ESPN’s Todd McShay is back with another 2017 NFL Mock Draft, this time making picks over the first three rounds of the Draft, which begins two weeks from today. In this version of his mock draft, he acted as the general manager for all 32 teams, with him emphasizing that he makes each pick as they happen - so he is not going to skip a player because he thinks he is a better fit for a team selecting later - and he does not make a pick based on his projections of where a player should be selected, but rather makes the pick that makes the most sense for each team.
For the Miami Dolphins, a three-round mock draft means making picks 22, 54, and 97. Miami comes into this draft with needs at just about every defensive position - either a starter like at linebacker or depth options/starting competition at places like defensive end and cornerback - as well as a hole still to be filled on the offensive line. McShay uses this mock draft to fill several of those needs.
With Miami’s first-round pick, the 22nd overall selection, he has the Dolphins adding Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley. He then comes back in the second round to add a player who has been mocked to the team in the first round quite often this year, Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham. Finally, McShay has Miami adding San Diego State guard Nico Siragusa with the 97th selection.
That is an effective draft for the Dolphins.
McShay writes of the mock picks for Miami:
The Dolphins would be thrilled if Conley lasted until the 22nd pick, given their clear need for more depth at the position. Conley shows excellent ball skills on tape, and teams will like his length (33-inch arms) and speed (4.44 40). Cunningham looks like a three-down linebacker in the NFL, with his ability to cover in space and use his athleticism to cover a lot of ground versus the run. Siragusa's tape is a little erratic, but he has the power, feet and length to quickly develop into a quality starter at guard, where the Dolphins lack an established player on the left side.
Cunningham lasting until the 54th overall selection is a little surprising, but he was a player who there used to be debate about whether he would last until the 22nd pick and now seems to be sliding further and further down draft boards. He would immediately give Miami a third starting linebacker and he would add the coverage ability the team currently is trying to find for that third linebacker.
Conley and Siragusa both seem like good picks for the Dolphins, with Siragusa probably facing a learning curve if he is thrown in there as a day one starter for the team. Conley could come in and press Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard for a top starting position, which is never a bad thing. Miami’s coaching staff would rather have too many starting caliber cornerbacks than not enough, especially after last year’s injury-fest at the position. Conley has been compared to Aqib Talib and has the length to stay with some of the AFC East’s bigger receivers.
What do you think of McShay’s three-round mock for the Dolphins?