The NFL landscape changed drastically over the last few weeks, with teams addressing potential draft needs by signing veteran free agents. The Miami Dolphins, for example, have been heavily mocked to select a defensive tackle early in this year's Draft; signing free agent All Pro Ndamukong Suh more than filled the need. Where will the Dolphins look now? ESPN's Todd McShay released his fourth 2015 NFL Mock Draft today, giving us a projection of the first round pick for the Dolphins, and the other 31 teams.
McShay starts his latest projection exactly where everyone would expect, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Immediately after that, he takes the second quarterback off the board, with the Tennessee Titans adding Oregon passer Marcus Mariota. He then sees the Jacksonville Jaguars picking Alabama wide out Amari Cooper, the Oakland Raiders selecting USC defensive end Leonard Williams, and the Washington Redskins rounding out the top five with a selection of Florida defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr.
The Dolphins, who could be hoping for one of the top three wide receivers (Cooper, Kevin White (7th to the Chicago Bears), or DeVante Parker (10th to the St. Louis Rams)) to fall, do not have that luck in this projection. Picking 14th, the team simply has had to wait to see what the board looks like when they come up on the clock. McShay could see the team stay in the state of Florida with their pick, though many would call it a reach.
With the 14th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, McShay mocks Miami to select Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman. McShay explains the pick of the 6-foot-2, 212-pound junior, writing:
We haven't had Perriman going this early in our previous mocks, but we've seen two promising signs from him as we've gone through the evaluation process. 1.) His ball skills, which were something of a concern on his early-season tape, appeared to get better as the year wore on. His performance in UCF's bowl game against NC State was the best we've seen from him in terms of catching the ball. 2.) He verified the speed he flashes on tape with 4.24 and 4.27 40 times at his pro day last week. Miami could use him to replace Mike Wallace as its deep threat opposite fellow newcomers Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron, giving QB Ryan Tannehill some talented weapons to work with.
Perriman is not someone who has been linked to the Dolphins yet, and is a little of a surprise at the 14th position; Miami has made several surprise - or "reach" - picks in recent years, so this could well be another. Perriman ran a 4.24-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, and was the first UCF receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark in nearly a decade. He is a big receiver, but is also fast enough to force mistakes from cornerbacks. He has had a drop problem, and he is not a sharp route runner, which seems to be a necessity for the Dolphins' offense.
NFL.com's assessment of Perriman seems very similar:
Rare combination of size, top-end speed and suddenness that can be found in some of the best receivers in the game. His routes are sloppy and a work in progress, but his hands keep him out of the top tier of receivers. His drops will drive teams crazy, but his physical traits and ability to hit the big play should warrant early round consideration.
What do you think of the pick of Perriman for the Dolphins?