With a title like "Quarterbacks Falling," SB Nation's Mocking the Draft comes out with their latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft, and they live up to the title. While most projections at this point seem to be jamming as many quarterbacks into the top 10 picks as possible, Matthew Fairburn bucks that trend, keeping just Blake Bortles in there with a the Cleveland Browns selecting him with the eighth overall pick after trading back with the Minnesota Vikings.
The next quarterback does not come off the board until the 19th overall selection, a pick originally held by the Miami Dolphins. Fairburn, however, sees Miami dropping out of the first round by giving the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the third pick, the 19th slot to pick up Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. In return, the Dolphins receive picks 39, 70, and 115.
The Arizona Cardinals then add quarterback Johnny Manziel with selection 20, finally taking the last of the big three quarterbacks off the board.
The Dolphins make their first selection in Fairburn's mock with the seventh pick in the second round, grabbing Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson. Fairburn explains the pick, writing:
The Dolphins moved back 20 spots but were able to stockpile draft picks and still land a player who could fill a big need on the offensive line. Branden Albert was a nice signing, and drafting a player like Antonio Richardson would help Miami solidify both offensive tackle spots.
In this scenario, where Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Xavier Su'a-Filo, and Taylor Lewan are all off the board before Miami's original selection at 19, the trade basically becomes a toss up between adding more picks and taking someone like Richardson, or selecting tackle/guard Zack Martin, who most mock drafts see landing with the Dolphins. A trade back, with Richardson as the first pick, is not a bad move by Miami, and still gives them the right tackle they need opposite Branden Albert.
The team then comes back with the 50th overall selection, the 18th pick of the second round, to add guard David Yankey from Stanford. With that selection, the Dolphins essentially solidify an offensive line that allowed 58 sacks last year, a franchise record. Fairburn explains:
It cannot be overstated how important it is for the Dolphins to upgrade the offensive line at multiple spots. David Yankey is versatile, but his best fit in the NFL will be at guard. Miami has a need there.
What do you think of the Dolphins trading out of the first round? Would you be happy with Richardson and Yankey as Miami's first two selections?