It’s Draft week and we are days away from the Miami Dolphins being “On The Clock” as they select players to improve their football team. I am not a big Mock Draft guy who does multiple mock drafts starting in January and pumping out a new one each week. I am from the Mike Mayock school of do one mock draft the week of or before the draft and that’s it. Myself and Tom put out our annual dueling Round 1 Mock Draftover the weekend and now it’s time for my annual Miami Dolphins 7 Round Mock Draft. Each year I do this on the site where I mock every pick for Miami in the upcoming draft. It’s one of the more popular columns I write each year so let’s get right two it.
First the ground rules and my thoughts as I go into this to help you understand my picks…..
1) I don’t predict trades. With that said in real life if I were Miami I would look to trade down or out of Round 1 completely IF (big IF) the offer they get nets them more picks in rounds 2 and 3. Right now Miami has 3 picks in the first 3 rounds. If I could turn pick #22 around and move down and end up with 4 or maybe 5 picks total in the first 3 rounds I’m for it. Those first 3 rounds of this years draft are loaded and you want as many picks as possible in them. So that is my opinion on trading down, but for this article I won’t predict any trade downs as it’s impossible to predict.
2) I view Miami’s needs as many others do in that they need (in no special order) Guard, Linebacker, Defensive End, Cornerback, Safety.
3) The Dolphins defense currently has little to no depth, isn’t very athletic in areas, and the overall size and speed needs to be upgraded dramatically. This will be a defense heavy draft.
4) You have to be realistic in that Miami won’t fill every need they have in this draft. It’s about the marriage of best player available with team need when they are on the clock. They enter the draft with multiple needs to the goal is to exit the draft with far less needs.
With all of that said, let’s get to the picks in Mike’s 2017 Miami Dolphins 7 Round Mock Draft…
1st Round- 22nd overall
I know, I know, I know what you are saying. But Mike in last weekend’s Tom and Mike’s Dueling Rd 1 Mock Draft you had Miami taking Taco Charlton, so why are you changing? You can’t flip-flop like that! Well, that article was written before the news broke that Reuben Foster has a failed drug test under his name. It was for a diluted sample at the NFL Combine (still counts as a failure,) so he enters his NFL career in the NFL drug program meaning he is tested weekly and up to 12 times a month. There is now news that Foster may fall far in Round 1 because of that and even out of Round 1 completely which I find silly honestly. Those of you that heard me on SiriusXM NFL Radio this past Friday with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwin as I was on the air as the Dolphins selector in their Fan Mock Draft, heard me say to a national audience that no way Foster would get past Miami. at pick #22. The Dolphins, just like last year, won’t pass up a Top 10 and even maybe a Top 5 talent at #22 for some of these minor red flags Foster has. Foster is a do it all linebacker who can play the SAM, MIKE, or the WILL. He is a violent tackler who can fly all over the field. There are some red flags about his shoulder as he had rotator cuff surgery this offseason but from the latest reports the medicals are ok and he will be ready for training camp. The off the field stuff is there but isn’t overly concerning in my opinion (not like there is a video out there of him smoking pot through a gas mask.) As a football player Foster is elite and has all of the tools. The red flags are, no doubt and no way to spin it. But Miami just like last year will have to foster (no pun intended) an environment to bring Reuben along and help him mature and keep on the road to success off the field. They did it with Tunsil now they will have to do it again. And the Dolphins opening day linebackers of Kiko, Timmons, and Foster is a major upgrade to a unit that was pitiful last season.
2nd Round – 54th overall
As much as this is a defense heavy draft for the Dolphins the guard position needs to be addressed and this team needs a day 1 starter at guard out of this draft. So the Dolphins will get a guard in the first few rounds of the draft and Feeney fits the bill. Some have Feeney going high in Rd 2 but I don’t see that many guards going off the board in the early rounds of NFL drafts. I think he falls to the middle to end of Rd 2. He is a scheme fit for Miami’s zone-blocking system and a plug-n-play guard. Feeney can also play center as well which is key should Mike Pouncey become injured again as it often seems to be the case with Pouncey. Although Feeney being 6’4” is tall for a center by most standards he can man the position if necessary. The Dolphins are bringing back essentially every key element of last years offense so not much to tweak on offense but guard is a glaring need. Feeney fixes that not only this year but long-term as well. Not to mention with a last name like Feeney Dolphins fans can do the “Feeney Call” at games this year (Boy Meet’s World reference, if you don’t understand it google it.)
3rd Round- 97th overall
I had to address defensive line here and get either a pass rusher or a rotational defensive tackle. Miami has no depth behind Suh and Phillips at defensive tackle so they need a back-up at that position and Tomlinson is the best defensive linemen on the board at this point. He is a run stuffer first who has great strength and can push people around. His size is good in that he is 6’3″ and 310lbs and oh yeah by the way, he is very very strong. The one thing he lacks is pass rushing ability but as a run stuffer Tomlinson is good to great. Tomlinson is more than willing to get dirty and fight to get to the ball carrier at all costs. While Jordan Phillips is more of a pass rusher who has been known to take plays off, Tomlinson is all strength, no finesse with a non-stop motor who will battle every snap.
5th Round- 166th overall
The way this draft is falling Miami still has need at pass rusher and help in the secondary as we enter round 5. Ideally Miami would have liked a pass rusher in round 1 but passing on Foster wasn’t an option as he is an elite talent. In round 2 a day one starter at guard falls in our lap and then come round 3 it’s about the best player available and Johnson is that and it also fills a need. So come round five Miami tries to add picks to their remaining needs of secondary and pass rusher. Dwayne Thomas is a pure nickel CB who can come in and push Bobby McCain for that spot. Thomas had a great senior bowl and a fantastic senior year at LSU playing against top level talent in college. Thomas is also a willing tackler in the run game which is a huge plus. The knock-on Thomas is his size so that’s why he falls in the draft but he can push McCain in the nickel CB position so it is a fit here for Miami. He will have trouble playing CB on the outside in the NFL because his size and taller NFL WR’s will abuse him all day long, but he is as pure a nickel CB as you will find and with this being a pass heavy league you need nickel CB’s as they are on the field a lot.
5th Round- 178th overall
The knock on Carraway is that he is too nice. Yes that is the main knock on him that he is too happy-go-lucky. He is small for an NFL DE but he has amazing speed with good to great pass rushing skills and is explosive off the ball. The knocks are he is too nice, he doesn’t set the edge as a run defender at all, and he can be pushed around too easily. So early in his career he will be used primarily as a pass rushing specialist which for a 5th round pick that is ok. It will be up to the Dolphins coaches to toughen this kid up and get the most out of him. He will need to put a bed in the weight room for a year to two to bulk up and be an every down player but for a 5th round flier he has long-term potential. The one thing Josh has though is speed and you can’t coach his speed!
5th Round – 184th overall
Miami upgraded at TE with Julius Thomas but behind Thomas Miami has little depth. Adam Gase is an offensive coach to his core so as we get to the late rounds he will look at all of the defensive players they have taken this year and bang the table for an offensive player. Daniels has the size and speed you want out of a tight end, he just didn’t have the production in college. More of a receiver who uses his speed to get open as he is one of those WR’s who has converted to tight end. He is nothing special of a blocker but he can block well enough.
7th Round – 223th overall
Stephen Ross ends the draft with a smile as we draft a Michigan man. All kidding aside Miami is so thin at defensive tackle we double down here and draft a second one at that position. Glasgow isn’t a pass rusher at all and more of a run stuffer who is very strong but not very athletic. Possible practice squad guy year one who could develop in time.