Early Mock
By Justin
though it is still early, many websites are posting 1st round NFL
Mock drafts for 2018.  This is a little ridiculous considering the combine
will slide players up and down draft boards for reasons that are really not
football related, and many team needs will be addressed in free agency which
starts March 14th.  But some of the so-called draft experts
have some interesting picks for the Dolphins which I would like to address.

Your Miami Dolphins will be picking at number 11 when the draft starts April 26th. 
And you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat hoping for a new playmaker (not
an offensive lineman) to root for.  In the mock drafts that I have read
recently the experts have the Dolphins selecting anyone from Baker Mayfield at
quarterback from Oklahoma to Connor Williams offensive tackle from Texas. 
Now this is understandable considering how many holes (and they have a few) the
Dolphins have.  But some of these mock picks just don’t make any sense.

Let’s start with anyone who says the Dolphins pick an O-Lineman with their
first pick of the draft.  This is really a head scratcher for a few
reasons. The team fielded 3 1st round picks on the o-line in 2018,
Tunsil, Pouncey, and James, and they could not get the job done.  What is
another 1st rounder going to do?  Now there is speculation that
the team may rescind the fifth-year option on James, but do you do that just to
spend another 1st on the o-line?  What the Dolphins offensive
line needs is better coaching (preferably without a drug habit), not another
high draft pick.  Other teams do a lot more with a lot less on the o-line. 
They will probably draft for o-line depth but most likely this will occur in
the mid to late rounds.

I have also seen where the Dolphins take a defensive lineman in the first. 
Also, probably not going to happen.  You see the Fins already have a ton
of cash tied up in Suh, Wake, and Branch.  They also used a first round
pick last year on Charles Harris at defensive end.  Back to back 1st
round picks at the same position is not the best strategy for any team. 
William Hayes, the run stopping specialist at defensive end may leave during
free agency, but I think it is more likely that the Dolphins sign a veteran to
add depth.

And the last strange mock pick is at cornerback.  The Fins have Howard,
who flashed last year.  He just needs to be a little more consistent. 
Tony Lippett was looking improved before the injury and by all reports is on
schedule to be back.  And then there is Tankersly, who many said was
expected to red shirt last year, played better than most of us thought he would
and showed a lot of promise. With the Dolphins having recently hired Tony Oden
as the new defensive backs coach there is hope that this group will improve. 
This group can also be improved by adding a veteran in free agency to bolster
the depth in the secondary.  
So, at this point what are the most likely positions for the Fins to draft at
11?  I like the Baker Mayfield QB pick, but I don’t think he will be there. 
Look I’m not against Tannehill, but I don’t think he is elite either. 
Plus, look what happened when he went down, the team clearly didn’t trust Moore
and panicked and signed Cutler.  Good teams draft a QB every year (see New
England), maybe not in the first, but somewhere in the draft.  This is a
philosophy the Dolphins need to adopt.  I think the Dolphins will have to
trade up to get a 1st round QB and they don’t have a lot to work with,
so I would be surprised if they can move up in round one.   So, I
don’t see them taking a QB here unless one falls to them.

          I do like the Roquan Smith LB UGA pick
at 11.  Even though a lot of mock drafts have the Raiders taking him at
10, if he makes it past them I think this has to be the pick.  He is a
game changer.  Add him with Alonso and McMillan and we have a strong
talented linebacking corp.  The team would still need to add a veteran for
depth, but the unit would immediately be upgraded.  If he is gone by the
time the Dolphins pick I believe that they should trade back.  There will
be good linebackers available later in the first round.  In a perfect
world the Dolphins could trade back a little and pick up an extra draft pick to
fill some needs and draft the best player available.  The Dolphins need to
draft a QB, TE, LB, and probably a RB.  And they need to add depth at
o-line, d-line, and linebacker.  But let’s see what happens in free agency
and that should narrow it down a bit.