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2021 NFL Draft grades: SB Nation’s instant grades for Miami Dolphins’ first-round picks

Texas A&M vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have made their two scheduled picks in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With the sixth selection, the team added Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, then used the 18th pick to select Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips. Were those the right picks? SB Nation’s James Dator seems to like them.

Posting live grades for each pick, Dator’s first impression of a Dolphins pick came with the team’s selection of Waddle. He graded the team’s pick at a B+. He explained, writing, “Two picks, two handcuffs in a row [following the Cincinnati Bengals reuniting quarterback Joe Burrow with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase]. The Dolphins reunite Waddle with Tua Tagovailoa and give him a shifty receiver who can mesh really well with their first round pick a year ago. Miami needed a top-end weapon, and they got it here. The offense will be better as a result, and considering the bevy of picks the Dolphins have, getting a player widely regarded to be the best WR in this draft was a great choice. Now they can address other issues later.”

Miami came back on the clock with the 18th selection, using it to pick Phillips. Dator gave this pick a B+ as well, explaining, “The Dolphins went with the local guy here, and Phillips becomes the first defensive end off the board. A long, lean pass rusher with amazing moves — Phillips is the prototype for the modern position. He has pursuit speed to chase down agile quarterbacks, and hitting power to make an impact. There are some potential injury concerns, but make no mistake: If those concerns weren’t there he’d be a top 10 pick.”

Miami comes away with two outstanding picks in the first round of this seven-round, three-day selection process. Dator seems to agree with two solid B+ grades to start Miami’s selections.