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2021 NFL Mock Draft: PFF has Dolphins miss Pitts but add Chase in first round

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College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins miss out on one of their presumed top draft targets in the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft from Pro Football Focus, but their sixth-overall position allows them to grab the other top prospect. The mock draft from Steve Palazzolo has three quarterbacks being selected with the first three picks as the Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, the New York Jets add Zach Wilson, and the San Francisco 49ers picking Justin Fields.

The Atlanta Falcons then grab Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, a player Miami should be interested in adding. Missing out on Pitts does not end Miami’s chances to add a top-tier receiving threat with the sixth pick, meaning they need the Cincinnati Bengals to be thinking more of protecting second-year quarterback Joe Burrow than reuniting him with one of his college receivers. Palazzolo has them thinking exactly like that as they add Oregon tackle Penei Sewell.

Which leaves LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the Dolphins at six. Of the pick, Palazzolo explains:

After dropping out of the No.3 spot, the Dolphins jumped back up to No. 6 to all but ensure that they got one of the “blue chip” players in this draft class. Chase is one of those talents. He was uncoverable in 2019, posting a 91.3 receiving grade while averaging 21.2 yards per reception on 84 catches.

Chase has the catch-point nuance to create late separation, a trait of many of the league’s best wide receivers, and his 4.38 40 time and explosive testing only enhanced his next-level production. The Dolphins came into the offseason with a major need at wide receiver, and the one-year addition of Will Fuller V, along with adding Chase to the mix, is a major step in aiding QB Tua Tagovailoa’s development.

A DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Jamar Chase receiving group would absolutely give weapons to Miami second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. While the idea of Pitts being available for the Dolphins is enticing, “settling” for the top receiver in the class is not a bad consolation prize.

Of course, Miami is not done in the first round, also holding the 18th-overall pick. Here Palazzolo turns his attention to another area of need for Miami, addressing the edge rusher hole on the Dolphins’ roster. With the 18th pick, Miami adds Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye, according to the mock. Palazzolo writes:

The Dolphins have done a fine job building their roster over the last few years, but they can still use some juice off the edge. Paye has improved every year at Michigan, and with a sub-6.5 three-cone under his belt, he provides a strong combination of production and athleticism.

Paye recorded an 87.1 pass-rush grade last season, but there’s still room to improve from a technique standpoint, and that’s the most intriguing part of his game and a worthwhile risk for the Dolphins with their second first-round selection.

Adding Paye would give Miami the additional edge threat the roster seems to need, even with Andrew Van Ginkel expected to see additional playing time this year. What is interesting with Palazzolo’s mock draft is, with many analysts believing Miami could consider Alabama running back Najee Harris with this selection if he has not already be selected, Palazzolo has no one adding a running back in the first round this year.

The Dolphins, in this scenario, come out of the first round with Chase and Paye, as well as a likely shot at one of the top three running backs - Harris, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, or North Carolina’s Javonte Williams - with their first pick of the second round, the fourth-selection on day two of the Daft.