The Miami Dolphins have cooled off quite a bit in recent weeks after an exciting week to begin the free agency period.
Although Miami has filled many of their needs via free agency, the team still has numerous holes to fill.
The major question is, should Miami fill the bulk of their needs through free agency? Or should the team turn their focus towards April’s NFL Draft?
The answer is simple. It’s time to shift our focus towards the draft.
Miami has an astounding 11 picks during the fast approaching NFL Draft (1,2,2,3,3,4,5,5,7,7,7), meaning the team is in a great position to add depth and youth to a much improved roster.
So, with all of this being said, I took the liberty to attempt my 7-Round Miami Dolphins Mock Draft Version 1.0. Don’t be too harsh on me in the comment section, though!
Round 1 (12) – Barkevious Mingo – Defensive End – LSU
November 10, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo (49) during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
No, I’m not really a huge fan of selecting Mingo with the 12th overall selection. But the team is in position to take the best player available at a position of need. And, well, Miami needs a pass rusher to pair with all-pro defensive end, Cameron Wake. Mingo is a bit undersized to be an every down 4-3 defensive end, coming in at a very lean 240 pounds. Mingo seems to be better suited in a Von Miller type roll in a 4-3 defense. BUT he does possess unlimited upside if the kid can add some muscle during his first few years in the league. Mingo is incredibly athletic and has a quick first step. Adding weight and technique will be the main things Mingo should be working on during his rookie season.
Round 2 (42) – Blidi Wreh-Wilson – Cornerback – Connecticut
Oct 19, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson (5) in action during the second half of a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 40-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Wreh-Wilson has been rising up draft boards after a strong showing at the NFL Combine. Wreh-Wilson excels in zone coverage, which is something Miami will be pressing towards using this season. Although the Phins have been rumored to be quite interested in signing free agent Brent Grimes still, this pick does not change regardless. Miami is in desperate need of a young cornerback or two – Carroll is young but he’s more of a back up than a capable starter. Look for Miami to take two corners early in the draft even if the team signs Grimes within the coming days.
Round 2 (54) – Justin Hunter – Wide Receiver – Tennessee
Sep 22, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Justin Hunter (11) against the Akron Zips during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee defeated Akron 47-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Yes I am fully aware that the team brought in former Pittsburgh Steelers‘ wide receiver, Mike Wallace, and former St. Louis Rams‘ wide receiver, Brandon Gibson, via free agency. But the team lacks play-makers on offense. More specifically a big, red-zone threat. Hunter is a long and lengthy 6’4”, 200 pound receiver that happens to remind many of an incredibly raw Randy Moss. Miami will look to add a receiver or two this year (one in the high rounds and one in the later rounds) – after Head Coach Joe Philbin mentioned the team will likely have 10-11 receivers in camp fighting for 5-6 roster spots. Hunter can be developed slowly into an all-pro Brandon Marshall style receiver – if he adds weight to his frame and well, minus the shaky hands of Marshall.
Round 3 (77) – David Amerson – Cornerback – North Carolina State
Sept 22, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson (1) leaps over Citadel Bulldogs wide receiver Greg Adams (6) for an interception during the first half at Carter Finley Stadium. North Carolina State won 52-14. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Amerson is a big corner. When I say big I do not mean muscular. I mean long…The 6’2” 194 pounder, is exceptional at one thing, finding the football. Sure, Amerson was abused last season by numerous teams – he was still able to snag 5 interceptions and break up 12 passes – but there’s no denying 13 interceptions in one season. Personally, I would love Amerson. Head Coach Joe Philbin wants play-makers in the secondary or ball hawks if you will – Philbin has came out and said this himself after watching film and being appalled at having less than 15 turnovers. Amerson fits that bill.
Round 3 (82) – Johnathan Franklin – Running Back – UCLA
Nov 17, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Johnathan Franklin (23) runs during the game against the Southern California Trojans at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Hey, you can never have too many running backs, right? The Dolphins allowed running back Reggie Bush to walk via free agency, and it instantly opened a hole at the running back position. Yes, the team has an incredible prospect in Lamar Miller. But Miller is a young guy that needs time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. The team also has Daniel Thomas. Thomas has a boat-load of talent, but seems to lack the desire to be the absolute best he can be. Thomas also has issues holding onto the football which, if it continues, could lead to his departure from the team. Franklin is a strong back who does not shy away from contact, which is something the team needs. Franklin’s size, 5’10” 205 pounds and speed 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, is what teams typically look for in an every-down running back. Don’t be surprised if Franklin is already gone by the time Miami makes their second pick of the third round, though.
Round 4 (110) – Dion Sims – Tight End – Michigan State
Aug 31, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Dion Sims (80) makes a catch in the first quarter against the Boise State Broncos at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US Presswire
Sims is an intriguing prospect at the tight end position. No, he will never be your explosive-seam threat tight end – he ran a 4.75 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February. BUT, Sims is widely regarded as the draft’s best blocking tight end. Just what Miami needs. Sure the team added a very good player with ex-New York Jets‘ tight end, Dustin Keller, but the team truly has no blocking tight end on the squad currently. Charles Clay is more of an H-Back and last year’s third-round selection, Michael Egnew, looks like a bust. Sims could create quite a pair with Keller in Miami’s offensive scheme and reminds me much of former Miami Dolphin, David Martin.
Round 5 (146) – Brennan Williams – Offensive Tackle – North Carolina
No image available. If you do not know much about Williams watch this youtube clip against a very good Virginia Tech Defense:
According to multiple sources, the Miami Dolphins are seriously interested in Williams. If you are unfamiliar with the North Carolina Tarheels here’s some interesting background on their offensive blocking scheme. They run a ZONE BLOCKING SCHEME.. What does Miami run on offense? A ZONE BLOCKING SCHEME! This is a great fit, in my opinion. Williams is a big boy up front, stand 6’6” and weighing 310 pounds, and knows how to throw his weight around. He is an athletic big boy who is a perfect fit at the right tackle position. Jeff Ireland could be finding a late round gem here in Williams.
Round 5 (176) – Kevin Reddick – Inside Linebacker – North Carolina
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad linebacker Kevin Reddick of North Carolina (48) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Dolphins have been trying to become more athletic at the linebacker position – hence replacing Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett with Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler. Reddick is an incredible athlete at the linebacker position and could be a late round steal at this point. Reddick is a sound tackler and flows to the ball with intensity. Although Reddick lacks the desired height for a middle linebacker – he’s only 6’1” – Miami had some success a few years back with an undersized inside linebacker they found in the late rounds…
Round 7 (217) – Earl Watford – Guard – James Madison
No image available. I could not find an image for this small school guy, nor could I find much of a youtube clip for everyone to watch. Here’s a little clip to see what the big fella looks like:
Watford is a hard player to project. Some “experts” have him ranked as a fourth round guy, some have him going undrafted. Personally, I like the guy but his lack of experience against “elite” competition is a reason he falls to the seventh round. Watford is a strong interior offensive guard who is an excellent zone blocker. Oh what’s that? Exactly what Miami is looking for. Although he’s a little short (6’3″ 300 pounds) Watford could develop and become a replacement to the aging Richie Incognito.
Round 7 (224) – DeVonte Christopher – Wide Receiver – Utah
August 30, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes wide receiver DeVonte Christopher (10) warms up prior to a game against the Northern Colorado Bears at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher is an interesting receiver who did not receive an invite to February’s NFL Combine. The 6’1” 200 pounder lacks elite straight line speed, but has exceptional hands to pair with a decent understanding of the route tree. It will be interesting to see if a team falls in love with Christopher and takes him earlier in the draft. If not, Miami should take a chance on him in the seventh round.
Round 7 (250) – Caleb Sturgis – Place Kicker – Florida
September 1, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators kicker Caleb Sturgis (19) kicks a field goal during the second half against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love Dan Carpenter and his golden locks. But the Dolphins are paying him $3 million dollars and last year he was incredibly inconsistent. Sturgis is widely considered one of the draft’s more accurate kickers and should be brought into camp as competition for Carpenter. This pick is really just because they can. Not because they have to…
Let me hear your picks in the comment section below! I will be reworking this mock draft within the coming weeks!