NFL mock draft season hits its height in the week leading up to the NFL Draft, but that does not mean it ends when the real Draft begins. The first round being completed simply means it is time to predict the second round. SB Nation's Dan Kadar takes a shot at doing exactly that this morning, projecting all 32 picks for the second round in his latest 2015 NFL Mock Draft.
The Draft order changes up a little today, as teams with identical records begin their rotation of their pick order. That's why we now have the Tennessee Titans making the first pick of the day, rather than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had the first overall pick yesterday. The Titans, according to Kadar, could look to back up their selection of quarterback Marcus Mariota by adding Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong with the 33rd overall pick. Behind them, the Buccaneers add protection for first overall pick Jameis Winston by grabbing Florida State guard Tre Jackson. The Oakland Raiders come up third in the round, selecting Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, while the Jacksonville Jagaurs take the third running back off the board when they select Boise State's Jay Ajayi. The New York Jets take a shot on a player with off-field issues, including, potentially, an undisclosed injury, in grabbing Nebraska outside linebacker Randy Gregory with the fifth pick of the round, the 37th overall selection.
The Miami Dolphins select 15th in the second round, holding the 47th overall selection. After adding wide receiver DeVante Parker in the first round, Kadar has Miami selecting a player who will make many Dolphins fans happy: UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks. He explains his reasoning behind the pick, writing:
Kendricks would slot into the starting inside linebacker spot for the Dolphins, allowing them to move Koa Misi back outside.
There are a couple of other choices that could be of interest for Miami in this scenario, including someone like Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who could line up next to Ndamukong Suh on a dominant defensive line, or tight end Maxx Williams, who will be the best pass catching tight end to come out of this Draft. There are also offensive line options (T.J. Clemmings, Jake Fisher, or even La'el Collins) as well as other linebackers who could be a consideration (Denzel Perryman, Benardrick McKinney). At the end of the day, however, picking up Kendricks could be exactly what Miami needs to solidify their linebacker corps, with, as Kadar wrote, Misi moving back to the outside. A lineup of Jelani Jenkins, Kendricks, and Misi would be a solid starting group for the Dolphins.
I really like the pick, and would not be at all upset if it plays out like this in the real version of the second round later tonight.