The Draft is less than 3 weeks away. The prevailing wisdom as the off-season began (and even before) was that the Dolphins would go O Line in the first round. However, new General Manager Dennis Hickey and the organization have done such a good job with free agency signing Branden Albert, Shelley Smith and Jason Fox, they now have the ability to concentrate on Best Player available. I think the Dolphins draft could go in lots of different directions. If the quarterback’s slip down the draft board, the Dolphins sit in a great spot to trade back and pick up more picks. And I still think a Dion Jordan trade could be on the table. But for this mock, I am not predicting any trades.
Round 1, pick #19. Linebacker, Ryan Shazier, Ohio State. Knowing the draft is deep at tackle, Hickey has the ability to go best player available with the Fins first pick. Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley, and USC wide receiver Marquis Lee would both be considerations, but they are off the board by 19. A lot has been made lately about the Fins bringing in more analytics; well Shazier jumps out on the stat sheet, having over 115 tackles per season the last 2 years. He was a team captain, and he fills a need that Hickey has been trying to fix since he got here, the line-backing core. Shazier can play all three downs on the weak side in the Fins 4-3, letting Philip Wheeler and Koa Misi compete for the starting strong side. Also, Shazier played a lot of middle at Ohio State, not saying he would do that in Miami, but he gives the defense a lot of flexibility.
Round 2, pick # 50. Offensive Line, Billy Turner, North Dakota State. The Dolphins really hope that Austin Seferian Jenkins is on the board, but I doubt he drops this far. They turn to offensive line with this pick. Turner was a four-year starter at North Dakota State. He started out as right tackle as a freshman, and then was moved to the left side for his final 3 years. Some think he may be better suited inside at the next level, reports were he perfortrmed better at right guard then right tackle during senior bowl practices. He is light on his feet and plays hard to the whistle.
Round 3, pick #81. Running Back, Tre Mason, Auburn. The Dolphins go with the Tigers workhorse running back. He averaged over 22 carries a game his Junior season. Racking up over 1800 yards on the ground with and impressive 5.7+ yards per carry. He had 47 carries of 10+ yards. Described as a decisive, one cut running back, he would fit perfectly into what the Fins are looking for. The unknown with Mason is how he will do catching the ball, he rarely did it in college, but Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller can always handle those duties.
Round 4, pick #116. Offensive Line, Michael Schofield, Michigan. Dolphins double dip on the O Line. Good size, good run blocker. Started 10 games at left guard as a sophomore. Started at right tackle his last 2 years in college. He definitely needs to work on some things, but could develop into a starter. His versatility will allow the Dolphins to try him at multiple positions. Besides, he is a Michigan man and Owner Steve Ross loves that.
Round 5, pick #155. Wide Receiver, Robert Herron, Wyoming. He is not huge, standing at only 5’9’’, but plays big. He is your prototypical slot receiver in the NFL. Though his timed speed was less than advertised (ran a 4.48) he has the ability to break big plays. Willing to go over the middle.
Round 6, pick #190. Quarterback, Stephen Morris, Miami. Hickey drafts a guy that is full of potential that had a horrible Senior season. He can compete with Pat Devlin for the 3rd quarterback this season.
Round 7, pick#234. Cornerback, Shaquille Richardson, Arizona. Tall corners are all the rage, and Richardson fits the bill standing at 6’1’’. He was a surprise combine snub but ran well at Arizona’s pro day.