We’re three weeks away from the NFL Draft and the Dolphins have been remarkably silent over the last week or so. That silence makes me nervous that Flores and Grier are in the lab, going on no sleep trying to figure out a way to turn the #6 pick into the 90s All-Decade Team.
It seems like the Dolphins have made all the moves they’re going to make in free agency and if they do make another trade of any kind that it won’t happen until we’re much closer to draft night. That being said, I’m a company man which means Kevin needs content on top of content. And after thinking long and hard about who the Dolphins should draft with the #6 overall pick, I am writing about who the Dolphins should take with the #6 overall pick, if Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase are off the board.
It seems unlikely that both of those studs will be off the board by the time the Dolphins select at #6, but it’s possible. Just like it’s possible that some doomsday group will be finally right on calling for the end of the world. If Atlanta stays at #4, they very may be inclined to take Kyle Pitts. And I really do believe that the Bengals will take Ja’Marr Chase at #5 and pair him back up with his LSU teammate. That would leave Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Penei Sewell.
I wouldn’t be upset if the Dolphins took Sewell at #6. I wrote weeks ago that I thought he was the logical choice at #3. I still think that Sewell is still an outstanding player that would unlock the Dolphins offense in many ways such as giving Tua more time to let the receivers get open. Plus what he’ll add to a below average running game can’t be overlooked.
But this very important blog is about who I would take between Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith if chicanery occurs. I’d take Waddle and here’s my reasoning for it.
It needs to be said that I wanted Waddle for the past year meaning I wanted him before the Dolphins signed Will Fuller. It’s no secret that Waddle adds an element to the Dolphin’s offense that they have lacked for many years and that’s a slot receiver with elite speed that can actually catch the ball when it hits him in the hands.
If you go by just the stats it’s a no-brainer that Devonta Smith was wildly superior.
Smith played in 12 more games than Waddle and was part of this past year’s team that was essentially the college football version of the Monstars. I wish I could tell you that Waddle has a better catch rate than Smith but that would be a dumb argument since Smith receives so much more in terms of target share. Still, I like Waddle’s ever improving catch-rate.
My main reasoning for why I like Jaylen Waddle over DeVonta Smith is not particularly a secret.
How do you like that for an in-depth breakdown? I’m a big Occam’s Razor guy so I didn’t want to try and outthink the room.
I realize that Smith is the Silky Jonson of all the receivers in the draft, and possibly in the last five years with how smooth he runs routes. The way he just toys with defenders having them think he’s going one way only to go the other way only to go a completely different direction has many defenders looking like this guy:
But to me, I just think that supreme route running needs to many things to go right, mainly the quarterback needs time for Smith to fake the defender out of his cleats. The Dolphins, in case you haven’t noticed, don’t always do the best job of giving their quarterback and offense a lot of time to do their job the way it should be done. You could even say that the Dolphin’s pass-blocking is not very good and at best is average.
Yes, Smith does other things very well, but I don’t think I’m off base saying that crisp, pristine route running is his chief weapon against defenses. With the in your face style of NFL defenses that Smith will see more of than he did in college, I’m not entirely sure how often he gets off the line of scrimmage then be able to run his route in time for the ball to get to him.
Waddle’s greatest weapon is something that can’t be taught and never goes out of style. His out of this world speed, especially out of the slot, which is where he will predominantly play, will be able to attack soft spots in zones and get away from man coverage in a heartbeat. If the Dolphin’s o-line continues to be just average, something I don’t think will be the case but lets face it might be, Waddle’s ability to get open quickly will and could be a saving grace for Tua.
Because of that elite speed, I love Waddle’s yards after catch ability. The whole idea of being able take a short pass and go the distance cannot be stated enough with Waddle. Think of how much we love talking about Albert Wilson game against the Bears three years ago. Waddle can do that in spades.
Waddle’s kick returning ability is also an asset. Not that I want Waddle, if he does land in Miami, to return a single kick unless under extreme circumstances ala Desean Jackson. We saw what happened to Preston Williams when the Dolphins thought it was smart to put a 6’6 receiver as a punt returner two seasons ago. What I mean is that I love Waddle running with the ball in his hands with defenders nearby. He maneuvers in traffic extremely well and has the moves to navigate choppy waters(just flexing my nautical muscles no big deal). He can take a screen, knows to get upfield with it and potentially can break it for a huge gain. This is something the Dolphins’ offense has lacked for a while. The ability to score on one play from anywhere on the field. Wouldn’t it be nice if just once in a while the Dolphins could score from anywhere at anytime and didn’t rely on 16 play drives? I think it would be a good thing.
I also need to mention that the idea the Dolphins don’t need a guy like Waddle who possesses a special set of skills because they have Will Fuller now is ill-advised. You’re allowed to have two receivers that are really fast just like you’re allowed to have a bunch of pass-catchers who are mainly jump-ball guys. There’s no rule against it. Plus, we have no idea if Fuller will be a Dolphin next year or not. Plus again, how awesome would it be to have two burners that are actual wide-receivers? The answer is that it would be very awesome.
Like I said, ending up with DeVonta Smith at the #6 pick, you know the guy who won the Heisman, isn’t a problem. He’ll fit into the offense and will be a big part of getting the Dolphins into the playoffs and beyond. And as a raging Dolphin’s fan, who is definitely not part of the media(shout out Twitter folk who today watched some weird-o call out Big E for getting the opportunity to announce Dolphin’s draft picks) I will convince myself very quickly that Smith is a superior pick over everybody because that is what we fans do. I’m just saying in the unlikely scenario that Pitts and Chase are gone and the Dolphins are hellbent on a receiver, Jaylen Waddle is the guy I want the Dolphins to draft. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. Watch the Masters, crack open a fine beverage and head into Friday with this perspective: we’re less than three weeks until the NFL Draft.
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