Apart from the 5 round Fanspeak mock draft that was conducted a few weeks ago, this year I've tried to steer clear of mock drafts, and for good reason. Last year, most the media and fans alike had strong suspicions that Ja'Wuan James would be Miami's guy. The year before that, it was Tannehill. Those suspicions proved correct.
But in recent memory, this is the first time that absolutely no one has an idea who the Dolphins will pick.
Does this stop us from producing mock drafts? Absolutely not. Lets check out 3 mock draft scenarios that could very well happen come Thursday night.
Scenario # 1 - Trade Up
The only way I see the Dolphins trading up is if they either see wide receivers Kevin White or Amari Cooper as game changers. Here, Miami failed to conduct a trade with the Raiders, but the Washington Redskins were willing to do business in return for Miami's first, second and one of the fifth round picks.
Round 1 - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The media and fans LOVE Kevin White. I'm more intrigued with Amari Cooper. He can run the full route tree, has excellent hands and creates yards after the catch. Cooper is the perfect fit in Miami's west coast offense. Kevin White was selected by the Raiders here, and thus wasn't even an option for Miami.
Round 4 - Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (Fla.)
Will he fall all the way to round 4? It's very possible. He's as tough as nails, but he's not a powerback due to his size, and needs to improve his pass blocking. But what he does have is athleticism, quick feet and vision. Great upside and could be fun to watch alongside Lamar Miller.
Round 5 - Ben Heeney, ILB, Kansas
If Ben Heeney falls all the way to round 5, it will be a steal. For all Heeney's flaws - supposed lack of athleticism, maxed out frame - he's a smart and instinctive player that knows how to play football. Moreover, he ran a 4.59 40-yard dash time, a 4.00 in the short shuttle and a 6.68 in the 3 cone drill. Also good in coverage and has a non-stop motor. This is a guy you want to root for.
Scenario # 2 - Stay
At this point, I consider this a small possibility. Miami should be active in draft day trades. However, if they feel they can get great value by staying put, lets check out some of the prospects that they could consider.
Round 1 - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Does this guy need any introduction? Tough, physical, explosive, good pass blocker, power back, good hands, can receive the football. He has potential to be elite. Some may suggest it is too high to take a running back here, but this guy will create big plays and will help extend the time this offense has with the football. He will just take the pressure off Ryan Tannehill a notch. However, will the ACL injury scare the Dolphins?
Round 2 - Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
Phillip Dorsett and Nelson Agholor will most likely be gone, but Tyler Lockett will be a good consolation prize. He's elite at three things - speed, acceleration and route running. Those are critical for a wide receiver to have in a west coast offense. Sure, he's small, but so was T.Y. Hilton.
Round 4 - Mycole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois
Mycole Pruitt looks like the second coming of Charles Clay. He's a smaller tight end that has come from a small school, yet his athleticism really stands out on tape. The guy ran the fastest 40-yard dash among tight ends, the highest vertical leap and came third in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttle times. And he was productive! Why isn't this guy higher? You pounce on him in round 4!
Round 5a - Jake Ryan, ILB/OLB, Michigan
Jake Ryan has much of the same problems as Ben Heeney - limited athleticism. And he also tore his ACL in 2013. But again, this guy is a high effort player with all the football smarts. We need more players like this on our team.
Round 5b - Cameron Artis Payne, RB, Auburn
A bit one-dimensional and may only make it in the NFL as a ‘one-cut' runner. Also a poor pass blocker. However, this guy can break tackles and has the speed you want in your running back. In round 5, this is good value.
Scenario # 3 - Trade Down
In the final scenario, Miami trade down into the mid-20's. Think Arizona Cardinals or Dallas Cowboys. The team picks up and extra second round pick in the move. You will all notice the Floridian theme with this one.
Round 1 - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.)
Too high to take him here? Dorsett is an ascending player, and if this team really likes him, they have to take him here. Despite his small frame, Dorsett gets separation from cornerbacks time and time again. Why is this? Elite speed, hands and route running. He can keep the defense honest by bringing in the deep ball, or he can create yards after the catch on those small to intermediate throws. Can play outside, can play inside in the slot. Very versatile player, and is something Miami are missing from their wide receiving corps. Doesn't have to be the main guy either.
Round 2a - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami (Fla.)
How is Perryman not a first round pick? Again, his size. However, it turns out Perryman may just be the hardest hitter in this draft. Old-school inside linebacker with all the smarts you want from the quarterback on defense. May not be as adept in coverage as some of the other prospects, but he will thrive playing behind Ndamukong Suh. Great prospect, I hope we sign him.
Round 2b - P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
Does not have the squeaky clean character this team seems to covet, but the value here is too good to pass up. Outstanding cover corner with good size for the position at 6-0, 196 Ilbs. Also demonstrated his athleticism by running a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash. Does miss the occasional tackle, however, but good player.
Round 4 - Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (Fla.)
This is the second time I've picked Duke Johnson in round 4. This just demonstrates how much I want this guy to fall to this round.
Round 5a - Nick O'Leary, TE, Florida State
The disappointing thing about O'Leary was his 40-yard dash time, when he clocked in at 4.93. But he has great hands and focus to make the difficult catches in traffic. Also a good route runner with a developed route tree. Can learn behind our tight ends for a year or two.
Round 5b - Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State
Miami has a good stable of wide receivers at this point, but the depth in this draft means Vince Mayle is too good to pass up here. Productive player and offers something different - height. He's 6-2 and weighs 224 Ibs. Did have an underwhelming 4.67 40-yard dash time, but offers good value here.
What do you think? Do you agree with some of these selections? Which is the best option for this team? Lets hear your views!
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.