The tanking Dolphins need players like Jawaan Taylor

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In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Miami lands a rock solid right tackle.

Are they tanking, or not tanking? That is the question facing the Miami Dolphins in the lead up to the 2019 NFL Draft. The idea of Miami tanking the 2019 season first popped up in January. Since then, Miami has torched its roster. Gone are wide receiver Danny Amendola, running back Frank Gore, offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and defensive ends Andre Branch, William Hayes and Cameron Wake.

While several of those players have declined in play, Miami did little to replace them. Tight end Dwayne Allen, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and cornerback Eric Rowe were all signed to small deals.

If the Dolphins aren’t tanking, it’s hard to figure out what they’re actually doing.

Bringing some sanity to Miami is Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider. He’s up in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft making the pick for the Dolphins.

13. Miami Dolphins: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Nogle: There is nothing easy about this pick for Miami. Most analysts will argue that the Dolphins need to find their franchise quarterback, but this is not the year to be taking the fourth quarterback off the board. Luckily, this is the year to be adding players along the line of scrimmage, and there is no arguing that the Dolphins have to do exactly that. The offensive line, outside of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, is a giant question mark, especially with Ja’Wuan James leaving in free agency, and the defensive line is not much better. Miami needs to address the foundation of the team if it ever wants to get a quarterback that can succeed in South Florida.

Since I cannot trade down — which I would absolutely be trying to do right now — I have plenty of options here for Miami, but am taking all the time I possibly can to make sure I make the right choice out of these. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and defensive end Clelin Ferrell, both from Clemson, headline my defensive line thoughts, though Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary is in the discussion as well. On the offensive side of the ball, Florida’s Jawaan Taylor and Alabama’s Jonah Williams are both considerations.

As the clock winds down on the Dolphins here, I am down to two choices. I really want to select Ferrell and give Miami a pass rusher, but there are questions about his ability to finish that make me think of Charles Harris, so I do not need two of those players as my starting defensive ends. If the Dolphins are truly infatuated with Tua Tagovailoa as a quarterback option next year, then they need a right tackle to lock down what would be the left-handed quarterback’s blind side. In a draft where the Dolphins are believed to be looking to build the foundation of the team and set them up for 2020, adding a sure thing at right tackle seems to make sense.

Analysis: That comparison of Ferrell to Harris is pretty rough. In this scenario without a trade down, Ferrell or Gary would have been my choice. Both play with more power than Harris. Gary is a little more of a protect, but he has a higher ceiling because of his athleticism. Ferrell is more of a plug-and-play prospect.

Choosing Taylor isn’t a bad option, though. After all, he was the choice in this week’s mock draft. As the Dolphins rebuild, he’s the sort of dependable option they need on the roster.

Top five remaining players:

  • 8. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
  • 10. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
  • 12. Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
  • 13. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
  • 16. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Coming up at 1 p.m. ET is our second pick of the day in our mock draft. Dave Choate of The Falcoholic will be here to make the pick for the Atlanta Falcons. Surely he’ll be picking a defensive tackle, right?

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