Written by Chad Hahn
After a long week in Indianapolis, the scouting combine is over. A lot of rumors and smokescreens are out there and the NFL off-season is in full effect as draft boards become more solidified heading into the Free Agency period beginning on March 18th. This is a Miami Dolphins Draft like no other in recent memory. Miami has the most picks and full control to either move up or down the draft boards at will. General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Brian Flores know that with this much draft capital they must capitalize on this golden opportunity. Before you look at my first pick and realize I’m not drafting a QB, let me explain that I feel it’s a big smokescreen about Miami needing to draft a QB in this year’s draft. I know that’s an unpopular opinion but I feel this with conviction. Miami needs to fill a lot of holes. Let’s take a look at what could be for Miami during this year’s draft.
Round 1 (MIA) pick 5
Derrick Brown- Auburn DL
6’5 318lb stud defensive lineman. He’s an outstanding player on and off the field. He would form a great trio on the defensive line in Miami teaming him up with last year’s first-round pick Christian Wilkins and DT Davon Godchaux.
Round 1 (Pitt) pick 18
Andrew Thomas- Georgia LT
6’5 320lb offensive tackle that has excellent technique and size. Thomas would be a great start to rebuilding the offensive line in Miami and be the blindside protector to whoever is the QB behind the center.
Round 1 (Hou) pick 26
Trevon Diggs- Alabama CB
6’2 200lb lengthy outside cornerback that has good ball skills as he is a converted WR. Good coverage skills in both man to man and zone coverage skills. Miami is looking for a starting CB opposite Xavien Howard and especially with Howard’s possible league discipline. Perfect fit for Coach Brian Flores’s defense.
Round 2 (MIA) pick 39
Cam Akers- Florida St RB
5’10 217lb RB that is very comparable to Dalvin Cook coming out of college. He has speed, balance and catching ability and is not afraid of contact. Akers has very high potential. An instant starter in Miami.
Round 2 (NO) pick 56
Kenny Willekes- Michigan St 3-4 OLB/ Edge Rusher
6’4 260lb edge rusher that can be good on all 3 downs. Willekes has an amazing motor and reminds me a lot of (If I dare) T.J.Watt. Power rusher with an incredible bend. Fits Miami’s new culture perfectly. Instant starter.
Round 3 (MIA) pick 70
Akeem Davis-Gaither- App St ILB
6’2 220lb LB that plays very aggressively and is a 3 down LB in today’s NFL. Very good in coverage. Miami needs a second coverage LB paired with Jerome Baker in passing situations. He would have been chosen a little sooner but is having surgery on his right foot. He is expected to be ready for NFL training camps.
Round 4 (MIA comp) pick TBD J.James-DEN
Nick Coe- Auburn DL
6’5 280lb defensive linemen that can play multiple line positions which is a plus for Coach Flores. Overshadowed by fellow DLinemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson, Coe has a high motor and can be a productive part of the defensive line in Miami.
Round 5 (ARI/MIA K.DRAKE) pick 135
Willie Gay Jr- Miss St LB
6’2 240lb athletic linebacker that would have been taken a lot earlier in the draft except he was suspended from Miss St for 8 games this last season. On the field, he is a super talented high effort player that can definitely develop into a starter for Miami.
Round 5 (MIA) pick 145
Lamar Jackson- Nebraska CB
6’2 206lb CB that has great length and is good at man to man coverage which is perfect for Miami’s defensive scheme. With Xavien Howard’s health issues and off the field questions this off-season it would be smart to double down on CB’s in this draft. Diggs/Jackson combo would be excellent additions to the secondary.
Round 5 (LAR) pick 148
John Simpson- Clemson OG
6’4 330lb offensive guard that engulfed defenders in college. Struggles with footwork but packs a nice punch at the LOS. An RG in Miami’s offensive scheme. Potential day 1 starter for Miami given the current state of Miami’s offensive line.
Round 5 (Comp C.WAKE) pick TBD
Shyheim Carter- Alabama S
5’11 191lb Defensive back that can play multiple positions. He can play both free safety and cornerback and has played around some highly talented players in Alabama. Potential developmental player that can be a good slot corner and free safety for Flores. Flores will love his position flexibility.
Round 6 (MIA) pick 166
Carter Coughlin- Minnesota LB
6’3 235lb LBer that is quick off the ball and is athletic and has good instincts. Struggles at the point of attack but his versatility to play OLB or ILB could earn him a spot on the roster in Miami. Special teams player with the potential to develop into more.
Round 6 (DAL) (R.Quinn trade) pick 166
Jon Runyan- Michigan OL
6’5 321lb offensive linemen that can play both tackle and guard. Main projection is at guard. Strong bloodlines here and has good instincts from being around his father growing up. Definitely potential to develop into a quality starter.
Round 7 (KC) pick 224
McTelvin Agim- Arkansas DL
6’3 307lb defensive linemen that can move both inside and outside. He has a nice burst and high energy. He would have a chance to make the team in Miami and can develop into a quality player.
If Miami ends up with this particular draft, they would be set up for success for years to come. It would also allow Miami to put a better product around QB Josh Rosen. (If Miami signs 2-3 more starting offensive linemen in free agency like expected)
Giving Rosen a chance needs to happen unless they trade up for the Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow because what’s the worst thing that can happen? Lose more next year and have a chance to go all-in for Trevor Lawrence. Better yet, if he succeeds Miami has the franchise QB without having to select one this year and can continue to build the team as Miami still has two 1st and 2nd round draft picks in the 2021 NFL draft.
Obviously this mock draft is based on staying where they are, but I do expect movement from Miami whether it’s trading up or trading down. For what it’s worth if I was making the picks I would either trade up for QB Joe Burrow or trade back, Attempting to move back (2) times in the first round, first trade back would be with the Jacksonville Jaguars from #5 to #9 netting a return of #9, and #20th picks in the draft and then pursuing Las Vegas to trade up to #9, acquiring picks #12 and #19. That result would leave Miami with picks #12,18,19,20 and 26 in the first round. I would settle for trading back with either one if both aren’t willing to trade up. This is the fun part of the off-season. Enjoy!