The longer the NFL Draft goes, the more difficult it becomes to predict which players will still be around and which positions teams feel they need to address.
The second round is still a reasonably stage as far as figuring out who’s going to be available. The Dolphins’ second-round pick is 42nd overall (their three-way tie with the Raiders and 49ers puts them in a round-by-round rotation that you can read about by clicking here), and what they do there will be somewhat predicated on who they take at No. 11.
If one of the best tight ends, Hayden Hurst or Dallas Goedert, happens to be around at No. 42, it’s hard to imagine them missing that opportunity. And if they take a linebacker at No. 11, they probably won’t do it again in the second round.
With all the disclaimers in place, here are five good players that could reasonably be on the board when Miami picks in the second round:
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Vander Esch is the versatile type of linebacker the Dolphins could really use. They need to pull a starter out of this draft, and he provides the full spectrum of run stopping, pass rushing and covering tight ends. He had 141 tackles, 8.5 of which were for a loss, to go with two interceptions, five pass breakups and four forced fumbles as a junior at Boise State. Miami met with him at the NFL Combine and could luck into him being available.
Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Offensive tackle remains surprisingly unsettled for the Dolphins. A year ago, they wouldn’t have expected to be in this position. Laremy Tunsil is an uncertainty on the left side, and Ja’Wuan James still has something to prove on the right. James will be a free agent at the end of the season, and drafting a 6-foot-5, 325-pound blocker like Crosby would give Miami flexibility. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock ranks him the fourth-best offensive tackle in the draft.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Do the Dolphins really need to take a running back this high? No. They already have Kenyan Drake, and this position continues to be one that teams believe can be filled by just about anybody. But Guice is so explosive out of the backfield and has such exceptional speed that Miami has to take notice. Over his sophomore and junior seasons, he ran for 2,638 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
It’s a little bit of a long shot that Goedert will still be around 10 picks into Round 2. The Dolphins might need to explore trading up a few spots if they like him. “He’s a huge kid with that Zach Ertz, Todd Heap ability,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said. “Here’s a kid who could get into the late first round and be one heck of a pass receiving weapon in the National Football League.” He’s 6-foot-5, 256 pounds and topped 1,100 yards each of the last two seasons. Miami currently has A.J. Derby as its starting tight end.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Dolphins must get a valuable quarterback in the draft this year, which means they probably can’t wait past the second or third round. Rudolph isn’t the top tier at his position, but he’s a borderline first-rounder. He threw for 86 touchdowns against 22 interceptions and averaged 327 yards per game in three seasons as Oklahoma State’s starter.
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