With the handcuffs off and the addition of Albert to the offensive line, we gain some flexibility in my latest mock.
MOCK DRAFT - What Ireland will do (with trades)
1) Dolphins acquire OT Brandon Albert from the Chiefs in exchange for the #54 overall pick.
2) Dolphins trade down with Cowboys, Dolphins receive #18, #80, #174, Cowboys receive #12 overall pick and select Kenny Vaccaro.
3) Trade Davone Bess for a 2014 5th round pick.
4) Dolphins package picks #217 and #224 for a 2014 6th round draft pick.
1. 18. Tyler Eifert | TE | Notre Dame (from Cowboys)
If the Dolphins acquire Brandon Albert I think it's highly likely that Ireland will want to move down and replace their 2nd rounder. Unfortunately with so many teams wanting to move down he uses his Cowboys connection to pick up an additional 3rd rounder. The Cowboys desperately need interior line help and guards tend to fall a tad farther than they are often projected. At this spot I think either Fluker, Cooper or Warmack will be on the board and that the Cowboys will jump at the opportunity to select one of them. By trading down the Dolphins will have a shot at a couple guys that may be on their radar, at least one of Tyler Eifert, D.J. Hayden or Tank Carradine should be sitting there, and I think there's a good chance at least 2 will be sitting there. I think they will go with Eifert, right now our offense lacks tall, redzone targets and that's what Eifert will bring to the offense. With Wallace blowing up the top and Hartline and Gibson opening up the under routes, Eifert should be able to flourish giving Tannehill yet another weapon.
Other options: DE Tank Carradine, CB. D.J. Hayden
2. 42. Robert Alford | CB | Southeastern Louisiana
With a lot of depth in the cornerback market I believe teams will bypass them in the first round and a quality guy will get pushed down. Alford is a small school guy that excels in zone and would fit into our secondary. There's any number of corners that could be drafted in the second, with about 10 guys that could go in the top 2 rounds, so someone should be sitting here. One knock on Alford is he may be a little slow to pick up on the defense but with either Patterson or Marshall on board as well he will be able to learn in a limited role initially.
Other options: CB Desmond Trufant, CB Johnthan Banks, CB Darius Slay, DE Damontre Moore
[Disclaimer: No Brandon Albert trade then insert Kyle Long here]
3. 77. John Jenkins | NT | Georgia
Jenkins is just flat out a great value here. There's great depth at NT and with Soliai in a contract year, grooming his replacement would be wise. We have an in house replacement for Starks in Odrick, so targeting a big run stuffer should be where we go and getting a guy like this in the 3rd is a perfect fit. This is a classic BPA and sets us up with a cheap contract to ease us into the 2014 season.
Other options: NT Brandon Williams, DT Bennie Logan, OL Kyle Long, CB/S David Amerson
3. 80. Corey Lemonier | DE | Auburn (from Cowboys)
My philosophy is you can never have enough pass rushers and if it were up to me I would be taking Tank Carradine in the first round, this is the blueprint to winning in today's NFL. At this point Lemonier is a good value and has the pass rushing skills to be a solid situational rusher on passing downs. This way we could kick Odrick inside in 2014 for either him or Vernon, as well as 2013 on passing downs with a front of Vernon/Lemonier-Odrick-Starks-Wake.
Other options: DE Alex Okafor, DE Sam Montgomery, CB Jordan Poyer, OL Dallas Thomas
3. 82. Christine Michael | RB | Texas A&M
The guy's pretty underrated and he's got the obvious Sherman connection. The Dolphins have also been linked to him and he could compliment Miller nicely, adding more weapons to a developing offense. He had a tough senior season and has a bit of an injury history, but his familiarity in the offense and the power he displays on tape should spell the end of Daniel Thomas' tenure.
Other options: RB Giovani Bernard, RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Stedman Bailey, TE Travis Kelce
4. 111. Alvin Bailey | G | Auburn
Cog and Jerry are in the final years of their contracts and they don't have the athleticism we look for in our linemen. Bailey's an athletic option that we can groom for a year behind our starters and has been battle tested in the SEC. He's also versatile having played both guard spots in college.
Other options: OT Brennan Williams, OT Reid Fragal, OLB Sean Porter, S T.J. McDonald
5. 146. Don Jones | S | Arkansas State
I keep hearing whispers about the Dolphins interest in Jones. For all I know he could go in the mid rounds to us. I think they like Kelcie McCray and for that reason I think we'll wait on a safety and see if Clemons earns an extension. Don would more likely be a backup to Reshad and provide depth in the secondary.
Other options: LB A.J. Klein, CB Marc Anthony, NT Josh Boyd, TE Ryan Otten
5. 166. Josh Boyce | WR | TCU
With Gibson on board now Bess becomes expendable with the addition of a quicker slot guy. Boyce is highly underrated and would bring more speed and a smaller cap hit than Bess. I think his days are numbered in Miami and he could be traded for a 2014 5th or 6th round pick. Boyce is a speedy inside guy who would bring even more explosiveness to a well-rounded unit.
Other options: FB Kyle Juszczyk, TE Dion Sims, CB Brandon McGee, OG J.C. Tretter
6. 174. Keith Pough | OLB | Howard (from Cowboys)
Even with all the signings at linebacker, we don't have a lot of depth. Pough fits the bill as an athletic, blitzing linebacker and would fit into our defense nicely once he gets his feet wet at the next level.
Other options: K Dustin Hopkins, K Caleb Sturgis, RB Latavius Murray, WR Zach Rogers
7. 250. Kayvon Webster | CB | South Florida
Another guy who's a local product that has been linked to the Dolphins. We need more depth in the secondary.
Other options: LB Brandon Hepburn, K Zach Brown, LB John Lotulelei, NT Jose Jose
UFA: Zach Brown | K | Portland
We found Carpenter as a UFA and I think we will target his eventual replacement there as well.
Post draft/training camp:
Cut K Dan Carpenter
Cut RB Daniel Thomas
Cut LS John Denney (obviously only if Scales proves adequate)
Let Marshall and Patterson duke it out. (I see Marshall as a better option on the boundary and Patterson as a solid slot corner).
POS Starter Backup 3rd String 4th String QB Ryan Tannehill Matt Moore Pat Devlin RB Lamar Miller Christine Michael* Marcus Thigpen Jonas Gray FB Jorvorskie Lane WR1 Mike Wallace Brandon Gibson Rishard Mathews Brian Tyms WR2 Brian Hartline Josh Boyce* Armon Binns Jeff Fuller TE Dustin Keller (FA14) Tyler Eifert* Charles Clay Michael Egnew
LT Brandon Albert Jeff Adams LG Richie Incognito (FA14) Alvin Bailey* C Mike Pouncey Josh Samuda RG Lance Louis (FA14) John Jerry (FA14) Chandler Burden RT Jonathon Martin Nate Garner (FA14) Will Yeatman Andrew McDonald POS Starter Backup 3rd String 4th String DE Cameron Wake Olivier Vernon DT Randy Starks (FA14) Kheeston Randall Chas Alecxih NT Paul Soliai (FA14) John Jenkins* Vaughn Martin DE Jared Odrick Corey Lemonier* Derrick Shelby WLB Phillip Wheeler Keith Pough* Jonathan Freeny Lee Robinson MLB Dannell Ellerbe Austin Spitler Josh Kaddu SLB Koa Misi (FA14) Jason Trusnik CB1 Brent Grimes Dmitri Patterson Nolan Carroll Kayvon Webster* CB2 Richard Marshall Robert Alford* Julian Posey R.J. Stanford FS Chris Clemons (FA14) Kelcie McCray DeAndre Presley SS Reshad Jones (RFA14) Jimmy Wilson Don Jones* POS Starter Backup 3rd String 4th String K Zach Brown* P Brandon Fields LS Patrick Scales