As the calendar nears the end of January, we are still three months - and a free agency period - away from the 2016 NFL Draft. At this point, mock drafts are simply trying to project possible picks for each team based on the draft needs as they currently stand. With that limitation in pick projection as a guide, SB Nation's Dan Kadar released his latest 2016 NFL Mock Draft with three possible picks for all 31 teams (the New England Patriots do not have a first round choice this year as part of their punishment from the "Deflategate" scandal).
Kadar's look at the Miami Dolphins focuses entirely on the defense, primarily in the secondary. His first choice for the team is Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander. As he does with the primary pick for each team, Kadar writes aboutt he Miami selection of Alexandar:
Miami's secondary is so light at talent at cornerback, it can be hard to see them going in another direction with the No. 8 pick. Alexander gets the edge over Florida's Vernon Hargreaves because he has the greater long term upside.
He really is not wrong with his explanation. Brent Grimes, despite being added to the Pro Bowl this year as an alternate, did seem to regress some during the season, and there really was no consistent starter opposite Grimes for much of the year. Miami addressing the cornerback position is the most probable use of the eighth overall pick, with linebacker a possibility as well.
Kadar's second choice for the Dolphins is the other cornerback he mentioned, Florida's Vernon Hargreaves. He also has Miami potentially taking Oregon defenisve end DeForest Buckner. Hargreaves Kadar predicts going 14th to the Oakland Raiders, basically because he is the best player still on the board at that point and Kadar could see him landing a starting spot by the time the season begins.
Buckner, Kadar has coming off the board a pick after Miami, ending up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the ninth selection. Of Buckner, Kadar writes:
Buckner is a high-level athlete who is more pro-ready than former teammate Arik Armstead, who was a first-round pick last year. Buckner has length, and he's an explosive pass rusher who some believe is just scratching the surface of his potential.
The selection of Buckner could make a lot of sense for Miami if Olivier Vernon does not re-sign this year, instead choosing to join another team in free agency. It makes even more sense if Cameron Wake, who tore his Achilles tendon during the season, is not full recovered from his injury.
Some of the other names Dolphins fans are discussing this early in the Draft process are Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is picked fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys; UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, fifth to the Jacksonville Jaguars; Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, 11th to the Chicago Bears, and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, 16th to the Atlanta Falcons.
What do you think of the three choices Kadar lays out for the Dolphins?