The Miami Dolphins head toward the 2021 offseason with clear needs on offense. The team, having built the defense into a championship-caliber unit, should spend free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft looking to put weaponry around second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. According to NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks’ first 2021 NFL Mock Draft, that is exactly what the team will do.
Miami has two picks in the first round this year, giving them an opportunity to add some of the most dynamic prospects in this year’s selection process. Their first pick, the third-overall selection, comes as a part of the team’s trade with the Houston Texans in 2019, a deal that sent left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills to Texas for multiple picks.
With that pick, Brooks sees Miami adding LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Of the pick, he wrote, “The Dolphins need more firepower on the perimeter to help Tua Tagovailoa take a major leap forward in Year 2.“ Chase is an interesting case for NFL front offices this year, as he opted out of his junior year, concentrating on preparations for the league rather than risking injury playing for LSU. Will teams still view him as worthy of being the first receiver off the board? Have Jalen Waddle (seventh to the Detroit Lions in Brooks’ mock) or DeVonta Smith (16th to the Arizona Cardinals), both from Alabama, pushed ahead of him?
With a top-tier wide receiver added to the roster, Brooks then took a look at another weapon for Miami’s second first-round pick, the 18th-overall selection. Here, he projects Miami to add Alabama running back Najee Harris. He explains, “After taking a receiver with the third pick, the Dolphins add a big-time back with dynamic skills as a runner and receiver to provide more help for Tua Tagovailoa. Harris is a Matt Forte-like playmaker.”
Harris is a player often predicted as a Miami draft target. The team needs to upgrade the top-end of the position group, and Harris makes sense to do that. If Miami comes out of the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft with Chase and Harris, they have immediately upgraded their offense and put Tagovailoa in a position to find success.
They also would put themselves in a position for the second round, where they have two more picks, to add another weapon, on either offense or defense, and potentially shore up the offensive line.