The NFL regular season ended yesterday. That means, today officially marks the start of Mock Draft season. From now until the start of the Draft on April 28, we will have plenty of debate, speculation, rumors, and smokescreens about who the Miami Dolphins could select with the eighth overall pick. Most of us will make at least one mock draft, and we will analyze the ones posted all over the web. Even as the NFL Playoffs continue toward the Super Bowl, mock draft season will continue to dominate.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar kicked off the official start to mock draft season with his latest 2016 NFL Mock Draft, projecting picks for all 32 teams in the first round. According to Kadar, the Tennessee Titans, who hold the first overall pick this year, look to protect their selection of quarterback Marcus Mariota last year by adding Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil this year. The Cleveland Browns, who are pretty well done with the Johnny Manziel experiment, select California quarterback Jared Goff with Kadar's second pick.
The third pick has the San Diego Chargers selecting Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. With the fourth pick, Kadar selected Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith for the Dallas Cowboys, noting that the pick is pending the seriousness of Smith's knee injury from the Fiesta Bowl. Rounding out the top five picks, Kadar has the Jacksonville Jaguars picking Florida State cornerback/safety Jalen Ramsey.
That means two key targets for the Dolphins, Smith and Ramsey, are off the board in the first five picks. Picks six and seven, however, turn to the offense as the Baltimore Ravens pick Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and the San Francisco 49ers pick up Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. That leaves Miami, with the eighth pick, with a perfect fit sitting on the board.
With the eighth pick, the Miami Dolphins select Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
Kadar explains the pick, writing:
Miami doesn't have a lot of talent at cornerback other than Brent Grimes, who will be 33 at the start of next season. Some consider Hargreaves the draft's best cornerback. For the Dolphins, he could slide into the starting lineup straight away and provide an immediate upgrade to the pass defense.
Hargreaves is probably the exact right pick for the Dolphins at this point. They need to add help in the secondary, and this pick immediately addresses that. If you said the Dolphins selected someone like Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland (11th to the Chicago Bears), I probably would not complain, but I think if you can grab Hargreaves here, you do not hesitate.