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2017 NFL Mock Draft Rounds 2-3: Surprise offensive player for Miami

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There are many, many, many 2017 NFL Draft mocks coming out for the second round of the annual selection meeting today. Most of those mocks are simply a projection of the second round, but NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein published a second- and third-round mock. That alone made it interesting, then the second-round choice for the Dolphins surprised.

Miami holds the 22nd pick in the second round, which correlates to the 54th overall selection, and should be looking to back up a first-round defensive end selection, having grabbed Missouri’s Charles Harris. A pick of linebacker or cornerback makes a lot of sense in the second round, with a guard also on the list of needs. Zierlein does not go any of those directions.

With the 54th overall pick, Zierlein has Miami adding Ohio State running back Curtis Samuel. He explains the pick, writing, “He does a little of everything and adds another explosive option to the Dolphins offense.”

Samuel played H-back for the Buckeyes, so he does not exactly fit a perfect role at the NFL level, but he has the talent to be a success wherever a team defines his role. He could be a running back, or he could be a slot receiver. He has to work on his route running and his hands, but he will create matchup problems wherever he plays. The biggest issue with the idea of Miami adding Samuel is, they already have him. He is taller than Jakeem Grant by about 4 inches, but otherwise, they seem to be about the same player. Grant needs to work on his route running and his hands, but he is explosive and could be a mismatch as the Dolphins work to find his role in the offense.

The Dolphins also already have a running back in Jay Ajayi who gives them their explosive option out of the backfield and a slot receiver in Jarvis Landry who is among the best at the position in the league. They do not seem to need Samuel, especially when you add in reserve running backs Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams, Storm Johnson, and Senorise Perry, along with the wide receiver corps that includes DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Leonte Carroo, and Rashawn Scott to go with Landry and Grant.

With the 97th overall pick, the third round’s 33rd pick, the Dolphins then add Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, which would be a great addition for the team. The 6-foot-3 cornerback plays fast and knows how to use his size. He is still raw, having not started playing football until late in high school, but he could see early playing time due to his natural instincts. As he gains experience, and adds some strength, he should turn into a really solid starting caliber cornerback.

Zierlein’s mock draft has a head scratcher in the second round (without even mentioning guard Dan Freeney, center Pat Elflein, cornerback Sidney Jones, center Ethan Pocic, defensive tackle Montravius Adams, and linebacker Raekwon McMillan all still being on the board for Miami), but the team does add a really good piece in the third round.

Of course, this is just one of the many mock drafts available today - and, if tonight is anything like last night, no one will be able to predict what will actually happen.