The SI Team Publisher Mock Draft was released Wednesday and the Miami Dolphins ended up with LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the sixth overall pick and Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins with the 18th selection.

But what was the thought process behind the two picks?

It's time to break it down.

The picks made by the SI Fan Nation team publishers, and the top three picks were quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones going to Jacksonville, the Jets and San Francisco, respectively.

Then came the Atlanta Falcons, and the pick was Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

That one obviously hurt because we have not hidden our affection for Pitts as a prospect and how he easily would be the No. 1 target if we somehow were put in charge of the Dolphins draft.

And, make no mistake, the Atlanta pick is the one that will dictate the Dolphins' pick.

And there's certainly a realistic chance the Falcons will end up taking a quarterback at the fourth spot or trade down with a team that will do just that.

The Falcons attending Justin Fields' second Pro Day could be an indication they would consider taking him fourth overall unless the 49ers beat them to it as number 3 instead of taking Mac Jones.

Or the Falcons may decide that Pitts simply is just too much of a talent to pass up the chance to land him.

At number 5, the Bengals took Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, which makes sense considering they have to make sure Joe Burrow stays in one piece if he's going to deliver on his promise.

That brought us to the Dolphins, and the options there became Chase, Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater, Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

In the end, the choice was made to provide the most immediate impact and help for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa because — and this is important — nothing the Dolphins do in advance of the 2021 season will be as important to their success next season as Tagovailoa's development and performance.

So it certainly makes sense to try to give him as much help as possible, even though an argument could be made that there would be more long-term value in taking someone like Parsons or Slater because there would have been other good wide receiver options at 18.

As for which wide receiver, this was a lot closer than some might think because while Chase is universally accepted as the best wide receiver prospect in the draft, Waddle is the most explosive and the one most able to turn nothing into something big on offense.

Also remember that this mock represented predictions on the picks, and it says here the choice for the Dolphins would be just as difficult in real life as it was in the mock.

When we get to 18, we were left with a lot of intriguing possibilities, many of which would have good picks for the Dolphins.

Ultimately we went with Collins because of his versatility and his really impressive size/speed ratio. It really is easy to see Brian Flores using Collins the way he used Kyle Van Noy last year, though Collins is a lot faster than the veteran who's now back in New England.

We did consider the possibility of the Dolphins drafting Najee Harris, but after bypassing every running in the first and second rounds last year it would be quite a turnaround for them to now take one at number 18 overall — even though we're seeing reports suggesting they're seriously considering doing just that.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also would merit consideration, but his small stature would have to be a concern for any team drafting him because of the physical way he plays, so we think the Dolphins will steer clear of him in the first round.

It's important to note that we see the Dolphins focusing on getting Tua help with the first pick and then shifting to taking the best prospect at number 18.

If the Dolphins want to make it all about Tua and trying to accelerate his progress, then taking Harris certainly would make sense.

In the end, though, the belief here is the Dolphins will hold off on a running back until at least the early part of the second round.

This article first appeared on FanNation All Dolphins and was syndicated with permission.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.