Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mockeration 2.0: Dolphins 2010 Mock First Round

April 20, 2010

Back in February we released version 1.0 of the Miami Dolphins' first round draft projections according to various mock drafts. As you now know, plenty has happened since then and it's time to see what analysts, writers and bloggers have to say with the actual draft just days away. Let the "mockeration" begin, once again:

And with the 12th pick in 2010 NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins select...
Out of this small sample (of the thousands of mock drafts out there) we can deduct one thing: the consensus is that Miami will go defense in the first round.

Rarely do you see mocks that include Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant going to the Dolphins anymore because of the new "Marshall" in town. The only other offensive pick that is still floating around as a wild card is Clemson RB C.J. Spiller. But having lost their second round pick in the Marshall trade, the Dolphins will likely address the side of the football with the most holes: defense. With that said, it's safe to limit Miami's first round options to linebacker/defensive end, nose tackle and safety.

Losing Joey Porter and perhaps Jason Taylor leaves a major void in the linebacking core, even with Karlos Dansby jumping on board. Channing Crowder, Cameron Wake and Reggie Torbor make up the rest of the unit and are not considered both well-rounded and dominant in their own realm. That's where picks like Derrick Morgan, Sergio Kindle, Brandon Graham, Rolando McClain and Jason Pierre-Paul come in. Most of these players would add another pass rusher to the front seven to create more pressure on opposing QBs. Morgan, Kindle and McClain seem like the most NFL-ready of the bunch, whereas Graham and Pierre-Paul require some fine tuning to compete at the next level.

Dan Williams is the sole nose tackle being projected at number 12 and would address the need for a run-stopper and hole-plugger while Jason Ferguson serves his eight-game suspension. Williams' stock skyrocketed in the past few months, placing him as a legit first round pick according to many analysts. Whether Miami decides to apply the pressure through the defensive line or linebacking core, the need for an improved front seven is evident.

The safety spot is the final position of need for the Fins. Earl Thomas' name has swirled around the Dolphins, but his stock has risen by the week, which means he could be gone before Miami is on the clock. Currently, Chris Clemons and Tyrone Culver are the only options at free safety, leaving the last stand in the secondary in question. Drafting Thomas, if available, would sure up FS with a player that is both physical and holds a high football IQ. The Dolphins' decision will ultimately depend on their philosophy on defense: does the front seven make a better secondary, or does the secondary make a better front seven? Similar to the debate of what came first, the chicken or the egg, this answer lies in the hands of the Trifecta and newly-acquired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. 

All this speculation will soon be gone one April 22nd rolls around and the Dolphins place their bets of the franchise's future. Having changed the direction of this organization, the Trifecta has already made some impressive improvements through their draft decisions the past two seasons. Fans can only hope this trend continues on Thursday, pushing Miami toward elite status in the NFL.

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For those that are mock draft junkies and want to stay on top of the latest predictions in the coming days, check out the mock draft database that HailRedskins.com offers. 

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