I understand that some of your brains might not be firing when you read this headline. The words weird to say, but I don’t think the Dolphins can screw up consecutively, which is not something that many of us have seen nor thought about before.
But this is a new age for the Miami Dolphins, and the current regime is run by adults who know what they’re doing. We’ve known this for a while now, but it still needs to be repeated from time to time. Stone Cold Brian Flores and Chris Grier are running this team like savvy businessmen who just so happen to be football guys. I feel like if you put these two in charge of a lemonade stand or a Fortune 500 company that they would quickly turn either of them into a Fortune 12 billion-dollar company. That is how good I feel they are at maneuvering through all the red tape, contracts, player evaluations, and player development.
Are they batting a 1,000%? No. But nobody is, and the guys they have brought in, even in last year’s 1st round, showed a lot of promise. Go ahead and scrutinize every aspect of Tua, Jackson, and Iggy’s game to find the flaws. You’ll find them. If that’s what you’re into, have a blast. Intelligent people don’t worry about what could have been if they took this guy instead of this guy. Intelligent people have confidence that they will figure it out. And if it can’t be worked out, intelligent people know precisely when to cut bait and have a team that can handle impact decisions. THAT is the kind of culture that Flores and Grier have created. It is a culture that can withstand instant change and still compete at a high level.
The draft is just a bit more than two days away, and the anticipation for it is starting to boil over. From Johnny Twitter fingers to the esteemed and not looking to start controversy on purpose Skip Bayless, everyone is laying down their smoldering hot takes on what the Dolphins are and should do with the #6 overall pick. The truth is we have no idea what Flores and Grier have prepared. I’m sure they have a book a mile high filled with contingency plans on top of contingency plans for every scenario.
The prevailing wisdom is that the Dolphins would take Kyle Pitts if he gets there. I think that is what they would do as well, but I’m starting to get the feeling that the Falcons, who control the draft at the moment, are going to run back their offense with their new coach with the added piece of a mega-talented Kyle Pitts. If that happens, that leads to the other reported coveted player in the draft which Ja’Marr Chase. I’m a big Chase guy, and since I think DeVante Parker will be gone after this year, he will slide right in there as the Dolphin’s true #1 receiver—who can do some similar things as Parker has shown with the added element of being faster.
Unfortunately, to me anyway, I don’t think Chase gets past the Bengals at #5. Yeah, I know it seems that Cincy should take Penei Sewell with their pick, especially after their most important player, Joe Burrow, got his knee obliterated because their o-line treated him like he was Paul Crewe.
So that leaves the Dolphins at #6 with the overwhelmingly top two pass-catchers in the draft gone. Okay, there are still two excellent receivers available, and they both come from Alabama. I made the case a few weeks ago that if the Dolphins are put in the situation that both Pitts and Chase are gone, I would take Jaylen Waddle over DeVonta Smith at #6. It’s cool if you think I’m way off as I believe it’s close between those two. I love Waddle’s speed and ability to navigate through traffic more than Smith. But let’s not act like taking Smith is a death sentence. Drafting the Heisman trophy winner isn’t a bad thing.
Even if the Dolphins don’t select a pass-catcher, they are still in great shape to take a big-time, difference-maker at a position of need.
Taking Penei Sewell would not mean that the Dolphins aren’t trying to upgrade the offense. Months ago, before the Dolphins traded from #3, I wrote how Sewell was the logical choice at #3. I still feel that logically, it makes sense to take the lockdown tackle you can plug in and forget about for 8+ seasons. My primary case for Sewell is that giving Tua more time to throw will allow the receivers to get separation and get open. We don’t have to get into how bad the Dolphin’s receivers were at getting open last year, but it was dreadful. More time for Tua allows more time for the receivers to use their ability to get away from defenders. That would be a major plus.
But what if the Dolphins went really against the grain, something they’re prone to do, and took a guy like Michah Parsons? At #6, that seems high for a guy such as Parsons. But if Flores and Grier think that Parson would do wonders in their defense, and the fact that Parsons would fill a glaring need as a pass-rusher, then it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Miami could take him. Never forget that Stone Cold Brian Flores and Chris Grier do what they want when they want.
Or maybe it’s secret option number 7, which is to trade back once again. Perhaps they can get a deal for #6 with, say Denver at #9. They still can get a pass-catcher and get more picks. Those picks can eventually turn into another way to get another 1st-rounder giving the Dolphins three 1st-rounders for the second straight year. I think this option will gain steam as we get closer to Thursday night because one thing we know is that Grier treats this team like we do our Madden teams. When you keep trading your older players to get more 1st-rounders on Madden, Grier thinks to himself, why can’t I do that with a real team? The answer is you can, and he does.
That leaves the Dolphin’s other, current, 1st-rounder which is at #18. Sorry for tooting my own horn again, but I’m the only one who knows the song. I wrote that I want Najee Harris and that I don’t care if that goes against the conventional wisdom of not drafting a running back in the 1st round. I’m in the minority when I say that the Dolphins are close in terms of potentially making a deep playoff run. This team needs a running game that lengthens drives, grinds out first downs, and converts at the goal line. Harris can do all of that, and he can also do the types of things that many of today’s backs can do, such as catching the ball.
If the Dolphins don’t go with Najee Harris, they perhaps go with defensive end Jalelan Phillips. Phillips, like Parsons, fills the void of not having an edge rusher that anyone has to worry about. He would change that perception.
Miami can go a lot of different directions with this pick. They could go with the edge rusher, maybe an o-linemen depending on what they do at #6, or maybe they even go with a cornerback. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. It would mean the writing is on the wall for Xavien Howard. But like I said at the beginning of this blog, the culture that Flores and Grier have created is one that can handle radical change at a moment’s notice. The machine never stops.
It’s that idea why I feel so strongly that this regime can’t mess up the 1st round this year. There are too many excellent talents, and the QBs are going to be flying early. I love the possibilities that the Dolphins can do and even the possibilities I haven’t even considered yet that Flores and Grier have thought of. It promises to be an enjoyable night, along with a subsequent breakdown of everything that will happen. Friday morning is shaping up to be magnificent. If I don’t write anything between now and draft night, have yourself a great night with some good food and drinks. I know I’ll be enjoying every moment of it. I’ll be Johnny Twitter fingers as well, so follow me @2ndSatSports to join me during the draft. Have a terrific Tuesday.