Part V of the Phin Maniacs Mock Draft Series continues with the 5th option at Quarterback, albeit being the road less traveled recently. Although you will see a few Mock Drafts here and there have the savvy 2nd round selection of Oklahoma’s signal-caller, Jalen Hurts.
This series has gone into each of these Mock draft scenarios, or “options” as I like to say, with a set QB in mind with a get him no matter what mindset. In this case, and I am sorry to break hearts, but Miami could very well pass on four quarterbacks in round 1, and have Hurts waiting for them in the 2nd round.
With that “plan,” it means a pick like #5 could lead to Isaiah Simmons from Clemson, but he was taken 4th overall. This played perfectly to, “the plan,” in this Mock. Again, sorry to break those hearts. However, in the NFL and especially the Draft, one thing is pretty certain for a lot of fans of Miami no matter what they do, “love Hurts.”
The draft started as most would pretty much assume:
The mindset was this…Simmons, or trade back to get more picks, since itmay be the Dolphins plan to wait for 2021 for the new QB messiah of Trevor Lawrence. Should Hurts still be around in the 2nd, the show may be his to win.
Let us see what happens, but first, the trade...
When searching around the league for teams with interesting Draft capital, as well as Maverick-like selectors, the Las Vegas Raiders fit the bill. They have two 1st rounders and three 3rd rounders. They also need marquee weapons as they have new potential season-ticket holders to entice.
With a heavy talent-pool at major positions of need, and a mini Quarterback and wide-receiver run likely ahead, there is an opportunity to load up a bit more in the middle to back-end of the 1st round, so Miami and Vegas strike a deal.
The Dolphins move down to #19, behind their #18 to get back-to-back selections, and they bring in all of the Raiders three 3rd rounders, picks 80, 81 and 91.
The Raiders get a WR in Henry Ruggs III, but they could have easily taken another WR from Alabama, or whatever they want. Jimmy-crack-corn, we dont care, because the 19th overall was a massive right tackle in 'Bama's Jedrick Wills. Miami also gave him a book-end mate on the left side with Josh Jones from Houston at #19.
So far Miami has added three top 91 picks, as well as a combined 12'10'' and 631 pounds of quarterback projection for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, and frankly, whomever else.
Pick #26 can go a number of ways, but a 1st round with no QB signals to me that they need to find more offense to go behind the newly anchored line, as well as to compliment a pretty solid receiving corp, especially when you add tight end Mike Gesicki and a returning Preston Williams.
Deandre Swift is the class of the 2019 running back group, with several decent other options mind you, the Georgia runner is the 3-down back Miami has been starving for. Free Agent Jordan Howard now becomes a specialist in situations like tough, short yardage, 4th quarter work, and inside the red-zone. Swift and Howard can combine for 25+ touches a game, and Patrick Laird helps to keep them fresh with a total change of pace.
Miami hauled in their offensive tackles and a runner to help the worst non-quarterback areas of the offense. In 2019 the Dolphins offensive line let runners gain just 3.3 yards per carry, which was tied for last in the league with Adam Gase's Jets. The Dolphins also led the league in QB hits with 147, and tied for league lead in sacks with 58.
Those problems seem to be solved with new additions to the offensive line in Ted Karras at center and Erick Flowers at left guard as well as running back, Howard. Free agency and three first round picks may have turned this offensive ground game and pass protection around in three hours and change.
And now, with a whopping six picks in the 2nd and 3rd round, which are all top-91 picks, the plan for prospects at certain positions is hatched, and ready to cook. Miami needs a safety, as well as a center to learn from in Karras who maybe could play guard. They also need that QB in Hurts, as well as some more weapons to throw to for depth and more firepower.
With those extra Raider picks, as well as a 3rd, 4th, and three 5ths of their own, Miami's phones are working like a telethon on Day 2. The first thing to do is get the quarterback and that is Jalen Hurts at pick #39.
A few picks after Hurts, Miami sees a chance to help Chicago, who are running out of picks in the middle of the Draft. They are out of the 3rd round entirely as well as the 4th. Their pair of 2nds give them flexibility, but two full rounds to sit out is tough for any team.
Miami sees another opportunity for Chris Grier to be Santa Clause for one team, and the Grinch for many teams who may need a massive interior lineman on offense, as well as a ball-hawking safety, because there are excellent targets that wont last at #56 for the Dolphins let alone #70.
So the Bears say OK, and send the #43 to Miami in exchange for the Dolphins #56, #141, #173, #251 picks. That's basically losing a 4th, 5th and 2 7th's for Miami, as they know they can get a major contributor at #43 and they still have four third rounders to go. Tyler Biadasz is a Wisconsin interior lineman who can be a future decade long centerpiece, literally, for the Miami offensive line. The worst unit from 2019 is instantly a candidate for the most improved one, collectively.
After Pick #43, Miami has five players already in Orange and Aqua, and four more before the top-91 names are called out. So far, they brought in Wills, Jones, Swift, Hurts and Biadasz.
At pick #70 a perfect option falls to them at safety in California's Ashtyn Davis, who was coached up by new Miami defensive backs coach, Gerald Alexander. Next up are a pair of consecutive picks from the Raiders at #80 and #81. Edge is needed, but a guy they love is likely going to be there at #91, in Alex Highsmith.
Looking at some luxury positions at the moment, since they are "house-money" picks from Vegas, wide-out Chase Claypool from Notre Dame can make the Miami group of pass-catchers deadly in the red-zone as the prospect from Canada is 6'4'' and a very skilled talent.
Looking at the board, Miami checked off massive needs, and the next great pass-rusher for them still needs to be found. Why not take a massive upside, high-motor workhorse who can train and battle for time with free agents Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah?
As mentioned, Highsmith is coveted by Miami as well as at least a half-dozen teams so they make the move and "get-their-guy," which is what Grier should do with all this ammo.
Pick #81, Alex Highsmith from the University of Charlotte could be a cross-mix of Jason Taylor and Cameron Wake when mixing in their height like #99 and size in #91. Highsmith is 6'4'' 240 lbs and the one word to describe his pursuit of the passer is, "relentless." That word works for his work ethic and drive, as he was a walk-on to scholarship player to now, NFL prospect.
With Highsmith on the edge to check that box, Miami has now hauled in eight top-81 players. Even though another pick is up at #91, the next one after that is #153, which is too long a gap. The Eagles have the #127 and #168 and that may be a better area to fill out Miami's remaining needs. The deal is made and Miami can regroup and shake hands after a two-day haul and three round product of the following...
At pick #127, a blocking tight end who can also catch a few passes in strategic areas of the field is a prudent move. Popular name Thaddeus Moss is the son of Randy, and has a body like former Fin, Randy McMichael. At #153 in the 5th round, a cornerback to learn from Miami's outstanding room of Xavien Howard, Byron Jones and up-and-comer Nik Needham in Brian Flore's defensive backfield can work well.
Tough, physical cornerback, A.J. Green of Oklahoma State reminds me a lot of former Fin, Terrell Buckley. Green takes chances, but plays physical and is a lock-down defender in tight spots who made several big plays in opponents endzone. Pick #154 is another offensive tackle, Auburn's Jack Driscoll who is as smart as they come and adds depth to the thin line Miami has on roster behind the new starters.
Miami's last two picks are relative "see-what-happens" selections, but one is a popular name within this series and one to remember. There are a number of ties to Jaylinn Hawkin, safety out of California. Not only does he train with Needham and many other pros in the off-season out West, he could join his fellow safety, Davis, and former coach in Alexander in Miami.
Another DB can't hurt as well, as Flores loves rotating them and you never know what happens in this league. With so much money invested in the top corners, training some rookies could be of benefit in a season or two if finances get tough and a potential move must be made. Lamar Jackson of Nebraska is Miami's third to last pick as Hawkins was called at pick #185 and slot receiver James Proche can bring some speed to the middle of the field and help in the return game at the last selection for the Dolphins at #251.
So here it is, the gutsy and busy draft that landed a full offensive line make-over to add to free agency, as well as a potential quarterback to learn from Fitzpatrick, and challenge Josh Rosen in 2021...if that, in fact, is the "plan."
14 picks, even after the trade-downs and ups, but a lot of help and a lot of options still for 2020 as well as 2021 in terms of the quarterback.
Follow Jason on Twitter @OrangeAquaman
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