Tuesday, April 28, 2015

7 Round Mock Draft For Miami Dolphins 2015 Picks ( 9th and Final Edition: Leone Is On The Clock )

When I began this mock draft series back on January 4th, my first pick was La'el Collins the OT from LSU and that started quite a stir.

Many Dolfans didn't believe picking another O Lineman, let alone someone who would need to shift positions and play Guard would be a prudent pick.  Most Dolfans responded that they wanted Danny Shelton, DT out of Washington.

Of course, that was before we signed Ndamukong Suh. Who could blame them?

Its funny how things change. Throughout the last 4 months the word on the street was, and still is, that the Dolphins are looking for WR help early if one of the top 3 ( Alabama's Amari Cooper, West Virginia's Kevin White or Louisville's DeVante Parker ) were to fall to pick 14. 

Or possibly help in the secondary if one of the top CBs ( Michigan State's Trae Waynes or Washington's Marcus Peters ) were available to be picked. Also lauded was Landon Collins, the SS out of Alabama.

Even the RB out of Georgia, Todd Gurley, has been mentioned as our top pick in this draft.

But things do change. Free agents get signed and prospects get busted for pot. Needs get fulfilled and then they change.

Now, just 2 days before the real 2015 NFL Draft, the Dolphins still have 2 big needs not quite addressed. DT and WR were filled by Free Agent signings of DT Suh and WR Greg Jennings plus we traded for WR Kenny Stills.

Could we add depth at those 2 positions? Sure, but the absolute urgency with our 1st Round Pick is no longer there.

That leaves the OL and LB positions with an urgent need and CB as a better get somebody decent need.

With this final mock draft, I am still utilizing a Computer App to select for the 31 other teams. There are opportunities to trade up or down. 

Round 1, Pick 14: The top WRs were gone. Waynes was gone. Gurley was gone. Guess what? Shelton was still there and Detroit wanted him bad enough to offer their 1st (#23) and 2nd Round (#54) picks to get him. I thought about who might be there at 23 and loved the idea of having 3 picks in the first 54, so I took the trade. Detroit did pick Shelton.

Round 1, Pick 23 from Detroit: We have come full circle. I caught hell in January. But this week many draft pundits have suddenly started to predict we would be selecting this player at 14. But I get him at 23. Hell, we are due for some good vibes and good luck. Welcome La'el Collins, OT from LSU. Say goodbye to OL issues as he can play LG in a heartbeat and if Brandon Albert isn't ready to start the season then Collins can start at LT.  Collins, at 6-4, 306 lbs, started 13 games at Guard as a sophomore and then 26 games at LT his last 2 seasons. He is a mauler in the running and quick enough to pull in our Zone Blocking scheme. Collins is the 18th ranked player and eliminates our greatest need the past 2 years, the OL.
   
Round 2, Pick 15: With the 47th pick, I was very pleased to find the 41st Ranked player who adds tremendous depth to our receiving corps in WR Jalen Strong out of Arizona State.  At 6-2, 217 lbs, Strong was a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. He runs the 40 in 4.44 and has a verticle leap of 42 inches.  He best assest is his  combination of height, weight and arm length making him a tremendous Red Zone target. He doesn't possess top notch speed and takes some long strides to get going which is why he is still available in the 2nd round. He is still a work in progress with his route running but we don't need him to start right away. Strong is compared to Dwayne Bowe.

Round 2, Pick 22 from Detroit: Since adding DT Suh to the roster, Cam Wake and Olivier Vernon have been salivating with the opportunity to rush the passer. But what about our run defense? Yes Suh helps stuff the run. But I liked this next guy to add some pop to the LB corp. So with the 54th pick I selected the 51st Ranked player in the LB from Mississippi State, Bednardrick McKinney.
At 6-4, 246 lbs, McKinney is a beast of a tackler. He is tall and proportionately built to play inside and has the speed to move outside as well. McKinney led his team in tackles the past 2 years and was selected First Team All-SEC and Second Team All-American in 2014. In the NFL he will have an above average career but will be a steady beast in a very tough defense for the next four years.

Round 4, Pick 15: Time to help out the secondary and find a decent corner to play in our Zone scheme and possibly man up. There are plenty of mid-round CBs in this draft but one stood out to me because of his size. So I selected CB Alex Carter out of Stanford due to his 6-0, 196 lbs frame.  Carter runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds and can play man but excels in Zone coverages. He is a very willing tackler and can play Safety if he adds some bulk. He is the 102nd Ranked player which I used the 111th pick on. Carter's father played at Notre Dame and was the 17th selection by the Redskins in the 1993 draft.

Round 5, Pick 13: If you have been following my Mock Drafts, you know who I am grabbing here. I just like this kid and maybe because he played college ball just down the road from me. With the 141st pick I, once again, selected the 134th Ranked player in Tyler Kroft, the TE from Rutgers.  At 6-5, 246 lbs, Kroft has the quickness to get off the line and get up the seam and the ability to pay inline and block. Even though we added Free Agent TE Jordan Cameron to replace Charles Clay, he is susceptible to concussions so we will need some added depth here with another seam threat and Kroft brings that attribute to his game with his 4.75 time in the 40.

Round 5, Pick 14: Lets face it, we couldn't by One Yard if we wanted to since we lost Losake Polite. How many times have we been stuffed trying to get one measly yard and gain another 1st down let alone a Touch Down. Here comes the calvary in Florida RB Matt Jones. At 6-2, 234 lbs Jones is a pile mover and that's all we need him to do. Will he be an every down back? No. But he will become our short yardage specialist and can pass block too. Jones is a muscled bull dozer that will have us yelling "First Down" right after we hear "That's another Miami Dolphins'". He is the 154th Ranked player that I used the 142nd pick on because I didn't want to risk losing him by waiting for the 6th round.

Round 6, Pick 15: Finally, my last pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. All good things must come to an end so join me in welcoming the 177th Ranked player with the 175th pick, SS Anthony Jefferson from UCLA. At 6-1, 198 lbs, Jefferson started his Collegiate career at corner before moving over to safety to take advantage of his downhill tackling ability. In 25 starts the last 2 seasons he registered 161 tackles and 17 passes defensed with 3 INTs. Can he start in the NFL? Probably not. Can he play Special Teams and push some guys already on the roster. Yes he can.

That concludes my mock drafts this year. I hope you enjoyed reading them. Hopefully, we will all be excited come Saturday night when the real NFL Draft concludes.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
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