Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider is back up in the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft taking one of the biggest gambles possible, but it could have a massive payoff if it works.
42. Dolphins: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Nogle: After selecting a cornerback in the first round, the NFL Draft opens up a little for the Dolphins at this point. They still have plenty of needs, but they can afford to play a little more of a best-player-available scheme throughout the rest of the draft. That is what they are doing with this selection.
The Dolphins would have been contemplating Derrick Henry here, but that changed with the Chicago Bears’ pick. There are a few other players here who could make sense for Miami, specifically cornerback Artie Burns and guard Joshua Garnett but, with the way the board has fallen so far, the team has another name sitting at the top of their draft board, and they have to grab him.
Smith obviously has medical concerns, and that knee injury was ugly, but the talent is huge, and to grab him here in the second round is too good of an opportunity. There is some risk, but if Smith returns to anything near 100 percent, he is going to be a special player in the league. It may take him sitting out the entire year, but the Dolphins could go into this season with Kiko Alonso at the middle linebacker position, Jelani Jenkins on the weak side and Koa Misi on the strong side and be alright with that until Smith is ready to slide into the trio.
It might seem like a luxury pick from the outside, but Smith’s talent is too much to surpass at this point, and if the risk pays off for Miami, they may have selected a second-round steal.
Analysis: Taking Smith is obviously a big risk, but this is the exact type of situation he needs to be in. As noted above, Smith could slowly work his way back in Miami and not have to worry about a lot of playing time early in his career. There may not be much immediate payoff, but it could eventually be a real steal if Smith's health isn't an issue.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 33. Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
- 40. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
- 41. Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
- 42. Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
- 43. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
- 1-11: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
- 2-42: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
We continue to hurtle toward the end of our two-round SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. Coming on Thursday are pick Nos. 43-45, including two picks from the Los Angeles Rams.
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama (Link)
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Link)
21. Washington - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor (Link)
22. Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Link)
23. Minnesota Vikings - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston (Link)
26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida (Link)
27. Green Bay Packers - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Link)
28. Kansas City Chiefs - Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Link)
29. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Link)
30. Carolina Panthers - Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Link)
31. Denver Broncos - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Link)
32. Cleveland Browns - Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State (Link)
33. Tennessee Titans - Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State (Link)
34. Dallas Cowboys - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville (Link)
35. San Diego Chargers- Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State (Link)
36. Baltimore Ravens - Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (Link)
37. San Francisco 49ers - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (Link)
38. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia (Link)
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State (Link)
40. New York Giants - Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
41. Chicago Bears - Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama