Miami Dolphins Pre Free Agency 2022 Seven Round Mock Draft

The Miami Dolphins head into spring in need of improvement. The team kicked off its offseason by firing Brian Flores after he led the team to two consecutive winning seasons. In his place, the Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel away from his post as the offensive coordinator in San Francisco. They’ll also face important contractual decisions with their impending free agents, including tight end Mike Gesicki, wide receiver Will Fuller V, and pass-rusher Emmanuel Ogbah. Then, as free agency winds down, Miami will hope to execute a very strong draft. The Dolphins finished in the middle of the pack this past season but won’t make a selection until No. 29 due to a pair of trades with the 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.

Round 1, Pick 29: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The plan heading into this pick was to draft an offensive tackle, without a doubt. Then, Lloyd was still on the board, so I pivoted. The 6-foot-3 linebacker is a quick, intelligent, and athletic player who can be the true centerpiece of a defense very quickly. He plays best in the middle of the field and has flourished into a player who can succeed against both the run and pass. This would be a very strong statement pick to kick off McDaniel’s career as a head coach.

For more on Lloyd, check out our scouting report on him.

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Round 2, Pick 50: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

The Dolphins desperately need to address their tackle positions. Sure, they can accomplish this in free agency, and taking Petit-Frere at No. 50 is a bit of a reach. However, the Buckeye developed into a legitimate draft prospect recently and has the potential to be a starting lineman in the NFL. Plus, Miami can’t afford to wait any longer to take a tackle and Petit-Frere is the best one on the board. Checking in at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Petit-Frere has significant experience on both ends of the offensive line, and his versatility adds a nice added touch to his profile. There’s still a bit of sloppiness in his game in terms of mechanics and control, but these things can both be cleaned up with the right coaching.

For more on Petit-Frere, check out our scouting report on him.

Round 3, Pick 101: Tyreke Smith, EDGE, Ohio State

Here, Miami uses takes its second Buckeye in a row. The Dolphins will benefit from adding pass-rushing help and should focus on younger players to fill this need. Smith stands out on film thanks to his quick twitch and versatility. He works hard, plays hard, and simply seems like a player who should have a relatively seamless transition to playing in the NFL. Smith’s biggest issue is his health. He played in just 20 games from 2018 to 2020 before logging 10 contests this past year.

Round 4, Pick 119: Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

The Dolphins’ lack of a clear No. 1 running back has held them back at times. While Robinson won’t provide a solution to that problem, he does offer a fresh, young face for the Miami backfield. His presence will allow McDaniel to experiment with various running backs and perhaps lessen the Dolphins’ reliance on Myles Gaskin, who was inconsistent in 2021. Robinson isn’t an every-down back, but he’s a physical runner who thrives in short-yardage situations. He could help Miami move the chains while taking pressure off Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami passing game.

Round 4, Pick 123: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

If Pierce isn’t on your radar yet, it’s time to pay attention. He’s a good accelerator who can stretch the field but also win contests with size and technique. Getting him in the fourth round is an absolute steal considering he likely won’t sneak out of the second round when the draft arrives. Pierce feels like a great fit to become the Dolphins’ eventual No. 2 wide receiver behind Jaylen Waddle. Having this pair of young playmakers at his disposal could drastically assist Tua Tagovailoa‘s development while also helping Miami win football games.

Round 5, Pick 157: Matt Henningsen, DL, Wisconsin

Henningsen is a strong defensive lineman with good technique and a tendency to give 100 percent effort on every play. He’s quite quick out of his stance and couples this ability with strong upper-body strength to manhandle opponents in the trenches. He won’t win battles with twitchiness, flexibility, or explosiveness, but he does enough to annoy quarterbacks and bat down their passes. Henningsen is a player that teams would be thrilled to grab in the fifth round.

Round 6, Pick 198: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa

Hankins is a poised and intelligent cornerback who plays with a high motor and willingness to make big plays while defending both the run and pass. He’s a playmaker who is also selfless and would be a steal in the sixth round given his physical profile. Hankins does have a bit of an injury history, but that’s not a super glaring concern when you’re closing in on the 200th pick in the draft. Any team in this scenario would be foolish to pass on Hankins.

Round 7, Pick 211: James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech

McDaniel closes out his first draft as head coach by selecting a special gadget player out of Virginia Tech. Officially listed as a tight end, Mitchell has been deployed “in-line, flexed to the slot, out of the backfield, as a punt returner, special teams blocker, and emergency quarterback,” according to The Draft Network. He was also a highly recognized and decorated high school athlete who excelled in football and basketball.

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Main Image Credit: Bryan Byerly/Utah Athletics

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