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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Dolphins

By James Walker

The NFL draft is just a few weeks away and anticipation is growing for teams around the league. The Miami Dolphins hold the No. 19 overall pick and still have some well-defined needs.

Most projections have the Dolphins drafting an offensive lineman in the first round. It is currently the team's biggest need. But in ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest mock draft, he did not go in that direction for the Dolphins.

According the Kiper, the Dolphins will draft Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley at No. 19 in next month's NFL draft. Although the Dolphins desperately need offensive linemen, drafting a linebacker would not be a bad move.

Miami's run defense was surprisingly bad last season. The Dolphins ranked 24th against the run in part due to poor play and missed tackles from Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi and Dannell Ellerbe. The Dolphins offered long-term contract extensions to all three players last year, but they underachieved as a group.

Mosley could improve two linebacker positions for Miami. Mosley would fill the middle linebacker spot, while Ellerbe could move to his natural position as an outside linebacker.

Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has been adamant Miami will take the "best available player" on its draft board, regardless of position. Mosley could certainly be in the running for that title if he's still available at No. 19.