We have hit the home stretch in the 2013 NFL Draft season. A scant two weeks remain before the draft, time enough for many more mock drafts.
Several weeks ago, I participated in a live community mock draft called Mock One with other writers, evaluators, draftniks and fans. That draft was held before free agency hit, which has obviously altered the NFL landscape.
Recently, I participated in the latest iteration of that mock draft—Mock Five. I did so with far more clarity on Miami's situation.
Jeff Ireland went into free agency with buckets of money, and he came out of it having signed Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Dustin Keller and Brent Grimes. He also retained Brian Hartline and Randy Starks and let Jake Long and Reggie Bush walk in free agency.
Those moves have dramatically cleared up a once-muddied draft picture for the Dolphins. There are likelihoods based on obvious needs or a lack thereof at certain positions. For example, I do not believe Miami will take Tavon Austin or any other receiver with a high draft pick, if at all.
Click through to find the results of this latest draft.
Pick: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The buzz surrounding Lane Johnson and Miami has grown to cicada swarmlike levels.
It is the mock draft pick du jour for draftniks across the Internet—and a similar move I posited a month ago—and it just so happens to be the move I pulled off here.
Cleveland's general manager was itching to move down, so I was able to move up six spots by giving up picks 77 and 146, respectively, and getting pick 175 in return as well. In reality, it will likely take a second-round pick to make such a move on draft day.
Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher were gone at this stage of the draft, and the Cardinals were a real threat to snag Johnson.
It's a realistic scenario.
Johnson is an excellent fit to replace Jake Long at left tackle. The former Sooner is the most athletic tackle in the draft, which fits well in Miami's zone-blocking scheme. Where Joeckel and Fisher are safer picks, Johnson might have the most upside at the position.
Pick: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Dolphins need someone to pair with Cameron Wake, and it was a bit surprising to have Alex Okafor fall into my lap here. There is a bit of a risk in taking Okafor from the perspective that he is best-suited as a LDE, otherwise known as Wake's position.
Okafor might not be the fastest defensive end, but he makes up for it with his strength.
He is one of the more polished and experienced players in the draft; he could wind up starting—or at the least becoming a major part of the rotation—on the right side for Miami in Week 1.
Okafor should provide a nice complement to Wake. At the least, he can be groomed as the 31-year-old's eventual replacement on the left side.
Pick: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Taking a tight end in the first round might be too much for a team that is already three-deep at the position, but Kelce was too good to pass up here.
Kelce is a complete tight end. The Cincinnati product is an athletic pass-catcher who blocks well. His NFL comparisons are Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten—pretty good company.
While he has had off-field issues, it appears the talented tight end has put those in his rear-view mirror. Kelce is a great prospect at the position, rivaling Tyler Eifert in overall talent.
He was the No. 2 tight end on my board, and it was a no-brainer at this stage in the game.
Pick: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Despite signing Brent Grimes, the Dolphins need to address the cornerback position for the long term. That Poyer fell this far was a delightful boon.
Poyer wasn't a standout at the combine, but he shows up on tape. The former Beaver has good instincts, which is a big reason he has 11 interceptions over the last two seasons—something Miami has lacked for years.
Poyer is an excellent scheme fit for Kevin Coyle's defense, too, and he should have time to develop behind Grimes, Dmitri Patterson and a healthy Richard Marshall.
Pick: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
I decided to double up at defensive end here, partly because Taylor was too good to pass up.
As mentioned, Wake's age could pose an issue in coming years. Grooming a replacement might be a good idea and having depth at the position is a positive.
At 6'7" and 266 pounds, Taylor is a huge, athletic freak of a player. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds at the combine. He also was a top performer in the broad and vertical jumps, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle.
Taylor's film, however, is not as impressive.
He did not take full advantage of his physical talents while in college, which is why he is not more touted heading into the draft. He will require development, but could wind up having a Javon Kearse-like impact down the road.
Pick: Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt
The Dolphins have moved on from Bush, but they might not be sold on Daniel Thomas. Indeed, for a short-yardage guy, Thomas is lacking in the power department.
Zac Stacy, meanwhile, is a human wrecking ball in the mold of Doug Martin. In fact, Martin is one of Stacy's best NFL comparisons.
I eyeballed Stacy as the draft progressed through the fourth and fifth rounds, happy to have him fall to me with the first of two compensatory picks.
Pick: Nickell Robey, CB, USC
This pick was part of the trade I made to move up from 12 to six in the first round.
Miami needs to add depth at cornerback, and Robey will make a nice developmental player at the position. He fits in best as a slot cornerback, mostly due to his short 5'8" stature.
His athleticism and experience will make him a good special-teams player while he develops.
Pick: Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida
Dan Carpenter is making $2.4 million this year. While he has been relatively reliable, the Dolphins kicker has missed key attempts through the years.
Sturgis would need to prove he can handle the pressure at the next level and that he has the leg to succeed, but this pick could save Miami much-needed cap space going forward.
Pick: Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame
At 6'2", Zeke Motta is a big, physical safety with plenty of experience. He also is durable, having never missed a game due to injury in college.
Motta is not the most athletic safety prospect, nor is he particularly good in man coverage. The former Golden Domer has upside, however, and he was well worth a shot in the seventh round of this draft.
Pick: Cory Grissom, DT, South Florida
Randy Starks and Paul Soliai will be free agents after this season.
Granted, expecting a seventh-round defensive tackle to replace them might be wishful thinking, but Grissom makes for a solid developmental player.
Grissom brings experience and a high motor to the table.
He could become a solid rotational player sooner than later with proper development. He was a bit of a hidden gem in that USF defense.