By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on April 14, 2014
My latest seven-round mock draft for the Miami Dolphins is once again brought to you by First-Pick.com's draft simulator. Please note this isn't a prediction on my part, but merely myself picking for the Dolphins as if I were the GM according to what prospects the simulator deems available in each round. Without further ado, here are my picks for Miami.
The San Francisco 49ers, a team with a plethora of draft picks but a limited amount of available roster openings, will be desperate to trade up in the first round. Meanwhile, the Dolphins can afford to move back in round one in order to pick up a couple extra selections in a deep draft class. In exchange for the No. 19 overall pick in the first round, the Dolphins land one of the 49ers' picks in each of the first three rounds.
With two extra picks to fill needs in the subsequent rounds, the Dolphins have the luxury of seeking a playmaker with the No. 30 overall selection. The need for a pass catcher isn't necessarily pressing, but there is some uncertainty for the future of Miami's receiver corps. Oregon State's Brandin Cooks has the speed and the ball skills to thrive in the slot or on the perimeter in the NFL.
The Dolphins luck out in this simulated mock. Despite putting off the club's most glaring need, Virginia's Morgan Moses, a legitimate first-round option, is still on the board after 49 picks. Moses has the measurables to be a reliable pass protector from day one and the experience at right tackle to make an effortless transition to Miami's most sizable void.
The Dolphins don't land Alabama's C.J. Mosley, the only surefire upgrade at middle linebacker, in this simulation, but settle for the next best thing. Wisconsin's Chris Borland possesses the instincts, toughness and the under-the-radar quickness to develop into a quality starting inside linebacker at the next level, despite his shortcomings in the size department.
As an undersized tackle prospect, Joel Bitonio arguably has a much higher ceiling at guard in the NFL. After the Dolphins addressed their need for a new right tackle in this mock, Bitonio becomes one of the club's best options to fill the remaining void at guard. Bitonio has the athleticism and nastiness to become a solid starting interior lineman in Miami.
The Dolphins are said to covet a big, between-the-tackles type runner in the middle rounds of the draft. Towson's Terrance West certainly fits that bill. West has impressive enough vision and quickness to go along with his thick frame and violent running style to potentially entice the Dolphins on day two.
The need for a cornerback in May isn't as imperative as some pundits make it out to be, but Miami's projected starters at the position are both over 30 years old. Although Jamar Taylor and Will Davis are both expected to make a big jump during their second seasons, it wouldn't hurt to add some youth. Phillip Gaines, a Rice product, has good size and moves with the fluidity of an NFL-caliber corner.
Thanks to his dismissal from Oregon's football program and an arrest for cocaine use, Colt Lyerla's draft stock has taken a brutal hit over the past year. Otherwise, thanks to superb athleticism, speed and pass catching prowess, Lyerla might have been a first-round pick. The Dolphins likely won't take a risk on a troubled personality after the "Bullygate" fiasco, but could land an ideal complement to Charles Clay by rolling the dice on Lyerla.
Given new starting safety Louis Delmas' uncertain knee issues, the Dolphins may target a rangy safety to pair with Reshad Jones if need be at some point during May's draft. Western Kentucky's Jonathan Dowling is one of the most physically gifted safeties of the class.
The Dolphins pick up an athletic project at outside linebacker with their final pick of this mock by snagging Oregon's Boseko Lokombo in the seventh round.
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