The Miami Dolphins ended their 2017 season with a disappointing record of 6-10, underachieving on both sides of the football. On offense, the team had difficulty generating a surge up front in the run game throughout the season and could not find a rhythm in the passing game. Defensively, Miami appeared hapless when attempting to match up against athletic tight ends.
Players selected in this mock draft will address issues that plagued the Dolphins in 2017:
Connor Williams, RT, Texas
Miami should be elated if Williams is available with their first pick in the 2018 draft. The Dolphins selected Tunsil with the No. 13 pick in the 2016 draft and he’s expected to man that left tackle spot for years to come. The selection of Williams here gives Miami bookend tackles, who are effective against speed and power off the edge.
Jerome Baker, WLB, Ohio State
The Dolphins took an Ohio State linebacker in the second round last year and they should consider doing so again in 2018. Baker is a tremendous athlete and is outstanding in coverage. His awareness when dropping back into zones is exceptional and he does an outstanding job of staying in the hip pocket of tight ends and receivers.
Frank Ragnow, OC/OG, Arkansas
Ragnow has played guard and center during his time at Arkansas and could come in and contribute immediately as a guard for the Dolphins. Center Mike Pouncey played all 16 games in 2017 but Miami should begin developing a contingency plan for Pouncey, who has had difficulty staying healthy in recent years.
Kalen Ballage, RB/H-Back, Arizona State
Miami needs more versatility at its skill positions and the 6-foot-2, 230 pound back out of Arizona State could provide a great deal of position flexibility. Not only could Ballage come in and spell Drake, he could very well line up at fullback, tight end and in the slot while waiting for his number to be called at running back. If used properly, Ballage should never come off of the field, as he is much more than just a running back due to his advanced route running ability.
Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
Callaway has seen his fair share of trouble while at the University of Florida. As a result he missed the entire 2017 season. Callaway has since been making a concerted effort to turn his life around and based off of his play alone, he has been given first round grades. Unfortunately, his past transgressions will cost him in the 2018 draft, but if Miami feels comfortable with his progress, Round 4 is the perfect spot to take a low-risk, high-reward player like Callaway who possesses all of the physical tools to carve out a successful NFL career.
Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky
Two years after selecting QB Brandon Doughty out of Western Kentucky, the Dolphins go to the well again and selects another Hilltopper. White does not possess great arm strength, but he throws with the anticipation and touch necessary to play on the NFL level. White throws a nice deep ball and does not need to gather or reset to throw accurately in a messy pocket.
Andrew Vollert, TE, Weber State
At 6-foot-5, 239 pounds, Vollert stands out because he’s more fluid in and out of breaks than some wide receivers. He knows how to use his body to shield the ball from defensive backs and plays to his size, attacking the football at its highest point. Vollert will need to work on his technique as a run blocker, but he possesses the size and the will to contribute as an in-line blocker.
Jesse Aniebonam, SAM/DE Maryland
The Dolphins will likely be looking for another SAM backer as Lawrence Timmons’ contract will eat up over $8 million in cap space in 2018. Aniebonam might not be the answer at SAM linebacker, particularly as a rookie, but selecting him gives Miami another pass-rusher, and provides depth at outside linebacker, and special teams.