Who does ESPN Analytics predict the Miami Dolphins will select in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft?

On Thursday, ESPN released their own mock draft simulator through their ESPN Analytics department. They are the latest website to include a mock draft simulator for their readers, joining a handful of other prominent simulators including Pro Football Network, NFL Mock Draft Database and others.

One unique feature that stands out on the ESPN Analytics draft content website is their Draft Day Predictor which shows readers which players are most likely to get drafted by which NFL team when the 2024 NFL Draft starts. Users can sort results by pick number or by player name. It’s a very interesting and entertaining feature — one that users can spend multiple hours perusing with two weeks to go until draft day.

However, since this is a Miami Dolphins website, I went straight to pick #21 in the first round to see who ESPN Analytics thinks is most likely to be selected by our beloved organization.

That player?

Pass rushing specialist from UCLA, Laiatu Latu.

Latu would likely be an immediate impact addition for the Dolphins considering their two young EDGE stars, Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb, both finished the 2023 NFL season on injured reserve with Achilles (Phillips) and ACL (Chubb) tears which puts the starts of their 2024 seasons in jeopardy.

In his two seasons with UCLA, the 23 year-old prospect tallied 23.5 sacks in 25 games. In that same timeframe, Latu also forced five fumbles and secured two interceptions.

Much like the aforementioned Jaelan Phillips, however, Laiatu Latu has also had a significant injury history of his own. Prior to the 2020 season, while playing for the University of Washington, Latu suffered a serious neck injury which required spinal-fusion surgery. But according to Latu, “no [NFL] teams have talked about any kind of concern” when it comes to the neck injury that forced the young player into a two-year retirement.

Rounding out the top-five players ESPN Analytics sees Miami taking in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft are Clemson’s Nate Wiggins (cornerback), Georgia’s Amarius Mims (offensive tackle), Duke’s Graham Barton (interior offensive lineman), and LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. (wide receiver).

We are just 14 days away from the start of the NFL Draft, and with Miami holding a first round pick for the first time since they selected Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, excitement is at a fever pitch amongst fans of the Dolphins.

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Would you be happy if Miami took Latu in the first round of the NFL Draft? Do you feel he could be an immediate contributor? If not, who would you prefer they select? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13!

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