The Miami Dolphins had three players make the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team following the 2021 season: Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips and safety Jevon Holland.
Miami’s first three players selected in the 2021 NFL draft proved to be a record-breaking bunch in the regular season. Waddle, taken with the No. 6 pick, set an NFL rookie receptions record with 104 catches. Phillips, the 18th pick out of the University of Miami, broke a franchise rookie mark with 8 1/2 sacks.
Waddle, who was also voted as team MVP by local media, finished with 1,015 receiving yards, six touchdowns and another touchdown rushing. Phillips, who made it on the PFWA team as a defensive lineman selection, had 42 tackles and a fumble recovery, along with his sack total. The versatile Holland, taken early in the second round, totaled 69 tackles, two interceptions, 2 1/2 sacks, 10 pass deflections and a pair of fumble recoveries.
The success of the Dolphins’ top three selections in the 2021 draft were a refreshing rebound from the three first-round choices in 2020 of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert, offensive lineman Austin Jackson and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.
The wide receiver that made the team alongside Waddle was Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase, who was also named the Offensive Rookie of the Year by PFWA. Atlanta Falcons’ Kyle Pitts, a Florida grad whom the Dolphins also bypassed in the draft with their moves from picking third to 12th and finally sixth, also made it as the tight end.
Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II, the American Heritage High product and son of the former Dolphins cornerback by the same name, also made the rookie team.
Mac Jones of the New England Patriots was the rookie team’s quarterback, while the two running backs were Pittsburgh Steelers’ Najee Harris and Denver Broncos’ Javonte Williams.
Only the Kansas City Chiefs – center Creed Humphrey, guard Trey Smith and linebacker Nick Bolton – and the Cleveland Browns – linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, cornerback Greg Newsome II and punt returner Demetric Felton – had three selections, like the Dolphins.
The overall Rookie of the Year was Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who was also Defensive Rookie of the Year.
On Monday, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard was a PFWA All-AFC selection.
The Dolphins signed defensive back D’Angelo Ross to a reserve/futures contract, the team announced on Tuesday. He became the seventh player Miami signed to a futures deal since the season ended.
Ross played in three games with one start for the New England Patriots in 2021, totaling three tackles, two solo. He also played in New England’s AFC wild-card game. Ross spent the entire 2020 season on New England’s practice squad and missed the 2019 season on injured reserve. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
The Dolphins are up to seven players on futures deals. Within the month, they also announced the signings of defensive back Quincy Wilson, running back Gerrid Doaks, wide receiver Cody Core, cornerback Javaris Davis, tackle Adam Pankey and tackle Kion Smith.
The signings allow the Dolphins to keep these players throughout the offseason. They go into effect at the start of the new league year on March 16, when rosters expand to 90.