I will begin this by stating that I personally loathe team mock drafts. With that being said I also believe they can be used as viable tools to visualize the possibilities past the first or second round. The problem with these is that everyone starts mocking unrealistic players in the later rounds. When I see people mocking Brandon Thomas (Clemson) in the sixth round or later because of the injury he sustained during a private workout I cringe. Could these things happen? Yes. Will they? Probably not. This is going to be as realistic as possible.
Round 1, Pick 19: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
I firmly believe that at this point the top four tackles will be off the board (Robinson, Matthews, Martin, Lewan). It is also too soon, value wise, for Xavier Su’a-Filo. I really like Su’a-Filo, so if they pulled the trigger on the draft’s top guard I wouldn’t complain. Mosley has good value here, is a day one starter, and he could play any of the linebacker spots in a 4-3. I’m not totally sold on the whole Misi inside, but any combination of Misi, Ellerbe, and Mosley looks good to me. Some will make the argument about Alabama players peaking at Alabama. That peak is better than the current linebacker situation, but I see Mosley aging more room for growth at the next level.
Round 2, Pick 50: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
It would be nice to see Cyrus Kouandjio here, but if he falls out of the first round he will be a prime target at the beginning of day two. Richardson would be classified as a “dancing bear”. He’s interesting because he has the size of a right tackle, but he is more of a pass blocker. Richardson is very athletic for a 6’6”, 334 pound tackle. That could be extremely beneficial if Bill Lazor brings in an offense similar to what Chip Kelly is running in Philadelphia.
Round 3, Pick 81: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
A receiver isn’t a need for the Dolphins, but Coleman is a different story. Coleman isn’t getting the recognition he deserves at 6’6”, 225 pounds. He isn’t the talent Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin are, but he has good hands and catch radius. The Dolphins could really benefit from a red zone threat like Coleman. Coleman’s downside is he is sloppy, he needs to find his grove and put it all together. Miami has been bringing in speedier receivers for workout, but workouts aren’t everything. Knowing the Patriots. they will probably take Coleman in the first.
Round 4, Pick 116: Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
I don’t think the Dolphins need to get a guard, unless they snag Su’a-Filo or Zach Martin. Miami selected Dallas Thomas in the third round last year and he could very well compete for one of the guard jobs. Watt isn’t Martin by any means, but his is solid in both pass blocking and run blocking. He has competed on a very high level against good competition. The Dolphins would be able to play around with their guard setup if they select Watt.
Round 5, Pick 155: Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona
Going into 2014 the Dolphins cornerback situation looks better than it has in the past few seasons. They have a Pro Bowl corner in Brent Grimes, an aged star with some mileage left in Cortland Finnegan, and two young guys coming off their rookie seasons with something to prove. There are far worse situations in the NFL right now, but bringing in Richardson will add a press man presence that only Finnegan brings to that secondary. Most of the Dolphins corners are small speedy off coverage guys, but Richardson is bigger at 6’, 200 pounds. Richardson also has a nose for the football which is what the Dolphins have been preaching since Joe Philbin arrived. Richardson also has very good tackling ability for a corner. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up at safety during his career.
Round 6, Pick: 190: Lonnie Ballentine, S, Memphis
Ballentine isn’t a name you will hear much, but he’s a nice project. The first thing that stands out is his measurables (6’3”, 219 lbs). He also ran a sub-4.4 40 at his combine. He’s a good tackler with good closing speed to stop defenders early in their run. His biggest questions are level of competition and coverage ability. The Dolphins have had some luck with safeties drafted late. Maybe Ballentine could be come a starter down the road.
Round 7, Pick 234: Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn
I believe the Dolphins running game suffered from not having a true fullback to pave the way last season. Prosch is a classic fullback that has pride in paving the way for and elite running back like Tre Mason. Has a lot of pure strength and can provide a solid line of defense in pass blocking. He’s not a fantastic pass catcher, but can get out into the flat and make a few receptions.
Where’s the running back:
The Dolphins seem to be looking to add running back talent, but if it doesn’t fall right to Miami, I don’t see them pressing to take a running back. They currently have two good running backs (Moreno and Miller), two guys that have unique skillets (Thigpen and Gillislee), a practice squad bruiser in Marshall, and whatever Daniel Thomas is at this point. Running back isn’t a need unless they don’t trust Moreno already.
No tight end:
No tight end. I’m sorry for those of you that aren’t happy with having a rising star in Charles Clay, but there is no need to force a tight end selection. Look at Michael Egnew and what forcing a tight end in that draft ended up becoming. If a good tight end falls into their lap later on the Dolphins may pull the trigger. Everyone has already forgotten about Dion Sims being selected just last year. Sims is a fantastic blocker who needs more opportunities in the passing game. If you don’t recall he has the game winning catch verses the Falcons in week three.
I originally wanted to slot a quarterback to Miami somewhere in this mock, but with some of the later talent I couldn’t bring myself to do so. I think Miami will brig someone in for camp, but will ride out Matt Moore’s contract for this year and give Devlin one more crack at getting the backup job for 2015. If Moore leaves next off season and Devlin fails to impress, look for the Dolphins to grab a mid round talent in the 2015 class (Unless Philbin and Tannehill bomb this season).