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Draft needs: Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill, Andre Branch AP

With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. The Dolphins, who hold the 19th pick in the first round, are up next. Miami went into the final weeks of the season holding their playoff destiny in their hands, but they lost by a combined 39-7 score to the Bills and Jets to put an end to postseason dreams. Here’s our look at what they need to do to make it further this time around.

Right Tackle: We won’t rehash everything that went on with Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito and company last season as it should be sufficient at this point to just say that the Dolphins entered the offseason needing four starters on the line.

Signing Branden Albert gave them a left tackle, but Jason Fox’s arrival doesn’t come close to closing the door on the right tackle competition. In a perfect world, the Dolphins would get a clear upgrade on Fox – Notre Dame’s Zack Martin, perhaps – but they have to add players of any type to give them options when it comes to building a better line next season.

Guard: See the above and pretty much repeat it. The Dolphins signed Shelley Smith, but he’s never been a long-term starter during his NFL career. And even if he does nail down a job, the Dolphins still need another starter and an overall upgrade of talent.

The versatile Martin could work here as well, as could Nevada’s Joel Bitonio or Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson. Whether they play guard or tackle, the Dolphins need to add multiple bodies to the mix on the line because the line was such a disaster on and off the field last season that one player isn’t going to fix everything on his own.

Tight End: Last year’s signing of Dustin Keller bore no fruit after Keller’s knee injury wiped him out for the entire season. Charles Clay did solid work, but offensive coordinator Bill Lazor comes from an Eagles team that made a lot of use of tight ends as receivers last year.

The Dolphins probably won’t be filling that need in the first round, but they’ll likely be among the teams looking hard at Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro in the second round. They’ve also been active when it comes to looking at this year’s crop of wide receivers, so they could go that route if nothing materializes at tight end.

Safety: The Dolphins didn’t make out badly by swapping Chris Clemons for Louis Delmas this offseason, but Delmas’ ability has been mitigated during his career by his constant knee issues. That makes counting on him for 16 games a dicey affair, to say nothing of the benefits of finding a long-term contributor at the position. USC’s Dion Bailey and Stanford’s Ed Reynolds are mid-round options at the position that could sit now and contribute when needed.

Linebacker: The Dolphins are set with starters at linebacker right now, but, as at safety, they have room for help at the position. Neither Dannell Ellerbe nor Phillip Wheeler set the world on fire during his first year in Miami and a the arrival of some new competition could help Miami now and in the future. Wisconsin’s Chris Borland would be an option if Miami wants to bolster things in the middle of the defense.

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14 Responses to “Draft needs: Miami Dolphins”
  1. 1westcoastphinfan says: Apr 29, 2014 3:13 PM

    Chris Borland would make an awesome middle linebacker for the Dolphins. He is always near the ball and is a sure tackler. The Phins made a mistake with linebackers Ellerbe and Wheeler last year and that needs to be corrected. Borland would solve that problem. Hope he is available for the Phins to select perhaps in round 2.

  2. 1westcoastphinfan says: Apr 29, 2014 3:16 PM

    Everything I have read about Zach Martin makes it seem like he would be a great pick at tackle. Hope he is available and the Phins select him in Rd 1.

  3. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Apr 29, 2014 3:42 PM

    I don’t think this team is that far away.

    They need some help still on their O-Line, FS, MLB, seam threat TE and could use a big 6’2+ WR.

    I expect the Dolphins to draft for all these needs in the draft and then continue to scour the low end FA market all the way through the preseason.

    If Martin is not there at 19 I could see them surprise everyone and go MLB or TE. Then fill Oline help somewhere in rounds 2-4.

  4. knm1991 says: Apr 29, 2014 4:21 PM

    If Martin isn’t there, I would love C.J. Mosley at 19. Mosley has the IQ to diagnose and stuff out plays before they happen as well as the speed to cover the field from sideline to sideline, skills that none of the linebackers had last year. He not only immediately makes the fins better at MLB, but he also allows Ellerbe to move over to WSLB , his natural position, in place of terrible Philip Wheeler. Two upgrades for one pick is pretty good in my book.

  5. ghjjf says: Apr 29, 2014 6:14 PM

    Gee, you make it seem as if all the free agent linemen the Dolphins got are a bunch of bums!

  6. thelastpieceofcheese says: Apr 29, 2014 6:16 PM

    Dolphins are 2 players away from a championship caliber team…Kong kong and Godzilla!

  7. coachsemanko says: Apr 29, 2014 10:27 PM

    If Martin is gone at 19, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Dolphins take TE Austin Seferian Jenkins in that spot. The kid is a big target with fantastic hands, and can run after the catch. He does need a little work on scheme blocking, but he is very coachable. This years draft is loaded with NFL type O Linemen, so even in the 3rd and 4th rounds there is quality.

  8. djscottyb says: Apr 29, 2014 10:36 PM

    Right now the Phins need to spin multiple draft picks on OL just fill positions. Signing or trading for a guard or two can really help.

    If Hickey can sign Davin Joseph it can give us a veteran that we really need. If he trades Dion Jordan for Mathis and the Eaes 3rd rd pick, we’d be able to address other areas.

    1. RT – Martin or Bitonio
    2. LB – Borland
    3a TE – Amaro
    3b RG – Mewhort
    4. CB – Gaines

    Picks 5-7 just get the BPA like a RB (WVU) Sims, QB Boyd or Murray, WR or OL/DL help…

    We’d fill a lot of needs and have a line of Albert, Mathis, Pouncey, Joseph and Martin that should open holes efficiently for. Knowshon & Lamar while giving RT the time to set, go thru his progressions or set correctly for the long ball we all want.

  9. uscfan1988 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:46 AM

    No thanks on Borland. Slow, small, and is a huge liability against the pass I can see Tom Brady picking on him the entire game. C Mosley in Rd 1 please.

  10. butterstone84 says: Apr 30, 2014 8:56 AM

    kong kong and godzilla? LOL you think of that one all by yourself?

  11. nflgreedleague says: Apr 30, 2014 10:18 AM

    Considering the relative depth at LB and tackle the Dolphins would have to take Mosley at 19 instead of Martin. Either way one of these, Martin, Mosley or Calvin Pryor, should be there at 19. And all would be solid additions.

  12. jrcoop says: May 1, 2014 12:37 AM

    If your going to pretend to be GM, at least get a clue. Jordon is not going to be traded. There’s to much to lose in cap and investment for the future of a talented player with a lot of upside.

  13. coldwater32301 says: May 2, 2014 10:23 AM

    I would love to see the Dolphins pick up one player and be a Super Bowl champs this year but realistically we need to make draft picks that are like fine wine that only get better with age. So we should get a Swing OL as a first pick that can play any of the front 5 or CJ Mosley and that would solidify front seven and put the value of Ellerbe and Wheeler back into the defense, then a Quality Swing DB next a Threat at QB (best Available) and just fill in the rest…that right there is the key to longevity for the new GM and Dominance on top of the AFC east…Indeed.

  14. danmarinos1stlovechild says: May 3, 2014 6:37 AM

    I want a good tightend to be picked up in this draft!

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