How Draft Analysts Graded Day 2 for the Dolphins

Breaking down how draft analysts evaluated the Dolphins' Day 2 selections of Jevon Holland, Liam Eichenberg and Hunter Long
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's been said before and it bears repeating: It's really not fair to evaluate a draft pick or a draft class until at least two years have passed, maybe even three.

But that's never stopped draft analysts from providing immediate grades, and so it was again in 2021.

Here then was the immediate evaluation of the Dolphins' Day 2 picks of safety Jevon Holland, tackle Liam Eichenberg and tight end Hunter Long from a group of national media outlets and draft analysts.

PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

Jevon Holland Analysis: Miami makes Jevon Holland the first safety off the board, shocking many who had TCU’s Trevon Moehrig projected as a sure-fire first-rounder. Holland, who can also play cornerback, was an excellent coverage player for Oregon over two high-level seasons of play. Miami needs help at safety after stacking their cornerback depth chart over the past year, and this goes a long way toward achieving that. Grade: Above Average

RELATED: Instant Reaction to Selection of Jevon Holland

Liam Eichenberg Analysis: One of the top tackles in the country, Liam Eichenberg might not be quite as spectacular a prospect as some of the other players at his position, but he improved significantly in PFF grade every season of his college career, culminating in an 89.9 overall mark in 2020. Eichenberg didn’t surrender a sack in either of the past two seasons, and he gives the Dolphins some real competition at a position they’ve already invested significantly in without seeing clear and certain results yet. Grade: Very Good

Hunter Long Analysis: Even with Mike Gesicki on the roster, Long fills the need for a true inline tight end. He was a volume target at Boston College — head and shoulders the best receiving option for the Eagles over the last couple seasons. He does a lot of different things at a very good level and can help in a few different roles, he just might not have the requisite athleticism to be a difference-maker. Grade: Above Average

LUKE EASTERLING, Draft Wire (USA Today)

Jevon Holland Analysis: It hurts to lose out on Williams, and the Dolphins responded by moving to the other side of the ball. Holland is a versatile playmaker for the back end of the defense, but seeing him go ahead of TCU’s Trevon Moehrig as the first safety off the board is a surprise. Linebacker and offensive line were more immediate needs, and it feels like Miami could have gotten better value at the same position. Grade: C

Liam Eichenberg Analysis: After missing out on Javonte Williams and taking a bit of a reach with Jevon Holland, the Dolphins move up the board here to land a starting-caliber left tackle in Eichenberg. He’s a technically sound blocker who could end up pushign Austin Jackson, a first-round pick in last year’s draft, to the right side. Even so, there were a couple of better tackles on the board (Dillon Radunz, Samuel Cosmi), so this still feels like a missed opportunity to maximize value at the position. Grade: C+

Hunter Long Analysis: The Dolphins already have one pass-catching playmaker at tight end in Mike Gesicki, but they add another one here in Long, who represents solid value at this point in the draft. Grade: B

VINNIE IYER, The Sporting News

Jevon Holland Analysis: Miami got a needed cleanup man for the secondary, although it’s surprising it wasn’t TCU’s Trevon Moehrig instead from the position. Holland can do a little of everything well vs. run and pass to support Brian Flores’ front seven, which now includes first-round edge rusher Jaelan Phillips. Grade: A-

Liam Eichenberg Analysis: Eichenberg played the left side well for the Fighting Irish but he projects as a strong, sturdy right tackle for the Dolphins. Miami got its big upgrade from Jesse Davis to complement 2020 draft pick Austin Jackson. Eichenberg will give equal help to Tua Tagovailoa and Myles Gaskin. Grade: A-

RELATED: Instant Reaction to Selection of Liam Eichenberg

Hunter Long Analysis: Miami went for another option who can help both Tua Tagovailoa and the running game in different ways. Long, a natural receiver and sound blocker, is a good complement to slot receiver-like Mike Gesicki. Grade: B

ERIC EDHOLM, Yahoo Sports

Jevon Holland Analysis: Holland is a safety who can cover the slot and be used vs. backs and tight ends. With some CB-like coverage skills and promising upside, this is a very interesting pick. He opted out with a mere 16 starts over two seasons. In time, he could be an impact player. Grade: C+

Liam Eichenberg Analysis: Interesting. We assumed center was Miami’s biggest OL need, but Eichenberg has been a left tackle his whole time with the Irish (even though many teams projected him inside to guard). He’s not flashy but a very solid, reliable, smart and tough blocker who lacks great athletic traits. Grade: C+

Hunter Long Analysis: Brian Flores taps his alma mater for a tight end who made some circus grabs last season and who competes well as a run-blocker. Long has a natural feel for finding soft spots in the defense and using his body to shield defenders with his above-average athleticism. He needs work as a pass-blocker and never will be a true people-mover in the run game but is a strong TE2 with starter potential in time. Grade: B-

CHRIS TRAPASSO, CBSSports.com

Jevon Holland Analysis: Surprising he's the first safety off the board in this class. Tons of ball production at Oregon and his instincts are through the roof. But not the most sudden nor the fastest in man coverage. Average in run support. Does fill a need. Grade: C

Liam Eichenberg, Analysis: High-floor tackle/guard who helps fill out Miami's offensive line, which is needed. Steep price for the trade up. Love his experience and hand work but needs to get a lot stronger. Grade: B-

Hunter Long Analysis: Low-key good receiver. Seam-stretching skill and catches everything. Good catch radius. Can block too. Grade: B-

SHEIL KAPADIA, The Athletic

Jevon Holland Analysis: The Dolphins have not been shy about investing in their secondary, and Holland (6-foot-1, 207) should be a nice fit in Brian Flores’ scheme. He had excellent ball production with 19 passes defended and nine interceptions in 27 games. Holland has experience playing free safety, in the box and as a slot corner. If nothing else, Holland should be someone who can contribute right away in sub packages, and he has the potential to be a valuable starter. Grade: B

Liam Eichenberg Analysis: Eichenberg (6-foot-6, 206) is a pro-ready left tackle. He started 38 games at Notre Dame and did not allow a sack the last two years, according to Pro Football Focus. Eichenberg might not have the same upside as some of the offensive linemen drafted ahead of him, but he should be able to contribute right away either at guard or tackle. The Dolphins are clearly focused on putting Tua Tagovailoa in position to succeed. They gave up a 2022 third-round pick to move up eight spots for Eichenberg. Grade: B-

Hunter Long Analysis: Long (6-foot-5, 254) is considered a well-rounded prospect. He had 57 catches for 685 yards last year and 89 catches for 1,297 yards in his career. Long held up well as a blocker too. He’ll be the Dolphins’ No. 2 tight end and offer depth behind Mike Gesicki. Grade: B

RELATED: Instant Reaction to Selection of Hunter Long

CHAD REUTER, NFL.com

Day 2 Analysis: Holland was the top coverage safety in the draft, and he'll give the Dolphins the versatility to play him in the slot as well as in the deep half. With running back Javonte Williams off the board because the Broncos moved one pick ahead of Miami to take Williams at No. 35, this selection made good sense. Moving up for Eichenberg helps make up for passing on left tackle Penei Sewell in the first round, as the former member of the Irish can play multiple positions on the offensive line; there's very good value there. The Dolphins already have a few tight ends, but Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe are scheduled to be free agents after the season. Long is a strong all-around player worth the third-round pick given that future need. Grade: A