Mock Draft season is reach its peak right now and will continue through this weekend's draft and on to Monday. This week will feature everyone (us here on The Phinsider included) projecting the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, which will be held Thursday. Friday will then feature second- and third-round mock drafts, followed by fourth- through seventh-round mocks on Saturday. Sunday will be focused mostly on draft grades and results, but by Monday, we will have the "way too early" 2017 Mock Drafts making their appearances.
If you do not like mock drafts, this is going to be a rough week.
This morning, we start the mock draft peak with a look at Peter King's Mock Draft. In his introduction to the projection, King writes that the " first or second or third player on a bunch of team's boards is going to be sitting there at seven, eight or nine, and so I expect more trades in the first 90 minutes of Thursday night's festivities. Multiple trades. 'Someone's going to see Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner sitting there at eight and blow away Cleveland with an offer,' one personnel director said Saturday. 'After the quarterbacks, there's a major difference of opinion on players, depending on what team you're talking to.'"
That could make for some fun at the start of this year's college selection process.
As for the mock itself, King starts with the Los Angeles Rams selecting Cal quarterback Jared Goff, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles adding North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Both of those teams traded up to get into the top two picks in the Draft, and it seems a lock at this point that these two players will be selected in these spots.
The rest of the top five has the San Diego Chargers picking Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the Dallas Cowboys adding running back Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State, and then a trade. King projects the Tennessee Titans, who previously held the top overall selection, to move back up from the 15th overall selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars' fifth position, giving Jacksonville the 15th pick, the 33rd pick (second round), and the 76th pick (third round). The Titans then add the player they were previously mocked to select with the first pick, Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Jumping back to the Miami Dolphins' 13th overall selection, King has a fairly beat-up draft board for the Dolphins. Elliott would seem to be the team's top choice, but he was selected with the fourth pick. After that, more potential Dolphins targets start falling off the availability list, with Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley being picked by the Cleveland Browns with the eighth selection, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers adding Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with the ninth pick, and the New York Giants selecting UCLA linebacker Myles Jack with the 10th pick. That leaves Miami to decide between one of the remaining cornerbacks or Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin.
For King, the cornerback selection makes the most sense. He projects Miami to select Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. He explains his choice, writing:
The guy Miami would love is Ezekiel Elliott, but moving up for him would be extremely hard if he's coveted by Dallas. Still, Apple's an opportunistic pick, a pro-ready cornerback on a defense desperate for one, after starting for two years on an Ohio State defense that prepares its players so well for the NFL. Remember one thing, though, about the Dolphins: Mike Tannenbaum always is ready to move on draft day, so I don't think it's impossible that he could find a way to move up for Elliott, if Dallas passes on him.
Apple is picking up steam as an option for the Dolphins, who may have to select him in a scenario such as this one. Conklin should still be considered an option, and Miami may decide protecting Ryan Tannehill is the most important move at this point. The team could also look at Houston cornerback William Jackson III, who is still on the board, as is Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who had been a popular pick for Miami in earlier mock drafts, but seems to be falling back to a later first round pick in some mock drafts now.
With a draft board that was not kind to Miami, was King's pick the correct one for the Dolphins?