How the Dolphins thwarted Broncos’ big plans for 2021 first round

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Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read
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It appears as though we may have something of an NFL Draft rivalry brewing between young AFC upstarts. The Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins clashed this past season on the field, with Denver taking a crucial win that ultimately kept the Dolphins out of the postseason come the end of the year. But the two teams were presumably trading barbs again from draft rooms across the country this past weekend.

Denver was the team who traded up to the No. 35 overall pick and drafted North Carolina RB Javonte Williams one spot before the Dolphins came on the board. And while there is no confirmation that Miami had Williams squarely in their sights, there is plenty of smoke that the powerful back was at least on the Dolphins’ shortlist of candidates.

But worry not, Dolphins fans. Because Chris Grier and the Miami Dolphins struck the first blow this weekend. According to a new report from Mike Klis, the Broncos had hopes and aspirations of trading up into the back end of the 1st-round for Jaelan Phillips — the superbly talented pass rusher from the University of Miami.

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Phillips comes to Miami after a tremendous season with the Hurricanes in 2020, reminding everyone why he was once one of the most prized recruits in all of high school football. And, thankfully, Phillips will get to say in South Florida, where opportunities to be an impact player are presumably much greater than they would have been in Denver alongside Bradley Chubb and Von Miller on the Broncos’ defense.

So while Denver may or may not have plucked a running back off the Dolphins’ plate early in the second round, Miami is confirmed to have busted up Denver’s big hopes and aspirations to secure a star pass rusher.

Given the number of players Denver selected that could have fit Miami’s style of play this past weekend, it will be interesting to see how these two teams develop from here — and how much they continue to fight one another for talent down the road.