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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Miami Dolphins, Jake Locker Still Tied Together

Last week, the Jake Locker to Miami campaign began to gain some traction. SB Nation tied the two together for the first time I’d seen in its 2011 NFL mock draft, using the Miami Dolphin’s deficiencies at the quarterback spot as the reasoning. It made sense, and Locker would fit well in the Dolphin’s system while getting an early opportunity to make an impact.

A week later, SB Nation is standing by the Locker to Miami pick, locking him in as the Dolphin’s choice at No. 16 in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Dolphins have just one pick in the first two rounds and with Chad Henne merely being used as a stop-gap, it’s likely the Dolphins snatch a quarterback midway through the first round.

Chad Henne remains Miami’s starter, but rather than being the club’s long-term answer, he’s now merely the bridge between 2011 and whenever a rookie can take over. Minus a second-round pick, the Dolphins may very well reach a little for a high-upside QB like Locker in Round 1.

At the very least, Locker will have a season to develop, which many scouts agree he needs. Locker showed improvement at the NFL Combine, quieting a bit of the buzz about his lack of accuracy and footwork. His athleticism is off the charts, making him a good fit for a Dolphin’s offense that makes liberal use of the wildcat while putting the ball in its playmakers’ hands.

Could a backfield of Ronnie Brown and Jake Locker be a possibility? It would be an intriguing fit, and appears to be realistic enough.

For more on Locker and the draft, check out our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.