The NFL draft will be here before we know it. Now that Free Agency has settled down, team needs have come into focus. That could mean only one thing – it’s time for another mock draft! But rather than us sitting back and throwing darts at the wall, we thought we’d let you join in the fun. We’ll roll through the draft order and give each team choices based on team needs and the best players available and you’ll vote on the picks for each team. On with the countdown…
19. The Miami Dolphins (8-8)
The Dolphins started out 3-0 and had high hopes for the season, but then lost 5 of their next six games before finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the 5th consecutive season. The offensive line was the main culprit in their demise. They gave up a league leading 58 sacks and were a constant source of drama with the Martin / Incognito fiasco. Despite missing the playoffs and having to rebuild almost their entire offensive line, there were some positives for the Phins last year. QB Ryan Tannehill finished as Pro Football Focus’ 6th ranked QB and he put up a respectable 3,913 yards with 24 touchdowns and a 60.4% completion rate. Many analysts mocked the Dolphins for taking Tannehill 8th overall in the 2012 draft, but heading into his 3rd year he looks like one of the better young QBs in the league. When you consider how bad the offensive line was, his stats look even more impressive. The running game on the other hand was a disaster. The Lamar Miller / Daniel Thomas combo was awful and they solely missed Reggie Bush who they allowed to leave for Detroit. The running backs combined for only 1,115 yards (3.8 YPC) and just 6 touchdowns. Free agent addition Mike Wallace helped open up the field for Brian Hartline who had his first 1,000 yard season (76 catches). TE Dustin Keller was another free agent acquisition signed to help the offense, but he was hurt in the preseason on a vicious hit and missed all of 2013. His absence opened the door for TE Charles Clay, the former 6th round pick, who came out of nowhere to catch 69 passes for 759 yards and 6 TDs.
While the offense was inconsistent and struggled to protect Tannehill, the defense became one of the better units in the NFL. Led by CB Brent Grimes, DL Cameron Wake, S Chris D Clemons and DT Randy Starks they finished 2013 as PFF’s 10th ranked defense. They did lose run-stuffing DT Paul Soliai and S Chris D Clemons, but re-signed Grimes, Starks and DB Dimitri Patterson so they should be pretty solid again in 2013. If Tannehill continues to improve, the re-built line gels quickly, and the defense can stay healthy the Dolphins have a good shot to break their 5 year playoff drought in 2014.