The Miami Dolphins’ first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft will come sometime around three-and-a-half hours into the first round of the draft (assuming most teams take the full 10 minutes allotted to them, plus the delay as jerseys are made ready by the NFL to hand to the newly selected players). That means, there are three-and-a-half hours of players coming off the board and trades happening before the Dolphins (assuming they are not involved in the trades), get to make a selection. As we saw last year, when the Dolphins had one of the top rated players fall to them at the 13th position in the Draft because teams were scared off of Laremy Tunsil after a video surfaced on his Twitter account, things can wildly swing during the Draft, and there is no sure bet during the selection process.
Throughout this year’s “mock draft” season, the Cleveland Browns, who have the first-overall selection this year, have been projected to take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. He is the top rated player in this year’s Draft and he immediately comes in and starts on their defensive line. This week, however, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has stated that the Browns are not 100 percent sold on Garrett yet, pointing to some holes in his game, as well as the team’s interest in North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. While Schefter repeatedly said his statements are not to indicate the Browns will not take Garrett but rather are an indication that they are still having discussions, the idea of Garrett being on the board still when the San Francisco 49ers make the second selection of the night is an interesting one. It could be the swing that suddenly changes a lot of things in this year’s Draft.
How much could it change? SB Nation’s Adam Stites took a look at that scenario this morning in an undated 2017 NFL Mock Draft.
Stites has Trubisky going to the Browns, then Garrett being selected by the 49ers. The Chicago Bears then add Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars continuing the defensive end run with Alabama’s Jonathan Allen. The Tennessee Titans round out the top five picks with Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Jumping through the rest of the first round to get to the Dolphins’ 22nd overall pick, Stites has the Dolphins joining the defensive end craze with Michigan’s Taco Charlton. He explains the pick, writing, “Cameron Wake won’t be around much longer to hold down the entire Dolphins pass rush. Ndamukong Suh provides a bunch inside, but getting an edge rusher like Charlton would be a huge boost.”
The Dolphins come into this year’s Draft with several needs, especially on the defensive side of the ball. A starting caliber linebacker as well as depth at cornerback, defensive tackle, and defensive end all probably need to be addressed at some point. The team could also be looking at adding safety help to compete for the starting position opposite Reshad Jones. In other words, there really is not a position on defense that Miami should not target this year.
Adding Charlton gives Miami that defensive end depth, likely using him as a third pass rusher behind Wake and Andre Branch for his rookie year. He needs some time to develop into a true professional, with some concerns over his work ethic in college floating around, but the Dolphins could be getting a dominant pass rusher to eventually take over whenever Wake retires.