Three big losers on Dolphins’ offense after 2021 NFL Draft

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Kyle Crabbs
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Miami Dolphins’ efforts to create a more well-rounded roster should be applauded on the heels of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Dolphins didn’t fall into the trap of just drafting for need and instead found themselves embracing an attack of overall talent — with a few surprise picks as a result. Oregon’s Jevon Holland wasn’t the most pressing need, nor was Boston College’s Hunter Long.

But both fit the model for Miami Dolphins football players — and so here they are.

But the introduction of new players to the roster inevitably means that others are going to be facing the challenge of demotion or, even worse, termination. Which of Miami’s offensive players have the most on the line after Miami’s latest draft class?

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (19) returns a punt for 88 yards and a touchdown against Los Angeles Rams at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, November 1, 2020. (ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)

WR Jakeem Grant

The writing on the wall for Grant isn’t promising on the heels of both free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. Miami landed two speedy receivers with premium assets: Will Fuller was the team’s top free agent signing and Jaylen Waddle was the team’s top draft choice. Add in Robert Foster as another signing this spring and Grant’s role as the lone speedster on the roster is long gone. And given Grant’s issues with durability, drops and consistency, we may have seen the last of him with the Dolphins. A post-June 1st release would free up over $4M in cap space for Miami and, if we’re being honest it feels somewhat inevitable that Grant will be elsewhere this season.

Nov 15, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Durham Smythe (81) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

TE Durham Smythe

Every time Smythe’s name is brought up when discussing the Dolphins, it is mentioned how much the coaching staff seems to like him. He’s a hard worker, he’s reliable and he’s mentally tough. But there’s more that goes into being an asset than that — and it seems the Dolphins’ scouting department agrees. With Smythe entering into a contract year this season, Miami used a top-100 choice on a tight end; putting Smythe’s role in jeopardy.

Consider this: Mike Gesicki is one of the Dolphins’ best weapons. This regime traded for and extended Adam Shaheen in the last year. The franchise just signed Cethan Carter this offseason and has now drafted Hunter Long.

Who doesn’t that bode well for in the long run?

Smythe.

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jesse Davis (77), center Ted Karras (67), offensive guard Ereck Flowers and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) lead players onto the field after the playing of the National Anthem at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 4, 2020. [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]

OL Jesse Davis

It was just two years ago at this time that Jesse Davis was considered by some to be Miami’s second-best offensive lineman behind Laremy Tunsil (who two years ago had taken his last snaps for the Dolphins, we just didn’t know it yet). What a difference 24 months makes.

Now?

Davis should be considered likely to sit behind Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley, Matt Skura, Robert Hunt, D.J. Fluker and Liam Eichenberg up front — plus the center versatility that Michael Dieter brings to the table. Davis might be Miami’s eighth offensive lineman on the depth chart and is due to cost $4.5M against the salary cap. Miami can part ways and save $3.5M of that by cutting him after June 1st; which feels like a likely outcome given the 2021 salary cap reduction.