Monday, May 17, 2021

3 Round Mock Draft – Wood 2.0 – 3 J’s, Cartwheels, Heaven & Hell for Miami

T’was the night before draft day, and smokescreen all around, no one could see what would happen, or even predict the surprises inbound.

I’m back! With my final 3 round mock draft on our beloved Miami Dolphins, and what a few weeks it has been. We’ve seen the departure of Erick Flowers, to which i’m happy about (4th highest paid left guard in 2021 btw) and we still have no idea on what will happen in at pick 6, let alone for the rest of the draft! So i’m going to get that draft cap back on, try and get into the mind of GM Chris Grier and see how a 3 round mock draft could go.

Before we get going lets set the table. We’ll be doing this via The Draft Network Mock Draft Simulator, plus there will be NO TRADES, however, I will be suggesting potential trades at certain points to give you all an idea on what could happen. Capiche?

Now since we last spoke let’s go through my own personal idea on where the biggest positions of need are for the Miami Dolphins going into the draft (in order from most to least priority) being WR, Edge, RB, IOL, LB. Like my mock 1.0, this article will highlight the picks i’ve made, the scenarios leading to it and why that pick has been made. I’m not going to highlight every single pick a team has made. So without further ado, let’s go!

It all goes expected in picks 1,2 and 3. Trevor Lawrence goes #1, Zach Wilson goes #2 and Justin Fields goes #3. I did think i’d see something out of the blue and see either Trey Lance or Mac Jones at 3, but the positions stay the same. Now the real draft begins with Atlanta at 4, and like last time, Kyle Pitts goes to Atlanta, and Ja’Marr Chase goes 5 to the Bengals, so this hasn’t changed my pick at 6 from my mock 1.0

#6 – Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama

To me, Jaylen Waddle is WR1 in this year’s draft. He is also pass catcher #2 behind Kyle Pitts, and with him off the board, it’s a no brainer. Now there have been whispers that Miami could trade out of 6 if a team comes begging for a QB to beat Detroit or Carolina too it or suggestions that if Pitts and Chase where gone they’d trade back, if I was Chris Grier, i wouldn’t go any further than Denver to trade back, so you can still grab one of the top pass catchers should a team come calling with a ridiculous offer.

I’ve been pounding the table for Jaylen Waddle in the last mock, and that hasn’t changed. His 4.3 speed, deadly catching ability at all 3 levels of the pitch, and seperation ability gives him the real qualities that Miami need, plus a great connection with Tua Tagovailoa to give you results in year 1. Plus i’m just going to reiterate the stat from the last mock draft about Waddle. Of his 17 TDs at Alabama, he had an average distance of 44.5 yards to travel before getting into the end zone, meaning that if he had the ball in his hands at the 45 yard line, odds were that he was going to score.

The addition of Waddle brings a big change to the Dolphins WR room. Will Fuller V and Waddle can really take the top off defences and force teams to play more double safety, meaning less LB stacking the box, making it easier to run the ball. You got to respect the speed, otherwise you’ll be burnt for it.

Roster spot he’ll initially take up at Miami? – Jakeem Grant

Position in his rookie season? – Slot WR & Z Reciever.

Now the short wait of 12 spots to see what happens. Last time I selected Najee Harris, and i’m pretty certain that he’ll be there, and it’s no secret that Pittsburgh adore him, so if you want him, he will not be there in round 2. Saying that, there are a lot of good Edge prospects that I missed out on last time and playing Josh Allen twice a year, you need to put good pressure on him to force him to do bad throws for Xavien Howard to pick them off.

However, my preference hasn’t changed since my mock draft 1.0, i love Najee Harris and this he would be a perfect complimentary piece to Tua, but i’m going to target an Edge defender should the right one be there.

As we progress, some picks of note. Micah Parsons goes to New England, thats a scary prospect, the Cardinals don’t go RB, the top two CB are gone in picks 9 and 10, Sewell goes to Carolina, and Slater goes to LA Chargers. However, none of the top Edge prospects go, and Najee is still on the board, so a hard decision to make and one that I really do not envy GM Chris Grier and Coach Brian Flores making.

#18 – Jaelan Phillips – Edge – Miami

Instead of going RB like last time, I’m going with, in my opinion, the best Edge defender in the draft.

‘5″, 260 lbs, over 33″ arm length, 4.56 40 yard dash time (1.59 10 yard split), 7.01 3 cone drill and 10’ 5″ broad jump, meaning this dude has the uncoachables that Miami adore in players. His measurables are nothing less than the 80th percentile in the draft, so this dude has a super high ceiling if he performs to those measurables, and then his tape according to experts “is the best defensive tape in the class”, and “head and shoulders above the rest”, making this pick a home run hit should this dude get drafted here tomorrow night.

There are areas of concern with Phillips, mainly his medicals, now i’m no way near qualified to even dive into them, but his did medically retire from football before transfering to Miami, some rumours are that it was because of school policy but it is enough to give you some doubt in his career in the NFL.

However, this is a team that took Tua Tagovailoa, fractured and dislocated hip and all 5th overall last year, so in my eyes you don’t do that pick last year and then pass up Phillips at 18 due to medical reasons, it would need to be for something else.

What we could expect come draft night is a potential trade down in from 18, to maybe even as far as Baltimore who could come up to get a Tackle. However, we could even trade up for a certain offensive tackle from Oregon, should he start to slip down the board.

Roster spot he’ll take up – Tyshun Render (Defensive End 4)

Position on the team – Starting Defensive End/DE 1

With a short summary of the rest of round 1, i get a little glimmer of hope, only too see it dashed by Buffalo in that Najee Harris gets drafted there (which to me makes no sense apart from best player available), and the other top RBs in Etienne and Williams still there at the start of round 2. From a team perspective, Miami gets the top targets on both sides of the ball and day 1 starters, with familiarity with the QB in Waddle, and familiarity in the area with Phillips. Whilst there is no investment into the backfield, with only 4 spots to go i’m confident that one should be there come our first second round pick.

Round 2

Picks on both sides of the ball in round 1 and a favourable RB scenario playing ahead of me, and even some good offensive line prospects on the board too incase both go back to back, which could happen with Jets and Falcons both needing help. We begin round 2 with a brutal snipe of Travis Etienne to Atlanta. Shades of Cesar Ruiz and Brandon Aiyuk come to mind from last year’s draft, but we let the chips fall as the will and see what happens, and it pays off, so I run to the podium with this pick.

#36 – Javonte Williams – RB – North Carolina

In my eyes, Williams jumps out ahead of Etienne as RB2, it’s close, but only just, so to get my RB2 in 36 I am all smiles. Standing at 5’10”, 220 lbs, a true junior at 21 years old when the NFL season starts, he is the youngest of the top 3 RBs in the draft and being used in a committee role at North Carolina means that he would have less tread use on the perverbial tyres too. He is often described as a downhill ball carrier who has a smooth, fluid running style, with good vision and instincts and falls forward when tackled.

Whilst there will still be people saying that Gaskin is a still a better value pick, but when it comes to it, Miami still failed to pick up key 3rd & short running attempts to extend drives and settle for field goals when we needed touchdowns, and the running style of Williams will get Miami having a better chance of converting those key plays.

Now will Williams drop here in the draft? Potentially. However, i really don’t think it’s likely with RB being a need for so many teams, so you may need to be aggressive with this pick and trade back into the end of round 1 to grab him. I’d take a look at Green Bay at 29 to see if they want to trade back a few spaces as my first port of call if Miami is deadset on getting one of the top 3 RBs of this draft class.

Spot he takes up in Miami – Deep defensive depth piece.

Position – RB 1

This leaves gives a big sigh of relief. Top 3 positions of need done and addressed, with top quality starters and now we there are 2 more picks to solidify the team. With pick 50 now 14 spots away, i’m hoping to see some good interior offensive lineman here, and with the departure of Erick Flowers and another plug in centre coming in free agency, there is now a need to solve that hole in the interior. So let’s see how the rest of this draft goes.

Baron Browning goes to Denver at 40. I’m gutted as he was my LB of choice if he slides to 50 and no guards or centres appeal to me, and seeing Wyatt Davis go to Arizone at 49 hurts also. However, all is not lost Dolphins fans, as strangely my pick at centre slides down to 50, so the sprint to the podium happens and the pick is in.

#50 – Landon Dickerson – Centre – Alabama

Let’s get this straight, I got super lucky here for him to slide as far as he did. Nonetheless, I could see this happen in the draft as there are some medical questions hovering over his name, and they do concern me too, but for a prospect who in other mock drafts is predicted to go at the bottom of round 1, getting him at 50 is a steal and shouldn’t be here and solves a position of need too.

Landon Dickerson is your stereotypical Miami Dolphins lineman, and with the average weight of a Miami Dolphin lineman being 325lbs, Dickerson coming in at 333lbs at his pro day, fits the bill nicely and has all the uncoachables that Miami loves in lineman. Described as “extremely strong at the point of attack, he has above average hand power, body strength and awareness” by The Draft Network and becomes a great piece to add for Tua, especially with the familiarity he brings, but also to shore up that offensive line for the future for new RB Javonte Williams.

Spot he takes up on the roster – Cameron Tom (Centre)

Position – Centre. Starting Centre come mid season.

Now that Round 2 is in the books, i’m fairly happy with it all so far. Some would like to see more defence at this point, and if Landon Dickerson wasn’t there, it definitely would have be a linebacker there. Going into round 3, and with only 1 pick at 81, i’ll be looking to bolster the defence further at LB. Upon reflection, I do think this is a likely scenario for Miami, maybe you get a Guard at 50 instead of a Centre, but so far all 4 picks are ready to go come week 1.

This still means that you put faith in your current linebacking core of McKinney, Elandon Roberts and the development of picks like Van Ginkel, but the closer the draft gets, the better the scenario looks for those players.

Round 3

Not going to lie, but thank goodness that there is only 1 pick here! 31 spots since our last pick and the plan hasn’t changed, linebacker preferably, but if none of value come up, then quite simply it is best player available. In a team like Miami, right now there is no specific hole that screams out to you now that we have drafted 4 starters in the first 4 picks, but if you pushed me for more positions, nickel corner, safety, or even a coverage specific linebacker.

Since the last draft there are some names that have changed, some creeped up the board and some down, but the usual suspects are there still like Nasirildeen, Grant, Cox, Surratt, and those top defensive prospects have gone, none more so heartbreaking than Surratt who goes to Las Vegas at 80, so being sniped twice is now getting annoying, but we still go defensive in this pick and a new name that some of you may not now.

#81 – Divine Deablo – S – Virgina Tech

What a name! Both heaven and hell make up his name and his Deablo would also look great on the back of a jersey. Before people ask, WR wasn’t an option as both St Brown and Eskridge went early in round 3, which does make this pick a lot harder than it should have been, but getting into the research, Deablo could be a great fit for what Miami needs… a coverage/hybrid linebacker. Listed as 6’3″, 32 3/4″ arms, 226lbs, 4.42 40 yard dash, 34″ vertical and 10′ 6″ broad jump, has some very good measureables despite being seen as a round 3 prospect.

Listed as a Safety, he is still a work in progress, especially when it comes to responding to what the offense are doing pre snap, but he has the size of a linebacker with the coverage skill of a safety and is described as “effective in coverage when facing the action, tracks the ball in the air and has a nice move to the throw” by Pro Football Network, and has the advantages of playing as a WR in the college level in his first season.

Earning first team ALL ACC honours in his senior year, he registered 5 interceptions, 1 forced fumbled, 55 tackles (23 solo with 2 tackles for loss) he is a guy with some development needed, which Miami haven’t shyed away from in the past, whilst providing an exciting possibility of being used in multiple positions in Coach Flores defence.

Slot he takes up on the team – Reid Sinnett (Quarterback 4)

Position – Defensive Back & Special Teams in his rookie season, projecting to a hybrid linebacker next season.

Overall

#6 – WR – Jaylen Waddle
#18 – Edge – Jaelan Phillips
#36 – RB – Javonte Williams
#50 – C – Landon Dickerson
#81 – S – Divine Deablo

From my 1st mock being very offensive heavy in the first 3 rounds, I now see a more balanced approached with 3 offensive players going in the first 4 picks, but followed up by a no brainer at 18, and an interesting developmental player at 81. Overall, i’m very happy with the picks despite no trades, would I have liked to see an more NFL ready prospect at 81, absolutely, and if given the opportunity I would have gone up to get someone higher up, but given how free agency happened i’m not too dissastified by it, and gives the team a good balanced vibe going into the rest of the draft.

How would you draft? What do you think your biggest percieved needs would fall? Would you fire me on the spot, or praise me for being an NFL draft genius? What would you have done differently? Let us know! But as a reminder, no matter how the draft goes, we’re all fans and need to get behind our beloved fins next season with full stadiums!

FINS UP!!

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