ESPN's Todd McShay has released his latest 2015 NFL Mock Draft, updating his 1.0 mock from back in December. He writes that a lot has changed in the time between updates, including the entire NFL playoffs and college "all-star" bowl games. He also explains, "the opinions of NFL evaluators are beginning to change on several prospects now that teams are getting deeper into their tape study."
He starts his mock by changing which quarterback he is projecting to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall selection. Previously, Oregon's Marcus Mariota claimed the position, but in this version, McShay has Tampa Bay selecting Florida State's Jameis Winston. Behind them, he has the Tennessee Titans addding USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the Jacksonville Jaguars picking Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, the Oakland Raiders picking Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, and the Washington Redskins selecting Missouri defensive end Shane Ray. It is not until the sixth pick that McShay sees Mariota coming off the board, heading to the AFC East with the New York Jets.
As for the Miami Dolphins, who own the 14th overall selection, McShay goes away from the current consensus, where Miami is selecting either a defensive tackle or a middle linebacker, to target another area on the defense
Trae Waynes, cornerback, Michigan State
Two of Miami's top needs are inside linebacker and wide receiver, but it's too early to take an ILB here and all three of the WRs worth drafting at No. 14 overall are already off the board in this scenario. Cornerback is another need area, and while Marcus Peters has better tape, he brings with him some baggage after being kicked off of the Washington team last season. The Dolphins aren't in the business of taking chances on character risks right now, so Waynes might make more sense. He's a playmaker with very good ball skills and has the length and athleticism to hold up as a cover corner, and he shows good recognition skills and can help in run support. His biggest weakness is technique, but that's coachable.
Just based on height alone, Waynes could be a good selection for Miami. At 6-foot-1, he would immediately become the tallest cornerback on the roster, tied with Reshad Jones as the tallest defensive back. While Miami has had success with the smaller, athletic cornerbacks, especially the 5-foot-10 Brent Grimes, adding a bigger cornerback seems to be a need for Miami this year, especially if Cortland Finnegan does retire, opening a starting corner position for the 2015 season.
The big concern for Miami's secondary may be the age of the cornerbacks, however. If Finnegan does retire, Grimes would have the most experience, with eight years in the league. After that, the next most experienced players are Will Davis and Jamar Taylor, each with two years in the league - and each have missed playing time due to injuries. R.J. Stanford has four years in the league, but is scheduled to be a free agent in March, as is T.J. Heath with two years of NFL experience. Miami may be going very young at the cornerback position in 2015, and they better be ready to play.
I like the idea of adding Waynes, though he has not really been a consideration I have had at this point in the pre-draft calendar. He still has some development to do, both as McShay said in his technique, and, maybe more importantly, in his strength. At 6-foot-1, he only weights 182 pounds, meaning there is room for muscle, which would help him in jamming bigger cornerbacks. He has the potential to be a great cornerback, and one that could perfectly compliment Grimes on the other side. Would he be ready to start Week 1? That may depend more on Taylor and Davis than on Waynes, but whatever the case, I do like this pick.
How about you? Would you be happy adding Waynes? What about a cornerback in general?