due to a lack of tape (just two games played in 2018 due to injury, and opted out of 2020) and a lack of refined technique. That did not seem to hinder him in 2019, however, as the Hurricane defender notched 15.5 sacks for Manny Diaz’s defense.
No. 50 Landon Dickerson, center Alabama
Miami signed Matt Skura from the Baltimore Ravens to a one-year deal in hopes he could return to his pre-2020 form. Here, they would get a center that has started and won a lot of games at college football’s premier program. Dickerson started his career at Florida State and has started games at all five positions along the line. Brian Flores adores versatility throughout the roster, and Dickerson can play in any of the three spots along the interior. Like Harris, this would reunite Tagovailoa with a familiar face, one who has a mean streak and is strong supporting the run and the pass. This battery is one Miami would hope to keep together for a decade-plus.
No. 81 Dylan Moses, linebacker Alabama
I know, I know, enough with the Tide. That’s how you feel as a college football fan, but as has been documented, Flores and Grier are huge fans of Nick Saban-coached players. Moses was a projected first round pick in 2020 before deciding to return for his senior season. Like Dickerson, he shows up in a bad mood and is violent at the point of attack. With Jerome Baker entering a contract year, adding linebacker depth alongside Benardrick McKinney is paramount. The former No. 1 overall high school player in America is a sure tackler and is known to absolutely blow up a backfield.
No. 156 Walker Little, offensive tackle Stanford
This is a pick where I was a beneficiary of a random simulation, as I sincerely doubt Little is here at this point. He has one of the largest disparities in mock drafts given his injury and opt-out history. Some see him as an early Day 2 pick while others see him going in the early-to-mid-Day 3. His tape from 2018, where he was first-team All PAC-12 shows a player who has first round talent. He was an elite pass blocker, thanks in part to genetics as he is going to be the third person drafted in the NFL in his family. Again, I sincerely doubt he is here, but if he is, he is well worth the risk. Little could start as a swing tackle behind Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson before potentially usurping either if he returns to his 2018 form.
No. 231 Jaelon Darden, wide receiver North Texas
Darden was arguably one of the most productive players in all of college football last season, totaling 19 touchdowns on over 1,100 yards for the Mean Green. Miami is currently drowning in receivers on its roster, especially with the addition of Chase, but lacks proven players that can stay healthy. Darden can play the slot and is as good as any at finding open space. I have seen a wide range for Darden, too, going anywhere from the third to the seventh. If he’s here at 231, he is more than worth a flyer to bring to camp.