ESPN’s longtime draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has unveiled his first mock draft for the 2022 class.
Kiper s mock has the Dolphins taking Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson with the 26th overall pick. First-round picks 25-32 are decided after each round of the NFL playoffs, so Kiper used ESPN’s Football Power Index to slot the remaining playoff teams in the last spots.
But wait, the Dolphins didn’t make the playoffs this year. That’s true, they’re getting a pick after a trade with the San Francisco 49ers last year, where they sent the Niners the No. 3 pick in exchange for the No. 12 pick last year, a first and third round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft and a first round pick in 2023.
“Dotson is a speedster who had 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 scores in 2021,” Kiper wrote. “Jaylen Waddle caught 104 passes as a rookie, but the best way to help Tagovailoa is to get him another pass-catcher who can make plays after the catch. Dotson is explosive with the ball in his hands and has the versatility to line up all over the field.”
While the list does not contain a single player from a Florida college or university, Kiper does have representation from the Sunshine State in the top three. His first mock lists Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal going No. 3 overall to the Houston Texans. Neal, who is originally from Okeechobee, finished his high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton.