This past weekend's Senior Bowl, along with the week of practices leading up to the game, featured some of the top names in this year's NFL Draft. It gave all 32 NFL teams a chance to see what a player looks like going though practice repetitions, and let the teams speak to some of the players for the first time. The Senior Bowl also saw some draft prospects rocket up draft boards as analysts and teams got their closer look at players they may not have seen much during the college season.
One of those was North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, who entered the week as a darkhorse first round draft choice and left the game on Saturday as the hot name for the Draft. Obviously, there will be a lot of changes to draft boards and mock drafts over the next three months as we get closer to the actual 2016 NFL Draft, a time span that will include the NFL Scouting Combine later this month, as well as free agency changing team draft needs.
How did the Senior Bowl change mock drafts for this week? We can take a look at Dan Kadar's latest 2016 NFL Mock Draft to get an idea.
Kadar's newest first-round projection has the first two picks from last week's mock draft remain the same, with the Tennessee Titans adding Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and the Cleveland Browns picking California quarterback Jared Goff. The first adjustment comes at pick three, where the San Diego Chargers select Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, compared to last week's pick of Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa.
The biggest change, however, comes at the fourth selection, where the Dallas Cowboys do not take Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, like they did last week. Instead, Kadar has them jumping on the Wentz bandwagon, taking the North Dakota State quarterback with the idea that they can have the small school passer sit behind the incumbent starter and develop - much like Tony Romo did when the Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois.
Wentz jumping into the top four picks shakes things up a little bit for Kadar's mock, with the Jacksonville Jaguars now selecting Bosa, rather than last week's pick of UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, with the fifth selection. The sixth pick has the Baltimore Ravens adding Ramsey, having picked Stanley last week only to see him go to the Chargers this week.
The seventh pick then remained the same as last week, with the San Francisco 49ers selecting Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.
Which brings us to the Miami Dolphins' pick with the eighth overall selection. There are a lot of options on the board here for the Dolphins, with Jack and Reggie Ragland headlining the linebackers available, while the secondary could see Mackensie Alexander or Vernon Hargreaves added. They could also do something unpredictable like target Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, injured Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, or even look at someone like Michigan State offensive tackle/guard Jack Conklin.
Kadar sees Miami make the pick that will help shore up a secondary that struggled throughout the season. With the eighth overall pick, the Dolphins select Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander.
About the pick, Kadar explains, "The level of talent in Miami's secondary is extremely low. Alexander could be drafted at No. 8 and slide right into the starting lineup as a rookie."
About that, Kadar is absolutely correct. The Dolphins need to find someone to hold down the starting cornerback position opposite Brent Grimes - or potentially replace Grimes if the team releases him in a salary cap savings move. Secondary is clearly a need for Miami this offseason, both at cornerback and at safety, as they look to pair a permanent starter next to Reshad Jones.
In the way this board fell, Alexander is not a bad selection. I would probably have picked Jack with the eighth pick, and looked for a cornerback in the second round, but the Dolphins could use a top prospect at the position, and Alexander fills that need.