The NFL Draft is now less than a week away. Last night, ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay completed a three round "joint" 2015 NFL Mock Draft, with the two analysts taking turns making the picks throughout the night. They explained the process for the mock by writing:
For this one, it's not about whom we project -- it's about which player we would take at each slot.
Thing is, because we have to alternate picks, we won't always get the player who seems like the best fit for each slot, because that player could be taken the pick before. The ground rules are simple: alternate picks; no trades; no deals that say "I won't take Player X if you don't take Player Y." It's just "This is whom I'd take" at every slot on the board for three full rounds.
McShay started the picks, taking James Winston, quarterback from FSU, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first overall selection. Kiper then selected Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota for the Tennessee Titans with the second pick, followed by McShay giving the Jacksonville Jaguars Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Kiper picking USC defensive end Leonard Williams for the Oakland Raiders, and McShay taking Florida defensvie end Dante Fowler for the Washington Redskins.
One of the keys to this year's Draft may be running back Todd Gurley from Georgia. Coming off a knee injury, Gurley had been falling toward the back of the round in earlier mocks. With a medical clearance now in his pocket, Gurley has jumped back up the board, sometimes landing with the Miami Dolphins at the 14th overall selection. In this scenario, McShay does not let Gurley get out of the top ten picks, with the New York Giants adding him with the ninth overall selection.
Moving to the Dolphins' selection, Kiper makes the pick, adding Central Florida wide out Breshad Perriman to the Miami roster. Explaining the selection, Kiper writes:
We have the intermediate targets in Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. Now I have the sub-4.3 speed (at near 220 pounds) to keep safeties honest, and Perriman is playmaker after short catches as well. This helps my franchise QB.
Perriman to the Dolphins is becoming more-and-more a popular pick, especially if Gurley is not available. He has the prototypical wide receiver size and incredible speed, so he could absolutely be an asset for the Dolphins. The concerns of his drop rate and his raw route running are something the Dolphins would have to work to improve quickly, especially if he is going to have success in Bill Lazor's offense as a rookie.
In the second round, McShay has the Dolphins' 47th overall pick. He projects Miami taking Viriginia outside linebacker Eli Harold, a pass rusher who could be extremely effective in the NFL. It appears to be a true, best-player available pick, one which McShay explains, stating:
This pick doesn't make sense from a scheme fit or need perspective, but he's too good of a value at this point to pass up. We'll need to find a way to get Harold on the field as a pass-rusher.
I do not mind the pick from the value perspective, and think it does make some sense. Adding a pass rusher, however, is not something Miami really needs to do here, given the presence of Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon as the starters, with Derrick Shelby, Dion Jordan, Terrence Fede, and Chris McCain all looking for playing time behind them. Miami has a logjam at the position, one which the addition of Harold only would be made worse. I think adding someone like Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney (51st overall to the Houston Texans), Florida State guard Tre Jackson (52nd to the Philadelphia Eagles), or even Miami tight end Clive Walford (58th to the Baltimore Ravens) would make more sense, based on this projection.
Since Miami does not currently hold a third round pick, and there are no trades in this mock draft, the Dolphins only come out of the McShay-Kiper Mock with these two selection. What do you think of the picks?