Choosing between Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley isn’t an easy decision to make. For the Miami Dolphins, who must finish the reconstruction of an offensive line that conceded a whopping 58 sacks in 2013 but are potentially an upgrade at linebacker away from one the league’s top defenses, nabbing one of two would be ideal in the first round of May’s draft.
Both Martin and Mosley are for the taking in this mock, and the Dolphins seemingly couldn’t go wrong with either. The better value, though, would be Mosley.
There are quality prospects, like Tennessee‘s Ja’Wuan James and North Dakota State‘s Billy Turner, who are capable of filling Miami’s void at right tackle on day two. After Mosley, the inside linebacker class thins out quite significantly. There might not be another linebacker capable of stepping in as an instant starter at the Dolphins’ “Mike” linebacker spot outside of Mosley.
All of the sacks quarterback Ryan Tannehill took in 2013 dominate headlines in regards to Miami’s plans for the draft. And rightfully so. The Dolphins must determine who Tannehill is as a starting passer, and the only way to do so is to equip him with an offensive line that isn’t horrendous. But the club’s linebacker corps, despite it’s lofty pay roll, wasn’t very good last season either.
Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe ranked 50th among 55 eligible players at the position in overall efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. Meanwhile, Philip Wheeler graded as the worst 4-3 outside linebacker in the league in overall efficiency by the respected scouting service. The two’s disappointing play was a big reason why the Dolphins’ previously solid run defense plummeted to 24th in the NFL.
Drafting Mosley at No. 19 overall could be the final piece to a top 10 defense. Miami’s front four is one of the most talented in the league and its secondary has potential to be at least above average too.
What’s missing is an every-down linebacker like Mosley who is capable of taking on blocks, filling running lanes, covering tight ends and running backs, running sideline to sideline and blitzing the quarterback. Mosley is capable of providing every attribute, effectively. He would be a coup for the Dolphins at pick No. 19 overall.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.