No puff piece, or rah-rah cheerleading in this post. If you want that, stop reading and find another fan site. It’s not that I think we had a poor draft, we didn’t. I suppose my expectations seem to always exceed what we eventually accomplish in the draft. We seem to always be set up for a huge and successful haul with a bevy of picks and somehow we manage to deflate that big balloon of happiness. Each pick of the first 4 were good picks, but I could easily say 3 of the 4 weren’t picked where they should have been picked. We set ourselves up to get a few different players at #6, but I’d be lying if I didn’t expect either Kyle Pitts, or much more likely Ja’Marr Chase to be available there. They weren’t. With WR a huge need in my opinion, and apparently the Dolphins braintrust as well, we selected Jaylen Waddle. Very nice player, who could have easily made it to 10 or even 12. The more I think about it though, he’s actually a great fit here, so instead of trying to replace DeVante Parker with Ja’Marr Chase, we got a player who can be like Albert Wilson was for us before his injury, a guy that can take any pass to the house. In addition, he’s a great return man with steady hands, so no more holding your breath with Grant on punt returns.
I knew we were taking Jaelan Phillips, and I do feel it was the right pick, right place. He could really help this defense, a guy that can potentially make everyone else better. He’s a true technician and much more than just a 40 time or a great vertical or a quick step. While he has all of those abilities, he knows how to play the game and is no one trick pony. Can’t wait to see him in our defense, Flores is gonna love this kid.
Jevon Holland was a bit of a surprise, I didn’t see that coming. If I were in charge, I would have made sure we got that first pick in RD 2 and secured Javonte Williams. I felt like Trevon Moehrig was universally considered the best S in the draft and yet here we were taking Holland really early, at #36. I think I like Piggy’s description best, “He’s Minkah without the Fuckface”. I can live with that. We may have missed with Iggy last season, or maybe he shows up big this year. We’ll see what happens with Holland, and see how much and where we use him. Hope he proves worthy of such a high pick.
Next pick just 6 picks later at #42 after trading up was Notre Dame LT Liam Eichenberg. Nice player, I kind of expected a center before an OT but see the need there as well. He will probably shift to RT and be in competition with veteran Jesse Davis. I hope he plays well and becomes a bookend with young Austin Jackson. Heck, I’m still concerned with relying so heavily and Matt Skura. I didn’t care for that signing and now at this point, we have to pray he’s better than he was with the Ravens. I respect the Ravens as an organization that runs a tight, buttoned down ship. If they make you walk the plank there, they probably made a wise decision. Maybe it was a wake up call he needed, or maybe they were right. Time will tell.
We took another OT at pick #231, Larnel Coleman. Our savior RB finally came in at pick 244, in Cincinnati RB Gerrid Doaks. Doaks is a big powerful runner, who fumbles. Not a great combination. We’ll see if this kid can make all the roster cuts. To me it’s a shame we waited so long to address this but such is the life of an NFL fan.
I don’t do draft grades. I think we greatly improved our WR corps, I think we gave our defense a huge boost in the pass rush department. We’ll see if Holland can make our secondary, which was already excellent, even better. Maybe we found our bookend tackle in Eichenberg. Once again, I expected to make a killing in this draft, I think we just got a graze shot. It was all anticlimactic for me after the Phillips pick. Decent picks, but nothing that pumped me up. I was expecting so much more, I really was. I know, this guy or that guy gave us an A+, great . . . I look at our RB’s and see two guys who are so similar they may as well be the same guy in Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. That’s not a bad thing, I like both of those guys, if they’re the 2 guys behind the stud. Well, no stud here friends, sorry, the draft was clean out out of top shelf talent by pick #35, because we let the Broncos jump us. With all that draft ammo, we should have been the aggressors and made it happen. Still smarting from that one.
Ultimately, a lot of our success, or failure lie in the hands of #1, QB Tua Tagovailoa. I think we got him a very nice player to work with in Jaylen Waddle. There’s synergy there already, and it’s good. He needs to have a guy he can rely on, a guy he has a rapport with and kind of understanding and unseen communication with. If DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and Preston Williams all are healthy this season, our passing game should be so much better. I’m still worried about the run game, with the 2 little guys (Gaskin and Ahmed) going down on contact every time. I know Malcolm Brown runs with more anger, but I he doesn’t impress me either. Maybe he will. Doaks is going to have to prove he can hold onto the football because if he’s running hard and fumbling easy he will be gone. Maybe Iggy Mahogany comes in this season better prepared and ready for prime time, and maybe Jevon Holland is the best safety in the draft and we look like geniuses.