Miami Dolphins: Todd McShay

The NFL draft is several months away and there are still two weeks of football left to play.

However, it’s not too early to look ahead to the offseason. Earlier this week, we previewed the offensive and defensive free agents. On Wednesday, ESPN's Todd McShay offered his first mock draft.

Here are some thoughts on McShay's selection for Miami:

Selection: No. 16

McShay's pick: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

McShay's quote: “Thompson is a unique talent with an outstanding combination of size, speed and athleticism, and he could help upgrade Miami at linebacker.”

Analysis: It’s hard to pinpoint Miami’s biggest need at this early stage. But linebacker could be near the top of the list. The Dolphins have decisions to make with high-priced linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. Both underachieved and are candidates to become salary-cap casualties. If that’s the case, Thompson could be a possibility. Miami had a nice find in second-year outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins. But the other two positions are open for next season.
It's way too early for 2014 season predictions. Yet, there has been a stream of projections this week following the completion of the NFL draft.

Two days ago ESPN.com released its first Power Rankings of the season. The Miami Dolphins were rated 24th, which is disappointing for a team with playoff aspirations. One voter, NFL Nation writer Kevin Seifert, even rated Miami as an NFL bottom feeder at No. 30.

Well, this week we have another Dolphins projection via Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. Schatz provided his predicted record of each NFL team to help ESPN’s Todd McShay compile his first mock draft for 2015.Insider

According to Schatz, the Dolphins are in for another mediocre year of 7-9. He predicts the Dolphins will hold a top-10 pick next year. (McShay picked Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. at No. 9 overall for Miami, by the way.)

There seems to be a feeling in the national media that Miami will not build off its 8-8 season in 2013, wheen the team was just one win away from making the playoffs. Both ESPN.com and Football Outsiders in the past few days predicted Miami to take at least a small step backwards.

The 2014 Dolphins are in “win-now” mode and cannot afford another non-winning season. Head coach Joe Philbin is 15-17 in his two previous seasons and has yet to prove he is the long-term solution. Philbin and the Dolphins must prove their critics wrong by making the playoffs this season.
The NFL draft is less than two weeks away. During the offseason, we have updated you on prospects to watch on the team’s radar.

Here is the lateast projection for Miami at No. 19 overall:

1. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Analysis: Martin has been the leader in the clubhouse for quite some time. He has the right mix of skills, work ethic and character that Miami is looking for. Martin also fills the Dolphins’ biggest remaining need at right tackle. It all makes sense. However, Martin is one of the players reportedly rising up the draft board. He may not be there at No. 19, and Martin is not the type of player worth trading up to get. So if Martin is taken in the early teens, the Dolphins must go in another direction.

2. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Analysis: The Dolphins committed millions into their linebacker position last year. Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler and Koa Misi were all paid handsomely via extension from former general manager Jeff Ireland. This group in return underachieved and Miami was 24th against the run last season. That presents a new challenge for first-year general manager Dennis Hickey. He’s not tied into Miami’s current linebackers and could make Mosley a target. Mosley is a natural middle linebacker who could move Ellerbe outside and fix two positions.

3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Analysis: Lee has been a late riser on Miami’s radar. Two weeks ago, I reported that the Dolphins brought in Lee for a visit. Last week Todd McShay projected Lee going to Miami at No. 19. Lee is a very good talent in a deep draft for wide receivers. But do the Dolphins need another receiver, especially in the first round? Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are the starters next season, and the Dolphins need to get a starter in the first round, in my opinion. But if Lee is the “best available player” on the board, which Hickey has talked about all offseason, it won’t be all that surprising.

4. Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Analysis: Safety is not a huge need for the Dolphins. Miami has Reshad Jones and free-agent pickup Louis Delmas entrenched as starters. But Pryor is an aggressive safety and big hitter who reminds me of a younger, healthier version of Delmas. The Dolphins need more enforcers on defense, which lacks intimidators. That’s one reason why they signed Delmas and could have an eye on Pryor at No. 19.
The 2014 NFL combine is in the books. That means we are one step closer to the NFL draft.

ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay offered up his third mock draft on Thursday. The Miami Dolphins hold the No. 19 overall pick and have some well-defined needs.

Here are some thoughts on McShay’s projection for Miami:

No. 19: Zack Martin

Position/school: Offensive tackle, Notre Dame

Analysis: Martin has been the popular pick for Miami since January. He fits many of the things the Dolphins are looking for. Martin is versatile and capable of playing offensive tackle and guard. Martin also is an effort player who brings leadership, which is something the Dolphins desperately need on their offensive line. He fits both the player and character profile for Miami. A good plan for the Dolphins would be to sign a starting left tackle in free agency (Eugene Monroe? Branden Albert?) and draft a starting right tackle or guard in the first round. Martin could handle either position.
With the 2013 season officially in the books, it’s time to shift our focus to 2014. ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both produced their post-Super Bowl mock drafts on Thursday.

Here is how they view the Miami Dolphins with the No. 19 overall pick:
Interestingly, both Kiper and McShay projected the same position and player for Miami in May’s draft. It’s no secret that offensive line is a huge need for the Dolphins after allowing a franchise-record 58 sacks last season. Miami's running game also was rated 26th in the league. Starting offensive linemen Bryant McKinnie, Tyson Clabo, John Jerry and Richie Incognito will all become free agents in March and most -- if not all -- are expected to leave.

Martin would be a solid addition with the 19th pick. He was a very productive player at Notre Dame and is coming off a productive Senior Bowl. He is a three-year starter and team captain, which shows leadership.

The only question I have about Martin is his physical tools. He's not as naturally gifted as other left tackle prospects in the draft. But Martin is a high-motor player who gets the most out of what he has.

Martin would be a safe pick for the Dolphins, albeit not a spectacular one.

Thoughts on mock-draft pick for Dolphins

December, 19, 2013
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The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of a playoff push. However, it’s never too early to talk about the NFL draft.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay presented his first 2014 mock draft Insider this week with some interesting selections. Let’s take a look at what McShay has in store for Miami.

McShay’s pick: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Analysis: McShay has Miami picking at No. 22, which should make some Dolphins fans happy. That means Miami made its first postseason since 2008. However, I disagree with this early projection. The Dolphins need big men, but on the other side of the football. I would much rather see the Dolphins search for a top offensive lineman in the first round to better protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are due for a major makeover on the offensive line. Starters John Jerry and Tyson Clabo are both free agents, and former starters Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin are not expected to return following this year’s bullying scandal. That’s four of Miami’s five Week 1 starters out. The Dolphins will need to replace those losses, and the draft is a good place to do it.

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