The Senior Bowl has come and gone along with all the juniors firmly announced for the 2013 NFL Draft, and the Combine is quickly approaching. Therefore, it’s time to take another look at the 2013 NFL Draft, especially who the Dolphins may take.
While a lot can (and will) change thanks to the NFL Combine and Free Agency, in this mock, we’ll see three top 10 quarterbacks, six Top 20 offensive linemen, two tight ends, and three non-BCS prospects in the first round of this mock draft.
MDD Lead Editor: Eric Galko
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This pick is likely down to Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson or Star Lotulelei. Geno Smith is a better fit with Andy Reid thanks to his ball placement across the field, but if they opt against quarterback, Star is almost a lock to be the selection.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Jaguars could help progress their defense after hiring Gus Bradley with this pick, and if they pass on a quarterback, Star should be the selection. Able to play the nose tackle at a high level, Lotulelei should provide the most value for the Jaguars to build around.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
With Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant likely departing in free agency this year, alogn with losing two other defensive ends, the Raiders could look to maximize the defensive line value at the top of the draft. Debating between Richardson and Werner, Richardson can add value across the line and could have the bigger impact initially.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Up for consideration for this pick is Ryan Nassib, who may be a sneaky good fit for this Chip Kelly/West Coast offense hybrid, but would be a reach here, Eric Fisher, who may work better in space for Chip Kelly’s offense, or Joeckel, who still retains the value of the drafts best tackle, for now. It’s no lock that Joeckel is the best (reviewing his film to compare he and Fisher), but at this point, the Eagles go with the best OT in the draft.
5. Detroit Lions – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Cliff Avril is likely to depart in free agency, and after Vanden Bosch (who’s getting up there in years) and Willie Young (who’s suffered through injuries), they don’t have a lot of depth there. They can grab maybe the draft’s best overall player.
6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Browns likely will let Sheldon Brown go, and Trevin Wade/Buster Skrine don’t have much value as starters at cornerback. With the rest of the defense having set starters (minus free safety and linebacker, neither of which have value), getting the draft’s best defensive back would be a wise first step.
7. Arizona Cardinals –Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The Cardinals certainly will and should consider a quarterback with the 7th overall pick, but they would be setting that QB up for failure with how putrid their offensive line has been. Fisher solves that question, and they can target a QB in the 2nd round, or free agency.
8. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
The Bills just made it clear through the media that they “don’t think that highly of Ryan Nassib”….which means they almost certainly want Ryan Nassib. He’s a Top 3 QB in this class for us, knows and fits the new Bills system, and gives them the franchise QB their owner wants.
9. New York Jets – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
The team’s new GM likely doesn’t want Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow to be the face of the team, and finding that new QB would be the cheapest of the options for them. Plus, Tyler Wilson is the type of “commander” to assume a point of leadership for this scattered team and organization.
10. Tennessee Titans –Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
Sen’Derrick Marks is a free agent, and adding arguably the draft’s top defensive tackle is a must do for a team that has let multiple defensive linemen go in recent years. Chance Warmack is an option here too, but they could look the OL route in the second round.
11. San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The Chargers are desperate for offensive line help, and though Johnson is a bit inexperienced and unpolished as a tackle to be a safe Top 15 pick, he’s flashed the upside as a LT or RT, and fills their biggest needs on the roster.
12. Miami Dolphins – Keenan Allen, WR, California
This is the focus of this Mock Draft, and the Dolphins are full of options. Any OT or DE may be a reach at this point to complement Jonathan Martin/Cam Wake. Linebacker would be a bit of a reach considering we don’t NEED a weakside linebacker this early. This pick comes down to four positions: Receiver, Guard, Cornerback, and Safety. With both Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper available, they are certainly intriguing. However, that isn’t a “major need”, they can fill it in the 3rd-4th round, AND they have two capable NFL starters at this point.
At safety, Kenny Vaccaro is certainly an intriguing option, as finding a safety who can cover Welker and Hernandez immediately is a huge draw for the Dolphins. However, is his lack of great tackling and lack of a major need at safety warrant this pick? Then it comes to Cornerback, where the Dolphins likely need two starters. Dee Milliner would be intriguing at this selection, if around. Johnthan Banks is more of a late 1st round value, but he’s certainly considered.
However, the Dolphins need to upgrade at the receiver position if they hope to maximize their Ryan Tannehill investment. Some may claim that the “value” isn’t here to pick a receiver at this point. And that’s true. The value at WR starts in the late 1st and early 2nd round, where there are as many 12 players who be considered in that range. But my take on “value” is that one of those 12 players is going to be a Pro Bowler. The Dolphins, at pick 12, have the first chance to take a receiver. Of all the receivers in this class that I’d bank on being a Pro Bowler, it’d be Keenan Allen or Quinton Patton. Allen has more athletic upside, and he could fill the #1 receiver spot long-term for Ryan Tannehill in the Dolphins.
13. Tampa Bay Bucs – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Bucs could use the help at cornerback, and Banks is a solid value and has elite CB upside. He was considered the toughest cornerback faced by many of the top receivers I’ve spoken with, and his film backs that up.
14. Carolina Panthers – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers haven’t adequately addressed the defensive tackle spot to help their run defense, and they’ll need to enter this draft with that being a high priority. Hankins certainly fills that role, and the massive nose tackle can eat up blocks as well as any in this draft.
15. New Orleans Saints – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
A dream scenario for the Saints, Jordan could go as high as #2 overall, but may fall due to a lack of major need for a 3-4 outside linebacker with injury concerns. Moving to a 3-4 defense, pairing Jordan with Martez Wilson on the edge is a good way to start rebuilding that defense.
16. St. Louis Rams – Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Warmack may be one of the best players overall in this draft, and the Rams are in need of offensive line help any way they can get it. Warmack can give Bradford a better chance to succeed more than another receiver would.