With the NFL draft beginning in just two days, I decided to use PFF’s simulator and make a trade-free mock draft. I drafted based on the best player available here but also considered positional value and need.
Pick 51- Sam LaPorta, Tight End – University of Iowa
With this pick, it was between either LaPorta or Michigan Defensive Tackle Mazi Smith, and given the Dolphins’ current standing at tight end, I opted for LaPorta. LaPorta posted back-to-back 600-yard seasons to finish out his career at Iowa and was named first-team all-conference, and won the Big Ten tight end-of-the-year award as well. LaPorta was one of the few bright spots on a putrid Iowa offense last year and showed the ability to create yards after the catch while leading the team in yards for consecutive seasons. LaPorta has drawn some comparisons to the 49ers’ George Kittle for obvious reasons but is not nearly the blocker Kittle is, though he has noted he hopes to go somewhere that will help him improve this aspect of his game. Overall, LaPorta is a solid prospect who I think has the potential to thrive under Mike McDaniel.
Pick 84- Matthew Bergeron, Offensive Tackle- Syracuse University
It was between Bergeron or one of two running backs, Chase Brown of Illinois or Bergeron’s teammate: Sean Tucker. I opted for Bergeron for several reasons, the biggest being that he has experience at both left and right tackle. Bergeron started his career at right tackle before eventually moving over to left tackle, where he would earn second-team all-conference his senior year. The Dolphins recently brought in veteran Cameron Fleming for a workout, showing they have interest in bringing in an additional tackle, so through Bergeron, the Dolphins gain a potential starter at right tackle or a viable backup at left tackle, which is important given Teron Armstead’s history.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) April 26, 2023
Pick 197- Deuce Vaughn, Running Back- Kansas State
Though he may be a small, running back, Deuce Vaughn packs quite a punch and could be a viable option in the later rounds for the Dolphins if he slips in the draft. Vaughn rushed for over 1500 yards this past season and showed just how electric he can be with the ball in his hands against TCU and Alabama. He’ll have his work cut out for him if he wants to surpass veterans Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson on the depth chart. Still, he also has the ability to serve as a returner, which could come in handy should the Dolphins decide to move on from Cedrick Wilson who served as the team’s primary return man last season.
Pick 238- Jake Moody, Kicker – University of Michigan
Kicker Jason Sanders has struggled over the past two seasons after signing an extension that made him one of the highest-paid kickers in the league, so given the money the team could gain by moving on from Sanders: I would not be surprised if they brought in a kicker to compete with Sanders this offseason. Jake Moody was incredible during his career at Michigan, making 52 of his last 60 field goal attempts. He arguably should have won his second consecutive Lou Graza Kicker of the Year award this past season. Moody is also accustomed to kicking in inclement weather, something that could come into play as the Dolphins’ road schedule this year is riddled with potential cold weather games (Jets, Bills, Pats, Chiefs, Ravens, Eagles, and Commanders). The Dolphins could use a reliable kicking option this upcoming season, and by bringing in Jake Moody to compete with Jason Sanders, they will get just that.
Michigan kicker Jake Moody said the wind was tough.
“This isn’t the SEC. We have some tough wind conditions,” he said with a smile. “Right off my foot, I knew it was going in.” pic.twitter.com/LzMnJmWiTU
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 19, 2022