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NFL Mock Draft 2023: ESPN three-round projection gives Miami Dolphins help on both sides of the ball

The Miami Dolphins do not hold a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they are going to add some important pieces, according to a three-round mock from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay.

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

The 2023 NFL Draft is just over a week away. Over the three-day selection process, all 32 teams will add college prospects to their respective rosters, looking to bolster their team ahead of the regular season. For most teams, the mock draft season has been underway for several months now, with members of the media and fans trying to predict how the draft will unfold. Unfortunately, as fans of the Miami Dolphins, mock draft season has primarily been quiet.

The Dolphins do not have a first-round pick this year, having forfeited their pick due to tampering violations with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton. Miami did have another pick, but they used that selection as part of an in-season trade to acquire pass rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos. Most mock drafts only look at the first round, leading to no real interest for Dolphins fans.

This week, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay teamed up to release a shared mock draft, with the two analysts alternating selections. They did not do just the first round in their mock, rather making the first 102 picks over the first three rounds - and giving us a chance to see what could happen for the Dolphins.

The combined 2023 NFL Mock Draft started with Kiper making the first pick, using it to select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young for the Carolina Panthers. McShay then used the second pick to acquire Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud for the Houston Texans. The Arizona Cardinals, holding the third selection, made the first non-quarterback pick in the projection, selecting Alabama defensive end Will Anderson, Jr., according to Kiper. The top five were rounded out with McShay giving the Indianapolis Colts Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson and Kiper adding Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter to the Seattle Seahawks’ roster.

The Dolphins’ first pick does not happen until the 51st overall selection, 20 picks into the second round. Kiper, making the odd picks, looked toward Penn State tight end Brenton Strange for Miami. He explains:

I struggled a little bit with this one, Miami’s first pick of the draft. Could it go with a running back or will it fill that need on the veteran market? I like Strange’s upside as a pass-catcher, and he is more rounded than Mike Gesicki, who left for New England in free agency.

The Dolphins are then on the clock again with the 84th pick, a third-round selection. McShay used the pick to add Notre Dame defensive end Isaiah Foskey to Miami’s roster. He wrote:

It’s a little surprising that Foskey slid this far, as he plays with really good explosion off the edge. And with only four selections, Miami has to nail every one of its picks, and this is good value at this point in Round 3.

With only the two picks in this mock draft, Miami actually comes away in fairly good shape. Adding a tight end makes a lot of sense, with the team trying to replace the pass catching ability of Mike Gesicki, but with the additional ability to be able to block. Head coach Mike McDaniel saw the star that is George Kittle when he was with the San Francisco 49ers and will be looking to find a similar player for his offense in Miami. Could that be Strange?

A defensive end may not be the top priority for the Dolphins, but a team always needs more edge rusher and having a younger player who can develop behind Chubb, Jalean Phillips, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Emmanuel Ogbah is not a bad move.

After the third-round pick, the Dolphins, as of now, do not come back on the clock until the sixth round, pick 197. They also have a seventh-round pick, the 238th overall pick. The Dolphins are in a position to add several depth players to the roster this year. Will they come out with a star? Will someone like Strange or Foskey be able to offset the team’s lack of total picks this year? Would you be happy with the picks according to Kiper and McShay?