We’re officially through the Top Ten of our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft. Let’s review the last five picks:
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
8) Chicago Bears - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
9) San Francisco 49ers - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
10) Oakland Raiders - Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Now, we’re on to another team that the Vikings will see in 2018, the Miami Dolphins. The Jay Cutler era is over in Miami, such as it was, as the Phins will welcome Ryan Tannehill back after a knee injury caused him to miss last season. But, will one of the players welcoming him back be his eventual replacement?
2017 record: 6-10 (3rd place, AFC East)
WR Danny Amendola (free agent signing), RB Frank Gore (free agent signing), DE William Hayes (free agent signing), C Daniel Kilgore (trade with San Francisco), G Josh Sitton (free agent signing), WR Albert Wilson (free agent signing), OT Sam Young (free agent signing)
S Nate Allen (free agent), OL Jermon Bushrod (signed with New Orleans), WR Jarvis Landry (traded to Cleveland), C Mike Pouncey (released), DT Ndamukong Suh (signed with Los Angeles Rams), TE Julius Thomas (released), LB Lawrence Timmons (released)
Cornerback - Xavien Howard had a pretty up-and-down season for the Dolphins last year, and the guy that’s arguably their best corner, Bobby McCain, does his best work as a slot corner. The team could use another corner to help fix a pass defense that ranked 28th in the NFL last season, and hope that Howard finds a measure of consistency on the other side.
Interior offensive line - Miami is pretty solid at the offensive tackle spots with Laremy Tunsil and Ju’Wuan James. The interior, on the other hand, isn’t as set. Left guard Ted Larsen will be back, but the starters at center and right guard last season are both gone. Whether it’s Tannehill or another quarterback behind center, they need to do something to keep him upright.
Linebacker - Another huge loss for the Dolphins last season was rookie linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who injured his knee last year in the preseason and missed the entire year. He’ll be back this season, but last season they relied a lot on Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons. Timmons is gone, and Alonso has had difficulty coming back from a bunch of injuries he’s suffered over the course of his career.
Quarterback - Whether this is a “need” or not depends entirely on what you think of Ryan Tannehill. He missed all of last season, but you sort of get the impression that Miami has never really been “in love” with Tannehill behind center. Will Adam Gase attempt to look another direction for this offense?
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming - Allen has all of the physical attributes you want in an elite quarterback, but there are definitely some red flags. He played at a smaller school, and didn’t exactly light it up in his chances against higher competition. Some of that might have been the talent he was surrounded by, but his accuracy numbers from college definitely leave something to be desired. He might be the most “boom or bust” quarterback in this year’s class.
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida - The title of the second-best corner in this year’s class is up for debate, but we’ll give Hughes that title in this case. He transferred from North Carolina to Central Florida, and only played one year for the Golden Knights. He’s a little rough around the edges, but is outstanding in man coverage and may have the highest upside of any corner in this class.
Derwin James, S, Florida State - James has been passed on most draft boards at the safety position by Minkah Fitzpatrick (who went two picks ago), but was widely regarded as a potential Top 5 selection going into the 2017 college football season. He’s more of an in-the-box safety than a center fielder, but certainly has the skills to eventually develop into a player that can do both. Safety isn’t necessarily a huge need for the Dolphins, but the consensus seems to be that he’s the best player left on the board, so we’ll keep him here for now.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma - The Heisman Trophy winner from this past season seems to have more variance as far as people view him than any of the “Top 4” quarterbacks. He doesn’t have prototype size (measuring in at 6’), and does have some character red flags as well. Still, he is incredibly accurate, completing 68.5% of his passes in college, and his improvisational skills are outstanding. Comparisons to Johnny Manziel are inevitable for Mayfield, but that comparison is kind of lazy, in my opinion.
Connor Williams, OL, Texas - We’ve had Mike McGlinchey on the board for a few selections now, but he’s more of a pure tackle, and the Niners are already pretty solid there. Williams, on the other hand, seems to be someone that’s potentially more suited to shifting inside, should the Dolphins want to use him that way. If his medicals check out (he injured both his MCL and PCL last year), he’s certainly worthy of this selection.
That’s where we’re at with the Miami Dolphins, folks. Tomorrow, we get their AFC East rivals. . .and a team that has already traded up in this draft. . .in the Buffalo Bills.
With the eleventh pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Derwin James, S, Florida State
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Connor Williams, OL, Texas