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Miami Dolphins Draft – Mock One

Thanks to the efforts of Brandon Nall, a bunch of us recently participated in a 7-round mock draft via Twitter, named Mock One. We allowed trades in this draft, which I personally think is more realistic than a mock draft with zero trades. For realism, we were only allowed to trade draft picks, which is the current situation with the lockout. The GMs may or may not have been way off base as to what teams might actually do, but all in all I think we did a pretty good job. Last year there were 42 trades involving draft picks, whereas we made only 30 (albeit a lot in the first two rounds).

I participated as the GM for the Miami Dolphins, and here are my results:

1.24 – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

I was able to trade down twice to this pick, which turned out to be a huge boon for several reasons. I not only gained a second and third round pick, but I was able to draft a player at the top of my list despite moving to the bottom of the first round. Here is what I posted about Mallett after I drafted him:

With the 24th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins take Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas. The fourth quarterback off the board, we feel he had top 5 potential before off-field rumors and questions about his athleticism dramatically reduced his draft stock. We do not put much stock in rumors, and his on-the-field positives far outweigh the negatives. While Mark Ingram was also available, we felt the potential franchise quarterback was much more important than the talented running back.

After trading down twice to the 24th pick, the Dolphins feel great about the picks we gained in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Feeling we can now effectively fill other needs in the early rounds of the draft, taking Ryan Mallett became the increasingly clear choice as our pick approached, especially with teams needing a quarterback picking soon after us. We are excited to welcome the next great Dolphins quarterback to Miami!

2.15 – Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois

As the middle of the second round approached and Leshoure kept dropping, I decided to pull the trigger on another trade, sending a 2012 4th-rounder to St. Louis to move up four spots and grab Leshoure before someone else snapped him up.

The Dolphins held the 19th pick in the 2nd round after an earlier trade with the Buccaneers, but when Mikel Leshoure fell to the middle of the round, we felt it was worth trading up a few spots to ensure we could grab the talented running back.

We are excited to add the Illinois product to our offense. The dynamic running back has been compared to Steven Jackson, and if he can live up to those comparisons he will be a force in the Dolphins backfield for many years to come. Without free agency, we felt the need to address the running back position in this draft, and Leshoure is a great second-round prize.

3.08 – Clint Boling, OT/OG, Georgia

This is the third-round pick I acquired from New Orleans to move down a second time in the first round. I was looking for an interior lineman, and Boling was good value at this pick. Here were my thoughts:

With the 8th pick in the 3rd round, the Dolphins select Clint Boling, OG/OT, Georgia. One of our targeted areas of need was the interior offensive line, and Boling is the big, versatile offensive lineman we need. As a four-year starter, he will bring experience to the line as a rookie. We are excited he fell to us.

3.15 – D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas

Having traded away my fourth-rounder as part of moving into the second, and with no takers for this draft pick, I decided on Williams as he was the best tight end available, not to mention the Dolphins have shown outward interest in drafting the Mackey Award winner.

With the 15th pick in the 3rd round, the Dolphins select D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas. One of the things we wanted to do in this draft was add athleticism to the tight end position, and Williams is a perfect fit. Although a bit small for his position, he is an excellent and athletic pass-catching TE, with great blocking skills to complement his receiving repertoire. Pairing him with teammate Ryan Mallett was just the icing on the cake.

5.14 – Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel

Another prospect rumored to be a Dolphins target.

With the 15th pick in the 5th round, the Dolphins select Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel. Having addressed our primary needs, we felt that taking a cornerback to add to our strong stable was our best move. Allen has good size and speed for the position, and with a little polish could become a fantastic defensive back in the NFL. We value his experience and his alma mater, having played four full seasons at Citadel. We are thrilled to add him to our strong secondary.

5.32 – Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State

Tight ends started to go quickly toward the end of the fifth round, and when Jordan Cameron of USC was drafted, I knew I had to make a move. More of a fan-favorite pick, Thomas would bring the Jimmy Graham appeal to the Dolphins. Here is what I said about this pick:

The Dolphins made a move back into the 5th round, swapping 6.14 for 5.32 with the Green Bay Packers and adding a 2012 7th rounder. With the 32nd pick in the draft, the Dolphins select Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State. Reiterating what we said earlier in the draft, one of our goals was to get more athletic at the tight end position. With D.J. Williams and now Thomas, we have realized that goal. Thomas is an immensely talented tight end and, although he is raw and has only played football for a short amount of time, we feel he could develop into the next Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez. With Anthony Fasano, Williams, and Thomas in the fold the tight end position should be one of great strength for the Dolphins for years to come.

7.15 – Damien Berry, RB, Miami

Having traded 7.14 as part of the deal to grab 3.08, I was left with just 7.15 and 7.32. With free agency at a stand-still, I felt it best to stock up on running backs, being that both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are unrestricted free agents, and Lex Hilliard is a restricted free agent himself. Berry was part of a rotating running back crew for the Hurricanes, and a couple of fumbles had him in the dog house towards the end of last season, severely sinking his draft stock. I think he is much better than what he is given credit for.

With the 15th pick in the 7th round, the Dolphins select Damien Berry, RB, Miami. Pairing him with Leshoure could prove to be a great combination, as Berry is a tough runner in between the tackles. He also has some agility for a downhill runner, and soft hands as a receiver. We feel he was underutilized at Miami, hence he is severely underrated going into this draft. Drafting him this late is a slam dunk.

7.32 – Eugene Clifford, S, Tennessee State

A player who won a starting job for Ohio State before transferring, Clifford has some raw skills that could develop nicely in the NFL. I felt that taking a flier on the guy with the final pick was worth it, especially considering Yeremiah Bell is 33. What I wrote about the Dolphins’ final pick in Mock One:

With the 32nd pick of the 7th round, and our final pick in the Mock One draft, the Dolphins select Eugene Clifford, S, Tennessee State. Clifford has great size, speed, and strength for the position, and we felt we could develop him slowly behind Yeremiah Bell. His off-field concerns and tendency to “check out” are acceptable risks at this stage in the draft, and we felt his upside was too great to pass him up here.

  1. helinhater
    April 7, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I’m sorry but this draft was ridiculous.

    You guys had teams trading players…


    So good work on a 7 round mock that doesn’t work.

    • April 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

      To be clear, we actually did not trade players, only draft picks for the 2011 and 2012 drafts. This is actually the current scenario; unless the lockout is lifted and/or they agree on a new CBA in the next three weeks, draft picks are all teams can trade.

  2. jerinvt
    April 7, 2011 at 5:58 am

    that is an outstanding mock draft for the dolphins. you hit the nail on the head with the trade down and the drafting of Mallet and Leshoure. Jeff Ireland can only hope it goes so well!

    • April 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Thanks very much! I hope that the Dolphins can do something like this. I very well could have gone Ingram/Cobb or Ingram/Kaepernick instead of Mallett/Leshoure, but that’s just my preference. If the Dolphins can trade down for some extra picks, I would be very happy.

  3. April 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Very interesting choices, and a very cool experiment. I’m a little skeptical about New Orleans trading up 4 spots to get Corey Liuget though. In this scenario they would only have to wait out KC (who wants a NT not a DE), Indy (who likes drafting DT’s early, but needs O-line help way more), and Jacksonville (who went 4-3 DT last year). And I’ve been super critical in my own blog about the Patriots drafting Heyward at 28. Either way, thanks for the post.

    • April 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Yeah… I may have pushed for that trade hard enough for it to happen. The likelihood is they would not have made that trade for Liuget. Who knows, though…

  4. Steve
    April 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

    You really think a future 4th round pick will let you move up in the 2nd round???

    • April 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

      To move up four spots, I think I might have actually overpaid! But it was worth it to me to ensure that I got Leshoure.

  5. tomb
    April 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

    i like this draft up till the 5th and 7th rounds i think they will draft at least one or two more ol instead of another te and two dbs

  1. April 8, 2011 at 8:12 am
  2. December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

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