Miami Dolphins

Draft experts made their cases for who the Dolphins should take at 11. Results vary

Miami Dolphins Mike Tannenbaum, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and GM Chris Grier talk to the media about the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, April 18, 2018.
Miami Dolphins Mike Tannenbaum, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and GM Chris Grier talk to the media about the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, April 18, 2018. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Take a look at one of the many NFL mock drafts out there. Any one of them.

Now look at another. And another if you so desire.

It's very likely that you just saw three people with three vastly different opinions about who the Miami Dolphins will take with the 11th overall pick when the three-day, seven-round draft gets underway on Thursday.

There's two overarching reasons for this.

1. The top 10 picks are hardly set in stone. With so many teams picking before the Dolphins, it's nearly impossible to pinpoint which (or how many) of the prospects Miami has prioritized will be available when they're on the clock.

The Miami Dolphins could use help at defensive tackle, linebacker and tight end. With the 11th pick in the NFL Draft, here are some names they might take with that pick.

2. The Dolphins have so many needs. They need a starting outside linebacker. They need another defensive tackle. A cover safety would be nice, too. They will be in the mix for a backup quarterback at some point in the draft, as well.

And thus, the bedlam.

Below is a roundup of who the top draft analysts peg the Dolphins taking in the first round along with their explanation for that pick.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay: Baker Mayfield

Note: This was a three-round head-to-head mock draft in which Kiper and McShay alternated picks. Kiper was on the clock for the Dolphins at 11.

"How did I end up picking all the quarterbacks here, McShay? Mayfield might play early for the Dolphins."

ESPN NFL Nation crew: Josh Rosen

Note: NFL Nation held a mock draft live on ESPN Tuesday night.

The Dolphins selection, as explained by Kevin Seifert: "Potential trades make it unlikely the Dolphins will have the option of taking one of the top four quarterbacks in this draft, let alone two. They have more urgent needs on their roster, but in this scenario, it will be difficult for them to pass on Rosen and Josh Allen. Starter Ryan Tannehill has no guaranteed money due after this season, and Rosen might be the best fit for coach Adam Gase."

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: Vita Vea

“The New Suh. This pick is notable more for what the Dolphins aren’t doing. Like everyone else, I was pretty sure Miami would be among the cadre of teams looking to trade up for a quarterback. The splash move has been an MO of club architect Mike Tannenbaum over his career. And maybe it happens. But more recently I’ve started to think, through what I’ve heard in the pre-draft process, that Miami is more likely to stick with Ryan Tannehill (who has missed the past 19 games with injury) and continue the progress he was making with Adam Gase in the 2016 season. We’ll see. One word of caution with Vea: He’s got to manage his weight if he wants to be more than a two-down player.”

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: Vita Vea

“Josh Rosen could be the pick here, but Vea fits a more urgent need and he would make an immediate impact”

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks: Baker Mayfield

“If head coach Adam Gase really wants more "alpha dogs" in the locker room, he should pick Mayfield to be his QB1 of the future. No signal-caller in the draft has as much confidence or belief in their own abilities as a leader.”

NFL.com’s Charley Casserly: Baker Mayfield

“With the division-rival Jets and Bills picking quarterbacks in the top five, Miami keeps pace by adding Mayfield.”

NFL.com’s Curtis Conway: Baker Mayfield

“Miami doesn't necessarily need a quarterback to play right away, but Mayfield could develop under Adam Gase and replace Ryan Tannehill as the starter in a year or two.”

NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Note: Jones-Drew has the Dolphins making a draft-day trade with the Green Bay Packers, moving back to No. 14

“Fitzpatrick's versatility allows him to play anywhere in the secondary and make an immediate impact.”

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: Josh Rosen

Note: Reuter has the Dolphins making a draft-day trade with the Indianapolis Colts, moving up to No. 6

“The Dolphins need to find their next franchise QB, and Rosen is the guy to eventually replace Ryan Tannehill. Adam Gase won't be afraid of Rosen's intelligence and will instead appreciate his ability to master an offense. The team might have to give up a couple first-rounders and their 2018 second-round pick to secure Rosen.”

NFL.com's Peter Schrager: Minkah Fitzpatrick

"Adam Gase is a Nick Saban disciple. If one of Saban's favorite, most versatile players slips to 11, look for Gase to scoop him up. Miami's rumored to have interest in a few of the quarterbacks, too, but I have them hanging tight and going with Fitzpatrick."

CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli: Tremaine Edmunds

“The Dolphins could pull the trigger on Josh Rosen here, but I don't think they're ready to give up on Ryan Tannehill just yet. Instead, they'll address a need at LB.”

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso: Lamar Jackson

“Adam Gase has a strong track record with quarterbacks, and I just think Jackson's overall talent and nuanced abilities that are trending in the right direction will lead to him taking the former Heisman winner here. Don't be surprised if Jackson gets on the field in some read-option packages early on, and he'd obviously be a threat to throw the football too.”

Walter Football: Roquan Smith

“The Dolphins have been linked to Baker Mayfield, but it doesn't sound as though they'll be trading up. They'll likely stay put and select the best prospect available, and from what it sounds like, they value Roquan Smith very highly.

Smith could go as high as No. 6 overall, so having him available is a dream come true for the Dolphins, who don't have a strongside linebacker on their roster.”

Note: Walter Football also lists Tremaine Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick as possibilities at No. 11.

Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar: Tremaine Edmunds

“Tremaine Edmunds certainly has an NFL pedigree — his father, Ferrell, played tight end with the Dolphins and Seahawks from 1988 to 1994, making two Pro Bowls along the way. The Dolphins could do a lot worse in this draft than to give the younger Edmunds the same chance to impress at a different position. The team's linebacker situation is disastrous at this point, and while he's very raw, Edmunds displays the potential to be a truly unique player.

At 6-4, 253 pounds, he brings amazing athleticism for his size, and while his on-field instincts are very much a work in progress, he can outrun many of his mistakes. On those occasions where his diagnostic skills match up with his physical abilities, he's as dominant a front-seven defender as any in this class. He projects well as a 4-3 linebacker, but don't be surprised if a smart defensive coordinator makes him an edge-rusher in certain situations—Edmunds has all the tools to do that as well.”

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