Just a year and a half ago the Dolphins were considered the worst roster of all time after trading away Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Many expected Brian Flores, just another Belichick disciple, to fail with this roster.
Fast forward 17 months and the Dolphins have just missed out on the playoffs by one game in an absolutely loaded AFC, suddenly looking like one of the most promising teams in the NFL. Chris Grier and Brian Flores have done a great job drafting and developing young talent and they have another pivotal draft coming up with four picks in the top 50.
Round 1 Pick 3: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Miami could go into plenty of directions with this pick. Some want them to use it on a quarterback, some want to give Tua Tagovailoa some actual weapons. In this scenario, they are sticking with Tua, as developing a young quarterback is a multi-year process. The player they do draft is potentially the best player in the draft in offensive tackle Penei Sewell of Oregon.
Possessing strength, athleticism and technical refinement, Sewell rarely gets beat in pass protection and will give an immense boost to the Dolphins rushing attack. Whether he plays left or right tackle for Miami, they can kick Robert Hunt inside as he projected better as a guard all along. Sewell will start day one and has a very realistic chance to be a pro bowler soon, giving Tagovailoa more time to go through his progressions and get acclimated to the speed of the NFL.
Round 1 Pick 18: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Pick 18 is where the Dolphins can grab a wide receiver as the value is much better in a class that offers many different skill-sets and lots of talent. Waddle played with Tagovailoa at Alabama and is an absolute speedster. His start-stop ability is downright special, giving him the explosiveness to separate underneath or deep.
He is also a playmaker with the ball in his hands, using his speed and shiftiness to pick up yards after the catch. The Texas native lines up in the slot but can also be utilized out wide. His routes could become more refined to offer improved underneath receiving ability.
Round 2 Pick 35: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
An athletic freak, Oweh has the potential to develop into a premier pass-rusher in the NFL. Miami has a lot of solid players on their defensive line and players like Emmanuel Ogbah have really stepped up. The Penn State product offers length and bend along with his explosive athleticism.
He is lean and has to add weight to his frame to become a better run defender. Early on he will find his way onto the field as a designated pass rusher on third downs while he develops his body and technique under the guidance of Brian Flores and his staff.
Round 2 Pick 50: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
Coming off of an impressive season at UNC, Williams is ready to add some thunder to Miami’s backfield. The sophomore from North Carolina has a stocky build with a strong but flexible lower body allowing him to have tacklers bounce off of him. Williams puts his head down to finish runs and will just run through linebackers. He possesses quick feet, allowing him to change directions and make defenders miss. In a straight line, he has plenty of juice as well as explosiveness. Williams is still developing his vision and instincts which are up and down. He will be the Dolphins starting running back early on and is a great fit behind their big offensive line.
Round 3 Pick 81: Andre Cisco, FS, Syracuse
Miami runs a single high defense primarily and Cisco is a rare true free safety with the range and ball skills to take the ball away. He is coming off of an ACL injury and has had up and down play in college but the raw talent is undeniable. Another player that fits the developmental mold of the Dolphins under Brian Flores and Chris Grier.
Round 4 Pick 121: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
The Dolphins need more coverage ability at the second level and the graduate transfer from North Dakota State offers just that. Displaying excellent eye discipline, spatial awareness and patience, Cox is very capable in coverage. His best matchups are against tight ends that lack dynamism as he does not possess the quick twitch to keep up with quick opponents. He is a fine tackler who gets ball carriers down consistently.
Patient behind the line he can clean up for a good defensive line in the run game. Cox lacks physicality as he struggles to take on blocks, trying to avoid them all along. When he does have to engage them, he tries to beat them with finesse. He bites hard on run fakes to bail out his lack of athleticism as he is unable to get sideline-to-sideline due to his slow play speed and lack of burst. Brian Flores is a smart coach who will use Cox in a way that hides his weaknesses and takes advantage of his strengths.
Round 6 Pick 197: DJ Daniel, CB, Georgia
Despite never getting enough playing time on a talented Georgia secondary, Daniel has an exciting athletic profile to develop. He is used to playing in man coverage and could be a diamond in the rough if it clicks for him at the next level. With his speed, he will contribute on special teams while working on the rest of his game.
Round 6 Pick 202: William Bradley-King, DE, Baylor
Fitting the mold of players on Miami’s defensive line, Bradley-King is a productive run defender with the power and intelligence to disrupt the ground game of an offense. He possesses active hands as a pass-rusher but is unable to keep his frame clean causing him to have to disengage repeatedly. From a wide alignment, Bradley-King is able to attack blockers’ chests and walk them backward but does not have a counter to get to the passer.
He is a limited athlete with a body that does not look muscular. Unable to threaten the outside shoulder, he relies on his hands to win as a pass rusher. Bradley-King projects as a backup rusher in the Dolphins two gapping front to take advantage of his run defense and power, masking his lack of athleticism and inability to generate quick pass rush wins. Miami will try to get some valuable contribution from him.
Round 7 Pick 254: Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
The undersized Michigan prospect plays bigger than his size in a press man heavy scheme at Michigan. He is a fluid athlete when it comes to sticking with receivers, although he relies on his physicality too much. Thomas projects as a slot cornerback due to his size but Miami might try him outside. He is a good enough athlete to play in the NFL but just makes too many mistakes. In order to stay on the roster, he will have to contribute on special teams while he develops his game.