2018 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins Rounds 1-3 Todd McShay Picks

Quarterback Josh Allen of the Wyoming Cowboys passes while chased by defensive end Freedom Akinmoladun of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

If the Miami Dolphins stay at 11th in the upcoming NFL Draft, and actually have their pick of two top-tier quarterbacks, which would they choose?

So much has been said and written about the Dolphins’ admiration for Baker Mayfield, but it would not be correct to overlook Miami’s appreciation for Josh Allen, as well.

And so in a three-round mock draft released Tuesday by ESPN’s Todd McShay, Allen is the choice, over Mayfield, who McShay slots 12th to Buffalo.

Why would Miami ever choose Allen over Mayfield? Upside, of course.

Allen is bigger, has a bigger arm, and has, many observers agree, the most extraordinary potential of any quarterback in this draft.

In McShay’s scenario, linebackers Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are drafted 8th and 10th to the Bears and Raiders. In this scenario, Miami would essentially choose between Mayfield, Allen and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea.

As much as it might be appealing to replace Ndamukong Suh, the opportunity to select Allen or Mayfield at 11th would likely be too hard to pass.

Coach Adam Gase wants to start Ryan Tannehill this season, and if Allen were the pick, Tannehill could be the ideal mentor. Allen told The Palm Beach Post at the Senior Bowl that he would love to back up Tannehill, and even uses Tannehill as his quarterback on EA Sports Madden Football.

Can’t make that stuff up.

“The Dolphins have been linked to Mayfield, but if Allen was still available at 11, Miami would have to pounce,” McShay wrote.

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Drafting for Miami in a mock draft, McShay selected defensive tackle Harrison Phillips of Stanford in the second round and guard Braden Smith of Auburn in the third round.

Phillips would take on some of the reps of the departed Suh. And Smith would presumably compete with Jesse Davis and Ted Larsen at right guard.

“Phillips is a good run defender and would add depth to the defensive line,” McShay wrote. “Even with the Josh Sitton signing, the Dolphins could use help at guard. Smith played 52 games at Auburn and has an elite combination of size (6-6, 315), speed (5.20 40-yard dash) and power (35 reps on bench press, tied for second-best among O-linemen at combine).”

The Dolphins have tremendous needs at linebacker and tight end, and in this scenario, they would be left starting Stephone Anthony and A.J. Derby or perhaps picking up potential starters who are cut by other teams at the end of training camp.

A few of the players Miami could have chosen in the second round of McShay’s mock draft, instead of Phillips, are: LB Darius Leonard (South Carolina State), OT Tyrell Crosby (Oregon), LB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State), OT Kolton Miller (UCLA), TE Mike Gesicki (Penn State).

I would select a linebacker or tight end in this spot.

Last season, I thought it would be a mistake for Miami not to select a guard in the first three rounds of the draft. And Miami waited until the fifth to select one. While no team wants to reach too far outside of their cluster of ranked players, it would be advisable for the Dolphins to select one linebacker in the first three rounds of this draft and, very ideally, one tight end as well.

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