Final Mock Draft Roundup

Posted Apr 26, 2018

Draft day finally has arrived, which means we’ll find out in a few hours which player the Dolphins will select in the first round — assuming they don’t trade out of the first round.

Newspaper writers around the country got into the mock draft action in the final week before the start of the 2018 draft, while national analysts continued to tweak their own projections.

When it comes to the Dolphins, there’s a new name that has emerged as the most popular choice to be the team’s first-round pick: Tremaine Edmunds. The linebacker from Virginia Tech — and the son of former Dolphins tight end Ferrell Edmunds, who the Dolphins selected in the third round 30 years ago — was named on nine of the 34 mock drafts surveyed this week.

That was almost twice as many mentions as the next two prospects, quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen.

Quarterback was the most popular position with 14 mentions spread among four prospects, the other two being Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. Linebacker was next with 11, including one each for Roquan Smith and Rashaan Evans (after a trade down from 11 to 14).

Defensive tackle Vita Vea from the University of Washington, who had been the most popular choice in mock drafts over the past several weeks, only received two mentions among the mocks surveyed this week. Other players mentioned included Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Florida State safety Derwin James.

Here’s the rundown of those 34 mock drafts surveyed this week, along with the comments that accompanied their Dolphins picks.

Eric Edholm, Pro Football Weekly  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “I’m just not getting the quarterback vibe from them. When GM Chris Greer said last week “you’re always building for your roster,” it gave me the idea that they’d be drafting for some combination of need and best player available. And in this setting, it criss-crosses with Edmunds. He has shockingly good traits but might need a season or two before he approaches maximum output. They’d prefer Roquan here, but Edmunds is a good alternative.”

Greg Gabriel, Pro Football Weekly  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “The Dolphins would have liked to trade up trade up for a QB, but they just didn’t have the ammo to get it done.”

Nate Davis, USA Today  QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville: “During a short but accomplished coaching career, Adam Gase has extracted maximum performance from a highly varied group of quarterbacks running the gamut from Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler to Tim Tebow and Ryan Tannehill — who may have peaked after a series of knee injuries. Gase might be able to do something truly extraordinary given the time to build an offense around Jackson while Tannehill theoretically holds down the fort.”

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus  CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

Eric Galko, Optimum Scouting  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “Miami would love to trade up for Saquon Barkley or Baker Mayfield, but they don’t want to give up their second rounder to do it. Instead, they’ll likely pass on a quarterback and get a top linebacker like Edmunds.”

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report  QB Josh Allen, Wyoming: “Disclaimer: I do not expect Josh Allen to last this long on Thursday night. In fact, he could be the first pick in the entire draft. But right now, with no trades, this is what could happen. I would expect Buffalo to move heaven and Earth to try and get him should a slide like this happen. Allen is an upside pick at quarterback, not unlike Patrick Mahomes II last year. He could sit, learn and prepare under Ryan Tannehill before taking the QB1 job full-time in 2019. It's a recipe that worked for Andy Reid's Chiefs and could work brilliantly for Adam Gase's Dolphins. If Allen is still on the board.”

Rob Rang,  DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama: “With a 16-16 record after two seasons and an increasingly frustrated owner in Steve Ross, I'm expecting a splashy pick for the Dolphins, with a quarterback a possibility. Miami's secondary has been a mess for years, however, and so if Fitzpatrick is still on the board, head coach Adam Gase may rely upon his old connections with Nick Saban (the two worked together at Michigan State and LSU), who raves about Fitzpatrick's instincts, toughness and versatility.”

Dane Brugler,  QB Josh Rosen, UCLA: “The Dolphins might not be targeting a quarterback in the first round, but if one were to fall to them, it would be tough to pass, especially Rosen, who will either push Ryan Tannehill to be better or overtake him on the depth chart.”

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News  QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: "It has come full circle for the Dolphins to join the fun of pulling off a QB surprise. They've become more lukewarm on Ryan Tannehill and how far he can take them, especially coming off a major knee injury. Mayfield brings the moxie and winning energy Miami could use more of as it transitions offensively.”

Todd McShay, ESPN  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “The Dolphins haven't been able to cover at the linebacker position for years. Edmunds provides some relief and has excellent physical tools. Vita Vea is another option here.”

Mel Kiper, ESPN  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “Could Miami go quarterback here? Edmunds makes sense as a fallback option — the Dolphins' linebacker group isn't very good.”

Hub Arkush, Pro Football Weekly  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “Fish attacked the O-line in free agency, now they go after pass rush and youth on D.”

Bucky Brooks, QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: “If head coach Adam Gase really wants more ‘alpha dogs’ in the locker room, he should pick Mayfield to be his QB1 of the future. No signal-caller in the draft has as much confidence or belief in their own abilities as a leader.”

Daniel Jeremiah,  QB Josh Rosen, UCLA: “I think you could see a team like Arizona leapfrog the Dolphins if Rosen were to slide this far.”

Mike Mayock, NFL Network  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: “He gives the Dolphins tremendous value at the position and helps bolster their defense. Perhaps Miami will go with a quarterback, but Edmunds gives them a solid defensive player.”

Charley Casserly,  QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: “With the division-rival Jets and Bills picking quarterbacks in the top five, Miami keeps pace by adding Mayfield.”

Peter Schrager,  S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama: “Adam Gase is a Nick Saban disciple. If one of Saban's favorite, most versatile players slips to 11, look for Gase to scoop him up. Miami's rumored to have interest in a few of the quarterbacks, too, but I have them hanging tight and going with Fitzpatrick.”

Jason McIntyre,  QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: “Maybe they trade up for him or he falls here. I loved Baker Mayfield as college QB. When I wrote this in September, I believed he’d have big value in the middle rounds where there’s no pressure. But the Top 10? That’s nuts.”

Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel  S Derwin James, Florida State: “James is a movable chess piece who can help the Dolphins’ secondary improve on last year’s dismal showing, which saw opposing quarterbacks produce a 94.8 passer rating. James would be paired with Reshad Jones at safety and that would allow T.J. McDonald to work as one of Miami’s two nickel linebackers.” Charles Davis, QB Josh Allen, Wyoming “I keep hearing the Dolphins are in the QB market.”

Tony Pauline,  QB Josh Rosen, UCLA: “The Dolphins get the quarterback they wanted and didn’t have to trade. This is the steal of Round 1.”

Peter King, The Monday Morning Quarterback  DT Vita Vea, Washington: “The New Suh. This pick is notable more for what the Dolphins aren’t doing. Like everyone else, I was pretty sure Miami would be among the cadre of teams looking to trade up for a quarterback. The splash move has been an MO of club architect Mike Tannenbaum over his career. And maybe it happens. But more recently I’ve started to think, through what I’ve heard in the pre-draft process, that Miami is more likely to stick with Ryan Tannehill (who has missed the last 19 games with injury) and continue the progress he was making with Adam Gase in the 2016 season. We’ll see. One word of caution with Vea: He’s got to manage his weight if he wants to be more than a two-down player.”

Curtis Conway,  QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: “Miami doesn't necessarily need a quarterback to play right away, but Mayfield could develop under Adam Gase and replace Ryan Tannehill as the starter in a year or two.”

Jason Lieser, Palm Beach Post  LB Roquan Smith, Georgia: “The Dolphins need offense, but this is a good consolation prize after missing out on the top four quarterbacks and Saquon Barkley. Smith is thought to be pro-ready and provides flexibility going forward.”

Joe Marino, NDT Scouting QB Josh Rosen, UCLA: "Nobody likes a big splash quite like Mike Tannenbaum and Rosen certainly does that. Pairing Rosen’s skill set with Adam Gase puts Miami’s offense in good hands moving forward. Current starter Ryan Tannehill is on the wrong side of 30, coming off a knee injury and is quite expensive.”

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report  CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State: "Vea, Smith and Fitzpatrick are possibilities if they drop, and Edmunds remains in play. But the Dolphins have only one good cornerback right now and need at least three, so let's give them Ward, the best cornerback in this class and a safe plug-and-play prospect at a high-leverage position.”

Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  S Derwin James, Florida State: “Dolphins also may grab a QB here.”

Ben Volin, Boston Globe  CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State: “The Dolphins aren’t quite ready to give up on Ryan Tannehill, so they don’t make a play for Lamar Jackson or any other quarterback. They would race to the podium if Edmunds were available. But he isn’t, so they add another talented cornerback to their shaky secondary.”

Armando Salguero, The Miami Herald LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama (No. 14, trade with Packers)

Greg Cote, The Miami Herald  QB Josh Rosen, UCLA: “Fins get (hopefully) their quarterback of the future when Rosen — one of the draft’s Big Four QBs — unexpectedly falls to them. He’s seen as NFL ready but the suspicion is he will groom behind Ryan Tannehill in 2018. Is he a perfect prospect? No. There are reasons he tumbled to Miami. Durability (shoulder, concussions) have been a concern. So have turnovers, with 26 INTs and seven lost fumbles in 30 college starts. But his upside is too great to bypass the surprise gift of his availability. If Rosen is gone by here (a real possibility), Miami would consider the FSU safety Derwin James or perhaps Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, but likelier might select the big run-stopper Vita Vea, who would plug in so perfectly for the departed Ndamukong Suh. Vea is the safer Dolphins pick here, yes, but I can’t ignore that my mock has Rosen landing in their laps. Also think there is a possibility that Miami would reach and select Louisville QB Lamar Jackson 11th. Jackson isn’t as fully formed and ready as Rosen, but is more of a dual threat, a bigger gamble with perhaps a higher ceiling.”

Joe Schad, Palm Beach Post LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Marc Sessler, NFL Network  LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

John McClain, Houston Chronicle  Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: “They take him over the strong-armed Josh Allen.”

Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle  Vita Vea, DT, Washington: “Huge two-gapping lineman is explosive and tough, but needs to control weight.”

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