Welcome to the 2015 NFL Mock Draft season, a place where. despite having just completed the 2014 NFL Draft, we can begin discussing the prospects for next year's selection meeting. While a million different things will change between now and the actual Draft - like, I don't know, a college and a professional season - it's still fun to see where the early projections have teams looking. For us, the obvious focus is on the Miami Dolphins.
Matthew Fairburn from SB Nation's Mocking the Draft put together an admittedly way too early 2015 NFL Mock Draft, using the latest Super Bowl odds from Bovada to determine the draft order. That lands the Dolphins with the ninth overall pick, much earlier than any of us are hoping they make their choice come next spring.
The Draft starts with the Jacksonville Jaguars on the clock. They, of course, just added their quarterback with the selection of Blake Bortles this weekend, so they look to Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory in the top spot. The Oakland Raiders then select Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat with the second selection, followed by the Tennessee Titans taking the first quarterback off the board in Oregon's Marcus Mariota.
The Cleveland Browns have the fourth selection, thanks to the trade back in this weekend's draft allowing the Buffalo Bills to select Sammy Watkins. With that pick, they add Clemons linebacker Vic Beasley (then come back with their own pick, the tenth selection, to bring wide receiver Nelson Agholor from USC to Cleveland). The fifth selection belongs to the New York Jets, who add Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Jumping to the ninth pick, the Dolphins are on the clock and do something no team in two years has done - take a running back in the first round. Fairburn could see Georgia running back Todd Gurley heading south to Miami. As a true freshman in 2012, Gurley ran for 1,385 yards on 222 carries, giving him a 6.2 yards per carry average, with 17 touchdowns. He also caugh 16 passes for 117 yards. He missed three games with an injured ankle in 2013.
Last season, he carried the ball 165 times for 989 yards (6.0 YPC), with 10 touchdowns. He totaled 441 receiving yards on 37 receptions, with six more touchdowns.
Gurley has even received comparisons to Georgia star runner Herschel Walker.
Given the Dolphins' focus on rebuilding the offensive line in this year's Draft, the 2015 edition of the selection process should be more about adding playmakers. Gurley could be that guy. Add in that Knowshon Moreno only signed a one-year contract this offseason and Daniel Thomas' contract runs out after this season, and the running back position could suddenly be a need for Miami heading into the 2015 Draft.
Do you think the two-year trend of running backs falling out of the first round ends in 2015? Could the Miami Dolphins be the team to end it? Would you agree with the pick?