Bloguin’s inaugural mock draft has made its way through the first 14 picks, and now the Miami Dolphins are finally on the clock. Let’s take a look at how the draft has played out thus far:
1. Carolina Panthers: Nick Fairly, DT, Auburn
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
4. Cincinnati Bengals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
7. San Francisco 49ers: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
8. Tennessee Titans: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
12. Minnesota Vikings: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
14. St. Louis Rams: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
As expected, all of the prospects that are considered to be on the Dolphins’ radar are still available. In the real draft, I think we all know what Jeff Ireland will do here, or at least attempt to do. The Dolphins likely desperately want to trade down to acquire a second round pick after trading theirs away to Denver last offseason for Brandon Marshall. Not only because the Dolphins front office typically takes a quantity over quality approach in the draft, but because the players they will most likely be considering project to still be available later in the first.
Unfortunately, though, no trades are allowed in Bloguin’s mock draft. Hopefully, Jeff Ireland is able to trade down, get the player the Dolphins covet later in the first, and fill a pressing need with a solid starter in the second-round. I, on the other hand, will have to make a pick here at 15 and may arguably be forced to take the biggest reach of the mock draft so far if I want to address a need for the Dolphins. Let’s take a look at the top three players that I will be considering.
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Ingram has almost been the consensus pick for the Dolphins in the media. It’s no secret by now that I’m not a big fan of the Dolphins taking a running back in the first-round unless we are talking about an elite talent on the level of an Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. I certainly don’t feel like Mark Ingram is on that level, even though he should be very productive for years to come.
The Dolphins could easily find a starting caliber back or two in rounds 3-5. Having said all of that, though, Ingram is the best player available that would address a pressing need for the Dolphins. If the front office isn’t convicted on one of the available quarterbacks and is concerned that Mike Pouncey’s stock wouldn’t be as high if it weren’t for the success of his twin Maurkice with the Steelers, Ingram is the pick.
Mike Pouncey, C/OG, Florida: If the Dolphins aren’t willing to give up on Chad Henne just yet, their biggest priority this offseason has to be rebuilding the running game. Most look at the running backs the Dolphins could draft. But you could argue, though, that it doesn’t matter who is carrying the football in 2011, the Dolphins will struggle to establish the run until the interior O-line is significantly upgraded. Mike Pouncey is the best available interior lineman, and although he would be considered a bit of a reach here at 15, he could potentially be ready to step in and start at left guard from the get go.
Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: To me, Ryan Mallett has the potential to be the Aaron Rodgers of this year’s draft. Most would agree that he’s the best pure passer of this year’s class. You would think that would make him the highest rated quarterback. But concerns about Mallett’s character and mobility have some questioning whether or not he will come off the board in the first-round.
The mobility argument is a joke if you ask me. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are as immobile as they come, but they just happen to be the top two quarterbacks in the league and arguably two of the best to ever play the game. The character concerns may be a little troubling, but until anything is proven to be more than a nasty rumor, they shouldn’t be enough to force the Dolphins to pass on him if they feel he has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to see who I select for the Dolphins.