The 2014 NFL mock draft draws in the Miami Dolphins next with their list of needs to get over the hump into the playoffs. How do they fare?
Round 1 – Cyrus Kouandjio – OT – Alabama
Nearly everybody knows where the Dolphins have to go at least in the first round. Until they adequately protect Ryan Tannehill their offensive potential is limited. Cyrus Kouandjio is still inexperienced by the Alabama tackle has the size, power, length and footwork to become not just a good but a great blocker in the pros.
Round 2 – Carlos Hyde – RB – Ohio State
Miami has some speed at the running back position but what they lack is a true workhorse type who take the majority of the tough carries to wear down a defense. Carlos Hyde was every bit of that at OhioState, boasting an excellent power base with good vision and a relentless running style.
Round 3 – Ego Ferguson – DT – LSU
Defensive tackle could become a bigger need if the Dolphins lose a couple of pending free agents in Paul Soliai and Randy Starks. Either way it’s important they address the position. Ego Ferguson was an overlooked centerpiece for the LSU defense who thrived at plugging up running lanes but also has the explosion to push blockers into the backfield.
Round 4 – Jon Halapio – OG – Florida
Not a lot of things went right for the Florida offense in 2013, so it sometimes can be difficult to find talent in such situations. Jon Halapio was one of the bright spots. The Gators guard is big, strong, nimble for his size and best of all highly experienced against top competition.
Round 5 – Crockett Gilmore – TE – Colorado State
Tight end isn’t a huge need for the Miami Dolphins but the position could use some depth and competition. ColoradoState standout Crockett Gilmore is not one of those new hybrid types with the size-to-speed ration like Jimmy Graham but he has good awareness, great size and extremely soft hands that allow him to make very tough catches.
Round 6 – Jemea Thomas – FS – Georgia Tech
Safety may look secure but make no mistake the free position could use another body for the Dolphins. Jemea Thomas has the desired skill set from the size to the range and athleticism. His biggest hurdle is proving to teams that he can get past a series of injury issues that dogged him in college.
Round 7 – Spencer Long – OG – Nebraska
Prior to a knee injury, Nebraska guard Spencer Long was easily a high mid round pick. His good size, experience and deceptive mobility showed a player who could pull on a variety of blocking schemes. Such players are harder to find than many think and if he can return healthy the Dolphins will enjoy having him in the seventh round.