NBC Sports tabs Dolphins as third best haul from 2021 draft

The 2021 NFL draft has long since come and go, as we’ve now found ourselves at the end of the month of May. But with the dust now settled and each team’s undrafted free agent crop well established just as their draft selections, some outlets are now making the time to explore the value of each team’s class based on pre-draft impressions and opinions, including the undrafted free agent rookies.

And for the Miami Dolphins, that means yet another reminder of the talent that this team took on in the 2021 draft. Miami has plenty to be excited about with their rookie class and Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports EDGE seems to agree. He rated the Dolphins’ total rookie haul as the third-best in all of football.

Here’s what Nystrom had to say about the Dolphins’ draft choices:

The Dolphins left NFL Draft weekend with four immediate starters and a fifth that’ll be on his way soon in TE Hunter Long. I would have played things a little different up top, taking Penei Sewell. But I also spent the two months leading up to the draft arguing that you can’t begin judging Tua until you let him get fully healthy and construct a receiving corps of zippy receivers who can separate in the intermediate area (at least). Waddle is a great first step in that direction. Keeping Phillips in Miami is such a cool story. If that kid’s concussions issues are in his past, he’s going to be a star.” — Thor Nystrom, NBC Sports EDGE

And the Dolphins’ haul of undrafted free agent rookies:

“MTSU iOL Robert Jones, a two-year collegiate starter at RT, is headed inside at the next level. A former basketball player, Jones didn’t pick up football until his junior year of high school. I had a R6 grade on him because he played like a draftable position convert despite his inexperience and has an above-average frame and athleticism. In the weeks after the NFL Draft, Miami also scored when New Orleans waived DB Trill Williams, one of the best UDFA in the class — the Dolphins pounced and in so doing brought in a legitimate developmental project who has starting-level upside at corner or safety but needs a position and polish.” — Thor Nystrom, NBC Sports EDGE

How many rookies actually claim sizable roles on the Dolphins’ roster is yet to be determined once the pads come on. But on the surface, there may well be four starters from the jump and Long doesn’t feel far behind at least claiming the TE2 role. It’s an exciting development for a team that offers plenty of youth and upside from top to bottom. But that’s only half the battle. Miami’s rookies and second-year players must rise to the occasion for this season to be as electric as it has the potential to be.