It’s that time of year, MOCK DRAFT time! Yes, we know free agency hasn’t started, and the NFL Combine is going on as we speak, but it is never too early for our first mock draft of the year. Obviously, as we move forward throughout March and into April, this is going to change and probably change a lot. Needs will change, players will impress with the Pro Days they have, and other players will fall on the draft boards when red flags start to arise. We do not know what Miami will do in free agency; if they sign multiple tight ends, then yes, the odds of them drafting one becomes slim to none. But if they sign no tight ends, then you can bet your last dollar they are gonna draft one, maybe two. Stuff like that.

What we know right now is Miami has needs at Cornerback, Offensive Tackle, Linebacker, Tight End, and Running Back. It appears Byron Jones is gone, it appears Mike Gesicki won’t be kept, and currently, Miami has no running backs under contract. Also, Nik Needham is a free agent as well. So, for this first mock draft, we are going off those “assumptions” that the above-mentioned needs are a top priority. As we do future mocks and Miami makes moves in free agency, things will change. But hey, it’s March 4th…and this is our Pre-Free Agency Miami Dolphins Mock Draft.


Round 2, Pick #51

Jaelyn Duncan, OT Maryland

I know, I know, Chris Grier’s track record drafting offensive linemen is not good. In fact, it gets an “F” grade. But Miami has three pain points on its offensive line right now. Right tackle, left guard, and backup swing tackle. Duncan can help at all three with some position flexibility here. He was a four-year starter at left tackle for Maryland who is very athletic and would be a good scheme fit for Miami’s outside zone running game. He is athletic enough to play in Miami’s style of offense and has the speed and has recovery speed if beaten on initial impact. The downside with the kid (and why he falls to the middle of Round 2) is he needs to toughen up a bit. He is not a big nasty guy who will push people around and be a bully; he is more finesse. Do I see him as a Day 1 starter at right tackle? NO! Do I see him as someone who can step in this season when (yes, WHEN, not IF) Terron Armstead misses his 4 to 5 games this year and can fill in adequately? YES! Do I see him as someone who can step in for Armstead in a year or two when Armstead is no longer in Miami? YES!

I like this pick because, short term, he can be your backup swing tackle, he will fill in for Armstead when Armstead misses games this year (which we know will happen), and in a year or two, hopefully, he will be your long-term left tackle of the future.


Round 3, Pick #77

Tucker Kraft, TE South Dakota St

The Dolphins’ tight-end room is a mess. Mike Gesicki most likely won’t be back in Miami. Cethan Carter hardly played last year due to a concussion. Hunter Long is a bust. Outside of Durham Smythe, Miami has nothing. Thankfully for Miami, this is a very deep tight-end class, and some feel the best tight-end draft class in the last ten or so years. In Mike McDaniel’s offense, they need the tight end to essentially be a 6th offensive lineman. If he can run routes and be a threat in the passing game, just a bonus. They need a nasty blocker in that spot, and I think Kraft is a fit. Kraft is a willing blocker and has a thick frame and good size to be an above-average blocking tight end. His athleticism allows him to be a guy who can block on the move, so he checks a lot of boxes of what Miami wants in a tight end. As a receiver, many feel his production came from being “schemed” open in college, but again, what he can do as a receiver is secondary to what Miami is looking for. Make no mistake about it; Kraft does have some ability as a receiver, though, but I feel he is a better blocker than a pass catcher. On top of all of this, Kraft has a “Goof-Ball” personality that will probably click with Mike McDaniel. At the combine, in his interviews, he said he would love to play for a Florida team through his rookie contract to be in warm weather and leave South Dakota.


Round 3, Pick #84

Garrett Williams, CB Syracuse

The Dolphins’ secondary caught no breaks last season as it suffered injury after injury, so they need some reinforcements to step in. Also, with Byron Jones seemingly playing his last game for the Dolphins and Nik Needham also a free agent who may not be back, the Dolphins have a hole here to fill. Williams is a perfect CB for the new zone defense Vic Fangio is bringing to Miami, and he has the ability to be an outside CB opposite Xavien Howard. Williams is coming off an ACL tear, but from all reports, he is 100% now and ready to go. The kid is tough, a willing tackler, and had no penalties over his last two seasons at Syracuse. The downside is he doesn’t have top-end speed, he isn’t very aggressive in his coverage, and he “plays it safe” for the most part. But, what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in size. You are drafting length here, and in the modern NFL, that is priceless. I think he would be a year-one contributor as a rookie in Miami.

Round 6, Pick #178

Deneric Prince, RB Tulsa

In later Mock Drafts, I may have Miami taking a running back earlier, but I firmly believe people are who they are. I don’t see Grier and McDaniel using an early round (Rounds 1-3) pick on a running back unless they truly have to. I am going under the assumption that Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert are back in 2023, so Miami can wait on a RB till the end of the draft. Prince doesn’t have that elite breakaway speed, but he is “fast enough” per many scouts. He is a bigger back and someone who can break tackles as well, which is something Miami really needs in its backfield. He has that perfect NFL running back build with a thick base, and he is a guy not afraid to run between the tackles to get hard-earned yards when needed. Is he ever going to be a true #1 RB? NO. Can he be part of a committee, though, and fill a role as a goal-line running back? YES!

Round 7, Pick #240

Charlie Thomas, LB Georgia Tech

It’s Round 7, so totally taking a flyer here on a guy who is undersized but a total athlete who just made plays in college. At worse, he helps you on special teams ASAP or you have him on the practice squad and hope, in time, he can develop into something. Last season he had 112 tackles and 71 solo tackles, so even being undersized, he has a knack for making plays. He is more of an east-west runner and can get from sideline to sideline; in coverage, though, and north-south, he is lacking and does not have great speed. He’s small, slow, and undersized….but he makes plays. Remind you of someone Miami drafted who is going into Canton, OH, this upcoming August? No, I am NOT SAYING THIS KID IS ZACH THOMAS! But in Rd 7, you are taking a flyer on a kid who is a “football player” and isn’t gonna test off the charts. Thomas did have a great Shrine Bowl week, so he is turning some heads, and in future mocks, he may not be a Rd 7 guy, and I could see him sneaking up to Rd 6 and maybe the end of Rd 5 if he dazzles people in his pro day and in interviews.