New 2025 Mock Draft has the Miami Dolphins fixing their safety issue in Round 1

Dolphins predicted to pick No. 22 overall next spring.
Malaki Starks (24) projected to be selected by Miami Dolphins in very early 2025 Mock Draft by Pro Football Network.
Malaki Starks (24) projected to be selected by Miami Dolphins in very early 2025 Mock Draft by Pro Football Network. / Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Pro Football Network must have no confidence in the Miami Dolphins re-signing safety Jevon Holland to a long-term contract this offseason. Keff Ciardello, an NFL Draft analyst for Pro Football Network, has the Dolphins selecting Malaki Starks, the top-rated safety in the class of 2025, in a first-round mock draft that was just published.

Starks is projected as the first safety off the board and has five interceptions and 14 pass breakups in his first two seasons at Georgia. Starks was a member of the 2022 team that won a national title - he's quite the playmaker.

Georgia DB Malaki Starks will be a player to watch for Dolphins fans

The Dolphins do not have much by way of depth at the safety position as Miami signed Jordan Poyer to a one-year deal at the start of free agency. The former Buffalo Bills standout has lost a step and is not the player that he once was. Depending on how he plays this season will determine whether Miami brings him back for 2025. Miami also just signed Marcus Maye, but it's also on a one-year contract.

Miami has Holland and Poyer and the depth is by committee. Rookie Patrick McNorris is listed as being behind Poyer on the depth chart and veteran Elijah Campbell is listed as the backup to Holland. Neither will give Miami an advantage if the starters are forced to stand on the sidelines. Campbell, in his fifth season out of Northern Iowa only has 29 career tackles and one pass defended. Maye has plenty of experience, but he's not expected to be in town for the long haul.

This would be a dangerous pick for Miami, as Starks is somewhat considered damaged goods. Starks had a nagging shoulder injury that he suffered at the start of fall camp last season and the injury progressively got worse as the season went on. Starks was informed before the SEC Championship Game against Alabama that he would need surgery on the shoulder and he went under the knife after participating in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.

There was talk about Starks sitting out the Orange Bowl, but he felt obligated to his teammates to give it his best shot, despite most of Florida State's starters opting out of the game. Starks sat out spring ball this season and this is the longest that he has gone without putting on the pads.

The question becomes whether Miami is willing to roll the dice on someone a year removed from shoulder surgery, regardless of the talent. It will be interesting to see how Starks progresses this season and whether the injury will be past him by the time camp rolls around this summer.