This is my second 7 round mock draft. Before I start, let me explain my thinking behind this draft. Coach Philbin has made clear that he loves high character guys. Just look at the Packers team. Great work ethic. They all understand each other. They play as a team. We need that here in Miami. We don't need Marshall whining all the time. Everyone needs to pull together. I think Philbin will set this record straight the minute pre-season training starts. Philbin also said he reckons we have the bones of a good team, we just need a little tweaking here and there. We need an athletic tight end, we need a pass rusher, we need some help on the offensive line. These are all needs that will be covered in this mock draft. But above all, Philbin knows he needs to win now. That's why I think he will go with a free agent quarterback - Manning or Flynn - take your pick. I must admit, I love Robert Griffin. But that trade will hinder this team. Philbin wants to build a team, not a one-man bandwagon. With this in mind, lets get down to business.
Round 1. TE Dwayne Allen.
Yeap, you guessed it. We traded down. I mean Quinton Coples could be had with the 9th overall pick, and is a great talent. But his attitude won't impress Philbin. In Philbin's offense, the key here is an athletic TE. Is he too high here? Maybe. But he sure is worth it. We need to help our QB as much as possible. He needs protecting and he needs weapons. The future Miami QB will get them in this draft. Dwayne Allen is like swiss army knife. He can block, he has nice soft hands, speed is good and can make those cuts and turns. Oh yeah, and did I mention he's got a great handoff and breaks tackles? Hell, he outright flattens defensive backs. This guy will convert short passes into long gains. A Pro-Bowler in the making. An incredibly important player that will help define where this franchise is pointing - upwards.
Round 2. OG Kevin Zeitler.
Philbin needs an athletic offensive line. He gets his guard here. Nice quick feet to play in a high-powered offense. Low centre of gravity and great agility for a pass blocker. Dependable, durable, works hard in the weight room. Good kid.
Round 2. DE Vinny Curry
We traded back and picked up a mid-late 2nd. Philbin addresses the pass-rusher need here. Won't wow you with elite speed as a pass rusher, but will prove incredibly effective across from Cameron Wake. What he does have on his side is a relentless motor, explosion, great strength and NFL calibre tackling. Yes, he may not have the speed of Whitney Mercilus, but he is incredibly football smart. He will make sacks. Imagine you're the opposition QB. You see Wake and Curry lining up against you. Which one does your offensive line defend? One of them will get to you eventually. But above all, he's a team leader. Young players look up to him. Great intangibles.
Round 3. RT Brandon Mosley.
This is one of our biggest needs. A huge need. But that doesn't mean we have to spend a first round draft pick to get him. As I've said, we need athletic offensive lineman. This is one of them. He may be a bit raw, but he sure as hell stepped into the country's toughest conference at college football and played well immediately. Long arms, powerful base, great in pass protection. Great work ethic and excellent preparation. Won the starting RT job in his first year. He'll beat out his competition and win the starting RT job in Miami too.
Round 4. CB Cliff Harris.
My first four picks have been quality picks that will make an immediate contribution. With this pick, we take a little bit of a risk. I can't help but be wowed by this guy on the field. Great hands, excellent anticipatory skills, effective tackler and good speed. He got interceptions against Andrew Luck, not to mention he's a lethal kick returner. Last spring, he was touted as a first round prospect. First round prospect in the fourth round? What's the hitch? Well, he's got a few issues. He managed to rack up $5,000 in fines for traffic tickets. But, if anyone can get him back on the straight and narrow, I know Philbin can. Great value here.
Round 5. OLB Tyler Nielson.
Competition for the OLB spot. Since we're more than likely to operate some form of the 4-3 technique defense, Nielson warrants mention here. He's not a blitzer, and doesn't need to be. Iowa linebackers are known to be athletic, hard working and well-coached. This guy ticks all three of those categories. Great in pass coverage and solid in run defence. Very quick at recognizing and reacting to run v pass when near the line.
Round 6. RB Edwin Baker.
This is an insurance policy in case something happens to Reggie Bush. Youtube this guy. Big play ability with his speed and vision. Once he's in space, he's gone. Imagine if both he and Bush line up together on a few plays. Which one do you defend against?
Round 7. DT Tydreke Powell.
4-3 technique DT. Great frame, measuring at 6"2 and coming in at 309 pounds. Athletic prospect, extremely durable, quick off the snap and disruptive. Problems: not a natural knee bender. Great depth. Coach him up.
All of these players have the potential to make an impact straight away. They're all dependable, durable and football smart. The only risky move was my fourth round pick, but I find it hard to pass on a guy with those physical attributes and on-the-field gameplay. We just need to sort the guy's head out. Philbin has the potential to be a good head coach. He has made his job easier by appointing quality assistants. Now, he's made his life even more easier by signing a good QB ready to start straight away. That QB will have the best possible chance to succeed. He will be protected and have plenty of time to make decisions. This will be especially important if Flynn comes in. He might need a bit of extra time to make decisions than a seasoned veteran in Manning. But above all, the QB will have the weapons. WR, done. RB, done. TE, done. We managed to achieve this, as well as tweaking the defense. We now have two good pass rushers, depth at OLB, depth at CB and depth at DT. Sure, we could do with a FS. Maybe that will get sorted in free agency. Maybe it won't. But I believe with a draft like this, we will soon be making those playoffs for many a year to come.