ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., is back with his second mock draft of the year, providing his latest projection of how the 2018 NFL Draft’s first round will unfold. With less than a week until the NFL Scouting Combine, Kiper admits that a lot will change with the results from the prospects gathering in Indianapolis, as well as the free agent period that will begin in mid-March.
In his first mock draft, Kiper had the Dolphins selecting Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey. In his second, that pick changes with a huge swing by the Dolphins. Kiper has four quarterbacks being selected in the first round, with all four being picked in the first 11 selections. Where are the Dolphins picking? Eleventh overall.
Kiper begins with Josh Allen, the Wyoming quarterback, being selected number one overall by the Cleveland Browns. The Denver Broncos then take the second quarterback off the board with their fifth-overall selection of USC’s Sam Darnold. The New York Jets then grab Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the sixth pick. With potential Miami targets like Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson (seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Virginia Tech linebacker Treamaine Edmunds (eighth to the Chicago Bears), and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith (tenth to the Oakland Raiders), where do the Dolphins look?
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Kiper explains the pick, writing, “If Rosen drops to No. 11, Miami has to pounce. This is a pick for the best player available. Ryan Tannehill is coming off a torn ACL which caused him to miss all of the 2017 season, and the Dolphins could move on from him next year. Jay Cutler is a free agent. This quarterback situation isn’t solved. Rosen is the most polished quarterback in this class when he’s at his best, and he has rare arm talent. But he was inconsistent in 2017 and dealt with a serious shoulder injury in 2016. His medical reports and interviews with teams at the combine will be extremely important. Miami could also target an offensive tackle or pass-rusher.”
There have not been a lot (if any) mock drafts that have the Dolphins adding Rosen. I personally still think the Dolphins will not be using their first-round pick on a quarterback, but if you have Rosen sitting on the board, and none of those other picks available, he may be the consensus pick to make. Even grabbing Rosen to sit behind Tannehill for a year while the Dolphins try to decide what they have in their 2012 first-round pick could make sense.
Again, I do not think it is a likely scenario, with Miami more likely to take a quarerback on day two or day three of the selection process, but if Rosen is there, he may be the only choice Miami can or should make.