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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
I've accumulated about 13 "expert" grades for you to go over. The lowest grade was a B and the highest was an A. So, take these grades for what they are worth and it's to give us hope that maybe we are finally in good hands and may have something to finally be proud of since the 70s and 80s teams. Keep in mind that it is a proven opinion that you really do not know how successful a draft is until the third season, but I would still get excited for the future.Most analysts felt we "hit it out of the park".
As Phinfever blog writer, Rich Rodriguez, said this week ...
It's funny, these experts are usually giving us a C and the fans are super-excited. This year it seems the other other way around.
"The Dolphins addressed needs and provided playmakers for Tua. They got four 1st round quality guys in this draft" - Generic Draft Analyst
"The Dolphins didn't do exactly what I thought they should have done. Grier will be fired by the end of the year!!!" - Generic Dolphins Fan
As always, you can find all this information along with our draft picks and free agent acquisition on our Phinfever Draft Central page.
Draft Grade: A-
The Dolphins came into this draft with an extra first- and-second-round pick (added a valuable 2023 first-rounder) and had clear needs to fill. They had to get some receiving help for Tua Tagovailoa. They needed a young, talented pass-rusher to put into their edge-rushing rotation. And if they are going to move Robert Hunt to guard full-time, they had to draft a potential starter at offensive tackle.
That's why I like what general manager Chris Grier did. Tagovailoa struggled as a rookie last season, but there should be no way he averages 6.3 yards per attempt again in 2021. The addition of No. 5 overall pick Jaylen Waddle (and free-agent signing Will Fuller V) means he now has multiple playmakers to run after the catch and to target on deep balls. Waddle was the fifth-ranked player on my board. Jaelan Phillips (18) is a silky-smooth edge rusher with the physical traits to average 10 sacks per season. As I wrote Thursday night, he likely would have been a top-10 pick if he didn't have an injury history.
I really liked their Day 2 haul as well. Jevon Holland (36) will compete to start at free safety. Liam Eichenberg (42) has a good chance to be their Day 1 right tackle in place of Hunt; he was a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame. Tight end Hunter Long (81) is an awesome player who will compete as a blocker and catch a few passes up the seam. He's one of my favorites in this class, and he's a nice complement for Mike Gesicki, who had 703 receiving yards last season.
Grier didn't have any picks in Rounds 4, 5 or 6, but seventh-round pick Larnel Coleman (231) has a chance to stick on the team as a swing tackle. I thought he might go in Round 5.
Looking at this roster, I don't think it's far away from being a Super Bowl contender, and the Dolphins hit their major needs. The other major bonus is that they ended up moving down three spots from No. 3 after some maneuvering and picked up that 2023 first-round pick. This is a stellar class overall, and the AFC East is going to be a fun race in 2021
Sporting News (TSN)
Draft picks: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, Boston College TE Hunter Long, UMass OT Larnel Coelman, Cincinnati RB Gerrid Doaks
This was another great draft for Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier. Waddle keeps improving the big-play potential Around Tua Tagovailoa and Eichenberg should be his new starting right tackle. Long will help as a run blocker and additional receiver. Phillips will thrill Flores rushing the passer from several places in his front seven. Despite limited overall quantity, the quality was hard to beat with most key needs met.
I'm not sure there was a tougher team to pick a favorite for than the Dolphins. As I mentioned above, Miami's first five picks over the course of three rounds were all guys who I had ranked in my top 60. It was a masterful Thursday and Friday for general manager Chris Grier. But ultimately, I went with the Dolphins' first pick. I love DeVonta Smith, but if you are good with Waddle's medical reports, then Waddle has every bit of an argument as the better receiver in terms of NFL potential.
Waddle is the most elusive player in the class, with the lateral movement, explosion and vision to chew up turf after the catch and the deep-ball tracking and elite speed to make vertical plays downfield. Those are two areas where Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa excels. Tagovailoa likes to distribute the ball out of run-pass options and quick-game throws, but he also has the touch to hit deep. And I expect this duo to dominate in those areas. Need proof? Turn on the 2018-19 tape from Alabama, when Tagovailoa and Waddle connected for 48 catches, 798 yards and seven scores -- including 15 completions for at least 20 yards.
Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips and Boston College tight end Hunter Long also were under consideration. Phillips has a lot of power, long arms and versatility, while Long makes a ton of contested catches. I think Long could end up being a steal in Round 3; he is a complete player who has great hands and is tough after the catch.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco)
Best pick: First-round receiver Jaylen Waddle will give them a Tyreek Hill-type of threat in the passing game. He was their guy as the top receiver on their board, and they got him.
Worst pick: I like second-round safety Jevon Holland, but I would have gone with Trevon Moehrig in that spot. Again, that's nitpicking.
The skinny: I love their draft. Chris Grier did a great job, starting with Waddle and adding a lot of quality players after that. The key will be how well edge Jaelen Phillips, their second first-round pick, shows up in the pass rush. Getting a right tackle in Liam Eichenberg was big, too.
Unreal draft for the Dolphins. Waddle, Phillips, Holland, and now Liam Eichenberg. Four surefire big time contributors, each of them can help right now. The Dolphins are incredible with their team building. Grier and Flores continue to crush it. Holland is a heat seeking missile safety.*
Miami picked four scouts’ darlings in the first three rounds: wideout Jaylen Waddle (six), edge-rusher Jaelan Phillips (18), tackle Liam Eichenberg (42) and tight end Hunter Long (81). If Tua can play, this team’s going to be dangerous.
Pro Football Focus
Day 1: Like the Bengals, the Dolphins reunite their starting quarterback with a former wide receiver teammate. Jaylen Waddle arrives in Miami with experience catching passes from Tua Tagovailoa. He is an explosive play waiting to happen, whether it’s on a bubble screen or a post route. He is the elite burner receiver of the entire draft class and rounds out the Dolphins’ receiving corps.
Jaelan Phillips boasts the best production of any edge rusher in this class, and if medical concerns weren’t a factor, he could have come off the board much earlier. He recorded 42 quarterback pressures on 542 snaps last season for Miami but has already had to walk away from the game once due to concussion issues. As a result, he has less than 1,000 career college snaps to his name. There are concerns, but Miami is playing with house money with all of their draft capital and can afford to take that kind of gamble.
Day 2: Miami makes Jevon Holland the first safety off the board, shocking many who had TCU’s Trevon Moehrig projected as a sure-fire first-rounder. Holland, who can also play cornerback, was an excellent coverage player for Oregon over two high-level seasons of play. Miami needs help at safety after stacking their cornerback depth chart over the past year, and this goes a long way toward achieving that.
One of the top tackles in the country, Liam Eichenberg might not be quite as spectacular a prospect as some of the other players at his position, but he improved significantly in PFF grade every season of his college career, culminating in an 89.9 overall mark in 2020. Eichenberg didn’t surrender a sack in either of the past two seasons, and he gives the Dolphins some real competition at a position they’ve already invested significantly in without seeing clear and certain results yet.
Even with Mike Gesicki on the roster, Long fills the need for a true inline tight end. He was a volume target at Boston College — head and shoulders the best receiving option for the Eagles over the last couple of seasons. He does a lot of different things at a very good level and can help in a few different roles, he just might not have the requisite athleticism to be a difference-maker.
Yahoo Sports (Eric Edholm)
The Dolphins’ 2020 draft had a safe feel to it. They went for fit and reached on a few picks. There were very few trades once the draft process was in motion. In 2021, however, Miami got aggressive up high. The Waddle and Phillips picks are swings for the fences. Phillips, in particular, carries big risk, but we get the upside if his character and medical evaluations were thoroughly vetted. Day 2 was more passive, and the picks were more conservative. Overall, Miami filled holes but might have left a few shells in the chamber in not grabbing one of the top four or five running backs.
USA Today (Nate Davis)
Did they get too cute with their circuitous route from No. 3 to No. 6? TBD. But this much is sure: Despite a sensible near-term commitment to help second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, neither Pitts nor Chase is walking through that door. It will be a moot point if WR Jaylen Waddle, a teammate of Tagovailoa's at Alabama, becomes the second coming of Tyreek Hill, to whom he's been compared. And, collectively, first-round DE Jaelan Phillips, second-round S Jevon Holland and OT Liam Eichenberg and third-round TE Hunter Long could form a strong class. But the Fins' future considerations could have a hard time compensating for the immediate opportunity cost.
The Draft Network
Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, Jevon Holland, and Liam Eichenberg were all top-five players at their position, with Phillips as EDGE1, Waddle as WR2, Holland as SAF2, and Eichenberg as OT5. This was a great draft for the ‘Phins.
Sports Illustrated (Conor Orr)
There were few of us out there who missed badly on projecting Miami’s first round based on their most glaring needs. Trading back into the top 10 almost locked them into a top wide receiver. Keeping the 18th pick almost guaranteed them an edge rusher. They did not disappoint. This will be a formative draft for Chris Grier and Brian Flores, who have already transformed the Dolphins into a relevant division power player but now have to shift the gear into a team dripping with playmaking talent good enough to consistently compete with Buffalo and New England. Their picks reflected as much; a mix of top-end skill and speed, with high risk-reward potential (Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips) and a handful of safer bets that should be able to contribute right away. Liam Eichenberg and Hunter Long will not be as frequently discussed but could serve as foundational blocks that, if they play up to their potential, will go a long way toward rounding out the operation. While much of the success of this team hangs in the balance of Tua Tagovailoa’s left arm, there is little else Miami could have done.
GERRID DOAKS | Cincinnati | RB |
#23 | rSr | 5112 | 230 | Indianapolis, IN | Lawrence Central
Doaks is a big back with good burst through the hole and good contact balance. He rushed for seven touchdowns in nine games last year. He doesn't have a second gear and he's not much of a big-play threat. -- Steve Muench
Doaks led the Bearcats in rushing twice over the past four seasons, first as a redshirt freshman in 2017 (87-513-5.9, two TDs; also 14-135-9.6, one TD receiving in nine games with four starts). He missed the following year due to a preseason sports hernia injury, however, and then contributed as a backup in 12 contests in 2018 (100-526-5.3, five TDs rushing; 8-70-8.8, one TD receiving). Doaks again topped the squad in rushing as a senior in 2020, covering 673 yards and scoring seven touchdowns on 144 carries (4.7 per) and catching 14 passes for 202 yards (14.4 per) and two touchdowns in nine starts. A leg injury suffered in the AAC Championship Game prevented the Indianapolis product from playing in the team's bowl game. -- by Chad Reuter
Pro size with broad, thickly built lower half. Doaks can be a physical runner when he wants to be, but there are times when he gears down rather than imposing his will into contact. He lacks foot quickness and the desired field vision to find pathways and yardage on his own, so power will need to become his calling card. He looks more comfortable lining up behind the quarterback and attacking the flanks, where he has longer to process the defense and can get his momentum building. He does just enough out of the backfield and has decent pass pro potential. He might go undrafted but has enough going for him to get a look.
GERRID DOAKS | Cincinnati | RB | #23 | rSr | 5112 | 230 | Indianapolis, IN | Lawrence Central
Having to wait his turn behind former Bearcat star Michael Warren and dealing with some durability concerns, Doaks might be the most underrated running back prospect in the 2021 draft. Boasting a well put together power frame, Doaks brings a no-nonsense running style to the position. He has some absurd contact balance and power, rarely ever getting stalled at the initial point of contact. Playing with good toughness and balance, Doaks churns out a ton of extra yardage after contact. He also has quicker feet than expected, casually eluding second-level defenders in the hole. Doaks also impacts the passing game more than imagined, averaging an outstanding 14.4 yards per reception in 2020. The biggest question about Doaks will be durability issues, on top of being just a one-year full-time starter for the Bearcats. He has a good initial burst as a runner but lacks the long speed to consistently create chunk plays. In the right situation, Doaks’ combination of power, contact balance, receiving ability and toughness could make him a candidate to be this year's James Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars).
QUOTE OF NOTE:
It's been full of ups and downs. Dealing with certain injuries, it kind of messes with your head, but being surrounded by all the people on the team and the staff, they help uplift you and remind you how important you are around here. It kind of helps you get back in the grind and get back to where you want to be. That's why I'm where I'm at now.” – Gerrid Doaks, on his five seasons at Cincinnati
Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Earned his degree in Criminal Justice. Redshirt. Played in nine games missing time due to injury as a freshman. Missed 2018 season due to injury. Played in 12 games as a junior.
After redshirting in 2016, Gerrid Doaks led Cincinnati in rushing as a redshirt freshman in 2017 despite missing three games due to injury. He then missed all of 2018 with an injury he suffered in practice. Doaks returned in 2019 and was a steady producer for the Bearcats offense for the next two seasons. Doaks is a big and powerful back that runs angry and explodes into contact. He’s outstanding in pass protection and is aggressive with everything he does on the field. While he was underutilized as a receiving threat in college, the opportunities he did receive to catch the football produced impressive results and I believe there is some untapped potential regarding that component of his game. For a bigger back, Doaks has more quickness and elusiveness than expected. What tempers the evaluation for Doaks is the injury history and that he was never consistently a catalyst for offensive production at Cincinnati despite some really impressive flashes. Situation and opportunity could end up being major factors in the career Doaks ends up having, but there is a lot to like about him and what he brings to the table.
GERRID DOAKS | Cincinnati | RB | #23 | rSr | 5112 | 230 | 4.64e | Indianapolis | Lawrence Central
Having to wait his turn behind former Bearcat star Michael Warren and dealing with some durability concerns, Doaks might be the most underrated running back prospect in the 2021 draft. Boasting a well put together power frame, Doaks brings a no-nonsense running style to the position. He has some absurd contact balance and power, rarely ever getting stalled at the initial point of contact. Playing with good toughness and balance, Doaks churns out a ton of extra yardage after contact. He also has quicker feet than expected, casually eluding second-level defenders in the hole. Doaks also impacts the passing game more than imagined, averaging an outstanding 14.4 yards per reception in 2020. The biggest question about Doaks will be durability issues, on top of being just a one-year full-time starter for the Bearcats. He has a good initial burst as a runner, but lacks the long speed to consistently create chunk plays. In the right situation, Doaks’ combination of power, contact balance, receiving ability and toughness could make him a candidate to be this year's James Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars).
Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Earned his degree in Criminal Justice. Redshirt. Played in 9 games missing time due to injury as a freshman. Missed 2018 season due to injury. Played in 12 games as a junior.