Todd McShay thinks the Dolphins' secondary is about to get a whole lot more exciting. - John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Rarely is a sequel better than its original predecessor. Back to the Future II? Awful. Jaws II? More awful. The Adventures of Link? Kill it with fire!!! Of course, there's a small group of sequels that are as good, and perhaps even better, than their respective predecessors. Case in point: The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight and Todd McShay's 2013 NFL mock draft 2.0.
Those of you who have been waiting patiently for Scouts, Inc.'s Todd McShay to release the second installment of his 2013 NFL mock draft are in luck.
McShay this morning published his updated 2013 draft projection, and even a subtle glimpse of the write-up reveals that this year's draft landscape has significantly changed since McShay's initial first-round projection debuted seven weeks ago. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is the No. 1 pick this time around, while Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel and Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan round out the top five selections (yes, that's Jordan going to Detroit, where leadership and integrity go to die).
Other delightful projections from McShay's mock include:
-Cleveland getting fancy at No. 6 with the selection of LSU pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo
-Buffalo at No. 8 pulling the trigger on a warm-weather quarterback (West Virginia's Geno Smith)
-Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore sliding all the way to Tampa Bay at No. 13
-BYU pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah landing in New Orleans at No. 15
-Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o going to Chicago at No. 20
Before we reveal the Dolphins pick, let's take a moment to recognize the fact that McShay does occasionally have his head screwed on correctly. He called the Tannehill-to-Miami scenario pretty early on last spring (and then proceeded to walk the walk during an ESPN ambush segment. You like apples, Skip?), and he projected Mike Pouncey to the Dolphins in January 2011. Of course, it's still early in the draft process, and it's not like McShay's mocks always teem with accuracy (or even logic, for that matter). And with that vote of confidence, here's the No. 12 selection in this year's draft:
Miami Dolphins - Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas
"Dolphins fans would likely prefer to see the team find a solution at left tackle (assuming Jake Long moves on) or a wide receiver who can threaten defenses," McShay wrote. "However, Vaccaro is one of the 10 best overall prospects in the class. He has the athleticism to hold up well against slot receivers and give Miami the kind of versatile playmaker it needs in the secondary."
The statement that Dolphins fans would likely prefer to see the team find a solution at left tackle is enough to blow all sorts of holes in the logic surrounding this projection. Still, Kenny Vaccaro is a big-time wheeler and dealer at the safety position, and his selection at this spot would allow Jeff Ireland to A) finally get an elite-caliber playmaker in Miami's secondary, and B) atone for the decision to skip over Earl Thomas three years ago (regardless of whether it was Parcells or Ireland calling the shots at that point). Vaccaro is a bigger and more complete version of Thomas, and he might actually be a better ball hawk, as well (many of you will initially disagree with that assessment, but go back and watch Vaccaro's 2012 tape. The proof is definitely in the pudding).
For the Dolphins, safety isn't nearly as big of a need as cornerback or wide receiver (or maybe even pass-rusher). But if Vaccaro is still hanging around when Miami goes on the clock on draft night, don't be surprised if Ireland and Co. spring for the Texas product.
Those of you with an ESPN Insider subscription can check out the rest of Big Head Todd's updated mock draft here.