Miami Dolphins Mid-Free Agency Complete 7-Round Mock Draft
With the biggest stages of free agency and most pro days now behind us, NFL teams will now look ahead toward the draft while continuing to evaluate film and create their draft boards.
The Miami Dolphins have done a lot of good work in free agency, and I wanted to wait until after their biggest moves were made before starting to construct my first mock of the season. It's pointless to do one beforehand because team needs change drastically.
This draft is more about what I would do and not projecting what I think the Dolphins actually will do. For more insight into how I'm evaluating and ranking some of these players, check out my most recent player rankings.
Here is my first complete Dolphins-only mock draft of this draft season.
*Compensatory picks will change the overall slot for Round 4 and later, so those numbers were left off here
Round 1 (19): Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
While the Dolphins signed both Branden Albert and Shelley Smith to help bolster the offensive line, that only did half the job. It seems like the whole world has pegged Zack Martin as the guy to help plug those remaining holes, but I would like to see a different lineman in the first round.
Su'a-Filo is one of the best athletes and most overlooked talents in this entire draft class. His quickness and technique are impressive, and his resume, frankly, is unbelievable.
As a true freshman at UCLA, Su'a-Filo started all 13 games at left tackle after an All-American high school career. He then went on to split time between left tackle and left guard in his following two seasons, earning many All-America and All-Conference accolades.
So why isn't he more hyped? One reason is that he took two years off after his freshman year to go on his Mormon mission. Another is his size (6'4", 307 lbs., 33 3/8" arms), which puts him in a "tweener" category for some.
But to me, Su'a-Filo is a premier talent who could play both guard and tackle in the NFL. He would be a perfect fit at No. 19 overall for the Dolphins.
Round 2 (50): Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
This pick could be determined by the rest of free agency, as I'm a bit surprised Miami has not picked up a third starting-quality offensive lineman.
Bitonio wouldn't be a sexy pick, but he would finish the job of revamping the offensive line for good. While he isn't a star with a high ceiling, he's a really solid prospect.
A left tackle at Nevada, Bitonio was moved to guard at the Senior Bowl and flourished. His measurables are almost identical to Su'a-Filo, and he could also get looks at both right tackle and guard.
That kind of versatility is key on a rebuilding offensive line, and Bitonio's experience, quick feet and scrappy style will help him adjust and push for time right away.
Round 3 (81): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Desir was a complete unknown until January, when he turned some heads at the Shrine Bowl and was then given a late invite to the Senior Bowl.
Against the best competition he's ever faced, Desir was exceptional and really looked like a stud battling at the line of scrimmage and making sharp plays on the ball.
A native of Haiti, Desir dominated at the Division II level. His collegiate background will obviously make him a bit of a question mark moving forward, but his athleticism is tantalizing.
But at the combine, Desir again looked solid and measured in at 6'1" with 33" arms, which can make any scout take a second look. He's going to be drafted a lot higher than people think because of his immense upside, and Miami would be wise to add him to a cornerback corps that is relying solely on Brent Grimes as of now.
Round 4: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
For all the resources Miami has put into their offense over the past three years, they have remained among the bottom of the league in yards and points scored.
Matt Waldman has called Ellington "a Swiss Army knife equipped with a butane lighter that doubles as a jet pack," and I'm also excited about Ellington's potential.
As a two-sport star in football and basketball at South Carolina, Ellington showed that he's an electric athlete and fierce competitor who can overcome his 5'9" frame to be a legitimate playmaker.
He put up some really impressive numbers at the combine, with a 4.45 40-yard dash and 39.5" vertical. His tape shows an extremely agile but hard-running receiver and returner who could provide a major spark for the Dolphins at a very good value.
Round 5: Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State
Bullough is a guy who will end up being drafted a lot lower than anyone anticipated in the middle of the 2013 season, when his stock peaked as a Day 2 player.
He was the backbone of a Michigan State defense that was arguably the best in the nation throughout the 2013 season, and his consistent, tough play was encouraging.
But then he got suspended for the Rose Bowl, the second suspension of his career, and his stock began to fall. At the end of the day, his quickness is really what was going to limit his stock all along, and it is definitely a concern.
While nobody doubts his strength or instincts, he's pretty stiff and is a liability in coverage. With the Dolphins mulling some positions changes at linebacker, however, Bullough would actually be a solid NFL-ready candidate to plug the middle on early downs.
Round 6: Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State
This would honestly be my favorite pick in the entire draft if Miami were able to pull it off. Crowell is an incredibly tough player to determine his draft stock, and he could easily go at the top of the fourth round as easily as he could slip.
His story is pretty well-known to college football fans to this point. He was a star as a freshman at the University of Georgia before running into some trouble and transferring to Alabama State, where he had a great career against obviously inferior competition.
Crowell is a powerful, athletic back who can bulldoze linebackers and also run away from safeties. He's got exceptional talent and would be an ideal complement to Lamar Miller.
But people will question off-the-field stuff, although I find it to be way overblown. His only brush with the law was a weapons arrest in 2012 which has since had the charges dropped. Crowell is the potential steal of the draft.
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