The second round of the 2021 NFL Draft has officially come to a close for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins filled their WR and DE needs in the first round with the drafting of WR Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama and DE Jaelan Phillips out of the good ole University of Miami. The Dolphins have filled what they needed yet again in the second and third round of this draft. With that said, let’s break down and grade these Miami Dolphins’ draft picks:
Pick 36: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
This was a surprise pick, but hey, this shows that anything can happen in the wacky draft. With the 36th pick, the Dolphins have selected Jevon Holland, a safety out of Oregon. He opted out of the 2020 NFL season, but in 2019, he had 66 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, four pass deflections, and a pick-six. He led the PAC-12 in interceptions in 2019 and was a great punt returner with an average of 15 yards per return.
The Dolphins did need a safety; Eric Rowe didn’t have the year the Dolphins thought they would get out of him. Rowe allowed 641 yards with a 62.4% completion percentage, which were career-worsts for Rowe. With Holland added, this adds depth to the safety spot and adds an electric player to this young team.
Holland’s Skill Set
Holland is one of the most productive playmakers in this second round. He does an outstanding job of staying with his assignments and can trackballs in the air with ease. With his sticky hands and skill set, he could be a wide receiver as he can snag balls out of them and place himself in any spot to make a play. He can cover almost everyone, and he thrives in making sure deep throws never hit their mark.
He also has fantastic speed and agility, which allows him to sprint down the field exceptionally better than most players in this draft. He’s also aggressive as any defensive back could be. He hasn’t been talked about much, so he could be a hidden gem for this young, upcoming Dolphins roster.
Holland also thrives in the slot, as shown below. Slot receivers shall beware once this new season begins as he’s a force to be reckoned with:
He’ll have a productive year, and I think he can be a day one for this franchise. With that said, I’ll predict his stats right here:
- 37 tackles
- Five pass deflections
- Five interceptions (2nd on the team behind Xavien Howard)
Draft Grade: A
Pick 42: Liam Eichenberg, T, Notre Dame
After not selecting Penei Sewell, the Dolphins have decided to draft Liam Eichenberg, tackle from Notre Dame. He’s a gargantuan tackle, standing in at 6’6″ at 302 pounds; he has been shown many times bulldozing over defensive ends and tackles alike. The Dolphins have drafted a monster; the Dolphins’ o-line allowed 36 sacks last season, and Eichenberg will come in and decrease that number.
Eichenberg’s Skill Set
Eichenberg is a tackle that can play either on the left or right side; he can play where you can plug him in. He has been seen many times on film with great line awareness with him being able to shove away defenders trying to wreck into the quarterback or running back. He can keep his feet on the move on running plays, showing defenders as he pleases, and he can plant his feet on pass plays with barely any movement as well.
He also has a great range in his blocking, being able to switch onto angles flawlessly. He’s also one of the strongest offensive lineman coming into this draft. To finish it off, he’s pretty consistent in terms of his blocking as shown on film.
However, there are some concerns. He will have a tough time going against the fast edge rushers in the league; moreover, this proves that he doesn’t have a lot of fluidity in his play. However, this can all be improved on in the offseason.
The Dolphins’ o-line now?
He will probably replace Jesse Davis on the right side. If they decide to keep him on the left side, Jackson will move over to right tackle and Eichenberg will move to the left. This what the o-line will look like if he goes on the right side:
- LT: Austin Jackson
- LG: Solomon Kinley
- C: Michael Dieter or Matt Skura
- RG: Robert Hunt
- RT: Liam Eichenberg
Draft Grade: A-
Pick 81: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
A player that has my name?! You shouldn’t have Miami. Jokes aside, this selection with Long adds depth to this Dolphins tight end core with Gesicki, Smythe, and Shaheen. This pick looks like a backup plan if Gesicki asks for a motherload of money once his contract expires. Even if that’s not the case, the Dolphins still get a solid tight end with this pick.
In his senior year in Boston College, he had 57 receptions for 685 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 12 yards per catch, and he was sixth in the ACC in receptions.
Long’s Skill Set
Long is a fluid-tight end, with amazing hands to back it up. He grips the ball tightly, reeling it and making sure no one bashes the ball out of his hands. His vision is impeccable, along with his hand-eye coordination that is a lethal combo. Even after the heaviest of hits, he can still control the ball with simplicity. He can extend his arms beautifully, which helps him reel in passes that are a bit farther away from his body.
He’s also a great blocker, sticking with his assignments no matter what. He can also block out defenders from play effectively. Whether it’s run blocking or pass blocking, he’ll finish through with barely any trouble.
However, he doesn’t possess a lot of speed, which will limit his blocking if they send him to the second level. He’s also not the strongest compared to other tight ends in this draft. As I’ve stated beforehand, this can all be fixed.
He’ll be backing up Gesicki next season, so he won’t get a ton of playing time; but, he will get his fair share. With that said, let’s do some quick stat predictions:
- 27 catches
- 231 yards
- Two touchdowns
Draft Grade: B
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