Mock draft season will see a rash of dramatic changes over the next few days as websites update their first-round projections for the new NFL landscape caused by free agency. Team needs that, just a week ago, looked like the biggest concern for a franchise, could now be completely off the list of holes on a roster and some other position group emerged as a major need. It is a chance for mock drafts to reassess their thoughts on team needs, as well as incorporate the results from the NFL Scouting Combine into the newest predictions.
ESPN’s Todd McShay did exactly that on Wednesday, posting his first update since early February. In McShay’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft 3.0, the ESPN senior writer took a new look at the first 32 picks of the draft.
For the Miami Dolphins, that new look switched the team from a selection of Miami tight end David Njoku (selected with the 19th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and instead has Miami looking to fill the last remaining spot in their starting linebacker group, joining incumbent Kiko Alonso and the newly-signed Lawrence Timmons. With the 22nd overall pick, McShay projects the Miami Dolphins to select Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.
McShay writes of the pick:
Reddick has absolutely crushed the pre-draft process. He had a great week at the Senior Bowl, showing that he has the speed, change-of-direction skills and instincts to play an off-the-ball linebacker role in the pros. And then he posted elite numbers at the combine (4.52 40 and 11-foot-1 broad jump). It would now be an upset if he fell out of Round 1.
Miami currently is looking to upgrade their third linebacker position, so a selection of Reddick could be the best move the team makes. NFL.com compares Reddick to Ryan Shazier, who has worked as the left inside linebacker (next to Timmons) with the Pittsburgh Steelers since being the 15th overall pick in 2014 and earned his first Pro Bowl selection this year. The Dolphins would love to have a Shazier type of player, and, if Reddick really is that type of player, he would be an exceptional addition to the Miami defense.
What do you think of Reddick as Miami’s pick?