Dolphins Monday Mailbag: Positions of Need, a Case for Etienne, Sleeper DB, and More

Miami Dolphins fans have questions and we try to provide answers
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This new mailbag features your questions and my answers on the position the Dolphins absolutely have to address in the 2021 NFL draft, how Malcolm Brown fits into the draft plans, draft sleepers, and more.

So here we go:

From Chris Hyer, Ed.D. (Chrishyer31):

What position of need would you be most surprised to see the Dolphins not address this draft?

That certainly would depend on your definition of "need." For example, I know everybody is screaming for the Dolphins to draft a wide receiver and that's because of the absence of a bona fide No. 1 guy (because of injury concerns mostly). But if you knew that DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Will Fuller V would not miss a game this season (other than Fuller finishing up his NFL suspension), would you still say that wide receiver is a need? Anyhoo, the short answer is pass rusher because there is a massive hole on the roster right now when it comes to that role and there are a lot of good pass rushers in the draft (even though there's a concern or another with pretty much all of them).

From Samy Touati (@samtou76):

I saw Malcolm Brown stat, very good in short yardage (about 80+% conversions in 3rd or 4th from 4 yards less). Might Etienne be the RB the front office wants to complement him? Plus he can change a game in one play with his speed. Love Najee but Etienne is so explosive.

That's a very fair argument, and the question then becomes how you view Brown because taking Najee Harris certainly would seem to make Brown redundant. And what that point, one would almost wonder, then why did you bother signing Brown as a free agent — though it's important to note he got only a one-year deal. My feeling all along is the Dolphins should look for an RB in this draft but not overdraft one, regardless of whether that's Harris, Etienne or Javonte Williams.

From Mark Schoninger (@ChoningerMark):

What would serve the Dolphins better over time, a top 5 offensive line? Or a top 15 quarterback?

The quarterback always is most important, but if you're talking top 15 and not top 5, then I'd be inclined to go for the top 5 offensive line and simply point to the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl a few years back with Nick Foles as their quarterback. And, no offense to Foles, the Eagles wouldn't have done that without an elite offensive line.

From Thomas (@nashmax73):

Q: If both Pitts & Chase are gone, do you think Miami looks to trade back a little?

I absolutely could see them entertaining offers from a team looking to move up for a quarterback under that scenario, but not sure the appetite would be there to move down very far. That's why I wrote the most logical option under those circumstances would be trading down to 8 with Carolina or to 9 with Denver.

From Greg the Nurse (@BACinDemand):

Is this the most boring offseason in at least the past 20 years, and will the mystery of the opt-outs make the draft less entertaining than usual? By less, I mean we have less tape to highlight to pump fans up.

No, I don't believe this is the most boring offseason in 20 years and I don't even think it's as "boring" as it was last year. And I think the opt-out add a layer of intrigue to the draft that makes it better than worse than usual, in addition to the uncertainty at the top of the draft. 

From Cliffy Mac (@mclifford36):

Flores loves his DBs. Any particular ones you can see Miami eyeing and in what round?

I've said it before that the one guy who really caught my eye is Washington cornerback Keith Taylor, who gave me a major Richard Sherman vibe when I saw him at the Senior Bowl. Looks like he's pegged by most analyst as like a fourth-round guy, and I'd love to see the Dolphins end up with him.

From FinsUP (@DolphinsDezzy):

Do you think if Miami landed CeeDee Lamb last year that this year's first pick would be Sewell or Slater?

Had the Dolphins drafted Lamb last year, then they wouldn't have picked Austin Jackson, so absolutely the pick under those circumstances more likely would be Sewell or Slater. Little question about that.

From A-Rod the phinphan (@TheGreatPhinsby):

Who are your sleepers at 50? I have Quinn as mine.

The thing with sleepers like Quinn Meinerz is that you reach a point where so many people talk about them as sleepers that they're no longer sleepers (if that makes sense). And that's the case with Meinerz, though he certainly would fit in that category in the sense that he played at Wisconsin-Whitewater two years ago  and just spent last fall working out.