It's that time of year my friends. We are within one week of the NFL Draft, and with all of the excitement and anticipation comes a load of rumors and fabricated stories. The Miami Dolphins are currently slotted to pick with the 19th selection in this May's NFL Draft, but with all of the swirling hoaxes no one knows what is going to happen on draft night.
The Dolphins, as I wrote the other day, have been rumored to be interested in trading up to the Minnesota Vikings' eighth spot to select an OT. This comes after news that Zack Martin, the OT who has been selected by the Dolphins in experts' mock drafts for months, is moving up boards and might not make it out of the top 15 picks. However, the rumored trade up target is Jake Matthews, who some say could possibly slip in the draft.
The Dolphins are also said to be interested in selecting OTs Ja'Wuan James, Cyrus Kouandjio or Morgan Moses with the 19th pick.
And, this is the fun part, this all comes mere weeks after Mel Kiper mocked CJ Mosley to the Dolphins at 19 for the first time.
Smokescreens, dummy trails, it doesn't matter what you call them, it just matters that you don't follow them. The Dolphins have done their due diligence to release information that leaves everyone guessing and keep their true draft plans a mystery. The conflicting speculation and confusion amongst the fan base & media is what the Dolphins want. We won't know their true plans until May 8th.
That being said, let's get back to a simpler type of speculation, predicting who the Dolphins will pick where they stand now based off of the recent rumors.
Ja'Wuan James from Tennessee has been mentioned by Ian Rapoport as name to watch if the Dolphins don't trade up. James has started 49 games at RT in his career at Tennessee and could step in as a day-one starter and provide solid pass protection for Ryan Tannehill.
James would be considered a reach to some, but James' talent is coveted in NFL circles and some even believe he could make the transition over to the left side of the line, a very uncommon shift (former college LTs usually switch to RT).
James would start at RT from day one and eventually become the Dolphins LT if they select him with the 19th pick. If the Dolphins didn't believe James could play LT in a pinch or own the position after Branden Albert's eventual departure then selecting him with the 19th pick would be unwise.
Morgan Moses is also a name that has been linked to the Dolphins' 19th selection. Moses, whose name has been on the rise, played LT at Virginia and would make the transition from the left to the right side. Moses worked under new Dolphins' OC Bill Lazor when Lazor held the same position for the Cavaliers. Moses, like James, also has potential to play LT.
Moses has had questions about his attitude surface, but Moses could be the Dolphins' target at 19 and the recent James rumor could be another smoke bomb to keep the media off of Miami's trail.
Again, more speculation but that's what this final week before the draft will be filled with.
The bottom line with both James and Moses is that they are good players who fill a position of need but would be ideally scooped up in the second round. The OT market is hard to judge with some predicting the fall of some top tier OTs and some saying at least six OTs will be gone before the first round is over. The truth is it's a premium position that must be filled, so a run will happen on the good ones.
The Dolphins must surmise that a capable day-one RT starter can be acquired after the first day of the draft if they decide to select a player like CJ Mosley or one of the talented WRs like Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham Jr and bypass the RT position in the first round.
The Dolphins have a lot of holes heading into this draft, but none more glaring than the offensive line. The offense put up only 19.8 points per game last season, and while Lazor has been inserted to fix that, nothing will change without an effectively rebuilt group in the offensive trenches.
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