It is draft day, which means we are finally getting to the start of the 2017 NFL Draft. Even more so, it means we are getting to the end of the 2017 Mock Draft season, with the web running crazy today as people look to publish their last mock of the first-round throughout the day. We will still see a couple of later round mocks as the draft unfolds, but today will be the peak of mock draft season.
Including a final mock from ESPN’s Todd McShay. His final 2017 NFL Mock Draft starts where not a lot of mocks have started thus far this year, with the Cleveland Browns selecting North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, rather than using that pick on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. The San Francisco 49ers, with the second pick this year, then are gifted Garrett, followed by the Chicago Bears adding LSU safety Jamal Adams, the Jacksonville Jaguars picking up LSU running back Leonard Fournette, and the Tennessee Titans rounding out the top five with Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Jumping down to the Miami Dolphins with the 22nd overall pick, McShay has Miami addressing the pass rush. At this point, players like Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp, Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster are all off the board, all of whom could be on Miami’s radar this season. So, where do they end up using their first-round selection?
McShay sees Miami adding UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley. Explaining the choice, McShay writes, “McKinley has the best motor of any defensive player I've watched all year. He has an elite first step and would give Miami a high-upside player to develop opposite of Cameron Wake.”
As this draft has gotten closer and closer, more and more mocks seem to be moving from either projecting Lamp to Miami or seeing the Dolphins use the pick on a linebacker to giving the Dolphins a pass rusher. With players like Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis and Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham still on the board when Miami makes their choice - according to McShay - this mock falls into that same category. Do the Dolphins need to add a pass rusher? Probably, given Wake’s age, while Andre Branch mans the opposite end of the line as of now. A young player who either comes in and takes the right end position from Branch immediately, or who works into the rotation as an option to spell Wake, makes a lot of sense for the Dolphins.
Would you like McKinley as the team’s first-round selection?