The Dolphins select Mike Pouncey (G/C--Florida).
Others considered: Christian Ponder (QB), Ryan Mallett (QB), Anthony Castonzo (OT).
Our psuedo Miami GM elaborates after the jump.
Miami is in a tough spot right in the middle of the first round. Their offense was a bit of a train wreck last year. Their defense has talent. They have several players who are free agents whenever that finally starts, including both of their big RBs. Chad Henne was disappointing. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. With no second round pick, Miami is one of the prime teams that needs to trade down and regain a second rounder. Since that is not an option in this mock, let's continue.
Many mocks have them taking Mark Ingram with the 15th pick to address the issue with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams possibly leaving. I, for one, do not believe there is value in drafting a RB in the first round unless it's a once-in-a-decade talent. Last season's leading rusher was an UDFA. So was the leading rookie rusher. RB just doesn't hold first round value anymore.
Next, many mocks and Dolphins fans want them to go after a QB like Ryan Mallett in the 15th spot because they do not have a second round pick this year (given away in the Brandon Marshall trade). The reason I do not agree with this line of thinking is because I think they should give Henne another chance. He has only started for a year and a half now, the OC is gone, they have a new system being put in place in 2011, and I think outside of Gabbert, who I was hoping would fall, guys like Mallett and Ponder come with risks that make them not as good a fit at 15. Ponder is a pro-ready QB, but could be as injury prone as Chad Pennington was. Mallett is a character risk. Do you really want him hanging out with Brandon Marshall in a party town like Miami? Besides, with no idea when and if there will be a training camp, would a drafted QB even have a chance to improve your team in year 1 with no camp? That's a lot of risk.
I am an old school kind of guy, I believe to help your skill positions, you have to focus on a strong offensive line. Outside of Jake Long and Richie Incognito, their OL is low pedigree and under-performed last season, especially in the interior. That's why I see the best value in the 15 spot as Florida guard Mike Pouncey. He is the twin brother of the Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey, who was outstanding in his rookie year. Some draft "experts" say Mike brings exactly the same thing to the table. Pouncey would be a plug-and-play starter for the Dolphins to improve their interior line. I think they should sign a veteran FA QB like Matt Hasselbeck to push Henne in training camp, and give the kid a year under the new OC to see if he is the future or not. The RB pool is deep this year, so draft a new back in the 3rd round and let one of Brown or Williams go. There's plenty of potential free agent WRs hitting the market this year as well, if they want to upgrade from Brian Hartline. Regardless, I think going OL in the 15 spot gives Miami the best value and offensive improvement.
BRB: Hosting The One Mock Draft Where Mark Ingram Does Not Go To The Dolphins At 15. New blog tagline?
Rip Jersey and his beloved Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock.