We are another week closer to the NFL Draft, which means another SB Nation 2015 NFL Mock Draft update from Dan Kadar. He has spent the last few weeks projecting different scenarios, and building mock drafts based on whichever quarterback could be selected with the top overall pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, he changes it up a little bit, projecting not just the pick, but also some other options that could be considered.
Starting with the Buccaneers, he projects Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota being selected with the first selection, but having the obvious option of taking Florida State's Jameis Winston instead. From there, the Tennessee Titans select Winston, with option of Mariota or USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams. The Jacksonville Jaguars, with the third pick, then grab Nebraska defensive end Randy GRegory, with Williams and LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins on the radar.
That pattern if a couple of options for each team, as well as the selection, continues through to the Miami Dolphins, with the 14th overall pick. None of the names he mentions should come as a surprise, as he has previously projected all of them to the Dolphins. With the pick, he has Miami selecting Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton. He explains:
Jared Odrick, the team's best defensive tackle, could exit in free agency. Fellow tackle Randy Starks could be a cap casualty. If either or both are gone, the Dolphins could score with a player like Shelton up front. A linebacker could be in play as well considering the poor play of Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
For the options, Kadar lists Washington linebacker Shqa Thompson and FSU defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
At this point in the offseason, I think this pick, no matter which of the options is used, makes a lot of sense. I do not think it will continue to make as much sense when the Draft itself actually rolls around. My personal guess is, Odrick re-signs to stay with the Dolphins and the team addresses another defensive tackle option in free agency. Thompson could still make sense, but I think the team would like a more proto-typical middle linebacker, rather than another outside linebacker filling a position which actually could already be pretty congested. That's not to say Thompon could not move inside, or that he would not be an asset in covering tight ends, but I am not sold this is where Miami will be looking come late April.
Based on the way Kadar has his mock draft falling, Thompson may be the right option as some of the other choices who could slide to number 14 do not. Wide receiver Kevin White our of West Virginia could be a consideration, but the rest of the early picks at receiver are off the board. Cornerback Tre Waynes from Michigan State comes off the board a selection before Miami. A running back could make sense, if the Dolphins like Melvin Gordon out of Wisconsin (27th to Dallas) or Todd Gurley from Georgia (not selected in the first round), but with the way the league has down graded the importance of a running back, it might be a stretch to see the Dolphins grabbing one with the 14th pick.