Dolphins News and Why I Miss the NFL Combine

“The Underwear Olympics” as some people call it. Regardless of that smear, I feel like the combine has its place, and just like any piece of information, if you’re doing your analysis correctly, it’s another piece of data you use to form your final report, not the only piece. The problem of not having a NFL Combine is the information you get from Pro Days, which are not sanctioned by the NFL, can be slanted, or maybe I should just say ARE slanted. Each college program wants their athletes to succeed because it helps their program succeed. It seems like all the top WR prospects that actually ran at their Pro Day ran sub 4.4 times. It’s not impossible that it’s true, but more than likely those hand held timers (homers) shaved a bit to make that happen. I like when each player is running on the same strip of turf and timed by the same guys and called out if they lean a little too forward or don’t start from the right position. Geez, these guys don’t even wear shirts anymore! Will they be running in jock straps soon, or maybe without them? I suspect that next year we’ll be back to the good ole combine as it was and they will have to wear shorts, shirts and those dreaded heavy numbers on the shirts that most likely easily add a few tenths of a second to all timed events.

Now on to Dolphins news, even if it’s old news. The Dolphins were involved in 2 trades, likely synchronized trades with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The net result of both trades for the 2021 draft is that the Miami Dolphins will now pick at #6 in RD1 instead of #3, but we have acquired no further compensation in this draft. That compensation doesn’t arrive until 2022 and 2023. We still have picks 6, 18, 36, 50, 81, 156, 231 and 258. Definitely top heavy with two selections in each of the first 2 rounds and no 4th RD selection. I wouldn’t be surprised if we trade up or trade back and either lose a pick or gain a pick here and there. The most important thing is finding players that make your team better, no matter when you are selecting. We have flexibility and draft capital to get what we want, so now we hope that we want is on target. The Dolphins have also signed DT John Jenkins to a 1 year contract. Jenkins last played DT/DE for the Dolphins in 2019 and spent 2020 with the Chicago Bears.

Offense or defense? Which side gets the first pick? I still believe it’s offense, but I’m not convinced it’s DeVonta Smith or Kyle Pitts. If we do go WR I think it’s going to be Ja’Marr Chase. If we go OL I think it’s either going to be Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater. A lot of you seem to be on the Parson’s train but I don’t think we’re going there. If I were GM, priority #1 would be helping Tua become the QB that can take this team deep into the playoffs. I personally believe that Tua will be a better QB regardless of the players we bring in because he’s a winner and he’s working so hard to be the best he can be, but adding talent around him makes that concept closer to reality. Even if Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson came back to a level close to their previous best, can you count on either of them to finish the season? Both were out all last season and have a lot of catching up to do to get back into football shape. Can DeVante Parker ever have a full season where he’s healthy and basically the same for Will Fuller? Can you lean on Jakeem Grant as a WR and not just an electric return man? Can TE Mike Gesicki really get to the level of a Travis Kelce or Darren Waller? I think he can but that would require him being a much bigger part of the offense, and over his first 3 seasons, he’s yet to eclipse 100 or more targets in a season. Compared to the aforementioned Kelce and Waller, both had 145 targets last season and although both had less targets in 2019, 136 and 117 respectively, each still topped 100 easily. So does that mean TE/WR Kyle Pitts is more likely? If it were me, I’d go WR all the way, we have a really nice TE corps right now with Gesicki, Smythe (who improved last season as a pass catcher), Shaheen, Cethan Carter and Chris Myarick. Smythe is a solid blocker and Shaheen is another big bodied TE that caught 3 TD’s last season. When I look at the WR corps, unfortunately I keep coming up with more questions than answers. Parker, Fuller, Williams, Hurns, Wilson, Bowden, Perry, Grant, and Hollins. Who is the one guy in that bunch that you can count on? Realistically, the answer is none of the above. That’s why my best guess is Chase, and not Smith. I think we need a reliable target, one who has ability but also has availability. I do think that Smith’s size is going to keep him off our roster and the huge consolation prize after Smith who is truly an elite route running WR is Ja’Marr Chase. Mark it down folks, that’s my pick and I believe it will be our pick as well.

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