2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 12

The 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft is underway, with each SB Nation blogger making selections for their respective teams. Matty I, lead blogger at SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, checks in to make the No. 12 overall selection in this year's mock. Take it away, sir!

With the No. 12 overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins have selected Earl Thomas, S, Texas.

Matty I says: The way the draft has broken so far leaves the Dolphins will plenty of options here at No. 12. They could go with an offensive playmaker, especially since the top running back and top receiver in the draft both remain on the board. They could also go with a pass-rushing outside linebacker. All of the top conversion linebackers remain available and the Dolphins obviously have a need at the position. But in this particular scenario, I think it's best to take the playmaking free safety.

So why Earl Thomas? Three reasons. One - with the way the draft is going, I think there's a chance one of the top conversion linebackers fall to Miami's next pick at number 43. And the drop off from Thomas to the next best safety is far greater, in my opinion, than the drop-off between conversion linebackers. Two - the NFL is changing. With the number of three- and four-receiver sets that are run these days, you can never have enough quality defensive backs. It's a passing league now and the Dolphins need to keep up defensively - especially in a division with the Patriots. And three - Thomas is exactly what the Dolphins need back in their secondary.

Thomas is the athletic, ball-hawking safety that this defense hasn't had in a long time. He's got great speed, great range, exceptional ball skills, and can lay the lumber when a ball carrier comes his way. His size is a concern. But he did bulk up to 208 pounds for the Combine and still ran a sub 4.5 40. And the bottom line here is that Thomas, in my opinion, drastically upgrades this young but very talented Miami secondary.

Mocking Dan reacts: This is a shrewd selection. Last year Miami got its cornerbacks in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Thomas, who is actually smaller than both, could mature along with them. Some of the best secondaries in the league are the ones that get to play together for several years. Thomas, Davis and Smith would be under contract long enough that they could get the kind of rapport a team like Pittsburgh has developed.

It should also be noted that even though Dez Bryant is still out there, Bill Parcells doesn't take receivers in the first round. With the array of 3-4 outside linebackers out there, Thomas would be a smart luxury pick.

Mocking the Draft's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - C.J. Spiller/RB/Clemson, 2 - Derrick Morgan/DE/Georgia Tech, 3 - Dez Bryant/WR/Oklahoma State, 4 - Everson Griffen/DE/USC, 5 - Jermaine Gresham/TE/Oklahoma

Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of the Thomas-to-Miami pick? Please be sure to check out The Phinsider for all of your Dolphins needs.

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