The keyword in the headline is logical. I’m not saying that drafting offensive tackle, highly athletic, pure wrecking ball of a human Penei Sewell is the best or most the fun move the Dolphins can make with the 3rd overall pick. I’m saying that it’s the most logical move that this current Dolphin’s team can make.
Now, this current Dolphin’s squad could change within a moment's notice because we all know there’s a possibility of a BlockBuster video type trade that’s looming. We know that it’s not impossible that the Dolphins don’t send all the picks they fleeced the Texans for months ago and Tua Tagovailoa for Deshaun Watson. We can’t act like there is no way that happens. Stone Cold Brian Flores does what he wants when he wants and doesn’t care what anyone says, thinks, or writes about him.
Personally, I ultimately think the Dolphins will keep their picks and go with the guy they said was going to be their opening day starter for the 2021 season, Tua Tagovailoa. This blog will be written under the guise of that reality.
To me, and I imagine the majority of Twitter scouts, the talking heads, Kiper and McShay, and everyone trying to be Kiper and McShay, the Dolphins have three options on who to take in the upcoming 2021 draft. They can take the Heisman winner and all-around most awesome/dominant player to have played in the last decade or so, Devonta Smith. Smith demolished the Buckeyes in the National Championship game on Monday night to the tune of 215 yards with three TDs in the first half.
future @miamidolphins WR deVonta smith put on a show at hard rock stadium monday night when he caught 12/15 targets for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns.— josh houtz (@houtz) January 12, 2021
here's a look at every catch from deVonta smith's record-setting first half. #finsup pic.twitter.com/7Ss5RuWyZi
Like you, I don’t know how a receiver who just won the Heisman gets so wide-open nearly every single play. Perhaps, Smith is some sort of a sorcerer or he has a music box from Super Mario 3 that puts his foes asleep as he slides right past them. However he did it and does it, it’s wildly impressive and he appears like an absolute no-brainer of a selection for a Dolphins team that is devoid of quality pass-catchers like Chase Claypool is devoid of self-awareness.
Another option the Dolphins will consider is trading out of 3rd pick to someone looking to get Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, or anyone else they covet. I wouldn’t hate that route either. There are really good to great players all over the place in the draft and getting more cracks in the top half of the 1st round gives you better odds of landing more really good players. Miami already has two 1st rounders. It be cool to have three 1st rounders and more, again.
But like the headline says: the logical choice is for the Dolphins to take Penei Sewell with the #3 overall pick, if that’s where they stay and if Tua is their quarterback.
The reasons I feel that the smart choice for the Dolphins is to take the force of nature left tackle over the shiny super fun receiver is that I watched the games this year. For all the eye rolls that the Dolphin’s receiving core got, and they deserved a good amount, the Miami offensive line was, in my opinion, much of the blame. Besides the Dolphins having the dead last running offense in the league, they also sported the 20th passing offense. Sure, you could put some blame on the recently resigned Chan Gailey, and the fact Miami had a rookie signal-caller out there. But to me, the lack of steady pass-blocking led to Miami’s offense not being able to do much downfield. It lead to the receivers not being able to get any kind of separation.
Bad pass-blocking leads to play calls from whoever is the offensive coordinator which have to be plays where the receivers have to get open in two seconds or less. That leads to no plays that can have receivers go downfield which leads to more three and outs. That leads to fewer possessions which ultimately leads to fewer points. In that verbal flow chart, I didn’t mention how that puts more pressure on your defense, which is something you would rather avoid if you can help it because the league is designed for offenses to score tons of points.
Here are the obligatory Penei Sewell highlights.
Man alive, are y’all going to see loads of highlight films of this guy and Devonta Smith. I’m slightly sorry that I’m adding to it but I just want you to see some visual evidence of Sewell’s dominance when he was a sophomore. Oh yeah in case you didn’t know, Sewell sat out this year. He won the Outland Trophy, which is the award for the nation’s best interior linemen as a sophomore. That’s pretty good I think.
In late August, Pro Football Focus had Sewell as one of the best tackle prospects that there’s ever been.
“In a year that saw four tackles drafted within the first 13 picks, it was the 19-year old Oregon tackle who led the position in wins above replacement,” he wrote. “His 95.8 overall grade last season was the highest we’ve ever given to a tackle. And when I say in the draft guide that he doesn’t have weaknesses, I am not lying.”
Look, I get that drafting Sewell at #3 isn’t very fun or exciting. The Dolphins have been down this road before when they drafted Jake Long over Matt Ryan and many are still not over it. Drafting a lineman that early doesn’t make anybody freak out like we did when Miami took Tua last year. There’s not going to be many montage videos of Dolphin’s fans losing their minds because a left tackle was selected. It’ll be more like this.
Just an understanding that the correct move was made. No need to go wild. Just enjoy your time in Italy and forget about the decision in taking the tackle.
Devonta Smith is fantastic and might possibly be a generational talent. It would be a really special thing to reunite Smith with Tua. The familiarity they have with each other would shave some of the growing pains I would think. I just think that a lot more goes into Devonta Smith being a force. Like I already said, pass-blocking allows good, dynamic play calling which lets receivers get open. If Miami can’t pass-block then it doesn’t matter how good Smith is. He won’t get the ball except for slants.
I also think you can still get really good receivers later in the 1st round but I’m not sure you’ll be able to get a talent quite like Sewell who is less dependent on others to do his job at a high level later in the 1st.
I know the cliches that you build a team from inside out and that you take of the trenches first are extremely tiresome, and that you’re going to hear more of it as we get closer to the draft. I feel the same way about hearing them, but that ideology is correct. An offense can overcome it’s skills players a lot easier if the offensive line is stout than the skills players overcoming a bad offensive line. I can’t recall a team that made a serious playoff run that couldn’t block. Correct me if I’m wrong on that. But, there are several teams that went on runs in the postseason with average to below-average skills guys.
I won’t be upset regardless of what the Dolphins do come April and I’m sure I’ll flip-flop on what they should do every few days. But, the logical move that isn’t that fun is to take Penei Sewell. Enjoy your Wednesday.
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