Team need number 4: Defensive Tackle
Why is this a need:
The Dolphins traded last season for Jason Ferguson who is in the over 30 club, a rarity for the Dolphins these days. Ferguson played well as the 3-4 DT/NT and when he wasn’t in the game, the Dolphins found that they struggled a bit. Paul Soliai showed flashes of promise but little else and the team can’t rely on him for their future. The Phins need to get younger at a position that seems to be the hardest to fill.
What the Dolphins have: Jason Ferguson, Tony McDaniel, and Joe Cohen. The Dolphins also have used several DE’s as their NT with Randy Starks showing the most promise behind Ferguson.
The Good: Randy Starks has backed up Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee and Jason Ferguson in Miami and while not playing fantastic has held his own. In fact, Starks was a bright spot off the bench at times last season. Still, he isn’t someone that is ready to take over permanently. Lionel Dotson is someone that Phins appear to be very high on. Dotson has shown a world of potential but needs to start getting the game experience to prove his value.
The Bad: Outside of Jason Ferguson the Dolphins do not have a true NT. Aside from McDaniel and Cohen who have shown only snippets of potential, the Phins utilize their larger DE’s who have moved down into the position in the past.
Who is available:
Peria Jerry - Jerry is very athletic and explosive off the ball but he lacks a great mass in body size and some believe that he has maxed out in terms of getting bigger. While he is likely to be available at 25, some scouts believe that he will not translate to an NFL NT and is better suited to a 4-3 style of defense.
Evander Hood – Another very athletic and quick tackle, Hood is starting to climb the boards on some NFL teams. Hood tends to play more upright at times which is a coachable problem. While he can get upfield quick, he sometimes fails to finish although he can collapse the pocket.
Sen’Derrick Marks - This Auburn product like all prospects has up’s and down’s. While quick off the ball and a solid athlete, Marks is said to play too small and is a DT who can’t always handle the double teams. He is likely a 2nd round pick but unless the Dolphins see him as someone they can work with, won’t likely fit the 34 scheme they run.
And the Dolphins select…
Of those mentioned above, none. Evander Hood is probably the more fitting of the 3 but it’s unlikely the Phins invest a high pick on him. The Dolphins are likely to go into day 2 looking for depth while they give Starks and Soliai another year to learn and grow.