It is that time of year. The NFL season is over with the Los Angeles Rams winning Super Bowl LVI over the Cincinnati Bengals and all 32 teams are now preparing for the 2022 season. While scouting events and free agency are the next major events on the NFL calendar, the NFL Draft always pulls us in early as we learn new college players to watch, things teams could do, and speculate at the possibility of a huge haul for our favorite teams. That means, it is officially mock draft season.
In his first 2022 NFL mock draft, released on Monday, Chad Reuter from NFL.com released a three-round projection. The Miami Dolphins come into the 2022 NFL Draft holding the 29th overall pick as their first selection, a pick they have following trades last year that sent their own pick to the Philadelphia Eagles and received the San Francisco 49ers’ pick. In Reuter’s projection, they will not be using the pick.
Instead, the 29th pick lands with the New York Jets - meaning an intra-divisional trade by the Dolphins - while Miami drop back to the 35th overall selection and add a fourth-round pick in the deal.
With the 35th pick, the Dolphins select Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compares Green to former Dolphins Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito and writes of him:
Guard prospect with NFL-ready frame who plays with an impressive level of consistency as a run blocker. Green moves defenders from Point A to Boint B against their will, using hand technique and road-grading leg drive. He possesses adequate foot quickness to operate in a variety of run schemes, but needs to eliminate his tendency to grab when his opponent is slipping away from the block. He has pop and anchor in pass protection, but lacks recognition and mirror technique needed to be at his best against athletic interior rushers. While Green has some areas to improve, his run blocking can be dominant, which gives him a chance to become a good starter very quickly.
The Dolphins then come back on the clock with their own second-round pick, the 50th selection, and head back to Texas A&M for their next pick, adding running back Isaiah Spiller according to Reuter. Zierlein compares Spiller to Rashaad Perry, writing:
Volume-carry running back with good size and talent for starting consideration as a pro. He was slowed, at times, by inconsistent run blocking but was still productive and consistent for much of the 2021 season. He has interior vision and loose hips, allowing him to locate and get to run lanes regardless of traffic. Spiller runs with good elusiveness but stays in that mode a little too long, which can affect his ability to finish with authority. He’s a solid back but not overly dynamic and lacks the desired third-down value right now.
With the 81st overall pick, Reuter has the Dolphins again looking to bolster the offensive line, this time adding Arizona State center Dohnovan West. Zierlein writes of West:
Undersized center prospect with strengths and weaknesses that could match him with an inside/outside zone offense. West could offer guard flexibility, but he’s better suited for the pivot He takes smart angles to his block and makes an effort to improve positioning once he’s connected. He will struggle to contain power in the A-gaps and his tendency to lean in as a pass protector is sure to be taken advantage of if he doesn’t get his posture corrected.
A draft like this may not be the flashiest draft Miami could have, but it could be exactly what the team needs. The Dolphins’ offense needs to improve along the line of scrimmage and they need to find their top running back. Reuter takes a shot at doing exactly that with two picks on the offensive line and a rusher. Are they the right picks to spark a Miami offense under new head coach Mike McDaniel?