NFL Network's Mike Mayock posts one mock draft each year, just before the actual NFL Draft. Rather than posting a dozen mocks throughout the offseason, Mayock uses the offseason to work his analysis of the prospects and his sources within the teams.
Mayock's 2016 NFL Mock Draft was published last night, 24 hours prior to the start of the actual draft. In it, he has the Miami Dolphins looking to add to their defensive front.
Miami holds the 13th overall pick, which means several of their potential targets could be off the board by the time the Dolphins are on the clock. According to Mayock's projection, that includes Ronnie Stanley (3rd to the San Diego Chargers), Ezekiel Elliott (4th to the Dallas Cowboys), Jack Conklin (10th to the New York Giants), and Vernon Hargreaves (11th to the New York Giants).
In that scenario, linebacker Myles Jack, linebacker Darron Lee, cornerback Eli Apple, and cornerback William Jackson are all still on the board, but none of those are the pick according to Mayock. Instead, the Dolphins look to the defensive line for the 13th overall selection, taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson.
Explaining his reasoning, Mayock writes, "Remember, Cameron Wake is 34 years old and Mario Williams is 31. The thing I like about Lawson is he brings diversity. He can go up, down, inside or out."
Mayock is not wrong in looking to get the Miami defensive end group a younger player. Wake is coming off a major injury, and is older now. Williams on the other side is not far behind, which means the team could use Lawson as an option to spell either one of them during a game, and ultimately as a replacement when they retire. It may not be a pick that immediately addresses a need for Miami, but it does give them a talented player at a key position in the NFL.