Despite moving down three spots near the top of the 2021 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins just might end up choosing between the same options after their two big trades Friday.
Quarterbacks are expected to dominate the top of the first round, particularly after the Dolphins-49ers trade and there's certainly a realistic possibility that history could be made with QBs being selected with each of the first four picks.
At the very least, the top three picks should be quarterbacks because the 49ers surely didn't give up three first-round picks, including number 12, and a third-round pick to take a player at another position.
So exactly what options the Dolphins will have will come down to what the Atlanta Falcons do with the fourth pick and what Cincinnati does at number 5.
Regardless, the Dolphins should have some appealing options among this select group of offensive prospects: WR Ja'Marr Chase, WR Jaylen Waddle, WR DeVonta Smith, T Penei Sewell and TE Kyle Pitts.
Sure, there's an outside possibility the Dolphins could go for a defensive standout, particularly after Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons' impressive showing at his Pro Day on Friday, but logic says it's the offense that needs to be addressed first.
So let's examine the pros and cons of the five aforementioned possibilities — and, no, Najee Harris should not be considered an option at number 6 because of the relatively low value of a running back in today's game — and rank them in order of best move for the Dolphins.
This is not a prediction, but rather a personal preference from this vantage point.
Let's first go through the pros and cons, with the prospects listed in alphabetical order:
-- Ja'Marr Chase: The pros is he's probably the best wide receiver prospect in the draft. As a prospect, think a stronger and faster Jarvis Landry, a player who delivered big results for the Dolphins as a second-round pick out of the same school (LSU). There's little not to like about Chase, though he did not play college football in 2020 after opting out. The Dolphins also already have a dozen wide receivers on the roster and added Will Fuller V in free agency, though the argument could be made they don't have a true No. 1 wide receiver because DeVante Parker hasn't been dependable enough because of his health issues.
-- Kyle Pitts: The pros that he's a unique prospect who transcends the tight end position because of the matchup problems he presents. The only negative, if you want to call it that, is that the Dolphins already have a good tight end in Mike Gesicki and depth at the position with Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen.
-- Penei Sewell: The pros are that he's considered another freaky athlete with immense upside and could be an All-Pro for years. Like Chase, though, he did not play in 2020 after opting out. The other issue here is that the Dolphins spent two premium picks on tackles last year and both of them — Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt — were starters. One of them, likely Hunt, would have to move inside to accommodate Sewell. Sewell also was a left tackle at Oregon, so is that where he would line up for the Dolphins or would he move to right tackle to protect Tua Tagovailoa's blind side? And if Sewell stays at left tackle, then Jackson would have to make the switch.
-- DeVonta Smith: This is an obvious discussion. The upside is his insane production at Alabama last year when he won the Heisman and his familiarity with Tagovailoa as former college teammates. The drawback with Smith, though, is his frame and the natural concerns about durability and dealing with physical cornerbacks. And there's the same issue as with Chase in terms of the already large number of wide receivers on the roster.
-- Jaylen Waddle: Speed, speed, speed. This is what Waddle will bring to whatever team that drafts him and it's an element that was sorely lacking on offense last season. Yes, Fuller brings some of the same, but he's signed only for one year. Waddle has drawn comparisons to Tyreek Hill, so he clearly somebody who would make an impact for the offense.
This is how the options should be ranked from this vantage point: Smith would be fifth among the candidates simply because of his frame, which makes him too risky a pick for me at number 6.
Sewell would be fourth because the fact he hasn't played in a year removes some of the certainty regarding his NFL future and he's a position the Dolphins really focused on in last year's draft.
At this point, any of the other three would make for a great pick because of their skill set, but the ranking from here would be Pitts first, Chase second and Waddle third.