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2017 Mock Draft Roundup 3.0
March 22, 2017 02:18 PM | Alain Poupart
With the first wave of free agency now over, team needs throughout the NFL have changed in varying degrees and that often is reflected in updated mock drafts.

Dealing specifically with the Dolphins, it appears the early personnel moves of the offseason have swayed the public perception to an overwhelming consensus they will be going for defense when the first round of the 2017 NFL draft is conducted on the night of April 27.

When we last did a survey of national mock drafts before the start of the scouting combine, the picks were split almost evenly between offensive (7) and defensive players (8). In the latest versions of the mock drafts, 14 of the 16 writers have pegged the Dolphins to select a defensive player.

The two votes for an offensive player went to University of Miami tight end David Njoku -even after the Dolphins traded for two-time Pro Bowl selection Julius Thomas and signed veteran Anthony Fasano as a free agent.

The Dolphins have the 22th overall pick as the result of their 10-6 finish in 2016, and a total of 11 players were mentioned at that spot among the 16 latest mock drafts from outlets ranging from NFL.com to Yahoo Sports.

As was the case in our last mock draft survey, three players got more than one vote, and Njoku was one of those both times. But this time the others receiving multiple mentions were Temple linebacker Hasson Reddick and Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton.

Thanks to Reddick, linebacker was the most popular position in the latest mock draft roundup with six mentions, followed by defensive end (5) and defensive back (3).

For the second consecutive time, the only positions not mentioned as first-round selections for the Dolphins were quarterback, wide receiver, tackle, center and defensive tackle, as well as kicking specialists.

Here's the rundown of the 16 national mock drafts, along with the comments that accompanied their Dolphins picks.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: LB Haason Reddick, Temple
Coming off an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, Reddick is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He has the athleticism to play in space on first and second down, and the talent to rush from the edge on third down. Sounds exactly like someone the Dolphins could use. Previous mock: Reddick

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: TE David Njoku, Miami (Fla.)
I know the Dolphins are bringing in Julius Thomas, but Njoku is too good to pass up at this point in the draft. He is a matchup nightmare. Previous mock: DE Derek Barnett

Chad Reuter, NFL.com: LB Hasson Reddick, Temple
Reddick's climb up draft boards during the post-season lands him in Miami. Previous mock: DE Derek Barnett

Charley Casserly, NFL.com: CB Tre'Davious White, LSU
This pick is assuming the Dolphins re-sign Kenny Stills (which they did) - otherwise they draft a receiver. Previous mock: CB Gareon Conley

Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: OLB Tim Williams, Alabama
Adding two more years to Cameron Wake's contract lessens Miami's need for pass rush help but doesn't eliminate it. The talented but troubled Williams might learn a thing or two from Wake, who finished with more than twice as many sacks last season (11.5) as any other Dolphins defender and has earned Pro Bowl nods five times since jumping from the CFL to Miami in 2009. Previous mock: TE David Njoku

Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
The Dolphins will be looking to add another pass rush option in the draft and Charlton is an ascending prospect that can be groomed behind Cameron Wake. Previous mock: TE O.J. Howard

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
Andre Branch is a free agent and Cam Wake isn't a kid anymore. They need to get help outside rushing the passer. Previous mock: TE O.J. Howard

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com: G Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
With Branden Albert gone and Laremy Tunsil kicking outside, the Dolphins can keep building an impressive offensive line. Previous mock: Forrest Lamp

Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com: TE David Njoku, Miami (Fla.)
The Dolphins just traded for Julius Thomas, so this pick might not seem to make much sense on the surface, but remember that: a) Thomas has played just 57 of a possible 96 games in his career; b) Thomas has zero guaranteed money on his contract beyond the 2017 season; and c) Adam Gase likes two-TE sets. Passing on a player like Njoku just because Thomas is on the roster now isn't a prudent move. Previous mock: David Njoku

Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com: OLB, Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
An exceptional athlete who is still rough around the edges, McKinley registered nine sacks last season and for a Dolphins team that ranked 31st in pass rush a year ago, McKinley fills an obvious need. Offseason surgery will keep McKinley sidelines until late summer, but he'll be worth the wait. Previous mock: OLB Takkarist McKinley

Todd McShay, ESPN: LB Hasson Reddick, Temple
Reddick has absolutely crushed the pre-draft process. He had a great week at the Senior Bowl, showing that he has the speed, change-of-direction skills and instincts to play an off-the-ball linebacker role in the pros. And then he posted elite numbers at the combine (4.52 40 and 11-foot, 1-inch broad jump). It would now be an upset if he fell out of Round 1. Previous mock: TE David Njoku

Chris Burke, SI.com: S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Positional concerns aside, Peppers's fantastic combine confirmed what a special athlete he is. Miami could pair him with Reshad Jones at safety, among many other potential uses. Previous mock: LB Jarrad Davis

Eric Galko, Sporting News: DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State
I've been touting Willis as a top-32 player for a while, and his NFL Combine performance proved his worth. The Dolphins have invested in their offense, and they'll likely use the draft to add to the defense.Previous mock: RB D'Onta Foreman

Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
Cam Wake might seem ageless, but the Dolphins need to add more help up front. Barnett was highly productive for the Vols and logged a ton of snaps, but he can be worked into the rotation with Wake, Andre Branch and newly acquired William Hayes. That's a nice top four that should be adept both attacking Tom Brady and also facing run-heavy teams such as the Buffalo Bills. Barnett is a high-effort rusher with strong hands who can lay the wood, but he needs to get better against the run. The Dolphins can allow him to develop before asking him to play 800 snaps right away. A safety also could be in play here.Previous mock: DE Taco Charlton

Peter Schrager, FOXSports.com: CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
I had Conley going in the first round back in January and caught some heat for it online. After the Combine, he's getting that first-round love everywhere. The Ohio State defensive backfield was loaded, and though Lattimore and Hooker got all the attention, this man can play. A 6-0, 195-pound physical cornerback, he has NFL size and did the job when filling in for Eli Apple in 2015 and stepping up in 2016 as a starter. Previous mock: S Jabrill Peppers

Pro Football Focus: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
The Dolphins need an influx of youth at defensive end, and Charlton is a good fit at this point in the draft. He continues to improve, ranking as the No. 4 edge defender in the nation down the stretch, and he picked up 17 sacks, 19 QB hits, and 66 hurries on about a season-and-a-half's worth of action between 2014 and 2016. Charlton is also stout on the edge against the run, and his best football may be ahead of him.

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: OLB Hasson Reddick, Temple
After re-signing defensive end Cameron Wake, the Miami Dolphins can now focus on adding a three-down linebacker with the athleticism to make plays in space. There isn't a better one on the board than Temple's Haason Reddick. A former walk-on at cornerback, Reddick morphed into a pass-rusher at Temple before showing outstanding linebacker tools at the Senior Bowl. He's the type of Swiss Army knife the Dolphins can line up all over the field, depending on the matchup, and let him loose on offenses. Reddick might not be a household name quite yet, but according to teams I've spoken with, he's a lock to go Round 1 in April.
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