“Wake me up when January’s over”
As dismal rain clouds continue to pour heavily over the heads of the Miami Dolphins, who have now for the seventh consecutive season been eliminated from the playoffs, one thing is clear in the Dolphins organization right now…Things are not always sunny in South beach. Yes Miami’s front office will have some vacancies this offseason, as if owner Stephen Ross crop dusted the table during a team meeting, but that’s neither here nor there.
Just remember everyone, a playoff game only lasts for one night. The same pain you feel now, Jets fans will feel in a few shorts weeks when they lose in the AFC divisional round.
So, dry those tears fans. May you weep no more over the awful 2015 season. Focus not on what “could have been” but solely on “what can be” as the Miami Dolphins begin their journey to the 2016 draft.
As the Dolphins (5-8) continue to lose games this season, their stake in the 2016 draft only further increases. The Miami Dolphins are now within grasp of a top 10 pick in a very solid draft class. With a roster stockpiled full of veteran players, Miami will need to draft smart, field ready players who can stop the bleeding on pass coverage, pass protection, and the ultimate killer stopping the run.
Today I will cover the Dolphins first 3 picks in the upcoming draft
2016 Draft Needs: G, LB, CB, S, OT
projected pick: 8-10
Mock 1.0: Round 1
My Pick: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
The man they call “Super Human” is easily the most fitting prospect to become a Miami Dolphin in 2016. Smith is not only the best linebacker in next years draft, but also has proven to be one of the best defensive players in college football, after his impressive 2015 campaign for the fighting Irish. The former outside linebacker moved in, has a knack for sniffing out the run, and has become an excellent pass rusher. Smith grades highly in pass-rushing (+5.9) against the run (+20.0) and most importantly in coverage (+4.8)
ESPN’s Todd McShay pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame:
“Stanley needs to improve his overall strength, but he has the ideal frame, length and athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL. He moves naturally and is comfortable in space. Stanley definitely benefitted from staying another year in school, as he has been more consistent with his balance and hand placement this season”.
TrekDraft’s pick: Mackenise Alexander, CB, Clemson
“A different CMD from us and yet another CB prospect to the Dolphins. You should be noticing a trend. Thanks to Miami’s less-than-stellar play on the gridiron, DRAFTSIM 7 has the Dolphins on the fringe of the Top 10. Waiting for them there is our 2nd-ranked CB, Clemson’s Alexander (who you can watch in the College Football Playoff). The redshirt sophomore has played in 25 games for the Tigers and has 0 INTs… because teams do not throw at him. He may be the best lockdown, man-cover CB in this class”.
My pick: Denver Kirkland, G/OT,Arkansas
Denver Kirkland, the giant native out of South Florida may be making his way back home in 2016. The 6-5, 343lb junior, started every game in his first two seasons at guard before position coach, Sam Pittman, made Kirkland make the switch to left tackle. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has praised Denver Kirkland stating he is “right on the edge” of being a first-round pick.
WalterFootball’s pick: William Jackson, CB, Houston
‘Miami’s secondary is a mess, as everyone took note in the Monday night loss to the Giants. The front office will have to find help at both cornerback and safety, so here’s the best-available player from either position”.
My Pick: Antonio Morrison, ILB, Florida
If the Dolphins cannot obtain Jaylon Smith in the first, then I have to agree with Charlie Campbell on this one. Morrison is a rare talent who has fallen in the draft due to a severe knee injury that required surgery last fall. Morrison finished his senior season with 97 tackles with 12 for a loss, and 2.5 sacks becoming a veteran leader on the excellent Gators defense.
Charlie Campbell’s pick: Antonio Morrison, ILB, Florida
“Miami could use a young inside linebacker.
In 2015, Morrison has 97 tackles with 12 for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup. He suffered a serious knee injury in spring practice that required surgery, and most players miss a year after that kind of injury, but Morrison (6-1, 229) made a record-setting recovery to play this year.
Morrison totaled 101 tackles with six tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one sack, one pass broken up and one interception in 2014. He improved as the season progressed and is a tough run defender. Morrison still has room for improvement in pass coverage and needs to get bigger for NFL blockers”.
Though the players may change as the days before the draft draw near, one thing will remain the same. The Miami Dolphins have to draft responsibly in every round if they want to avoid the dreaded “Rebuild”.