Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Posted Apr 20, 2018

As the draft approaches, analysts throughout the country keep adjusting their projections, but the names most often associated with the Dolphins in the 2018 NFL draft remain the same.

Defensive tackle Vita Vea from the University of Washington remains the most popular choice when it comes to mock drafts projecting the Dolphins’ first-round picks. Vea is the choice on seven of the 24 national mock drafts analyzed this week, receiving more than twice as many votes as any other player.

Tied for second with three votes apiece are defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield.

Safety Derwin James and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, the son of former Dolphins Pro Bowl tight end Ferrell Edmunds, each got two votes apiece.

Some of the mock drafts have the Dolphins trading up in the first round.

Here’s the rundown of those 24 national mock drafts, along with the comments that accompanied their Dolphins picks.

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus
LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

“Seemingly always in need of a chase-and-run linebacker, the Dolphins add the draft’s best in Smith, who is a three-down playmaker. He has excellent range and closing speed in coverage and he always finds the ball in the run game. Most importantly, Smith finishes the play when he gets there as he missed only 18 tackles on 249 career attempts.”

Eric Edholm, Pro Football Weekly
LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

“Passing on Rosen or Pomano Beach native Lamar Jackson would be tough, but the recent contract adjustment for Ryan Tannehill suggests he’s staying on the books for at least another year. Besides, this roster just has so many holes elsewhere. There’s a big one at linebacker, and the rangy Edmunds would appear to fit with the type of player the Dolphins’ scouting staff tends to covet.”

Chad Reuter,
QB Josh Rosen, UCLA (No. 6, trade with Colts)

“The Dolphins need to find their next franchise QB, and Rosen is the guy to eventually replace Ryan Tannehill. Adam Gase won't be afraid of Rosen's intelligence and will instead appreciate his ability to master an offense. The team might have to give up a couple first-rounders and their 2018 second-round pick to secure Rosen.”

Pete Prisco,
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“They have to get stronger inside with Ndamukong Suh leaving. Vea would be a great addition.”

Chris Trapasso,
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

“The Dolphins could take Lamar Jackson here but instead go with the consensus top defensive prospect available at this juncture in Fitzpatrick, a multi-dimensional secondary member.”

Will Brinson,
QB Josh Rosen, UCLA (No. 6, trade with Colts)

“Appearing on the Pick Six Podcast, Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald said that Miami coach Adam Gase is "obsessed" with Rosen. He gets a shot to quench his thirst with a trade up to add a franchise quarterback.”

Ryan Wilson,
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“The Dolphins would consider a quarterback here should one fall to them but with four passers already off the board they address the gaping hole in the middle of their defense created when they released Ndamunkong Suh.”

R.J. White,
LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

“The Dolphins would surely love to land a Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen, but in this mock the top QBs go 1-2-3-4. So they pivot to taking the ultra-athletic Edmunds, who has the upside to be one of the best linebackers in the game. He'll slot in next to Raekwon McMillan as the team's top linebackers, and the Dolphins could look to trade Kiko Alonso for help at other positions or a late pick.”

Jared Dubin,
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“The Dolphins cast Ndamukong Suh aside for salary reasons this offseason, and drafting Vea will help them plug the Suh-sized hole in the middle of their run defense.”

Rob Rang,
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“The release of costly defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh provided the Dolphins with cap relief but left the roster weak at defensive tackle. Vea offers a similarly freakish combination of size, power and athleticism as Suh but comes at a much cheaper price.”

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
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“The Dolphins could go in many directions defensively, but the release of Ndamukong Suh makes tackle a monster need and lines up perfectly with Vea's value. He's an explosive player who can be a fixture in Miami's line rotation for years.”

Todd McShay, ESPN
QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

“The Dolphins have been linked to Mayfield, but if Allen was still available at 11, Miami would have to pounce. The Dolphins simply can't trust Ryan Tannehill to stay on the field.”

Mel Kiper, ESPN
S Derwin James, Florida State

“The 11th pick is James' floor. I don't see the Dolphins passing on him (unless they trade up to grab a quarterback).”

Bob LeGere, Pro Football Weekly
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“Plug-and-play replacement for Ndamukong Suh at a much cheaper price. Should make everyone on a mediocre defense better.”

Hub Arkush, Pro Football Weekly
G/T Connor Williams, Texas

“Could slide into guard, could be a cheaper better option to Ja’Wuan James.”

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,
DT Vita Vea, Washington

“Josh Rosen could be the pick here, but Vea fits a more urgent need and he would make an immediate impact.”

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.”

Maurice Jones-Drew,
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (No. 14, projected trade with Packers)

“Fitzpatrick's versatility allows him to play anywhere in the secondary and make an immediate impact.”

Jason McIntyre,
QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

“No change. Not a slide, not disrespectful, but if the Giants don’t draft a QB, and the Broncos pass on him, picks 6-10 all already have young star QBs. If not Miami, Arizona makes a ton of sense. This spot gives him a much better chance at success than with teams in the Top 5.”

Eric Galko, The Sporting News
S Derwin James, Florida State

“The Dolphins have expressed interest in Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, but unless they move up to the top four overall picks, they probably will not get a QB. Instead, they can stay in state and get a high-upside, in-the-box safety to eventually replace T.J. McDonald.”

Arthur Arkush, Pro Football Weekly
CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

“This is pretty much plan C for Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum, with their coveted quarterbacks and (Roquan) Smith gone, but it's nothing to turn their noses up about. Ward lands in the same draft slot as former Buckeyes teammate Marshon Lattimore a year ago — and that turned out decently. Although Miami quietly has assembled a young and talented CB corps, and bigger needs in the front seven exist, tough to argue with the value here.”

Ryan Smith, Pro Football Focus
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

“After just missing out on Smith, the Dolphins stay on the defensive side of the ball with Alabama’s do-everything defensive back in Fitzpatrick. A prime example of a hybrid defender in today’s game, Fitzpatrick played the majority of his snaps in 2017 inside as a slot corner while primarily manning the safety position the previous year. The Crimson Tide standout flashed potential in all aspects of the game this past season, allowing just one touchdown in coverage (Week 1), while leading all draft-eligible cornerbacks with 14 pressures as a pass rusher and tying for sixth with 28 run stops. Fitzpatrick’s versatility will allow the Dolphins to better utilize the strengths of their defensive personnel from a matchup standpoint across the board.”
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