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2018 NFL mock draft: The player who can keep the Dolphins from taking a QB

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In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Miami get a quarterback of the defense in Roquan Smith.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are in a weird spot as a franchise. They’ve only had one winning season since 2009, but they’re not necessarily a bad team. They’re also not a good team. They’re in some type of NFL purgatory.

In an effort to get back to the playoffs, the Dolphins have made some interesting moves. Defensive end Robert Quinn was acquired in a trade, and starting guard Josh Sitton and wide receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson were signed.

The big question, though, is whether or not they should look to replace quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Still on the board in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft are quarterbacks Josh Allen of Wyoming and Lamar Jackson of Lamar Jackson. Or is a big-impact player on defense a smarter move?

Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider is here to settle it for the Miami Dolphins.

11. Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Nogle: The first move here is to pick up the phone and start making phone calls to see if anyone wants to jump in front of the Buffalo Bills for a shot at Josh Allen (I’m looking at you, Arizona Cardinals). I just cannot get behind the idea of the Dolphins selecting Allen here - I know there has been a lot of talk about Miami wanting to get a quarterback to compete with Ryan Tannehill or become their backup and potential future starter, I just do not see it being Allen.

That now leaves me looking for the best player available at a position of need. Miami should be looking for defensive tackle or linebacker help, with two good prospects sitting on the board - Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea. Either pick would fit into the Dolphins’ roster nicely, with Smith giving the team their third starter in the linebacker corps while Vea would essentially replace Ndamukong Suh in the defensive tackle rotation.

As the clock is winding down, I have to take Smith. The Dolphins linebackers have been a rotating work in progress almost as much as the offensive line has been these past few years. Raekwon McMillan will be returning from his ACL tear last year, while Kiko Alonso should be starting for at least another season. Now, Smith gives them the athletic, coverage linebacker that will perfectly compliment the other two positions.

Analysis: If you’re going strictly off value, and don’t like the quarterbacks, Smith is the player to take. He’s the type of prospect who will make an immediate impact in the NFL. He’s a read and run linebacker who will make plays and almost immediately become the leader of Miami’s defense. Smith may not be a quarterback on offense, but he surely would be of the defense.

Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining

  • 7. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  • 9. Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  • 13. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  • 14. Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  • 15. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

That finishes our three picks of the day in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. Coming up at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow is Matt Warren of Buffalo Rumblings. He’ll be making the first of two first-round picks for the Bills.

Poll

What grade would you give the choice of Smith byt the Dolphins?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    A
    (565 votes)
  • 21%
    B
    (174 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (42 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (17 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (25 votes)
823 votes total Vote Now