The NFL Draft kicks off next Thursday from Chicago, the second straight season in which the Windy City has hosted the annual selection meeting. NFL Network's Mike Mayock held an NFL Network NFL Draft media conference call on Friday, speaking about many of the prospects who will have their names called throughout the Draft, as well as what some of the league's teams may do with their selection.
One of those teams discussed was the Miami Dolphins, who hold the 13th overall pick. Asked what makes the most sense to him with that pick, and whether cornerbacks Eli Apple or William Jackson III are worth of that draft position, Mayock replied:
I would guess that if that running back slid through, Miami would be a site at 13. From my perspective, he could go as early as 4. He could go 10 to the Giants, 11 to Chicago. But [if] Ezekiel Elliott got to 13, I think they'd have to be excited about that.
And as far as those two corners, they're both a little bit raw for different reasons, but I think I know what they want down there. They want long, pressed corners for Vance Joseph. Both of them can do that. I think William Jackson has better ball skills than Eli Apple. I think Eli Apple tackles a little bit better.
So is it too early to take either of them? Not really. There are going to be runs on corners in a little while. So if they believe that either one of those guys could step in day one and compete, either one of them would be really solid picks, I believe.
Basically, Mayock sees the Dolphins the same way most fans and other analysts see them: ecstatic if Elliott falls to them, but likely to take a cornerback. He also agrees with what seems to be conventional wisdom at this point that the Dolphins want bigger bodied cornerbacks, which brings Apple and Jackson into the conversation and could rule out another cornerback who may still be on the board when Miami selects, Mackensie Alexander.
For comparison, Apple is 6-foot-1, 199 pounds. Jackson is 6-foot, 189 pounds. Alexander is 5-foot-10, 190 pounds.
If it comes down to a choice between Jackson and Apple. which would you prefer, the player with better ball skills or the player who is a better tackler?