The NFL is almost to their 2022 calendar and the start of free agency. However, a lot is happening this week as players are cut to make salary cap space, franchise tags and contract extensions are being completed, and trades are beginning to form. While the trades cannot become official until next week’s start to the new league year, the deals are being reported and players like quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz appear set to head to new clubs next year. While all of this is going on, the NFL Draft is of course lingering in the back ground.
ESPN’s Todd McShay released an updated 2022 NFL Mock Draft Wednesday morning - then went back and updated it again following the news of the Wentz trade from the Indianapolis Colts to the Washington Commanders.
How different is this year’s Draft compared to last year’s edition? In 2021, the first three picks in the Draft were all quarterbacks, as were selections 11 and 15. In McShay’s projection for 2022, the first quarterback selected is with the 18th overall pick, with the New Orleans Saints adding Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett with the selection. Before the Wentz trade, he had Pickett to the Commanders at the 11th spot, but even that seems extremely late for the first quarterback selection. It is definitely a different prospect class this year, though things will probably change between now and the Draft as quarterbacks get talked into being the top prospects and teams trade up to grab one of them.
As for the Dolphins, McShay sees them trading out of the first round. Currently holding the 29th pick, a selection that comes from the San Francisco 49ers after last year’s series of trades between Miami, San Francisco, and the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami comes into this year’s Draft with offensive line and running back as the likely top needs. Those needs allows Miami to look to trade back, according to McShay, while the Atlanta Falcons, who selected a wide receiver with the eighth overall pick (Drake London, USC), see the opportunity to move up and select a quarterback.
For the ability to select Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corrall, McShay has the Falcons sending the Dolphins a second-round pick (43rd), a third-round pick, and a fifth-round selection. McShay writes, “Miami, which originally acquired this pick from the 49ers as part of last year’s trade involving San Francisco’s eventual selection of Trey Lance, can still find offensive line help early in the second round. Look for the Dolphins to consider Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann or Washington State’s Abraham Lucas on Day 2.”
Adding additional picks in a year where the Dolphins are probably focused primarily on the offensive line could make a lot of sense. Is this the right move for Miami?