The conclusion of the Super Bowl last night means we are now officially in mock draft season, with everyone beginning to turn their attention toward the 2017 NFL Draft in April (along with free agency in March - but that is really just a step in the updating process of mock drafts....it is all about the mock draft). SB Nation’s Dan Kadar was not going to miss this important day in mock draft season.
Kadar’s latest 2017 NFL Mock Draft is a three-round look at the selection process. He explains that this year’s draft will feature several key defensive backs and defensive linemen that can make impacts despite being picked up in the second- or third-day of the Draft.
For the Miami Dolphins, he starts with a pick that seems to be becoming more and more common as the offseason begins, using their 22nd overall selection on Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham. He writes, “Cunningham continues to be the choice for Miami because he’s the versatile and athletic linebacker they desperately need.”
Kadar’s assessment that Miami “desperately” needs a versatile, athletic linebacker is not wrong. The team has Kiko Alonso currently manning the middle linebacker position, but the team is reportedly considering moving him to the outside if they find a player they want to install as the middle linebacker next year. The Dolphins are likely looking to upgrade two linebacker spots, with Alonso’s position determined by how they do that. Cunningham would be a great addition and a piece of that upgrade.
In the second round, Kadar has Miami adding tight end David Njoku from the University of Miami. Njoku is projected to be a do everything type of tight end, able to line-up on the line and run- and pass-block, plus be the athletic, seam receiver or someone who could be lined up out wide. If Njoku is still on the board with the second-round pick for the Dolphins, they likely have to take him, pairing him with Dion Sims (assuming they re-sign Sims) as a dangerous two-tight end set.
Kadar’s mock draft does not project compensatory draft picks, so the Dolphins do not have a third-round selection according to the current draft order.
What do you think of a Cunningham-Njoku combination for the Dolphins’ first two picks?