With both the Senior Bowl and Combine in the books, we’ve reached a perfect time for an updated mock draft. As usual, we’ll go pick by pick to make sure we discuss each pick thoroughly enough, and as usual, we’re assuming I’m the GM, so I’m not making picks based off who I actually think will go where, but rather who I’d take with the slot. And no, no trade scenarios because they’re infinite.
Here’s a quick rundown of our draft so far: no. 1 Houston Texans (Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina), no. 2 St. Louis Rams (Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M), no. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars (Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville), no. 4 Cleveland Browns (Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M), no. 5 Oakland Raiders (Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn), no. 6 Atlanta Falcons (Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan), no. 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson), no. 8 Minnesota Vikings (Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State), no. 9 Buffalo Bills (Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo), no. 10 Detroit Lions (Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M), no. 11 Tennessee Titans (Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA), no. 12 New York Giants (C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama), no. 13 St. Louis Rams (Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama), no. 14 Chicago Bears (Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri). no. 15 Pittsburgh Steelers (Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State), no. 16 Dallas Cowboys (Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt), no. 17 Baltimore Ravens (Eric Ebron, TE, UNC) and no. 18 New York Jets (Marqise Lee, WR, USC). With the 19th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, who do the Miami Dolphins select?
Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame.
If Martin really does fall to nineteen, the Dolphins scouts would probably be doing cartwheels in their war room. This is both a good value pick and a pick that fills a big need at RT.
It’s no secret we’re essentially starting over with a new offensive line thanks to the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito blowup. Then consider that we’re not re-signing LT Bryant McKinnie, RT Tyson Clabo, and RG John Jerry, we’re left with Mike Pouncey at center. So yes, the offensive line was our big focus of the offseason.
We just signed LT Branden Albert to a 5-year, $46 million dollar contract to protect QB Ryan Tannehill’s blindside, but we still need a proper bookend. That’s where Martin comes into play. Martin was a 52 game starter for the Irish, as well as a 2-time team captain. He’s impressive at both pass and run blocking, and has shown the skills to play either side of the line. To boot, he’s got the skills to potentially be even better inside at OG, so if he doesn’t stick at RT, then I’ll just slide him inside to fill another hole of ours.
He’s a heady, smart player who’s got excellent leadership skills and a work ethic to match. He’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking for in our new linemen, which is the opposite of our old ones.
Martin wasn’t the only other strong option here. Morgan Moses (OT, Virginia) was a strong possibility, particularly because I think he’s the best pure RT in the Draft, though this could still be a little high for him, and he doesn’t have Martin’s elite versatility.
Xavier Su’a-Filo (OG, UCLA) was also a possibility here. He’s a mauler who can play both inside and out, but with a better ceiling inside. Like with Morgan, he’d be a good fit on our team, but this is still a little too high for him. If we’re seriously going to focus on either in the real draft, we should trade down about ten spot, grab them and get a mid 3rd rounder in the process.