There’s no doubting that quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, but the second most crucial position is offensive tackle.
The right and left tackles are tasked with handling powerful and speedy edge rushers who only want to bring down their leader. The Miami Dolphins have done well in the last year or so in beefing up that position and their offensive line as a whole in recent NFL Drafts.
They selected tackle Austin Jackson out of USC in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He did a decent job as their last tackle, playing 13 games and only allowing four sacks. Perhaps most impressively for the rookie, he only committed two penalties.
At right tackle, the Dolphins entrusted Robert Hunt, a rookie out of Louisiana. Hunt played all 16 NFL games and also did a decent job.
Three offensive tackles the Miami Dolphins could sign in the 2021 NFL Draft:
If the Miami Dolphins want to help put quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the best position to succeed, they might need to address tackle once more in the 2021 NFL Draft. On that note, let's have a look at three players they might target.
#1 Penei Sewell
With each passing day, it looks more likely that the first three, or perhaps the first four picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, could be quarterbacks. Only a month ago, it was thought that Oregon Ducks left tackle Penei Sewell could be a lock to go in the top three, but that no longer seems to be the consensus.
The Miami Dolphins, who now have the sixth pick in the NFL Draft first round, stand to be in prime position to scoop Sewell up if they wish to.
He figures to be a higher end prospect than Jackson was last year. So if the Miami Dolphins do take up Sewell, or any tackle for that matter, there would be a shuffling of the offensive line for the Dolphins.
Jackson could then move to right tackle, and Hunt would compete for a spot inside with guards Ereck Flowers and Solomon Kindley. In that case, the Miami Dolphins would have supreme depth in their offensive line if they draft Sewell.
#2 Rashawn Slater
While Sewell profiles as the best tackle in the NFL Draft, Rashawn Slater is also getting a lot of buzz as a potential top-10 NFL Draft pick.
The Northwestern product could be an extremely valuable piece to any NFL team, as he is being touted for his impressive versatility and ability to play multiple positions.
That’s a skillset the Miami Dolphins would value greatly, as they are already largely content with the starters they have. If someone on the line went down with an injury, Slater could theoretically fill in at either guard or tackle spot and play effectively.
He also has a leg up on Sewell because he played the 2020 college football season, whereas the Oregon product opted out and may need additional time to get back in football game shape.
#3 Jackson Carman
If the Miami Dolphins decide to bypass taking a tackle in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they’ll have ample opportunity to grab one in the second round (where they have two picks) or the third round.
Anywhere in that range, they’ll have the chance to take a look at Jackson Carman out of Clemson. Carman had a very important job with the Tigers, as he was tasked with protecting the likely first overall pick, Trevor Lawrence.
There are doubts about Jackson Carman's suitability as a guard or a tackle in the pros, but the Dolphins could take a flier on him in the later rounds and let him develop. NFL.com notes that Carman has solid vision to identify stunts and twists on blitzes and effectively uses his hands to gain leverage on the defender he blocks.