First Round: Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, Florida State
Forget what you might have heard about scheme fits; Xavier Rhodes can play zone coverage. It isn’t the best aspect of his game, but he has the instincts and athleticism to play there. Also, whether the Dolphins move to zone coverage or not, they will still need to mix in man-coverage assignments,
and Rhodes is capable of covering big receivers where others are not.
Second Round: Jonathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
At 6'3", 320, the sheer size and power of Hankins makes him hard to move in the run game. He has speed, athleticism, strength and versatility, and if he could improve his pass rush in the NFL, then the Dolphins would have an incredible talent. The only concern I have is injury-related, as Hankins played
much of his college career with a knee brace.
Second Round (from Indianapolis): Darius Slay, Cornerback, Mississippi State
For the same reasons I mocked him to Miami.
Third Round: Khaseem Greene, Linebacker, Rutgers
Greene is just too good to pass up. His stats speak for themselves, with 137 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions, and he would give Miami another playmaker on defense, He might not be at a major position of need, but he is a game-changer. Greene is solid in coverage (former safety), a great tackler, has good closing speed, is quick rushing the passer and rips the ball to try and force fumbles. An excellent motor further helps his cause.
Third Round (from Chicago): David Quessenberry, Offensive Lineman, San Jose State
David Quessenberry played left tackle at college, but looks more like a guard in the NFL. His versatility could be of use. He has the size Miami covet (6'5", 302), fits a zone-blocking scheme, and his agility means he is excellent getting second-level blocks. Quessenberry is a great value pick
and could start in Miami from Day 1.
Fourth Round: Josh Evans, Safety, Florida
Similar reasons to the Dolphins’ pick.
Fifth Round: Xavier Nixon, Offensive Tackle, Florida
A late-round pick, but one who could add depth if he doesn’t make it as a starter. He can play right or left tackle, and has all the physical tools needed to play in the NFL. In 2012, he had good games
against future NFL pass-rushers in Jadeveon Clowney, Damontre Moore, Jarvis Jones and Tank Carradine.
The knock on Nixon is the occasional mental lapse which will see him give up a poor sack, or not even block a rusher, but teams will hope to coach that out of him. He might not be the finished article, but with the right coaching and development, he will be put to use in the NFL.
Fifth Round (Compensatory Pick): David Bass, Defensive End, Missouri Western State
David Bass is a risky small-school prospect, but has tremendous upside. With a fifth-rounder, teams don’t often find starters, so Bass would be well worth the risk having been a playmaker in college. Bass is 6-4, 270, and fits as a 4-3 end. He runs a 4.8 forty, and has good size for the role. He has violent hands, great awareness, reads the quarterback well, bats down a lot of balls at the line, and can even drop into coverage, which makes him very versatile.
There are rightly a lot of questions about his level of opposition in college, but he’s worth a shot for the following reasons: 2010—47 tackles, eight sacks, 10.5 TFLs, four pass breakups, two interceptions. 2011—55 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 20 TFLs, four pass breakups. 2012—61 tackles, including 16 TFLs, seven pass breakups, two interceptions, 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Seventh Round: Marcus Davis, Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech
At 6'3", 233, Davis has incredible size and although not the fastest (4.56), he has enough speed to get separation. Good hands and concentration make him well worth a late round pick, although he is still very raw.
Seventh Round (from Dallas): Levine Toilolo, Tight End, Stanford
Huge target (6'8", 260) and great blocker but very inconsistent hands which could cut short his NFL career. Either way, he could provide Miami the blocking tight end they need, and an extra red zone threat, at little risk.
Seventh Round (Compensatory Pick): George Winn Jr, Running Back, Cincinnati
Not a burner (4.75), but the former Bearcat has good size (5'10", 218) and is a physical blocker. He is good in short-yardage situations too, and would fit in a zone-blocking scheme nicely. He only started one year at college too, so has plenty of mileage left.