Miami Dolphins Mock Draft: 7 Round Predictions Post Combine
The NFL Draft is the most exciting day of the offseason for many teams, fans and prospects. On May 8 every NFL team will select the players who will shape their franchises for the foreseeable future.
The buildup to the draft seemingly contains equal if not greater discussion and analysis than the regular season. Every expert, analyst, writer and fan has an opinion on which players will be or should be selected by each team.
I am no different. Without further hesitation, I give you my first Miami Dolphins post-combine mock draft.
Round 1, Pick 19: Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame
Regardless of what happens in free agency the Dolphins will need additional offensive line help via the draft. I expect the Dolphins to sign a left tackle in free agency and use their first pick to solidify the left side of the OL.
Martin has played both left tackle and left guard which makes him even more valuable for the Dolphins. His ability to play multiple positions on the line could be of great benefit to a team with so much uncertainty in the trenches, like Miami.
Martin didn't have the best combine but that does little to change the fact that he may be the best guard in this draft class.
Selecting Martin is based on the assumption that Taylor Lewan is no longer on the board. I also believe the Dolphins could be in a position to trade back and still land Martin come draft day.
Round 2, Pick 50: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The likelihood of both Paul Soliai and Randy Starks returning to the Dolphins is slim. The Dolphins struggled to stop the run last season and losing Starks, Soliai or both won't help Miami in that regard.
The 6'6" 310-pound Hageman is considered the fourth-best DT and 26th-best overall prospect (CBSSports.com). Hageman is worthy of a first-round selection but will likely fall to the second.
Louis Nix, Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan will be off the board by the end of round one. Some defensive end prospects will be selected in the first and second rounds as well. I would expect Hageman to be available once the Dolphins are on the clock for the second time.
A DT like Hageman is an absolute steal at pick 50, especially for a team that will be looking to bolster it's defensive front.
Round 3, Pick 81: Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Bringing in a free agent LT is good for immediate results but the Dolphins have to think about the future as well. Billy Turner is a big left tackle that has been excellent in pass protection. Which is something Ryan Tannehill desperately needs.
Turner could benefit from having a smaller role initially before taking over as a full-time starter after his rookie season. Turner has shown the quickness and vision needed to step up and block linebackers when needed.
Turner is 6'5", 315 pounds and is considered the ninth-best OT in the draft (CBSSports.com). Turner has good bloodlines: his father played for the Minnesota Vikings and his brother was drafted by the New York Giants.
Turner was a two-time FCS All-American and has 56 collegiate starts, 44 at LT and 12 at RT. The Dolphins will certainly be using multiple draft picks to bolster the OL, pairing Turner with Zack Martin would give the Dolphins two young and versatile prospects with tremendous upside.
Round 4, Pick 112: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
The Dolphins need to prepare for life without Brent Grimes, regardless of if he re-signs or not. Jaylen Watkins is a hard-hitting cornerback who has the ability to play safety if needed (Rob Rang, CBSSports.com).
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds and arguably has the most potential of all the Florida defensive backs. Considered the 113th overall prospect by CBSSports.com, there is a good chance he is available for the Dolphins in the fourth round.
Round 5, Pick 143: Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State
At 6'6" and 270 pounds, Gillmore has great size and even greater potential. Gillmore lead all receivers in catches and yards at the Senior Bowl and had a great showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Gillmore has greatly improved as a route runner and has very reliable hands. He has also been praised for his high-quality blocking ability. Adding another large tight end that can catch the ball as well as protect Tannehill would benefit the Dolphins in multiple fashions.
Gillmore has been a mid-round sleeper pick for me since Day 1 and would make a solid addition to the Dolphins roster.
Round 6, Pick 174: James WIlder, RB, Florida State
Wilder is a big and powerful back that hurt his stock with a subpar showing at the combine. Still, at 6'3" and 232 pounds he is a safe pick if available.
Wilder hurt his stock in Indy but it remains to be seen if his poor showing at the combine will drop him this far down the boards. He is considered the 154th overall prospect by CBSSports.com.
His size, cutting ability and ability to shed tacklers could spell the end of Daniel. Which is a change many Miami fans would welcome. Again, getting Wilder at pick 174 may be pushing things but if this Florida native is still available then the Dolphins should pull the trigger.
Round 7, Pick 211: Hakeem Smith, SS, Louisville
Hakeem Smith is a versatile safety that spent time at both SS and FS while at Louisville. The 6'2" safety was the 2009 Big East Defensive Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Conference selection (University of Louisville Sports Information, GoCards.com).
Rob Rang of CBSSports.com says Smith "appears capable of following the lead of former Louisville standouts Kerry Rhodes and William Gay as productive NFL defensive backs."
Smith recorded 245 career tackles at Louisville and improved his coverage ability each season. Picks in the final round are often best available player or potential sleeper picks. Smith's versatility and tackling ability makes him a "for sure" sleeper pick at the safety position.
All stats courtesy of CBSSports.com unless otherwise noted