The NFL draft is creeping up, and with the Dolphins holding the 6th pick in this draft, there are many pathways they can take with this pick. Dolphins GM Chris Grier has the future of the Dolphins within the palms of his hands, and he can take a receiver or shock everyone and draft a defensive player. With that said, let’s glance at the top four players the Dolphins can take with the number six pick.
Disclaimer: This article will go from least likely (at four) to most likely (at one) to determine what player I think has the best shot at being drafted at six:
4. Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon
Penei Sewell, the most compelling offensive lineman to enter this year’s draft, turning the heads of NFL scouts for months on end. Sewell stands as a big-bodied 6’6″, 331-pound offensive tackle that’ll bolster the line of anyone that selects him.
He’s one of the most agile linemen in this draft as he’s able to adjust blocking assignments when he has to, and this helps him move around the field spectacularly. With his big body, he can bump multiple defenders away, causing running backs to gain more yards and giving quarterbacks a little more time to do what they have to do with the ball in their hands. He’s been practicing as both an LT and RT, so he’s your main guy if you want to bolster an o-line.
The Dolphins would love him on either side of the o-line, however there’s a few reasons why he’s four on this list:
The first reason is that the Dolphins have already spent one of last year’s first-round pick and a second-round pick on Austin Jackson (LT) and Robert Hunt (RT). They also had pretty decent rookie years, allowing four (Jackson) and three (Hunt) sacks, respectively. This would be a waste of a draft pick.
Also, it looks like he’ll be off the board before the Dolphins will select. The Bengals have been eyeing him as of late to help aid in the protection of Joe Burrow: their new franchise quarterback.
3. Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
Kyle Pitts, an absolute monster coming in at 6’6″, 240 pounds. This Florida tight end is a freak of nature, and it showed in the combine with the largest wingspan in NFL history at 83 3/8 inches.
On Kyle Pitts himself, he has quick speed and quick change of acceleration, which is rarely seen in someone with his height. Pitts also great hands and spectacular hand-to-eye coordination, which can help with every aspect of catching the football. He’s a one-of-a-kind prospect people will keep an eye on next season.
The Dolphins surely won’t mind snagging him if for some reason he falls in their lap. Him plus Tua, and whatever receiver they’ll possibly draft at 18 with that offense would be exciting to see and could help push the Dolphins to a long-awaited playoff spot that they were on the border of making last year. However, he’s three on this list for two key reasons:
Firstly, the Dolphins already have a stud tight end in Mike Gesicki, who will have an increased starting role next season. In 15 games and nine games starting, Gesicki has able to pull career highs in catches (53), yards (703), yards per catch (13.3), touchdowns, (6), and yards per game (46.9). He seems to be improving well, and he’s been able to work well with whoever was at quarterback last season. He’s an exciting player that’ll be fun to watch next season, so the Dolphins don’t need Pitts.
Secondly, it seems as though the Falcons will select him with the fourth pick. With them not trading away Matt Ryan, it shows that they’ll be sticking with him for yet another run next season. Pitts would fit well with the Falcons’ explosive offense with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and bolster an already fearsome NFL offense.
2. Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
What feels like a consensus among fans, athletes, and draft experts is that the Dolphins will select a receiver with the 6th overall pick. I can say with certainty that I agree due to the depth of this illustrious WR class that could be talked about for ages. Now the battle is between Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle.
Ja’Marr Chase is an exciting prospect coming out of LSU at 6’0″, 207 pounds. He set the SEC single-season record in 2019 for receiving yards (1,780) and touchdowns (20) for good reasons. Chase has astonishing speed and agility that helps him get off the snap quicker and gives him the ability to burst all over the field. He’s an excellent route runner that can get yards after the catch with absolute ease. Along with this, he has a soft touch with hands that can grip a ball like no tomorrow, and his outstanding vision helps with that. With that vision as well, he’s able to see down the field with ease.
Chase would be an excellent receiver for the Dolphins, and with his skill set, he’d make this receiving core that much more lethal. So, why is Chase under someone else in this list? This will be discussed later within the article.
1. Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Coming in at number one on this list is Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who stands at 5’10” and weighs in at 183 pounds. Waddle shined this year in four full games played, and one limited game played this year (season-ending injury) with 28 catches for 591 yards (21.1 yard average per catch) and four touchdowns. He always had over 100 yards receiving with the most coming against #3 ranked Georgia, with six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. That’s over 26 yards per catch!
On the skillset of Waddle himself, he’s one of the most eruptive players in this draft with the fact that he can hit his top speed in the blink of an eye while burning the secondary with absolute ease. With this, he can create gargantuan plays with simplicity. His catching, along with his route running is top tier as well, and defenders shouldn’t be too cocky when guarding the young rookie. He can make a first-string CB into a backup CB if he chooses to do so.
Waddle would be best suited for this Miami offense. For starters, he’ll be back with his former quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and has always worked well with him under the helm. Secondly, he’d be working alongside Will Fuller V, who was signed by the Dolphins this offseason. He’d be able to get ample opportunities if defenses decide to double up on Fuller, which could result in more yards and possibly more points on the board. Finally, we can’t forget about the speed that makes him that dynamic, as that’s a vital point on why he’s a top-ten pick.
Yes, his season-ending ankle injury is a concern, but he has gotten ample rest from that injury. He should be healthy and rearing to go in Week 1.
So, why Waddle over Chase?
This comes down to one keyword: teamwork. Much like how Burrow has worked spectacularly well with Chase, Tua has worked exceedingly well with Waddle. In Waddle’s sophomore season and Tua’s last season at Alabama, Waddle caught 33 of Tua’s passes for 560 yards and six touchdowns, even with less playing time due to him playing with Ruggs, Jeudy, and Smith. They mesh together well and would be a college duo that would be thrilling to see on an NFL field.
Also, Waddle is a more dynamic player. He can punt return as well, which showed in year two at Alabama with a 77-yard punt return touchdown against LSU. How could you turn down a player like that?
It seems as though that Waddle is the best player the Dolphins could draft with the sixth overall pick. While I wouldn’t have any arguments over Pitts or Chase (the Dolphins don’t need Sewell), I believe the best bet is for the Dolphins to draft Waddle due to his dynamics and because he already meshes quite well with Tua. He’d be a valuable asset for that offense for years to come.