Written by Chad Hahn
Miami Dolphins Mock Draft (Rounds 1-5)
Potential FA Signings as well
Pre Senior Bowl and underclassmen declared
As the off-season begins, let’s take a look at what could be with the Miami Dolphins. Now let’s understand there are multiple phases in an NFL off-season. Before I get into this mock draft I personally believe the biggest concern for this team is building the offensive line, so since free agency starts before the draft on March 18th, let’s look at my projection or hope that occurs during that free agency period.
Once a player enters free agency it is tougher sometimes for that player to succeed in a new city, organization and coaching staff. One position that is more successful on a consistent basis is the offensive line. Now, If I was running this organization these are the free agents that I would be very aggressive in signing.
Keep in mind that Miami is projected to have over 100 million in cap room.
Sign Andrus Peat $13 Million a year
In New Orleans, Peat started as a tackle but moved to guard because the Saints gave two excellent tackles already. He became a pro bowl guard but has the smooth footwork, athleticism and toughness to be Miami’s starting Left Tackle in the projected spread offense Chan Gailey will be conducting in Miami.
Sign Brandon Scherff $13 Million a year
In Washington Brandon has been a consistent bright spot on the offensive line. He’s simply a pro bowl Right Guard that will be a mainstay in Miami and quite the upgrade.
Sign Jack Conklin $11 Million a year
In Tennessee Jack has been a consistent Right Tackle and brings a very physical mentality that would be welcomed in Miami.
With those three signings the offensive line takes a big leap forward to being an above average line. It also would allow Jesse Davis to move back to guard where he was much more effective than at tackle. The new projected starting lineup would be:
LT- Andrus Peat
LG- Jesse Davis (signed contract extension last year)
C- Daniel Kilgore/ Michael Dieter (Competition)
RG- Brandon Scherff
RT- Jack Conklin
At that point there are optional signings I believe the team could consider but I personally would try and make happen.
Sign Tight End Hunter Henry $10 Million a year
Even with a breakout season from fellow tight end Mike Gesicki, in the spread offense that Gailey brings to the table there are a lot of two tight end sets. Think Gronk and Hernandez in New England. Gesicki is less of a blocker at this point if his career. Henry would be the #1 tight end and would be the starter and has the potential to be a pro bowl tight end.
Sign either Kareem Hunt (6 Million) or Derrick Henry (10 Million)
There is little argument from anyone that Miami is in desperate need of a talent influx at the running back position. Although I’d like to sign both that’s wishful thinking. I wouldn’t be scared to give Hunt a longer deal as he is younger and has less mileage on his legs. In addition, I believe that given more opportunities he can regain his all pro numbers that he had in Kansas City. While Henry, although still 26, I would try to sign him where the bulk of all of his guaranteed money is within 2-3 years. Henry can carry an offense in tough weather and when it matters the most, December, January, and February.
Sign Cornerback James Bradberry 8-10 Million a year
Bradberry is an experienced starter with good man coverage skills that can add size and having another starter across from Xavien Howard would be wise considering Howard’s knee issues and now possible suspension stemming from an arrest a couple weeks ago.
Now let’s get into my mock draft (if Miami signed the above. Rounds 1-5:
Round 1 (MIA) pick 5
Derrick Brown- Auburn 3-4 DE
Brown is a big powerful defensive lineman that would take this defensive line to another level paired with last year’s 1st round draft pick Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux.
Round 1 (Pitt) pick 18
Henry Ruggs II- Alabama WR
Ruggs is absolutely electrifying and would add a big time spark to that offensive with fellow wide receivers Devante Parker and Preston Williams. Miami could match him up in the slot or the outside. Also add to the return game as well with Jakeem Grant.
Round 1 (Hou) pick 26
J.K.Dobbins- Ohio St. RB
Dobbins is a future featured back with excellent vision and burst. Depending if Miami signs a free agent running back I can see him as an automatic featured back or secondary option.
Round 2 (MIA) pick 39
Kenny Willekes- Michigan St 3-4 OLB/ Edge Rusher
Willekes has an amazing motor and reminds me a lot of (If I dare) T.J.Watt. Power rusher with bend. Fits Miami’s new culture perfectly. Instant starter.
Round 2 (NO) pick 56
Xavier McKinney- Alabama S (SS)
With Reshad Jones roster spot and age in question it’s time to look for a new Safety. Xavier is 6’1 200 lbs of ability. He can cover and hit and plays multiple positions which Coach Flores loves.
Round 3 (MIA) pick 70
Antoine Winfield Jr- Minnesota S (FS)
Son of the great Antoine Winfield himself. He has been around football his entire life and has great instincts and plays extremely hard. He has all the ability to develop into the team’s long term starter at free safety behind Bobby McCain or instant starter if McCain goes back to being the team’s slot cornerback.
Round 4 (MIA comp) pick TBD
Bryce Hall- Virginia CB
Bryce lead the nation in pass breakups in 2018. A big physical corner (6’1 200 lbs) that covers well and has great instincts. Very competitive. You saw what this staff did for Nik Needham? This could be excellent pickup at this part of the draft.
Round 5 (ARI/MIA K.DRAKE) pick 135
Ke’Shawn Vaughn- Vanderbilt RB
Something about this guy screams steal of the draft. Love his vision, burst and balance. Can develop into a featured running back.
Round 5 (MIA) pick 145
Calvin Throckmorton- Oregon OG/T
Can play multiple positions on the offensive line and that will help with depth. Can develop into a starter with proper coaching.
Round 5 (LAR) pick 148
Damien Lewis- LSU OG
Quality blocker. Can use the competition on the offensive line. Looks the part of a right guard. Very similar to Shaq Calhoun. Some similarities like Trai Turner.
Round 5 (Comp C.WAKE) pick TBD
Evan Weaver- California ILB
Evan plays hard and was all over the field. Had 172 tackles this year. Tackling machine. Great size at 6’3 245 lbs. High motor. Instant contributor on special teams.
Now before I get into projected starting lineups let’s address the elephant in the room. One position I didn’t address is Quarterback. How can I do that? Simple I’m writing this article. No seriously let’s look into this deeper. It’s obvious Coach Flores takes time to go over everything that goes on in the building. So let’s not forget that he approved spending a 2nd round and a 5th round draft pick on Josh Rosen when they were in the process of accumulating draft picks.
Let’s also remember that Josh Rosen was slowly grasping Chad O’Shea’s complex offensive scheme and everyone is claiming the move to hire Chan Gailey was to simplify the offense for a new QB. Well what if that QB is on the roster. What if the plan is to give Rosen the team for a year and have another competition with Ryan Fitzpatrick? Unless Joe Burrow miraculously falls to #5 the Dolphins would be wise to solidify the rest of their team this year and give Rosen a real opportunity to be “the guy”. If that plan fails they can trade as much as they want in next year’s draft and go “all in” for Trevor Lawrence.
Now with that behind us, let's look at the 2020 Miami Dolphins projected starting lineup after all the above transpires. This does include a couple of releases that I would do to add more cap space for Miami. Those releases would be Safety Reshad Jones and Wide Receiver Albert Wilson.
Potential Lineups for the 2020 Miami Dolphins:
WR- H. Ruggs II/J.Grant
LOLB- A.Van Ginkel/ T.Charlton
ROLB- K.Willekes/ V.Biegel
CB- J. Bradberry/E.Rowe/C.Tankersley
FS- B.McCain/A.Winfield Jr.
Now this looks good for year 2 of this rebuild. Not to mention they still have 2 more 6th round picks and a 7th round pick. Stay tuned for more articles from myself as I’m sure mock drafts could change over the next couple months as well as alternate drafts such as trade ups and trade downs.