With the NFL Combine now on the horizon for many NFL executives, the NFL Draft continues to grow ever closer. While the event is still over two months away, the hype and excitement can already be felt in many team circles. For the Miami Dolphins, this is no different, especially as it comes off of a playoff season in 2016.
While the team may only possess five draft picks at the moment, this seven round mock draft does include potential compensatory picks for the Dolphins. Giving the team seven picks — one in each round — the Miami Dolphins will at least have the normal amount of draft picks come draft day.
In need of both starters and depth additions, the Miami Dolphins will have quite a bit of work to do during this draft. However, if the team can nail its draft picks this year, the already bright future will begin to glow even brighter next season. Without further ado, here is my first try at a seven round mock draft for the Miami Dolphins.
With the help of first-pick.com, I was able to conduct a full draft with myself picking as the Miami Dolphins. While the computer does allow and promote trades, I did not partake in any. Make sure to check out the site if you want to have some fun drafting players and making your own future for your favorite team.
First Round: Jalen “Teez” Tabor — Cornerback — Florida
The biggest bummer for me with this pick was that most of my top choices were already taken by the time it came time for my selection. While I do value adding a top notch linebacker in the first round, I was forced to settle for a new starting cornerback. Going with Teez Tabor, the Miami Dolphins will get a quick corner that can play man coverage.
Pairing him across from Xavien Howard, the Dolphins will have addressed their cornerback need for at least the next couple of seasons. While Tabor can be bullied due to his small size — he stands 6’0 and weighs just over 200 lbs — he does possess the speed and instincts needed to be a cover corner in this league.
On passing routes, Tabor provides most of the characteristics you want to see in a top cornerback. He can play against bigger men and his awareness in the field is second to none. While he could have issues adjusting to the NFL thanks to his size, I firmly feel that he had more than enough talent to warrant this pick.
Alternate Picks: O.J Howard (TE), Taco Charlton (DE)
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Second Round: DeMarcus Walker — Defensive End — FSU
Cameron Wake is not getting any younger. With next season looking like it could be his last in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins need to find a younger option to replace him at defensive end. With Andre Branch likely solidifying his spot on the opposite side of the line, a future starter could be found in the second round.
Possessing the size needed to play on the edge of a defensive line, Walker has most everything coaches want in a pass rusher. He’s quick getting around the corner and also has the awareness to bat down passes when he remains in the passing lane. Able to control most tackles that line up against him, Walker is one for the future.
Considering how good of a player he is, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him rise in the later days of the evaluation process. If that happens, it is unlikely that he will fall to Miami at this pick.
Third Round: David Sharpe — Guard — Florida
The second Florida Gator drafted, David Sharpe addresses some key issues along the Miami Dolphins offensive line. Potentially in need of a new starting guard or two this offseason, Sharpe’s mesurables and play make him look like a future starter for the Dolphins. While it would be risky to use him as a day one starter, Sharpe does possess the talent to become a starter one day.
Declaring for the NFL Draft as a junior, Sharpe is also still young. He will undoubtedly need time to develop in the NFL, however, given his size and skill level, this would be a solid day two pick for the Miami Dolphins.
Fourth Round: Connor Harris — Inside Linebacker — Lindenwood
One of my favorite players to draft has always been these non-FBS players. To me, the guys that make it into the conversation come draft day must be more talented than some of the other players in their draft class. Why? Because they had to play twice as hard and do twice as well to receive the same kind of recognition as those alongside them now.
An extremely productive linebacker at Lindenwood University, Connor Harris set many records during his time in college. Seen as someone that will be taken on day three of the draft, Harris would help fill a need at linebacker for Miami. While he doesn’t posses the best size, his ability to read plays and tackle ball carriers will make him an NFL player.
Fifth Round: Jonnu Smith — Tight End — Florida International
Missing out on the remainder of his senior season after his then girlfriend spiller boiling water on his head, Jonnu Smith now finds himself as a potential late day three selection. Had Smith managed to play during the latter part of last season for the Panthers, his draft stock would be much higher than its current level due to his play and talent.
Showing as much at the Senior Bowl, Smith could be the most undervalued tight end this year. Being called a true pass catching tight end, Smith will have to work on his blocking to succeed at the next level. However, if Miami wants someone to potentially replace Dion Sims as the best passing tight end on the team, Jonnu Smith could be the pick here.
Sixth Round: Joshua Dobbs — Quarterback — Tennessee
In my mind, the Ryan Tannehill knee injury proves that Miami needs a young, athletic backup. Should something happen to Matt Moore, the Dolphins would then be completely down and out.
Providing the team with an athletic quarterback, Dobbs would not be a future starter for this team. However, given his talent and ability, Dobbs would be a solid backup option as well as one that could continue to develop at this level.
Is this one of the biggest needs for the Dolphins, no. However, it’s the sixth round. Taking a walk out on a limb is not that big of a risk and is something I think the team should do.
Seventh Round: Steven Taylor — Outside Linebacker — Houston
Not the traditional linebacker of sorts, Steven Taylor is a seventh round pick that has the potential to pay off in the future. Most likely a situational blitz linebacker, Taylor has the awareness and football IQ needed to read a blocking scheme.
While he is unlikely to be the every down linebacker Miami needs, his ability to get to the quarterback will make him a solid pickup for a seventh round selection.