With 7 days left until perhaps the biggest day of the offseason, the Miami Dolphins are finalizing their draft board to be as prepared as possible. It is widely known that Miami is a few players away from being a very good team and this draft is deep in the positions of need for the Dolphins.
Miami Dolphins trade 22nd overall pick to Cleveland Browns for the 33rd and 65th overall picks.
Things start with a huge shakeup at the top of the draft. I see a lot of talent already off the board and Miami being afraid to overdraft certain players. Either Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson will still be on the board and Cleveland wants to jump the Texans and a few other teams. This pick makes sense for both sides.
The Dolphins would add a few more picks in the early rounds and Cleveland would get possibly their franchise quarterback. Obviously, this relies on whether or not the Browns select a quarterback at #12 overall. The talent on the defensive side of the ball in this year’s draft is extremely high, so it would be a wise move for Hue Jackson to garner more picks on defense to build around Myles Garrett.
The Miami Dolphins finish day one with no selections, but more selections in the upcoming rounds.
33rd Overall Pick: Linebacker, Jarrad Davis – Florida
Miami has the chance to select anybody who fell out of the first round. I strongly believe in the “Best Player Available” (BPA) approach, and although the BPA will likely be an edge rusher, the talent drop off from 33rd and 54th will be minimal among the edge rushers.
Linebacker is a major need and Jarrad Davis is one of the best in the class. He has the capabilities to play any of the three spots, which would allow Matt Burke to have flexibility when injuries occur or when scheming against opposing teams.
Davis would slide right in as the starting SAM backer and eventually bump inside when Lawrence Timmons moves on. He has exceptional hip fluidity with the speed-strength-size combination that teams covet.
Ideally, the pick is between Zach Cunningham and Jarrad Davis, as some teams have them placed ahead of one another. In this mock, Miami picks the extraordinary athlete in Davis to provide a major boost to the linebacker spot.
54th Overall Pick: Defensive End, Jordan Willis – Kansas State
With the depth at the defensive end position, it is wise for the Dolphins to wait and select one that falls through other teams. The pick is between Jordan Willis, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Carl Lawson.
Jordan Willis gets the nod because of his motor and his respect for Cameron Wake. During the interview process, Willis said he molds his game after guys like our very own, Cameron Wake.
Willis has great size and even greater speed for the position, running the 40 with a time of 4.53 at the combine. Teams are starting to view him as a 1st round talent but to be honest, many of the edge rushers are receiving 1st round grades. Not everyone can go in round 1. This means there will be some very good value picks available in the middle of the 2nd round.
Jordan Willis comes in subbing out Cam Wake from time to time, with William Hayes backing up Andre Branch and coming in on running situations. Willis will one day get a crack at the starting gig once Cam Wake hangs up his cleats or if a sudden injury occurred to either of the two starters.
65th Overall Pick: Safety, Justin Evans – Texas A&M
As much as I just raved about the depth of the defensive end position, the secondary depth is extremely high as well, allowing for the Dolphins to potentially select a starter in round 3.
With that said, I see the Dolphins taking the BPA in the secondary, whether it be CB or S. The options could be Cordrea Tankersley or Teez Tabor. Justin Evans has already been in Miami for a visit and seems to be drawing interested from the aqua and orange.
Evans could come right in and compete with Nate Allen for the free safety spot, giving him an eight-game head start on T.J. McDonald. There has been talk about searching for the long-term answer opposite Reshad Jones, and Justin Evans very well may be that kid.
At Texas A&M, Justin Evans might have been the best player on that defense… well if it weren’t for Myles Garrett. Evans has the capabilities to be a very good ‘center-fielder’ kind of safety, allowing Reshad Jones to do what he does best and play in the box. Evans is a hard hitter with great athleticism, although some may say he is undersized.
Justin Evans provides quality depth at a position of need as well, as both McDonald and Allen will be free agents next year. This move could turn out to be an absolute steal, which is what all teams are searching for. He is a hard-working player with exceptional professionalism.
97th Overall Pick: Guard, Taylor Moton – Western Michigan
Perhaps the biggest area of need for the Dolphins is guard. But there has not been good value with any other pick. Moton slides down to near the end of round 3 which only helps Miami. Some view him as the second best guard in this draft. Nonetheless, teams don’t notice his potential and let him slide right into Chris Grier’s hands.
Taylor Moton is a powerful guard prospect who can move mountains. He has experience at multiple positions but will likely stick with guard in the NFL. Moton has great power in his hands and his legs with great size for the position.
This would give Miami a great pulling guard to open up holes (or move mountains) for Jay Ajayi. Moton would ultimately give the Dolphins an elite running game with the names Mike Pouncey, Laremy Tunsil, and Anthony Fasano.
This caps off a great Day 2 for the Miami Dolphins, who selected 2 starters and 2 quality depth additions who could start deep in the season or in years to come.
166th Overall Pick: Cornerback, Shaquill Griffin – Central Florida
The Dolphins now address the cornerback position. Many believe that the need is fairly high, but with the trio of Maxwell, Lippett, and Howard, we can pump the breaks on rushing to find a CB.
This is a perfect situation, as Griffin just needs time to develop into a quality NFL corner. He will have a few years to figure it out.
Griffin was one of the fastest prospects at the combine, which can be a very beneficial trait for a corner, limiting the possibility of getting burned over the top. He also has respectable coverage skills with the will and determination highly coveted in the NFL.
178th Overall Pick: Tight End, Michael Roberts – Toledo
As I’ve said, this draft is deeper than years past. There are quality tight ends in the 5th round of this draft that would have easily been day 2 picks in previous years. The Dolphins wait their turn until they see a good value pick to select one.
Miami is one injury away from having to rely on 33 year old, Anthony Fasano, as the starting tight end. Inserting youth (and depth) into the position would be a wise move for Adam Gase, who loves his tight ends.
Michael Roberts has massive hands that help him move bodies as a blocker and obviously make catching the ball easier. He has great size for the position and good receiving abilities.
Roberts has the qualities to eventually turn into an efficient do-it-all tight end who can really improve an offense. Miami should really invest in such a talent at this point in the draft.
184th Overall Pick: Defensive Tackle, Charles Walker – Oklahoma
At this point, I think taking the best available DT would be the right move. Covering all the other holes early on, Miami waits until now to catch whichever DT has fallen through.
In this case, Charles Walker is the guy. He could easily come in and learn the system and really push Jordan Phillips for his role early on.
Walker has already been in conversation with the Dolphins, so Miami has shown interest. They wait until round 5 to select the former Oklahoma star who is very athletic and contains great burst off the line of scrimmage.
Letting him serve as a backup for a while will allow him to improve his motor, as he has not been able to stay consistently disruptive. But potential has gotten many NFL players drafted and it does the same for Charles Walker.
223rd Overall Pick: Linebacker, Matt Milano – Boston College
This pick is for the special teams. We are selecting a possible ace on special teams who will get the chance to prove himself. The 7th round is more about finding a hard worker than finding the best guy on the board, because much of the talent is the same.
With that said, Milano has great determination. He hits hard and plays to the whistle. This would be a solid move and could provide a quality play at OLB in the near future.
Milano is a smaller linebacker with much to improve on, but he has the potential that Miami likes. In this mock, Adam Gase and company pull the trigger on Milano with a low-risk/high-reward situation.
This caps off a strong draft filled with talent for the Miami Dolphins. For more sports news, follow me on twitter @masonhicks21