The Miami Dolphins enter the 2024 offseason with many questions regarding the immediate future of the team. One of them is the direction they will go with their first pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
The Dolphins own the 21st pick in the draft, and it is imperative that they find someone who will be able to pick up starting reps during the season.
This draft is loaded with offensive talent, especially at the wide receiver and offensive tackle positions. The Dolphins have a ton of work to do with the offensive line, as they have pending free agents at all three positions.
Starting left tackle Terron Armstead’s future with the team is uncertain due to a brutal run with injuries, while his backup, Kendall Lamm, is set to hit free agency. Miami was able to extend right tackle Austin Jackson during the regular season.
Using the 21st pick to choose from this stacked class of offensive tackles is a great decision for improving the offense around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Pick No. 21 unfortunately puts the Dolphins out of reach for the best tackles in the draft like Joe Alt (Notre Dame) and Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State), but this is a deep draft class for tackles that will provide many options for the aqua and orange.
Here is a list of five tackles that the Dolphins might consider taking with the 21st pick.
JC Latham - Alabama
The 6-foot-6, 360-pound offensive tackle JC Latham should undoubtedly be selected in the first round. Latham has been the starting right tackle for Alabama for the past two seasons. He was selected to first-team All-SEC by both the AP and league’s coaches in 2023.
Latham could be the strongest tackle entering the draft with his size. He put on 25-30 pounds of healthy muscle last offseason. Latham credited Alabama’s strength and conditioning team for helping him make this gain in weight positive for his game.
Latham made it nearly impossible for defenders to overpower him, forcing opposing pash rushers to try and maneuver around him. Latham played 1,891 snaps in his three seasons with the Crimson Tide and allowed just two sacks during his tenure, according to Pro Football Focus.
Another upside to Latham is his youth, he is just 20 years old. Entering the league at his age with an unquestionable NFL-ready body could hopefully mean a long career.
It might be wishful thinking that Latham falls to the 21st pick considering his talent. But there might be teams who try and find someone who fits a team need instead of taking the best available player, opening the door for Latham to fall.
If Latham is indeed available at pick 21, he would be a slam-dunk first-round selection for general manager Chris Grier.
Taliese Fuaga - Oregon State
Taliese Fuaga comes into the draft after his redshirt junior season at Oregon State. He has been a starter for the last two seasons on the Beaver offensive line. Fuaga stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 334 pounds. He was awarded first-team All-American, and first-team All-Pac-12 in 2023 and earned a spot in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Fuaga displayed elite power and technique in run blocking. He has a great balance of aggressiveness and control in his game which will translate well to the NFL. In pass protection, he allowed zero sacks in 2023.
Pro Football Focus graded Fuaga at 88.2. For context, that grade is almost ten points higher than Olumuyiwa Fashanu who is expected to be the first or second tackle selected.
There is a possibility that Fuaga will be asked to move to guard since he has shown more dominance in the running game. During an interview at the Senior Bowl, Fuaga was asked about the possibility of playing at the guard position. “Definitely, whatever the team asks I am willing to do,” said Fuaga. This could certainly help the Dolphins if starting right guard Robert Hunt departs in free agency.
Fuaga’s skillset certainly makes him worthy of being selected with the 21st pick. If he is indeed able to play multiple positions on the line, it will add some much-needed flexibility to a Dolphins’ offensive line lacking depth. He has the potential to make everyone’s job easier on offense, a rare trait for a singular offensive lineman.
Amarius Mims - Georgia
Amarius Mims has declared for the draft after his third season at Georgia. Mims was the number one prospect in the state of Georgia coming out of high school in 2020. He stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs around 340 pounds. He has elite size and speed which will boost his draft stock during the combine.
The glaring downside of Mims is his inexperience. He battled an ankle injury last season which forced him to miss half of the season. It was a crucial year for him to gain starting reps which is what many NFL coaches look for. He played just 803 snaps in three seasons at Georgia, which is far below the other top tackles in the draft. Teams will be looking at him more for his athletic ability than production on the field.
An injury history coming into the league will probably have teams shying away from him in the first round, especially since there are multiple first-round caliber tackles to choose from. However, it would be difficult to find five tackles in this draft with more potential than Mims.
While he might be a risk, the talent and potential are undoubtedly there. Mims would probably benefit from an offensive-minded coach such as Mike McDaniel who will take the proper measures in making sure Mims receives the proper coaching to an NFL level. The Dolphins would provide him an opportunity to take snaps immediately.
Tyler Guyton - Oklahoma
Tyler Guyton played the last two seasons at Oklahoma as their starting right tackle. He started five games in 2022, and nine in 2023. Guyton stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs almost 330 pounds. He possesses great athleticism, and it has shown up well in the run game.
In 2023, Guyton played in 10 games and allowed zero sacks and just three pressures according to Pro Football Focus. He has shown the ability to play both right and left tackle.
Similar to Mims, Guyton didn’t play a ton of snaps compared to some of the other top players. Guyton’s athleticism gives him elite potential if he can hopefully find the right scheme.
While he might be a project, Guyton would be a great player to select if Latham and Fuaga are gone by pick 21. His ability to play on both sides is something the Dolphins seem to value in their offensive lineman.
Jordan Morgan - Arizona
Standing at 6-foot-5, and weighing 325 pounds, Jordan Morgan is a left tackle who will be a great heir apparent to Armstead. Pro Football Focus graded Morgan at 84.5 in total blocking and 87.3 in pass blocking. His 77 grade in run blocking drags his grade down slightly.
Morgan came into the 2023 season off of an ACL tear in 2022. He decided to stay in college one more season instead of entering the NFL draft coming off an injury. Morgan recovered fast from a November surgery to start 12 games at left tackle for the Wildcats in 2023. Morgan was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 team and earned a spot in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
“Plug and play type left tackle who will get better, now that he’s more and more removed from that ACL injury,” said ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.
Morgan stands out in this draft for elite strength and mobility, and he might be the best as far as technique and body control. He looks like a great fit for the Dolphins in possibly taking over for Armstead.