The Miami Dolphins will have important decisions to make for the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Because Miami doesn’t have but four draft picks this year, the picks are critical. Last week, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said in a press conference, “I think when you have as few picks as we do, I think you got to be right on them. So I think you have to be very deliberate and measured…of what that guy’s role on the roster is going to be. And how he fits. I think when you’re picking third, fourth round, and two in the seventh, you ‘gotta make sure what you’re getting; and who it is and how he’s ‘gonna fit on the team.” Those are important words for this Dolphins 2022 mock draft.
Miami Dolphins 2022 Mock Draft 1.0
There are specific details that are noteworthy when Grier makes draft picks. One of those details is that he believes in a three-year development. During the same press conference, Grier said, “I believe you really got to give these kids three years to develop.” Additionally, whether coincidental or not, Grier seems to love college champions. There has been at least one player that has played in a College Football Playoff National Championship game drafted every year since Grier began drafting players. That pattern may not be any different this year.
Additionally, Grier has drafted more Alabama players than players from any other college. Part of that has to do with his relationship with Nick Saban who he worked with when Saban was the head coach for the Dolphins. Also, there have been on occasion, players who were on specific teams. Those specific teams were teams that defeated teams during the season who later played in the National Championship game.
Grier said they will always listen, but it was important to keep the 2023 first-round picks because they went through so much to get them. Assuming Miami doesn’t trade to move up in the draft, their first pick is number 102. The Miami Dolphins 2022 mock draft was a manual selection from available players using Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator by the writer of this article.
Dolphins Mock Draft Begins in Round Three
Round Three (Pick 102)-OL /Jamaree Salyer/Georgia
The biggest need the Dolphins had going into the off-season was for the offensive line. The Dolphins had the worst offensive line in the NFL last season. Grier said that the offensive line is “the real strong position” in the draft to him. That’s a good indicator that he may target the offensive line with his first pick. Georgia’s Jamaree Salyer would fit right into that need. Despite upgrading the offensive line during free agency, there is room for more. Salyer would be a perfect fit for the Dolphins under new head coach Mike McDaniel‘s West Coast offense. He should have no difficulty adjusting to the Shanahan-type offense McDaniel is bringing to Miami’s offensive line.
Salyer is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the draft who played every position on the line last season. He mostly played left tackle last season. However, he played center at the Senior Bowl. Even if he shows he needs time to develop, Grier will give him that. The National Championship winner didn’t allow a single sack in 2021, which included playing against Alabama’s Will Anderson twice. Salyer’s injury history may have hurt his draft stock. However, that has never stopped Grier from drafting players who were injured in college.
Round Four (Pick 125)-Edge/Michael Clemons/Texas A&M
The first player Grier ever drafted was Laremy Tunsil in 2016. Perhaps part of that decision was that Tunsil helped contribute to a Mississippi team that beat the best players in college football on the best team in the country, Alabama, that season. Miami’s draft picks may have a similar draftee in that regards this year. During the 2015 college football season, Alabama had a Heisman Trophy winner and they made it to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Alabama’s only loss that season was against Ole Miss, a team Tunsil was on. The last time that happened was in 2021 when Texas A&M defeated Alabama during the regular season.
In March, Grier visited Texas A&M for their Pro Day. Most believe Grier was there to get a closer look at offensive linemen Kenyon Green. But if Dolphins don’t trade up, then Green probably won’t be available. However, one player Grier saw at Texas A&M’s Pro Day that may be available is one that falls into one of Grier’s mentions and the Tunsil category. That player is Texas A&M edge rusher, Michael Clemons.
The senior Aggie was a major contributor to key wins for his team. As a key player in the Alabama win, Clemons had three tackles, one defended pass, and one sack on Heisman winner Bryce Young. In just ten games played in 2021, Clemons had 32 tackles (11 for losses), 2 passes defended, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and seven sacks. Grier said, “everyone is looking for pass rushers. I think there are some high-level rushers in this draft,” during his pre-draft press conference. Clemons may have been one player on Grier’s mind when he mentioned pass rushers in his comments.
Round Seven (Pick 224)-Edge/Christopher Allen/Alabama
Alabama linebacker Chris Allen missed the 2021 season due to an injury sustained during the first game of his senior season. Before the injury, he was included on the Butkus Award watch list. The previous season he was a contributor to Alabama’s 2020 National Championship team with six sacks and leading the SEC with the most tackles for a loss (13). He fits the Dolphins linebacker need and would fall in the long line of Grier’s draft picks from Alabama.
Round Seven (Pick 247)-Wide Receiver/Jalen Nailor/Michigan State
Miami always looks for receivers. Michigan State receiver Jalen Nailor would be a steal in the seventh round. For his career, Nailor caught only 86 passes for 1,454 yards and 12 touchdowns. For perspective, USC’s Drake London caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021. In 2020, he led the Big Ten Conference with 19.8 yards per catch. He would be a great pick for the seventh round.
Brian Robinson, Jr. (RB/Alabama)- If Dolphins want to draft the best available player for pick 102, then Robinson will probably be that best available player. If the Dolphins do select him instead of filling immediate needs he would be in the long-term plans since the running back room is already crowded. He has been described by analysts as the best running back to be the best fit for a West Coast offense in the 2022 draft.
Undrafted Free Agents- If Miami decides to sign undrafted free agents there are some names they may consider. If these players go undrafted those players to watch are Chris Owens (C/Alabama), Slade Bolden (WR/Alabama), Brad Hawkins (FS/Michigan), Marcus Minor (OL/Pittsburgh), Jean Delance (OL/Florida), and DJ Scaife, Jr. (OL/Miami).
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