The 2014 NFL Draft is approaching (FINALLY!), which means we are starting to get toward the end of mock draft season for this year. Over the next eight days, we will be inundated with projections of the first round of this year's Annual Selection Meeting, with everyone trying to predict how teams will pick come May 8.
Yesterday, ESPN posted a double feature, with both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., updating their mock drafts. We will take a look at both mocks, starting with McShay's. Kiper's will be posted later today.
McShay starts his fifth 2014 NFL Mock Draft in about the same place everyone seems to be headed now - with the Houston Texans selecting South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Although the Texans could use the pick in an attempt to land the franchise quarterback they need, passing on a talent like Clowney would be tough.
As McShay projects the next nine picks, he sees three of the four top offensive linemen (Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, and Taylor Lewan) all coming off the board, as well as tight end Eric Ebron. After ten picks, the Miami Dolphins are already seeing their presumed draft board get decimated.
Continuing through picks 11 to 18, Miami again sees potential targets, such as wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., defensive tackle Aaron Donald, safety Calvin Pryor, and offensive lineman Zack Martin, all get selected. That leaves Miami with three real options: trade back, select linebacker C.J. Mosley, or reach for the next offensive lineman avaialble.
As McShay predicts it, the Dolphins make the third choice and go get Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Moses is an interesting prospect to watch this year, with some analysts, like McShay, high on the 6'6", 314 tackle, while others see him as a second round target. If I were making this mock draft, I likely would have selected either Mosley, or possibly one of the remaining wide receivers, here, knowing the depth of offensive linemen that will be available in the second round. (On a side note, McShay has Nevada lineman Joel Bitonio, a favorite for the Dolphins in the second round among analysts and mock drafts, coming off the board to the Carolina Panthers with the 28th overall selection.)
McShay writes about the Dolphins' pick of Moses:
The Dolphins should look for an opportunity to move up to go get Zack Martin (the Steelers would be a good potential trade partner at No. 15), but if they stay here, I think Moses makes sense. I don't know that everyone is as high on Moses as I am, but it's hard to have a more glaring need at a position group than the Dolphins have at offensive line. They added some pieces in free agency, including Branden Albert, but they still have improving to do after 2013's franchise-high 58-sack campaign. Moses performed better at left tackle at Virginia than he did at right tackle, so that could make for an interesting situation with Albert slotted for the left side.
How do you view the Dolphins selection of Moses? Would you support the move, or would you consider it too much of a reach?