Mock Draft 2.0: Could Dolphins Trade Up for a Star? Who Would They Pick at 13?

The NFL Draft is almost upon us. This Thursday, all 32 teams will convene in Chicago to select players who will determine the future of their franchises. Now, as the picture becomes more clear as to where each team could lean, here are our updated picks in The Deep End Miami’s second and final mock draft of 2016.

1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff (QB, Cal)

It is widely accepted that Cal QB Jared Goff will be the Rams’ pick. He brings experience and leadership to the position as Los Angeles looks to improve on offense in order to make the most of the opportunities afforded to them by a stellar defensive unit.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz (QB, NDSU)

Philadelphia has been consistent in saying that they expect to get their man at number two, and it seems that it will be Carson Wentz. If Bradford remains the starter, Wentz would have plenty of time to develop under his new head coach Doug Pederson. This time on the bench would be a positive for Wentz given his FCS background.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey (CB/S, Florida State)

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While I could easily see Myles Jack or Laremy Tunsil being selected here, Jalen Ramsey would make an immediate impact replacing Eric Weddle as a safety or as a cornerback starting opposite Pro Bowler Jason Verrett.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa (DE, Ohio State)

The Cowboys have lost multiple defensive ends this offseason and need to address the pass rush. Reports emerged earlier this week of the Cowboys being torn on Bosa, but it seems tough to pass on a player who fulfills such a glaring need.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack (LB, UCLA)

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(Photo: Getty Images)

There are conflicting reports regarding how worried teams are about Jack’s knee, but without any concrete evidence that Jack is going to fall I don’t seem him lasting very long in the draft. He would fit perfectly in Jacksonville’s defense and could be the next building block for a rapidly improving unit.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

6. Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil (OT, Ole Miss)

Ozzie Newsome does it again. The Ravens always seem to get their man, and this year they pick up the best player in the draft. Newsome built their first championship on Jonathan Ogden, and they can build the next one on the presence of Laremy Tunsil.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner (DL, Oregon)

The 49ers select an Oregon defensive lineman in the first round once again. Buckner is a rare athlete with unique size and agility. He should become the centerpiece of their defense playing in front of Navarro Bowman.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

8. TRADE – Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)

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With Myles Jack, DeForest Buckner, and Laremy Tunsil gone, the Browns trade this pick back to the Miami Dolphins, who end up with back in their original position. The Dolphins did not expect to lose out on Lamar Miller and C.J. Anderson when they sent the 8th overall pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. Now, between their unexpectedly barren depth chart at the position and trades that push Elliott down, the Dolphins have a chance to improve at running back.

Miami would be sending Cleveland the following:

2016 4th round selection

2016 7th round selection (originally belonged to Ravens, acquired for Will Davis)

2017 4th round selection

The 2017 4th round pick could easily be a 3rd round pick instead, which would not be a problem considering the Dolphins should be receiving another 3rd rounder in the compensatory allocation due to Olivier Vernon’s departure.

If you are interested in what the Dolphins’ pick might look like without a trade, this will be added to the end of the existing mock draft. 

Pick by Max Himmelrich

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves (CB, UF)

Vernon Hargreaves is a high quality corner who could eventually shut down his side of the field opposite Brent Grimes. He plays bigger than his 5’10” stature, and he has the elite instincts and agility that the Buccaneers would be thrilled to add to their underachieving secondary.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

10. New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley (OT, Notre Dame)

The New York Giants have built their franchise at the line of scrimmage, which is arguably the best strategy for success in the NFL. Stanley helps improve the passing game by giving Eli Manning more time to find Odell Beckham downfield.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

11. Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd (LB, Georgia)

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(Dane Zanine/USA Today Sports)

Floyd’s raw athleticism and physical tools have teams enthralled with his upside. He seems like a lock to land right outside of the top 10, and the Bears would be a great fit. They need a imposing presence on the edge and Floyd offers that potential if he can add size to his somewhat lacking frame.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins (DL, Louisville)

The Saints’ defense was historically inept last season, boasting the league’s worst unit based on most metrics in 2015. Barring a miracle, adding this versatile big man out of Louisville still won’t fix the team’s defensive woes, but it certainly would be a start to improving their ability to stop the run and pressure opposing QBs.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

13. Cleveland Browns: Paxton Lynch (QB, Memphis)

The trade with the Eagles moved the Browns out of the range of the upper echelon defensive players, and I still believe they would be willing to wait on quarterback. However, it makes a ton of sense for Cleveland to move back again to accumulate more assets. They grab their future project at QB, as Lynch could develop extremely nicely behind RGIII with the guidance of Hue Jackson.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland (ILB, Alabama)

Oakland could target a high upside defensive tackle or cornerback here, but considering the moves they made this offseason I think they’d value a more instant contributor. Ragland could step into their hole at inside linebacker and contribute immediately, especially against the run game. Concerns regarding his limitations in coverage are warranted but slightly overblown.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

15. Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin (OL, Michigan State)

Priority number one for the Titans should be adding a cornerstone offensive tackle to protect Marcus Mariota for 2016 and beyond. In this scenario they get a battle tested lineman in Jack Conklin, who could be able to start on the left side in his rookie season.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

16. Detroit Lions: Shaq Lawson (DE, Clemson)

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The Lions need help on the defensive line, and should look to improve their pass rush with this pick. Placing Lawson on the line with Ziggy Ansah would give the Lions a fearsome duo, as getting after the passer is particularly important when you face Aaron Rodgers twice a year in addition to a litany of talented passing offenses in the NFC.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee (LB, Ohio State)

I still can’t guarantee that Lee falls to this spot, but if he does I don’t see any way Atlanta passes him up. He fits today’s style of NFL defense perfectly and could provide versatility from the get-go. For a team desperate for speed, Lee offers plenty of it as well.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

18. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker (OL, Ohio State)

While I could see the Colts taking a shot on Noah Spence here, this mauler on the offensive line out of Ohio State makes more sense. Taylor Decker is hardly the most polished pass-protector in the world, but he would be a definite upgrade at right tackle or right guard for the Colts. Stabilizing the line needs to be priority number one, and Decker could do that and then some.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

19. Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd (DE, Clemson)

Rex Ryan finds a replacement for Mario Williams here. Dodd fits his mold perfectly, and could be developed into a very special player in Ryan’s scheme. This is the best landing spot for Kevin Dodd, and a great pick for the Bills.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

20. New York Jets: Jarran Reed (DT, Alabama)

The Jets’ selection is the hardest I’ve had to make in the first round. They have uncharacteristic holes along their defensive line and at cornerback, and with Lynch off the board quarterback is not an option. I could see them taking Mackensie Alexander or Eli Apple here, but instead I’ll go with Reed. He could fit into the role left behind by Damon Harrison and quickly become a force against the run.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

21. Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson (DT, Alabama)

Now that the Redskins have aptly addressed their secondary with the unprecedented late addition of Josh Norman, they can focus on their defensive line. A’Shawn Robinson would provide them with an experienced big man to help plug running lanes and generate A-gap pressure.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

22. Houston Texans: Josh Doctson (WR, TCU)

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The Texans’ offense can become more multi-faceted if the team acquires a weapon to play opposite DeAndre Hopkins. This pick helps give Brock Osweiler as many weapons as possible as the Texans could try to mimick the scenario he was placed in with the Broncos (in which he had success).

Pick by Max Himmelrich

23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)

While I think Josh Doctson would also be a great fit in this offense, Treadwell provides value here. His skill set would be an ideal alternative to that of Stefon Diggs.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)

Eli Apple is a raw prospect, and there’s no doubt about it, but the Bengals need a contingency plan at CB as Pacman Jones’ eventual replacement. Apple would make a good depth CB in year one with the potential to replace Jones or even step into Leon Hall’s vacated spot in the future.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson)

The Steelers’ secondary is in shambles, and the team can acquire a player to help begin to process of rebuilding following the golden years of Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, and Ike Taylor.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

26. Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi (OT, Texas A&M)

Seattle usually won’t pass up on talent just to address a need, but the problems along the offensive line last season were so dire that they will take a long look at Ifedi. Having Decker fall to them would be a dream scenario, but regardless, Ifedi could provide immediate depth and develop into a sure-fire starter down the road.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

27. Green Bay Packers: Noah Spence (DE, Eastern Kentucky)

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(Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

The Packers’ defense is still very much the team’s greatest weakness. The best way to improve defensive efficiency is to improve pass-rush, which Noah Spence can definitely do from day one. Many believe that his problems off of the field are overblown, and he received positive reviews during his time at EKU.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

28. Kansas City Chiefs: William Jackson III (CB, Houston)

The Chiefs could be getting one of the first round’s best steals here. Bringing in Jackson to play opposite Marcus Peters will fill the void left by Sean Smith, and give them a corner who many feel has the highest upside in this year’s class.

Pick by Max Himmelrich

29. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly (C, Alabama)

Kelly is far and away the top center in this year’s draft, and could easily draw the attention as the Cardinals try to prolong the career of Carson Palmer. Important note: some team is going to pull the trigger on Robert Nkemdiche in Round 1, and it could easily be Arizona. However, Kelly is the much safer pick and they only have a small window left in which they can contend.

Pick by Ryan Romaine

30. Carolina Panthers: Cody Whitehair (OL, Kansas State)

Whitehair should immediately improve the Panthers’ interior O-line. The team’s brass would be wise to avoid reaching for a 2nd tier CB prospect here.

Pick by Jacob Berkowitz

31. Denver Broncos: Andrew Billings (NT, Baylor)

The Broncos find their true nose tackle with this pick. Since Terrance Knighton departed as a free agent they have been looking to fill the void at the position. While they could select a QB here, Connor Cook appears to be a project, and there is no guarantee he is better in 2016 than Mark Sanchez would be. That is a scary, scary thought.

Pick by Max Himmelrich


Earlier in this mock draft, the Dolphins are projected to trade back up to the 8th overall pick in an attempt to select Ezekiel Elliott. If the team were not to trade up, this is how the first round could look for Miami:

8. Cleveland Browns: Ronnie Stanley (OT, Notre Dame)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaq Lawson (DE, Clemson)

10. New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)

11. Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd (LB, Georgia)

12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankings (DL, Louisville)

13. Miami Dolphins: Vernon Hargreaves (CB, UF)

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Vernon Hargreaves’ stock has reportedly been dropping due to concerns off of the field. If this is the case, the Dolphins would be happy to grab the promising young cornerback with the 13th overall pick.

If Hargreaves is not available, expect the Miami Dolphins to heavily consider Shaq Lawson with their selection. The talented Clemson product led the nation in TFLs, and should be able to play every down. This would fill a major void given Cameron Wake’s projected placement in a rotational role for 2016.

 

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