I've made you wait long enough. While I appreciate your patience, the time has finally come. I present you with Turtle's first 2016 Miami mock draft. I have used the Fanspeak On The Clock Draft Simulator and Draft Board, and only selected available players in the simulator (no trades). This mock gives you a first look on what I think Miami may, and should do in a few weeks in Chicago.
We know the drill by now, so let's get started.
Round 1, Pick 13- The Miami Dolphins select Jack Conklin OT/G, Michigan State University
6'6, 308 lbs-
In this scenario, Conklin is the only remaining option that makes sense and I don't think twice about picking him. VHIII and Elliot are long gone and all that is going through my head is the fact that Miami didn't really do a thing in free agency to fix the offensive line. While I am a big advocate on NOT changing positions, I think Miami would best be served to take Conklin and push him inside for Year 1 as he learns the ropes of the NFL, and stick with Albert and James at left and right tackle, respectfully. Conklin can play both tackle positions as well as guard so if we happen to suffer any injuries to our tackles (you know, like we do EVERY year?) we finally have a serviceable option to fill in. Anybody else remember the Fox, Clabo & Columbo experiments? I do, and they come in the form of nightmares.
Simply put, we need to invest in offensive line because THAT is what smart teams do. We need to start to actually protect our $97-million quarterback and also build a line so that we can practically plug in any running back. I hate to break it to you member s of the Ezekiel Elliot fan club, but without a serviceable line, he would likely be invisible next year. Conklin is the pick, and somewhere you can hear Ryan Tannehill let out a sigh of relief.
Here's a great breakdown at Conklin at MSU for those who want some supplemental reading.
Alternate Draft Pick: None
Round 2, Pick 42- The Miami Dolphins select Artie Burns, CB, The U
6'0, 193 lbs-
Now that we have addressed our offensive line we can start looking at our disaster of our defense. Miami absolutely needs to grab a top cornerback in the top rounds and they do so here with Artie Burns. Burns is a terrific athlete, high school track star, and he's got the size and the speed to be a top cornerback and pair up with some of the league's more athletic receivers. Burns is raw and needs tons of work to get to that level though; he is the type of player that will need to be heavily coached to get his technique to be in the all-pro category. Considering our new defensive coordinator is a defensive back specialist, I think it makes alot of sense to keep Burns in South Florida and develop him on the outside with Byron Maxwell. He's got all the attributes to be a star, so even if he has a learning curve in 2016, I think Artie Burns is worth the gamble here and could be the future at cornerback for the Dolphins.
Alternate Draft Pick: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor (drafted 56 to SEA)
Round 3, Pick 73- The Miami Dolphins select Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
6'0, 239 lbs-
You're going to see a ton of hype surrounding Scooby Wright III, especially here in Miami, mostly due to his numerous comparisons to all-time great Zach Thomas. Scooby may not have the size and speed many teams look for but he's elite when it comes to his motor, instinct and badass name. While his lack of athleticism may make him a better fit in a 3-4, I think Wright would have no problem plugging in at MLB here as a starter which could kick Kiko Alonzo, Jelani Jenkins, and Koa Misi to the outside, where I think they all belong anyways. Scooby is a guy who has always defied the odds his entire life and that motor would make for a solid addition here in Miami. Plus, how great is it gonna be for our marketing team to come up with 'Scooby Sacks' memorabilia..... #PROFIT
Alternate Draft Pick: Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford (drafted 85 to HOU)
Round 4, Pick 107- The Miami Dolphins select Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
6'2, 223 lbs-
The more and more I think about it, the more and more I want this guy on my team. Smith, as you've probably heard about, was a top 10 potential linebacker before blowing out his ACL and MCL last season and there are rumors that his injury has caused nerve damage that may cause him to never be the same player he once was. Smith has everything you need from a linebacker, and his only concerns at this point are his health. Who knows which team will take the gamble on Jaylon, and when, as he has been mocked from the first round to the seventh. All I know is that Miami better do their homework on this kid.
Jaylon Smith would be a perfect mid round pick, especially if Miami ends up trading back and getting an additional 2nd, 3rd or 4th round pick in the process. Somehow Smith was still on the board, so it seemed like a no-brainer on this point. In this scenario, Miami goes back to back linebackers, which is important considering they have an option on Misi and both Jenkins and Alonzo have expiring contracts in 2017. This situation would be ideal in my opinion, because we would transform a position of weakness into a potential powerhouse with Alonzo, Scooby and Smith possibly starting in 2017.
Alternate Draft Pick: None
Round 5, Pick 147- The Miami Dolphins select C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
6'0, 220 lbs-
Miami finally addresses the running back position and (smartly) waits for the 5th round to do so. The Dolphins spend back to back picks on Irish, and look to go into 2016 with a running back committee made of two 5th round draft picks in consecutive years. Prosise is a 3 down back with the size, speed and quickness to go far in this league, however he needs to work on his patience and fumbling issues. I'd like to see Miami really utilize Ajayi as their lead back this season behind their re-built offensive line and I think Prosise is a great piece to pair him with. CJ can work as a spell back to Ajayi and if he can improve his hands he may end up being the perfect 3rd down RB for this offense.
Alternate Draft Pick: Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah (drafted 168 to CAR)
Round 6, Pick 186- The Miami Dolphins select Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
6'0, 212 lbs-
Boykin would probably be drafted a lot earlier if he wasn't simply put, such an idiot. He was one of the most exhilarating players in college football but ended up getting suspended before the Alamo Bowl after allegedly assaulting an officer from questioning about a bar fight the previous night. Not a good weekend for Boykin.
Look, plenty of college kids do dumb stuff. This was a VERY dumb thing, and I know for a fact many teams have removed him from their draft boards completely. But, If Miami thinks he could put his head on straight he would be a great value here and most likely a better option at backup QB then incumbent Matt Moore. Boykin may not have the ideal size, but he's a playmaker and has been compared to Tyrod Taylor. For a 6th round pick I'd consider this a low risk/high reward pick and with the importance of the QB position in today's NFL, I like him if only for solid depth and even possibly as a potential trade option to a desperate team in the future.
Alternate Draft Pick: Matt Judon, DE Grand Valley State (drafted 203 to KC)
Round 7, Pick 227- The Miami Dolphins select Cre'von LeBlanc, CB, Florida Atlantic University
5'9, 194 lbs-
I always implore Miami to explore local talent in the later rounds and this pick just does that. LeBlanc fits a position of need and although he lacks the size and speed we would want as an outside corner, I think he could find a role as depth for a nickel corner in the slot, as well as help contribute in special teams. He's an energetic guy who can be disguised in blitzes and Miami hasn't really had a corner like that since they let Jimmy Wilson (who was also a seventh round selection) head off to San Diego.
Round 7, Pick 231- The Miami Dolphins select Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL, TCU
6'6, 320 lbs-
Rumor has it if you say his name three times in a row all of your wishes will be granted! Seriously though, Vaitai is a late round selection who has played both tackle spots at TCU and could compete for OL depth, something we still don't have enough of. He doesn't display the strength and lateral movement you would like to see in the pros, but with proper coaching he does have the size to possibly find a role as a solid run-blocking guard.
That's all folks! What did you think? Who was your favorite pick? Who was your least favorite pick? Sound off below and make sure to vote and grade this draft selection. Until next time!