With the college football regular season ending this past Saturday and the NFL season nearing its end, it's time for mock drafts to emerge. This is the time were everyone, myself included, thinks they can accurately predict what will happen during draft day and believe that if their team would take their advice, they would win the Super Bowl the following year.
This is a very early mock draft that takes into account positions of need for Miami with predictions on what rounds certain players will be available.
As for free agency, this mock draft was made considering the Dolphins only re-sign their players and no one else. These include Jake Long, Brian Hartline, Sean Smith, Anthony Fasano, Randy Starks and Reggie Bush.
1st Round: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Dolphins will probably draft best available in the first round in order to fill needs their biggest needs at guard, wide receiver and cornerback. With Jake Long being re-signed, they don't have the need to draft a left tackle in the first round.
With their dire need at wide receiver, it's hard to think the Dolphins won't draft a wide receiver in the first round. The ideal scenario would be for the Dolphins to draft Keenan Allen, but their draft position might have them picking too late for Allen. The next best available option is Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter.
Hunter has great speed and size, but really needs to bulk up for the NFL. He is the receiver the Dolphins are looking for to take over for the top spot next season in order to move Brian Hartline down in the depth chart. Hunter's size also gives Miami the red-zone threat they've been lacking since Brandon Marshall's departure.
Drafting Hunter will allow Hartline to move more freely and Davone Bess to be used strictly in the slot. This will allow the offense to move the ball more easily and become more explosive.
2nd Round: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
With their first pick in the second round, the Dolphins address one of their biggest needs: cornerback.
Sean Smith can be a very good cornerback when he's on, but he's too inconsistent to be a No.1 corner for any team. Miami needs someone that can be consistent and alleviate Smith from covering the opposing team's wide receivers.
David Amerson is one of the top cornerback prospects this year and he could be the cornerback Miami is looking for. He has a great combination of size, speed and ball skills that can ultimately make him Miami's best cover corner.
He led the league in interceptions last year, forcing defenses to shy away from his side of the field this year. He had some struggles against Tennessee's potent passing attack, but has played extremely well in the rest of the games.
2nd Round (From Indianapolis): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
After drafting the No.1 receiver the Dolphins need in the first round, they follow up in their second pick of the second round with another Tennessee receiver.
Cordarrelle Patterson has good size with great speed. Patterson was featured as the Volunteer's third receiver behind Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers. After Rogers was kicked off the team, he became one of the best players for Tennessee.
His explosiveness is what the Dolphins are looking for. They need a receiver that can blow the top off a defense. With the group of receivers they have now, opponents are playing closer to the line of scrimmage because of the lack of speed the Dolphins have on the outside.
With the addition of Hunter and Patterson, the Dolphins greatly improve at the wide receiver position, giving Ryan Tannehill more weapons and the ability for this offense to become more explosive.
3rd Round: Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
The Dolphins need to help Cameron Wake out with another pass-rusher. Jared Odrick is great against the run, but lacks the ability to get upfield and put pressure on the quarterback constantly. Miami drafted Olivier Vernon last year to help with the pass rush, but he is more of an outside linebacker than a defensive end.
Brandon Jenkins has the talent and upside to be a first-round pick, but a season-ending injury he suffered this year will cause his stock to drop. Given his potential, a team will undoubtedly take a chance with him despite his injury history.
Jenkins is a speed-edge rusher that needs to improve against the run. He is a great athlete that poses a mismatch for any offensive tackle. The pairing of Jenkins and Wake on the outside would generate problems for any offensive line given the job of trying to block these two.
3rd Round (From Chicago): Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
The Dolphins also have a big need at the right guard position. John Jerry is not a starting-caliber player and he should be upgraded.
Larry Warford is one of the top guard prospects this year. He's a big (6'3", 340 pounds) player, but is a good athlete and quicker than people would think given his size. Even though he played for a poor team this year, Warford really stood out. He was great opening up holes for the running backs as well as a solid blocker in pass protection.
Warford showed just how good he is against Florida's defensive tackle Shariff Floyd and Missouri's Sheldon Richardson. He bullied both players the entire game to the point where Richardson had to move to the left side.
He has been named Second-Team All-SEC for two consecutive years. He is strong at the point of attack and has the strength to push pass-rushers around. He also has underrated speed that allows him to get to the second level.
4th Round: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
With Miami selecting a cornerback in the second round, they can add depth in the middle rounds to strengthen the weak secondary.
Behind Amerson and Smith, the Dolphins would have Richard Marshall, Nolan Carrol, Jimmy Smith and R.J. Stanford. Marshall, who was placed in IR, was a disappointment when he did play. Carrol has more penalties than the entire AFC East and Wilson hasn't really showed much.
By adding Desmond Trufant, the Dolphins add a player with a lot of upside that has been the No.1 cornerback at Washington for the last couple years. He has the experience of being left alone in an island and mostly covering the opposing team's best receiver.
Trufant would most likely battle with Marshall for the nickel corner position. This would make the Dolphins much more improved in the secondary and would finally be able to complement their front seven with a strong secondary.
5th Round: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
The fifth through seventh rounds are more about adding depth and trying to find a diamond in the rough.
The Dolphins seem to be set for now at the safety position with the way Reshad Jones is playing and Chris Clemmons, who isn't playing great, but isn't playing terrible either.
Miami might want to add a safety prospect in order to develop him and compete with Clemmons for the starting spot.
D.J. Swearinger is a good prospect that plays with a lot of passion. He has great speed and flies all over the field. His combination of speed and instincts make him an intriguing prospect. He is the playmaker the Dolphins need at safety who also has the strength to defend the run.
This pick is good value for the Dolphins and has the potential of turning into a great pick.
6th Round: Cameron Lawrence, OLB, Mississippi State
As we get into the last two rounds, teams begin to look for players with some upside and good leadership skills. These rounds are used for depth and special teams contributors.
With the Dolphins being thin at linebacker, adding one in the later rounds is not out of the question.
Cameron Lawrence was second in the SEC in tackles in 2011 and is a high-effort player. He has the ability to be a contributor at linebacker and will add depth at the position.
He will mostly be used as a special teams contributor while being developed.
7th Round: Spencer Long, G, Nebraska
With the Dolphins already drafting a guard in the third round, they will add depth in the later rounds.
While Larry Warford would be replacing John Jerry, Spencer Long could end up replacing Richie Incognito in the future. Incognito has been inconsistent this year and may not be re-signed when he becomes a free agent.
Spencer Long is a very good run-blocker that needs to improve his pass protection. He has underrated mobility, but needs to add some more strength to be a starting guard.
If he develops well, he very well could become Incognito's replacement.