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Team needs: Miami Dolphins

Joe Philbin AP

The Dolphins were poised to make a splash this offseason because they had copious amounts of cap space and 11 draft picks at their disposal. They used the cap space to address several needs during free agency and now they have a chance to tick off a few more boxes with all those picks. With five of the first 82 picks, they’ve got a good chance to deal their way up the board from the 12th pick if there’s someone they really want to have. 

Offensive Line: If there’s a spot they’re likely to address by trading up, it’s tackle. Jake Long signed with the Rams, leaving the team with Jonathan Martin and Nate Garner as their top tackles. Martin can play on either side of the line, so the Dolphins could be aggressive in a move to acquire one of the draft’s top left tackle prospects. With Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson all bunched at the top of many draft boards, Miami would likely have to deal up to get one of them but it would be worth it to nail things down at left tackle.

It’s not the only way for the Dolphins to go, however. With right tackles like Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston still looking for work as free agents, the Dolphins could opt to look in other directions to shore up the line. Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack would upgrade the talent on the interior of the line and they could find a tackle like Menelik Watson or Terron Armstead in the second round. If they do keep all their picks, the Dolphins will probably be spending more than one on blockers.

Defensive End: Cameron Wake was the only consistent pass rusher on the roster in 2012, something that can’t be the case next season if they want the defense to help push them into the hunt for a playoff spot. If they did acquire a pass rusher, Jared Odrick could move inside to take better advantage of his strong work against the run alongside Randy Starks. Such an alignment would make for a better line across the board. Ziggy Ansah could be on the board when the 12th pick rolls around and his athleticism is intriguing and the Dolphins could also get a chance at a player like Damontre Moore in the second round or by trading back up into the back end of the first round.

Cornerback: Upgrading the pass rush is going to be essential if the Dolphins are going to compete in the AFC East and strong cornerback play won’t be too far behind. If Brent Grimes is able to return from an Achilles injury, the Dolphins will have one corner spot locked down but there’s going to be a need for help either way after losing Sean Smith in free agency. As with the two previous entries, the Dolphins’ surplus picks give them a chance to approach the need in a variety of ways. They could wind up with Dee Milliner or Xavier Rhodes with the 12th pick, deal back up into the back of the first round for Jamar Taylor or stay put and add multiple guys with their second and third-round picks.

Safety: The Dolphins brought back Chris Clemons on a one-year deal, which means that they’d be well-served by taking someone to groom as a replacement in 2014. It’s a less pressing need than the others discussed in this space, with Clemons’ presence giving the Dolphins the luxury of selecting a player who might not be ready to play in the defense right away.

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45 Responses to “Team needs: Miami Dolphins”
  1. thesteelers says: Apr 13, 2013 3:03 PM

    Team needs: None. It’s the dream team.

  2. frankdatank23 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:07 PM

    Nice job. Follow those up with TE and RB.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 13, 2013 3:19 PM

    Tannehill had a lower completion rate and passer rating than Gabbert last season. He is a year and a half older than Gabbert, shorter, lighter, with a poorer arm, no Combine results, and a Wonderlic score 10 points lower. But the Jaguars’ #1 draft need is QB, while the Dolphins have no concerns there.

    Right.

  4. stoptrippn says: Apr 13, 2013 3:19 PM

    Go get Tmays

  5. drainbameged says: Apr 13, 2013 3:21 PM

    Great article, for once in a long time I feel like the Dolphins are on the right track. Haters gunna hate…of course but that doesn’t matter. I’m hoping things have turned around and some key pieces have fallen into place. With a good draft Miami will be nipping hard at the heals of the Pats for the division as well as the AFC. I can’t wait to see this team grow and hopefully succeed.

  6. drumnw says: Apr 13, 2013 3:22 PM

    you forgot wide reciever….oh wait nevermind, I’m used to that actually being a need…lets hope the signings work out! Call me crazy but i think drafting someone like ertz or eifert at TE early might be a good idea….how many good teams have two good tight ends?…with keller there for a year, hopefully egnew will mature in the offseason and clay picks it up so we could have some more depth with one of those guys…

    I just hope we dont regret letting reggie bush go free…lamar miller has promise, but we will have to see.

  7. tegmiami says: Apr 13, 2013 3:29 PM

    Theres is no way Ireland will risk his last chance of success in a year ending contract, with J.martin as LT. FO need to give T-HILL Time to play and protection.
    FO will adress LT via FA,12th pick or trading up.
    G,DT,CB, TE, K and Rb will be selected too.

  8. dab415217 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:33 PM

    Don’t see the Xavier Rhodes pick. His skills are almost a carbon copy of Sean Smith, who struggled more often than not last year in zone coverage.

    I’m not a big fan of picking a TE in the 1st round, but the Dolphins have struggled for years in the red zone.

    My pick at #12 would be Keenan Allen, but I don’t believe the Dolphins will use a high pick on a WR (maybe a 3rd rounder).

    So, I’m going with Tyler Eifert as their pick at #12.

  9. carmelogu says: Apr 13, 2013 3:43 PM

    1st rounder must be a 100% sure elite and ready to start player. For the subsequent rounds, there must be some “gem” players to find…remember 6th round Tom Brady, 4th round Jared Allen, 3rd round Frank Gore, 7th round Marques Colston?…

  10. trippletlane says: Apr 13, 2013 3:43 PM

    We need to get the Irish t e for now and future

  11. mungman69 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:53 PM

    Second place in the east is not out of the question. Maybe.

  12. seatownballers says: Apr 13, 2013 4:03 PM

    Who is gonna replace r bush? Just saying they might need a running back

  13. doublezero74 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:07 PM

    You missed the team need for a miracle. No way this team unseats the dominant patriots

  14. deadeye says: Apr 13, 2013 4:10 PM

    Tavon Austin at #12 would be nice. That kid is a game changer, and would be a nightmare to cover with Wallace already on board.

  15. wrenches2pipes says: Apr 13, 2013 4:11 PM

    The Fins are going to surprise a lot of people this year. In a good way.

  16. swagjag says: Apr 13, 2013 4:11 PM

    Team needs: a GM who doesn’t wear clown shoes.

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 13, 2013 4:12 PM

    The Dolphins are a mess and need a GM above everything else.

  18. scmems07 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:14 PM

    thegreatgabbert says:

    Tannehill had a lower completion rate and passer rating than Gabbert last season. He is a year and a half older than Gabbert, shorter, lighter, with a poorer arm, no Combine results, and a Wonderlic score 10 points lower. But the Jaguars’ #1 draft need is QB, while the Dolphins have no concerns there.

    Right.

    That may be the funniest thing I’ve heard yet this year! Thanks for the laugh

  19. scmems07 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:21 PM

    Not a lot a lot of knowledgeable football people who read these things… If you have never seen lamar miller play you should go look up some videos. Just as big and fast as bush but miller doesn’t dance, he attacks the running lanes like a power back and has all the moves to cause headaches. He is going to be a pro bowl player. Now that they have speed at reciever, pass catching te’s and a strong arm, mobile qb, the defenders are not going to be able to stack the box anymore. This dolphin team can be dangerous. All depends on tannehill though, but i believe he has what it takes to win.

  20. chillaxbro23 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:22 PM

    lamar miller is a star mark my words!

  21. nickster31 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:25 PM

    What Miami needs to do, is package some of those 2nd and 3rd round pick and try to move back into the 1st – TWO more times. Get 3 first round picks, and pick up:

    12 – Eric Fisher, OT
    17 – Jarvis Jones, OLB (11 in the 2nd and 20 in 3rd round)
    22 – Kenny Vaccaro, SS (24th in the 2nd and 15 in the 3rd)

    All these players are available when Miami drafts according to PFT’s mock draft. 3 of their biggest needs are addressed with ready to go starters at 3 VERY important positions where the Fins are lacking.

  22. dolphins1121 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:31 PM

    I’d like to see Eiffert or the top OL on the board at 12, CB and Ryan Swope in the second, CB and DE in the 3rd.

    No need for a high RB. Millertime is going to break out this year now that he is the #1 back. RB should be addressed on Saturday.

  23. jerrygray721 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:36 PM

    a stud L/T would be very nice but i dont think that o-looks that bad right now and there is a need @ c/b but i say they spend that#12 pick on vaccaro who is a play making safety that would help that secondary alot

  24. eventhorizon04 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:53 PM

    Commenter “TheGreatGabbert” really needs to change his name if he wants anybody to take him seriously.

  25. japmen says: Apr 13, 2013 4:53 PM

    Nice article that does have the main target areas. Hopefully eifert or cooper are the picks followed by further needs later. 5 picks before 80 means Miami gets the best chance of finding someone good they’ve had in years.

    Great gabbert cracks me up! I hope their FO thinks the same way. Would be nice to see Jax in the cellar for another 3-4 years like the Jets will be.

  26. 69finfan says: Apr 13, 2013 4:59 PM

    I would love to see the Fins first pick be somebody that touches the ball, either on offense or defense however, none of these moves in FA will matter much if RT doesn’t have time to throw and LM can’t find a hole to run through. So, I’m pretty certain first pick will be OL. Whatever it is, Go Fins!

  27. onelonebozo says: Apr 13, 2013 5:14 PM

    thegreatgabbert:

    Are you saying that Gabbert is a better QB than Tannehill? Gimme some of what you’re smoking

  28. livepredictor says: Apr 13, 2013 5:49 PM

    Weird feeling your going to add QB to that list next season.

  29. phinfan says: Apr 13, 2013 5:56 PM

    With Ireland current draft average all 11 picks wont be in miami in 3-4 years. Maybe just maybe i hope he finds one stud outta this 11 picks. Its amazing Jeff still has a job, a guy like jimmy johnson built superbowl teams with less picks – just saying

  30. alexis8986 says: Apr 13, 2013 6:04 PM

    Yea that’s what he’s saying he’s prob never sen a dolphin or jaguar game lol

  31. rodge1 says: Apr 13, 2013 6:07 PM

    Last year ‘thegreatgabbert’ was posting that Tannehill would be a bust. At least she is being consistent with her comments and the same ignorance this year. Bad news for her is Tannehill can read and react to blitzes and got better as the year went on where Gabbert would close his eyes and cry when blitzed upon.

  32. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Apr 13, 2013 6:12 PM

    Corner is deep enough that Miami will probably draft a couple if them later. They see Sherman and Patterson as starters so they’re not going to spend #12 on a corner that doesn’t match their scheme.

  33. cuda1234 says: Apr 13, 2013 7:41 PM

    What’s with all the Left Tackle talk? Jonathan Martin was a LT in high school. He was a LT in college where he protected Andrew Luck’s blind side. He was one of the top LT prospects last year. He was a second round pick and played well as the starting LT down the stretch last year.

    The Dolphins have bigger needs.

  34. arctantheta says: Apr 13, 2013 7:48 PM

    thegreatgabbert says:Apr 13, 2013 3:19 PM

    Tannehill had a lower completion rate and passer rating than Gabbert last season. He is a year and a half older than Gabbert, shorter, lighter, with a poorer arm, no Combine results, and a Wonderlic score 10 points lower. But the Jaguars’ #1 draft need is QB, while the Dolphins have no concerns there.

    Right.

    - well, if all tannehill did was handoff the ball to a franchise running back and throw check down passes because he’s terrified of the oncoming pass rush, you would possibly have an argument. but that’s not the case. tannehill looked alright considering his newness to the position, while gabbert is hands down the WORST starting qb in the league. yes, worse than sanchez, weeden, locker and ponder. it’s not even close.

    ps-left arizona out cause they had nobody at starting qb lol

  35. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 13, 2013 8:39 PM

    Everything I said was truth, toads. Look it up. Gabbert, better completion rate, passer rating than Tannehill, Luck, Locker. Gabbert younger, earns less money, taken later in the draft than all three.

    Numbers don’t lie. Biased websites and ignorant sheep followers do.

  36. jrcoop says: Apr 13, 2013 8:43 PM

    Ireland already said that it is a wise strategy to draft the expensive positions and “develop your own” instead of being forced to sign them in free agency.

    The most expensive being, Quarterback, Left Offensive Tackle, and Defensive End. The Dolphins drafted a pass rushers last year (Vernon), and should do so again this year. That said, the position with the most obvious need of the three is Left tackle. So if your drafting “horizontally”, that the position that makes the most since.

    It could easily be argued, that trading up to do so would be a wise decision. The four top LT’s are ready to start, which can’t be said for the top four DE’s. Conclusion, doing what you must to get one of the top LT’s is the safest and wisest choice.

  37. lostsok says: Apr 13, 2013 9:19 PM

    Oh, and let’s not forget Blaine Gabbart pathetic 5.98 yards per attempt. DEAD LAST IN THE NFL among starters. That’s what happens when all you do is dump off checkdowns.

    A five year old girl on crutches could gain 5.98 yards per attempt. Gabbart probably tosses and turns dreaming of Tannehill’s 6.81 per attempt.

    What’s amazing is that Gabbart couldn’t complete more passes when he has Blackmon to throw to…but I guess if you can’t accurately throw more than 15 yards that’s what happens. You dump it off over and over and over and over…completing a handful along the way…for few yards and fewer wins.

  38. cwk22 says: Apr 13, 2013 9:39 PM

    Jaguars suck and so does their QB. He got worse as season progressed. To spend so much time talking him up like he was going to set the NFL on fire this year is insane. Jax fans need a reality check.

  39. macadoo33 says: Apr 13, 2013 11:26 PM

    Isn’t Gabbart the backup to ex-Dolphin castoff Chad Henne anyway?

  40. jrcoop says: Apr 14, 2013 12:25 AM

    As for the Gabbart/Tannehill comparison… Gabbart was a second year starter (though he went on IR in Nov), and Tannehill was a rookie with 19 starts in college. Really not a good comparison, for Gabbart that is. It’s not so much the numbers as it is the perceived upside.

  41. latenightroach says: Apr 14, 2013 3:14 AM

    Miami’s biggest team need is for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to retire.

  42. whiplash013 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:50 PM

    Tannehill had a lower completion rate and passer rating than Gabbert last season. He is a year and a half older than Gabbert, shorter, lighter, with a poorer arm, no Combine results, and a Wonderlic score 10 points lower. But the Jaguars’ #1 draft need is QB, while the Dolphins have no concerns there.

    Lets look at these points in detail:

    Completion Rate: In 2012/2013 both had 58.3 so a tie is not better. Plus you really need to compare rookie year to rookie year where Tannehill wins since Gabbert was at 50.8.

    Passer Rating: Gabbert had a slightly better 2012/2013 passer rating at 77.4 to 76.1. Again we need to compare rookie year to rookie year at Tannehill wins again since Gabbert was at 65.4.

    Age: Wow you got one almost right since Tannehill was born 7/28/88 while Gabbert was born 10/15/89. Only 15 months not 18 but pretty close.

    Shorter: Both men are 6’4″ so not sure how Tannehill is shorter.

    Lighter: This is true since Tannehill weighs 222 to Gabberts 235, but not sure what this has to do with anything since Peyton Manning is 1 inch taller but 5lbs lighter than Gabbert. Tom Brady is the same height as both but weighs 225. So by these numbers I think the weight actually favors Tannehill.

    Poorer Arm: If you look at various sites that rate arms they rate Gabbert a 12/20 where Tannehill is an 18/20 so wrong again.

    No Combine Results: Umm ok not sure what this has to do with anything at all. He ran on his Pro day and his time was on par with Gabberts.

    Wonderlic: Well first lets say this doesn’t really mean anything but then lets put your claim to shame since Tannehill scored a 34 while Gabbert scored a 42. According to my math that is 8 not 10.

  43. benicio1010 says: Apr 15, 2013 9:33 AM

    Blaine needs his mommy to stop posting on this site. What I dont get is the fact that Blaine’s mom didn’t consider the 200 more passes last year and the 1500 more yards. But hey……. Blaine’s mom…… if I see you in a bar i’ll still buy u a H20 and vinegar …..u.. douche

  44. jakescott13 says: Apr 15, 2013 2:51 PM

    To me, the main difference between Tannehill and Gabbert is that Tannehill doesn’t wet himself and fall into the fetal position when the pass rush gets a little heavy.

  45. djscottyb says: Apr 19, 2013 4:09 PM

    Sign 2 FA OT’s Winston and McKinnie
    – McKinnie at LT – Martin at RT and Winston at RG instead of Fat Boy Jerry

    Draft Vaccaro (1) J. Banks (2a) D. Moore (2b)
    Escobar (3a) Swope (3b) Ellington (4) and then line depth on both sides

    You strengthen your DBs, get Wake some help, the sleeper TE of the draft, Tannehill’s fav safety valve in college, a replacement for D. Thomas and depth

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