ESPN’s Todd McShay has published his first 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Earlier this week, we took a look at SB Nation’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft, so I guess, even though this is still December, we may actually be in mock draft season already. And, coincidentally, the Dolphins take the same player in both of those mock drafts.
Where SB Nation’s Dan Kadar was making an All-SEC mock draft, McShay’s is straight forward, but still zeroed in on a player from Alabama for the Dolphins. Using ESPN’s Football Power Index, McShay has the Dolphins picking sixteenth in the Draft. With that selection, he gives Miami:
O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama
When we posted the SB Nation mock, we asked how many of you would support the Dolphins selecting a tight end in the first round. That vote came back with 72 percent against the selection, with 28 percent for it. Now, just two days later, we again see Miami using their first-round pick on a tight end.
Of the pick, McShay writes:
Lucky for teams like the Dolphins who have a need at the position, this is a loaded class with tight ends at the top. Howard, Michigan's Jake Butt and Virginia Tech's Bucky Hodges all look like top-40 picks. Howard's size-speed combination gives him a lot of upside, but his production has been streaky in Alabama's run-heavy offense.
So, once again, we see the idea of Miami, despite their needs on defense this year, looking to the one offensive position where, at least in my opinion, a first-round pick could make sense. The Dolphins could use a seam-threat tight end, and they could use someone to compliment Dion Sims in two tight end formations.
Obviously, McShay’s big board will change between now and the Draft, as will Miami’s needs based on re-signing their own players and adding free agents, but it is interesting to see two different mocks both look at tight end as a top need for the Dolphins in 2017.