Wednesday, August 4, 2021

3 Round Mock Draft – Wood 1.0 -Miami’s Tides Turn Crimson

Just some set up for everyone when going into this, i’m using The Draft Network as a drafting tool for my 3 round mock, as well as their big board to give a rough idea of players in the later rounds of the draft. I did have a mock draft ready to go, but then GM Chris Grier decided to throw all that hard work of mine in the bin, and trade from 12 with the 49ers, and then back up to 6 with Philly, saving the hassle of hypothetical trade scenarios and all that confusion.

Furthermore, i’ve identified my own personal idea on where the biggest positions of need are in the Miami Dolphins post free agency, with that being (in order of most to least priority) WR, Edge, RB, LB, OL. This mock draft will only highlight, the picks I’ve made, the scenarios leading to it and why they’ve been made at that pick, i’m going to highlight every single pick from every single team.

So here we go. As expected in the first 3 picks, it goes 3 consecutive quarterbacks. Lawrence to the Jags, Zack Wilson to the Jets and Justin Fields to the 49ers. Now the real draft begins at 4, with Atlanta, and part 1 of most fans doomsday scenario happens.

Pitts goes at 4 to Atlanta, and sadly part 2 then also happens with the Bengals at 5, Ja’Marr Chase reunites with Joe Burrow. Whilst most fans will be in dismay, restartthe mock draft and slate GM Grier for making the trade to go back to 6, I’m here smiling knowing that I get the pick of the 2 Alabama WR that Tua knows best, and OT Penei Sewell.

3 round mock : #6 – WR Jaylen Waddle

To me, this is an absolute no brainer, and unless it was a monster haul from another team equalling that of the trade at 3, that card goes in without hesitation. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama. This young man was an absolute speed demon in 2019, his last full season with Tua Tagovailoa. 4.37 unofficial 40 yard dash time, 5’10” and 182 lbs, he holds his weight better than DeVonta Smith, was on course to win the Heismann before his unfortunate ankle injury.

An interesting stat is that in his career at Alabama, of his 17 TDs he had an average distance 44.5 yards to travel before getting into the end zone, meaning that if he had the ball in his hands on the 45 yard line, odds where that he was going to score.

Now we see the WR room in Miami turn on it’s head. Instead of 2 big bodied WR in Parker and Williams, and just one speed demon in Will Fuller V, it now adds even more home run speed with Waddle, and even better some immediate chemistry with Tua, and Waddle has even returned punts at Alabama too, so we can add that to his arsenal of tricks.

Who’s spot would he initially take up at Miami? – Jakeem Grant

Position in his rookie season? – Slot & Z Reciever

Now we wait 12 more spots and see what happens. My next ideal target would be Edge. Preferably Azeez Ojulari, Edge from Georgia and I’m confident of taking him, and low and be hold, he is there, but so are 4 more Edge rushers that I would take too, with none going off the board. That leaves me in a hard decision, my ideal rusher with 4 other players with fairly similar talent or a position of need with arguably a bigger drop off in talent, but at a “reach” pick. This is the pick that I do not envy GM Chris Grier & Coach Flores making.

#18 – RB Najee Harris

I know, I know. I passed up my preferred Edge rusher in preference of a RB in round 1, but the drop off after Harris & Etienne, and then after Javonte Williams is a bigger worry for me than the Edge defenders. Plus with Jets, Steelers, Jags & Bills all needing RB’s I have a feeling that none of the top 3 RBs will be there after round 1, so out of Najee & Travis, I go for familiarity as they’re both seperated by next to nothing for me.

6’3″ tall, 230lbs, played all 4 seasons in Alabama and is described on the draft network as “blend of power, determination and versatility as both a between-the-tackles runner and perimeter rushing threat.”

With Miami struggling to find a top RB in free agency last year, passing on one last draft, and then struggling in this free agency, Harris goes into this team immediately has RB1 with Gaskin and Malcom Brown battling for roles as RB2. Now suddenly the offensive weapons for Tua is building around him and have familiarity with him and his style of play, so the excuses now begin to dwindle in Tua not performing in Year 2.

Spot he takes up in Miami – Salvon Ahmed or a deep defensive depth piece

Position – RB1

Summary of round 1 sees Tua get immediate upgrades at WR and RB, both with deep chemistry with him and familiarity that transforms the skill positions at Miami. Whilst there is no investment at offensive line, we choose to develop the talent drafted last year to build familiarity, but a gaping hole at Centre is still there and needs to be filled. Also no defensive picks neither and with Edge and LB needing to be address, arguably that need is bigger than centre, so going into round 2 both positions take priority over centre.

Round 2

Offense has been seen to and massively upgraded, whilst there are some areas of concern on the offensive line, defence is some bigger holes and bigger shoes to fill with key departures of players such as Kyle Van Noy, I’m now hoping that one of my targets at Edge falls to me at 36. My preferred Edge defender Ojulari didn’t survive, and went 26 to Cleveland, then we saw Kwity Paye go immediately after to Baltimore.

Now i’m feeling less confident on my top 4 making it to me at 36 with the top 2 Edge defenders gone back to back. Then BOOM enter full panic mode, Jalen Phillips goes to Jacksonville at the top of Round 2. Heavy breathing starts as it’s just one left on my board. Jets take Eichenburg, offensive tackle at 34, Falcons take Jamin Davis, linebacker at 35. Thankfully he dropped to us at 36. Panic stations over.

#36 – EDGE Gregory Rousseau

After a bit of a mass panic, to then realise that Jayson Oweh was also there, my number 5 EDGE defender, it turns into a feel good homecoming for Miami with Gregory Rousseau not even having to change stadiums and the Miami Hurricane stays in Miami. Listed at 6’5″ and 260lbs he opted out of the 2020 season and declared for the 2021 draft, whilst being thought as ‘out of sight, out of mind’ by not playing this season the first thing that catches the eye is his length, frame and stature, who could start day 1 for Miami.

Miami hasn’t shyed away from the factor of looking into developmental talent, take Noah Igbinoghene for example last year, Rousseau has in heaps of that after playing reciever and safety in high school and translating that to the defensive line for the Hurricanes who has played in multiple places on the defensive line. Do i think in real life he will drop to Miami at 36? Potentially, but not likely.

Spot he takes up in Miami – Tyshun Render (Defensive End 4)

Position – DE 2

Big 3 positions of need ticked off and addressed. Now the quest to address the secondary needs of the team, Linebacker and Centre. I have 1 centre in mind at 50, Landon Dickerson, and 2 linebackers in mind at 50 also, Baron Browning and Zaven Collins, so i think we have a good chance of grabbing one of them there.

The names stay there until both Baron Browning and Zaven Collins go back to back with Lions and Giants respectively, hugely annoying and unexpected but with Cowboys, Jags and Cardinals needing and getting offensive line help, luckily Dickerson drops to my lap at 50, and the card goes in.

#50 – Centre Landon Dickerson

This dude is your steroetypical Miami Dolphins lineman based on how we drafted last year, 6’6″, 326 lbs and has all the uncoachables that Miami tends to favour when drafting players. Described as “extremely strong at the point of attack, he has above average hand power, body strength and awareness” by The Draft Network, this then is the final piece of the puzzle that sees Miami turns all 5 offensive line positions around in 2 years, and establishes it as a powerful, big bodied, people mover.

Do the injuries concern me, absolutely and with 2019 being his last full season that he wasn’t injured, it worries me, but he doesn’t automatically slot into a starting centre roll. He would be more of a developmental athlete that would focus on getting his body completely NFL ready before seeing action under centre.

Upside is that Centre and Quarterback are the two most important positions where good chemistry and complete understanding is needed, just look at Big Ben and Pouncey at Pittsburgh for example, and luckily Tua and Landon have that before they’ve even set foot onto an NFL team together.

Spot he takes up on the roster – Cameron Tom (Centre)

Position – Centre

Now that round 2 is in the books, I’m annoyed that I couldn’t improve the defence further, especially at linebacker, but maybe of we play our cards right in round 1 and trade back to 8 we could pick up an extra pick in round 2 with Carolina to address that. However, we have now formed what could be dubbed as “the fantastic four” from Alabama on offense, Tua, Waddle, Harris & Dickerson. Whilst it solves a lot of issues on offense, the worry on defence still is there, but i’m putting faith in our free agent aquisitions at linebacker, Benardrick McKinney & Elandon Roberts mainly to do their job and excel in their positions.

Round 3

Only the one pick here for Miami and that is at 81. 31 spots since our last pick, so the plan here is simple. Who is the best player available at that time, in a position of need. Arguably there would be some good linebackers, don’t be surprised if we see a nickel cornerback or safety here too. Some relevant and recognisable names to come off the board are, LB Jabril Cox (pick 57 to the LA Rams), S Richie Grant (pick 58 to the Ravens), LB Chazz Surratt (pick 71 to the Broncos), S Hamsah Nasirildreen (Pick 79 to Las Vegas).

That doesn’t leave a lot of players who i’d feel comfortable in picking at 81, especially from the defensive side of the ball, but one name sticks out like a sore thumb, and he is on the offensive side of the ball, namely WR, and the pull is too big, so I put in the card.

#81 – WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

How he fell this far is beyond me, but I am not complaining. St Brown is a junior out of USC, stands at 6’1″, 195lbs and typically played out of the slot for the Trojans and this pick now sees the WR go from predominantly big bodied, win vs tight coverage WRs, to speedy, blink and you miss them, take the top off defenses. He ran an unofficial 4.51 at his pro day, 10′ 7″ vertical jump and a broad jump of 39″ puts him in the 83 and 85 percentile of this year’s class. Whilst he does have lapses in concentration, has had dropped catchable throws and to some has regressed in 2020, there is a lot of upside to him that is too much to ignore.

PFF describe him as that he could be a big play threat in the NFL, and whilst we selected Waddle at #6 overall, double dipping at WR, and speedy ones too gives you that insurance on if Will Fuller V decides to go elsewhere after his 1 year deal with Miami, it wouldn’t be a massivel loss to the team.

Spot he takes on the team – Reid Sinnett (Quarterback 4)

Positon – Slot WR & Special Teams predominantly in his rookie year.

Overall

#6 – WR Jaylen Waddle
#18 – RB Najee Harris
#36 – EDGE Gregory Rousseau
#50 – C Landon Dickerson
# 81 – WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Very offensively heavy in the first 3 rounds, was that on purpose? Not on purpose, but by addressing the top 3 needs of this team in the first 3 picks was a must and i’m happy at that. Disappointed at no linebacker being selected, but with how free agency turned out i’m not too dissastified by it. Double dipping at WR was unexpected, but upon reflection, a value pick that could turn into success for Miami.

Tell me and comment on how your mock draft went? What would you do differently? Are you annoyed & dismayed? Or overjoyed and happy with this mock draft? Or would you hire me tomorrow or sack me on the spot as a GM?

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Thomas Wood
NFL fantasy geek, Miami Dolphins finatic, American Football Player, Football watcher.

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