Dolphins address three needs in post-combine mock draft
The NFL Scouting Combine is officially in the rearview, and all 32 teams are turning their focuses to free agency and this year’s draft.
While the Miami Dolphins have many holes that they’ll need to address through free agency, they have a few draft picks at their disposal that could allow general manager Chris Grier to add some young talent to a roster that could always use more.
On Monday, Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar released a post-combine, three-round mock draft, and the Dolphins addressed three of their biggest needs with their early picks.
No. 51: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
“Phillips might not be a big, long cornerback, but he’s a playmaker. He has the play traits to continue down that same path as a pro. He’s a voracious student of the game and has developed a feel for reading the quarterback’s drops and eyes. He’s a little tight-hipped and can give away separation at the top of the route, but when he’s clued in, Phillips uses aggressive angles to search for takeaways. He’s tough, smart and knows how to play. He should become a solid nickel cornerback, but his success could be tethered to matchups from week to week.” – Lance Zierlein
Miami, with the futures of Byron Jones and Nik Needham in question, got lucky with the development of Kader Kohou as an undrafted free agent last year. Adding a talented young cornerback like Phillips could take some of the pressure off of Kohou and Xavien Howard, who had a tough 2022.
No. 77 (via. New England Patriots): Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
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“Highly athletic four-year starter at left tackle who might have the best chance to stick in the league as a zone-scheme guard. It’s easy to love the athletic flashes, but it’s challenging to love the complete body of work when studying the game tape. Duncan rarely plays with enough finish and his man is frequently near the final action because of it. He has the foot speed to protect as a left tackle, but his ability to anchor is a major concern. His lateral quickness should work to his advantage as a move blocker, but he’ll need to unearth enough grit to stand up to NFL bullies at the point of attack to make it.” – Zierlein
Austin Jackson was only on the field for two games in 2022, meaning he was unable to prove that he deserves the starting right tackle spot going forward. Duncan could fill the role of protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side, allowing Jackson to be a swing tackle behind both the rookie and Terron Armstead.
No. 84: Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss
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“Evans’ career average of 6.9 yards per carry demonstrates his home run ability, but nagging injuries have limited him in the last two seasons. Teams will need to examine his injury history and determine whether it’s a concern for them or not. He has lead back size and impresses with his willingness to fight through contact for additional yardage on most runs. His vision and creativity are average at best, but the talent/traits should put him in contention for early carries as a very good complementary back with future RB1 upside.” – Zierlein
At this point, the Dolphins don’t have a single running back on their depth chart. They also aren’t known for spending top dollar or using early draft picks on top prospects. Bringing in Evans in the third round and re-signing one of their veterans seems like a plausible move for Grier and company.