After publishing my second attempt at a mock draft last week, I thought today was a good day to re-visit what some of the “experts” think will happen when the Dolphins are put on the clock at #15 next Thursday night. As always, mock drafts do not take the possibility of a trade into account, though if you want to know more about potential trades, I’ve written about that, as well. Here we go…
Todd McShay, ESPN: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida
At first glance this might seem a bit high for an interior offensive lineman, especially with so much talk about Alabama RB Mark Ingram landing in Miami and filling the Dolphins’ top need, but NFL running backs have a short shelf life to begin with and Ingram comes to the league one year removed from a knee injury that limited his playing time in 2010. Rather than reaching for a quarterback to fill their No. 2 need, the Dolphins would be best-served to draft the best available offensive lineman in Pouncey, who has the tools and attitude to do for Miami’s interior offensive line what his twin brother, Maurkice, did for the Steelers in 2010.
Charles Davis, NFL Network: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
The success his twin brother, Maurkice Pouncey, helps convince the Dolphins to pick an interior OL higher than conventional wisdom would suggest. It doesn’t hurt that Mike Pouncey can play and will start right away at either center or guard. QB Ryan Mallett will merit a long look, too.
Pat Kirwan, NFL.com: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Amukamara is the second best corner on the board. The Dolphins know they are playing more nickel defense than the base package, which means the third corner is a starter. With Tom Brady, the Patriots play a lot of three-receiver packages. Miami will get a running back later.
Steve Wyche, NFL.com: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
The Dolphins really need a QB. They don’t have many needs elsewhere – except the offensive interior. Pouncey is skilled enough to handle himself against the beefy 3-4 interior linemen in the division.
Brian Baldinger, NFL Network: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
The Dolphins have no choice but to upgrade the RB position considering the age, injury history and free-agent status of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Ingram is solid, tough and well coached. The Dolphins can keep their run-based offensive philosophy in place with Ingram and address other needs later in the draft.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
I hear the concerns about Mark Ingram’s speed and the health of his knee and I wonder if all of the talk isn’t just another example of over-analysis causing draft-decision paralysis. On tape, Ingram is an elite player in this draft and fills a clear area of need for the Dolphins. If he gets past Miami, there are few teams in the first round that need a running back, meaning it’s possible he could fall to the second round.
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Of the 19 teams that worked out Dalton individually or hosted him for a visit, none was as exhaustive as the Dolphins, and I hear they liked what they saw. I could see them trading down—they’re desperate to recoup the second-round pick they lost in the Brandon Marshall deal—and taking either Dalton or Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett later. With solid running backs available in the middle rounds, Miami won’t go for Alabama’s Mark Ingram here.
Evan Silva, ProFootballTalk.com: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Miami’s front office has made its desire to implement a high-octane passing attack clear, and Chad Henne barely held off Tyler Thigpen and Chad Pennington last year. The Patriots’ scheduling of Tuesday’s pre-draft visit with Mallett indicates they’re doing intel on a player they anticipate landing with a division rival. Sorry mock drafters: The Fins aren’t taking Mark Ingram at 15.
Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Dolphins desperately want to trade down, but if they can’t find a taker they’ll use the pick on a quarterback with plenty of tools and intangibles.
Jesse Agler, TheFinsiders.com: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
I don’t like Mark Ingram or Mike Pouncey at 15. The Dolphins need to draft a QB at some point. I say let’s roll the dice and go for it!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.