We have arrived to that time of the year. The 2016 NFL draft is upon us. With the Dolphins swapping picks with the Eagles, 8th to 13th, it adds a new dynamic to this years draft, at least in round 1. Here is a look at the first Dolphinstalk.com NFL Mock Draft, Miami Dolphins edition:
With the 13th pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Darron Lee, OLB (Ohio State)
The Dolphins would be getting their run stuffing LB. Lee is a big bodied OLB, whose instincts and who can get to a ball carrier quickly. The Dolphins struggled mightily against the run last season, Lee would be an immediate upgrade over Jelani Jenkins, who would move back into a reserve role and provide much needed LB depth with his versatility. Lee ran a 4.52 40, shows a knack for making big plays, shows good coverage while covering RB's out of the backfield and his change of direction can allow him to drop into coverage against TE, albeit he must improve in some areas in coverage. He is a raw pass rusher but with time and coaching can make an impact on passing downs as a blitzer.
(Eli Apple would also be a fit here, and could be taken, but the need of a LB who can tackle is huge in my opinion)
With the 42nd pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Artie Burns, CB (Miami, FL)
Burns would fill the number 2 CB spot. He is a well rounded corner. Has good instincts and quick eyes to identify a route in zone coverage. He will fit well in the system Vance Joseph will run. He is susceptible against the run and needs better technique when approached by a running back. Being a three year starter, 6 INT in 2015 and a home grown talent, the Dolphins could hit a home run in round 2.
With the 73rd pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Vadal Alexander, G (LSU)
Alexander was not great last season when Les Miles shifted him to right tackle. Alexander is more suited to play guard which is his natural position. He is a big body (6'5 325lbs), massive fram and long arms make it difficult for guys to get past him. He seems to struggle at times in pass protection but hopefully develops. He isn't a great athlete and will need to get quicker feet, but can potentially challenge to start at one of the guard positions come this summer.
With the 108th pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Harlan Miller, CB (Southeastern Louisiana)
Miller is another zone corner the Dolphins may look at here. he has good instincts and is fluid as a corner. He has good speed and pretty good recognition. He had a good career with 29 pass break ups and 11 INT. He can cover taller corners with good range and ball skills, can win jump balls if needed to. He is a willing tackler and can set the edge but his pursuit and angles need work against the run.
With the 148th pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
KJ Dillon, S (West Virginia)
The secondary and defensive overhaul continues by adding Safety depth with Dillon. After the Dolphins lost Delmas in preseason, there was a giant hole next to Reshad Jones who was more of a free flowing Safety last year. Dillon is 6' 210 lbs and is fast (4.55 40). He can line up in multiple positions in the secondary and is a monster against the run. He is reliable against the run and is great as the last line of defense. Good instincts and ball skills with 21 pass breakups and 5 INT. He can also blitz if required. This is more a depth play then a guy who will come in and start right away, but could be given the chance to.
With 187th pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Joe Dahl, OG/OT (Washington State)
Dahl provides depth on the OL as he can play all FIVE positions. He is very good at picking up blitzes and stunts and is a mauler against the run. He blocks at the point of attack and can adjust on the fly. The man provides depth in a weak area, but needs to improve in pass protection if he plays Tackle. He did deal with injuries in 2015, but played through it.
With the 228th pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Jeff Driskel, QB (Louisiana Tech)
If the Dolphins are going to get a young QB in this draft, they will not take one until late in my opinion. In comes Jeff Driskel. He started 21 games at Florida before he transferred to La Tech. he threw 27 TDs and over 4,000 yards this season. He seems to telegraph throws and misses on big passes. He has good mechanics and stands in and takes a hit (sound familiar Dolfans?) He is a project and if he can perform well, could be on the practice squad once the 2016 season hits.
With the 232nd pick, the Miami Dolphins select:
Kenyan Drake, RB (Alabama)
Drake was a back up to Heisman winner Derrick Henry but is a raw back. he is very quick and has good size (6'0, 210) His biggest plusses come in the passing game. He is dangerous in the open field but can drop passes as he looks up field before catching the ball. He also needs to be better in pass protection but comes cheap and can pay dividends with proper coaching
This is the first of many weekly mocks leading up to the draft. Free agency (lack their of) will determine how this mock pans out. feel free to leave any opinions on my twitter account