Dec. 24, 2018
Early Miami Dolphins 2018 Mock Draft, Rounds 1-3
The Miami Dolphins have very little to play for in their final game of the 2017 season, with a 7-9 record the best possible outcome for the team.
With a loss to the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, the Dolphins could find themselves slip into the bottom 10 teams, influencing their draft position next spring.
With a potential top 10 pick in the 2018 draft, we take a look at the players the Dolphins could select in each round and why they would be good additions at the Hard Rock Stadium.
FIRST ROUND | QUENTON NELSON, GUARD, NOTRE DAME
The Dolphins have suffered through poor offensive play all season and a large reason for that has been a leaky offensive line, particularly in the Guard positions.
Mike Pouncey, Ja'Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil are all obvious starters in the Center and Tackle positions, but things are far more flexible at Guard.
Nelson has been a dominant performer for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this season and is seen as the top Guard in the draft.
Picking him up, even as high as tenth overall, would give the Dolphins an immediate starter that would provide far better blocking next season.
Improving the run-game and protecting whoever is under center next season is a top priority for Adam Gase's team and Nelson is a strong step in the right direction.
SECOND ROUND | NICK CHUBB, RUNNING BACK, GEORGIA
Another way the Dolphins can improve their fortunes on offence is by picking up one of the top Running Backs in the 2018 draft.
Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams have shown flashes towards the end of this season, but neither is expected to be the bell-cow the Dolphins need.
Chubb has been a dominant back in the SEC, rushing for 4599 yards and 42 touchdowns in four seasons with the Georgia Bulldogs.
He is also just two games away from potentially winning a national championship with the Bulldogs set to play the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
The Dolphins need to utilise the running game much more, with two of their best wins this season coming when Drake rushed over 20 times.
Adding a top back in the form of Chubb would give the Dolphins a real offensive threat that can alleviate the pressure of whoever the team's starting QB is.
THIRD ROUND | BRADEN SMITH, GUARD, AUBURN
This would be a best-case scenario for the Dolphins, with Smith likely to have been drafted before the Dolphins make their third-round pick.
Smith is graded between a second and third-round talent and if he is available for the Dolphins in the third round, they must jump at the chance to pick him.
He has been a regular starter for the Auburn Tigers, who are one of the top teams in the SEC.
He would also be ready to step into a starting role before the end of the 2018 season, potentially as early as Week 1, and would help the Dolphins upgrade a serious need.
If the Dolphins select Nelson in the first round, landing Smith in the third would give them an immediately improved O-Line and would greatly aid Gase's offence moving forward.
A running back selected between the two Guards would show the Dolphins are serious about improving an offence rated 28th in total yards produced.
This would be an ideal-scenario for the Dolphins' first three rounds in the 2018 draft, rounds four to seven will follow later and look at filling out other areas of need for the team.