We had some fun last year using FanSpeak.com's On the Clock Mock Draft simulator, which incorporates various "big boards" from around the web, and lets you run through a projection of the 2016 NFL Draft, whether it is one round or all seven. You get to choose which team for which you will pick, and, if you have the Premium version of the application ($5.95), you can include trades in your mock draft.
Since it seemed like an enjoyable thing last year, I figured why no do it again this year? I ran through one mock draft, using CBS's big board and the Premium version, to pick for the Miami Dolphins' first three rounds. (Note: In an effort to be transparent, FanSpeak did waive the Premium fee for me so I could do this draft.)
The draft started with two trade offers, offers that likely would not happen in a real draft given they were from Miami's AFC East division rival Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. I accepted the Bills' offer, trading back from the 13th overall pick to the 19th position, picking up the 18th pick in the second round as well.
When the 19th pick came up on the clock, the Cincinnati Bengals then offered me a trade, sending them the 19th pick for the 24th overall pick, as well as their third, fourth, and fifth round picks. I immediately accepted that trade as well.
Throughout the rest of the draft, a few other trades were offered, but I did not accept any others. After all the trades, Miami owned the 24th- (1st round), 42nd- (2nd round), 49th- (2nd round), 73rd- (3rd round), and 87th- (third round) overall picks, as well as two fourth-round, two fifth-round, a sixth-round, and two seventh-round picks. Again, I was only looking at the first three rounds, so the fourth- through seventh-round picks are not necessary.
When I finally was on the clock for the 24th pick, I used it to take Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. That fills one need for the Dolphins, while grabbing a really talented player.
Coming into the second round, Miami has two picks thanks to the Bills trade. With the 42nd overall pick, I selected Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair, which again fills a need for Miami, with a player that could be a first-round pick when the actual draft finally rolls around late next month. Whitehair gets compared to Zack Martin a lot, and he should be an immediate starter for the Dolphins, which solves one of the guard position questions still hanging over the club.
The second second-round pick was then used to add Alabama running back Derrick Henry, giving Miami a power running back and someone who can split carries with Jay Ajayi immediately.
The third round of the Draft saw Miami holding the 10th pick in the round (73rd overall) and the 24th pick in the round (87th overall). With that first choice in the round, I added USC outside linebacker Su'a Cravens. It might be a little late to expect Cravens to be on the board, but he does seem to be a question mark for draft analysts, with grades ranging anywhere from the first round to the third round. The Dolphins would likely slide Cravens into the weakside linebacker position, which would mean the team would either need to decide if Jelani Jenkins could take over the starting strongside position from Koa Misi, or if Misi keep that spot, and Jenkins becomes the top reserve linebacker.
With the last pick of my mock draft, I strongly considered looking for a defensive end or another cornerback, and also thought about selecting Stanford tight end Austin Hooper, but I doubled down on the guard position, adding North Carolina's Landron Turner. The Dolphins would likely need to develop Turner for a year, working to pull his pass-blocking up to the same level as his run-blocking, but it could be a developmental season worth undertaking. It could also give Miami some depth at guard, especially if they do not feel Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, and Jamil Douglas are the players they wanted when they were drafted, the UNC Turner's presence on the roster could also provide the Dolphins with a 2017 starter if Jermon Bushrod or Kraig Urbik prove to be one-year rentals.
To review my draft:
- 1st Round, 13th overall pick - Traded to Bills for 1st (19th) and 2nd (49th) round picks
- 1st Round, 19th overall pick (from BUF) - Traded to Bengals for 1st (24th), 3rd (87th), 4th, and 5th round picks
- 1st Round, 24th overall pick (from CIN) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
- 2nd Round, 42nd overall pick - Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
- 2nd Round, 49th overall pick (from BUF) - Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
- 3rd Round, 73rd overall pick - Su'a Cravens, OLB, USC
- 3rd Round, 87th overall pick - Landon Turner, G, UNC
You can check out the entire draft, if you would like to see how the board fell each round, by clicking here.