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NFL mock draft 2023: Mel Kiper adds offensive line help for Miami Dolphins

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., turned to the offensive line for the Miami Dolphins in his two-round mock draft.

NFL: DEC 05 Giants at Dolphins Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins do not have a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, making mock draft season fairly boring. Most projections of the league’s annual college prospect allocation process only cover the first round, leaving the Dolphins without a selection. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., released his latest 2023 NFL mock draft, and he made a two-round projection, giving us a chance to see the Dolphins make a pick.

The 2023 NFL Draft is a three-day process, with the first round being held on Thursday, April 27. The second and third rounds then take place on Friday, April 28 with the fourth through seventh rounds coming on Saturday, April 29.

This is the fourth mock draft of the year for Kiper, but this time he goes for 63 picks. This draft projection starts with a run on quarterbacks, with the Carolina Panthers selecting Alabama’s Bryce Young first, the Houston Texans adding Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, the Tennessee Titans making a trade to pick Florida’s Anthony Richardson third, and the Indianapolis Colts adding Kentucky’s Will Levis fourth. The Seattle Seahawks make the fifth, and first non-quarterback, pick of the draft, adding Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

Miami comes on the clock with the 51st overall pick, the 20th pick in the second round. The Dolphins use the pick, according to Kiper, to bolster their offensive line, adding TCU’s Steve Avila. Kiper explained the choice, writing:

The Dolphins have just four picks in this draft, two on Day 2 and two on Day 3. I could see them trading down to try to add more. I could see Avila being a good fit because of his versatility. He played every O-line position except for left tackle in college, seeing most of his time at center and left guard. Guard is likely where he would play for Miami. He’s a strong run blocker but he had some inconsistent reps in pass protection.

Kiper’s thought that Miami could trade back to add additional selections would make a lot of sense for the team. If they do not make a deal, adding an offensive lineman could be their move here, potentially setting up a competition between Avila and incumbent left guard Liam Eichenberg. Other options for the Dolphins with this pick could be a tight end or a running back.

The next tight end to come off the board according to Kiper would be Penn State’s Brenton Strange, going 54th overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cincinnati Bengals use the 60th pick in this mock to add running back Zach Charbonnet from UCLA, the next running back to be selected after Miami’s pick.

Avila is listed as the third guard on Kiper’s “big board,” his positional rankings of the college prospects available in the draft. Strange is the fifth tight end, while Charbonnet is the fourth-ranked running back.

Which position makes the most sense for the Dolphins to target with their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? Should they be looking toward the offensive line? Do they need to try to find the tight end that completes head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme? Does a running back make the most sense to take pressure off quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? Should they be looking elsewhere on the roster?