Dolphins Notebook: 2021 Schedule, New Rules and Numbers, Jeremiah Thoughts

The NFL announced Wednesday that the 2021 NFL regular season schedule will be unveiled three weeks down the road
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There might not be a sporting "event" that attracts more attention than it deserves than the annual release of the NFL regular season schedule, and to be sure there will be a lot of anticipation now that the league has announced the date of the big day.

The NFL announced Wednesday that the 2021 schedule will be unveiled exactly three weeks down the road — Wednesday, May 12. The schedule will be unveiled in a prime-time special on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.

Before we find out the exact dates and times of the Miami Dolphins' 2021 games, we already know who they will be facing.

Miami's home schedule will feature games against the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Jets, as well as the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants.

On the road, the Dolphins will face the three AFC East opponents, along with the Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NEW NFL RULES

The NFL adopted seven new playing rules and one new bylaw Wednesday, while turning down the onside kick alternative proposal as well as the spot-and-choose overtime concept.

Approved 2021 Playing Rules

Of the rules that were adopted, two that stand out were the elimination of overtime for preseason games and then there was the jersey number changes.

For jersey numbers, the move was done to create more flexibility in assigning numbers by expanding the range of options for certain positions.

Here's what the new jersey numbers will look like:

In that vein, we dug up some of the Dolphins players' college numbers to highlight some who might benefit from the rule change if they feel nostalgic — though there's a catch.

Players would have to buy the remaining inventory from  jersey manufacturers if they want to change this season, otherwise provide notice now that they want to change next year.

With that in mind, here are some Dolphins players who now have the ability to wear their college number before not being able to:

-- Linebacker Jerome Baker, number 17 (Ohio State)

-- Running back Myles Gaskin, number 9 (Washington)

-- Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, number 17 (Wisconsin)

-- Linebacker Brennan Scarlett, number 17 (Cal, Stanford)

-- Cornerback Xavien Howard, number 4 and number 18 (Baylor)

-- Cornerback Byron Jones, number 16 (UConn)

JEREMIAH DISCUSSES DOLPHINS

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, who stands out among other analysts because of his prior experience working for the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, conducted a marathon pre-draft media session Wednesday, during which time he touched on some Dolphins-related topics.

-- Jeremiah said the Dolphins clearly had a pass catcher in mind when they made their second trade to go from 12 to 6 and gave his thoughts on ranking the four logical options at that spot in terms of meshing with Tua Tagovailoa's skill set: Ja'Marr Chase, Kyle Pitts, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

"I don't think any of those guys would have any trouble meshing with his skill set," Jeremiah said. "To me Pitts would be — if he was there, I know — talk about wideouts, but he would be the first choice for me just because he'll give him so many easy throws. You can just be in 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends) with him and (Mike) Gesicki and just let those guys fly.

"In terms of the wideouts, Ja'Marr Chase would be the best fit in my opinion. I know he has history with the Alabama guys, but Chase with his strength to be able to run after the catch, to break tackles and his ability to kind of play above the rim even as a 6-foot guy, he's just an all-around complete dude. I think, gosh, he's got to be 30 pounds heavier than DeVonta Smith, so you're just talking about the sturdier, stronger dude; and he's a more complete route runner at this time than Waddle is.

"I think you're right on why they positioned themselves back up there, because it doesn't point in any direction but that. That has to be what they're thinking is to get one of those dudes."

RELATED: Ranking the Dolphins Options at Number 6

-- As for the Dolphins' second first-round pick, Jeremiah offered his dream scenario.

"I would say Kwity Paye, and I know maybe I like Kwity Paye more than some others, but to me I think that would be a home run pick for them, and just the energy and effort to go along with the  explosiveness that he brings, I think that would be a home run pick to pair up with what they do at 6."

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL.