The time between now and day one of the draft, is quickly fading away. In war rooms across the league, last evaluations are being made and draft boards are being finalized.
With the way the Miami Dolphins off-season has been unfolding, it’s safe to say they have their work cut out for them. Not because this team lacks talent but because this team lacks a few certain kinds of individuals.
The cupboards are not bare in Miami.
This Dolphins team is in a unique position, where one great draft class can change the fortunes of this franchise moving forward. Over the last few years, through drafting and free agent signings, the Phins have been able to build a solid foundation.
Depth wise, the Phins are in very good position, and despite the glaring hole at Right Tackle, the Phins are very strong in the trenches. The resigning of Paul Solai was key to anchoring that Defensive Line and maintaining the flexibility up front to run a hybrid defense.
The move also gives the front office, flexibility to draft an Inside Linebacker early, like Luke Kuechly or Mychal Kendricks because they can then move Karlos Dansby opposite of Cameron Wake, and take full advantage of his pass rushing skills.
If you’re thinking this idea is improbable. Think about their off-season plan to try Koa Misi at inside linebacker and keep in mind that Dansby has played outside linebacker in a hybrid defense when he was in Arizona.
Don’t worry too much about the secondary and the release of Yeremiah Bell, I believe it won’t be long until Bell is resigned and even without him, the secondary has a lot of talent to work with.
The Phins have 6 young Defensive Backs with worlds of potential and they have flashed often enough to inspire confidence in their continued growth. Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Nolan Carroll, Jimmy Wilson, Reshad Jones, & Chris Clemons should be on the verge of taking that next step. Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle must be looking forward to working with this group of youngsters, after working with retread journeymen and reclamation projects in Cincinnati.
There also is talent on the offensive side and hopefully the design of the system will showcase their strengths. Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano, Brain Hartline, and Charles Clay all should enjoy better years if used correctly. Also don’t give up on Clyde Gates just yet, receivers tend to make a jump in their second seasons and since this will be his first true off-season, it will likely speed up the learning curve and hopefully have him ready for a breakout.
Lydon Murtha, John Jerry, and Nate Garner have all had their moments of flashing potential, but if the Phins are to move forward without a major upgrade, then they will desperately need 2 of these prospects to develop into durable, dependable options. Early indications hint Garner and Murtha might be up for the task to start at Guard and Tackle respectively.
In order of greatest need, the needs on this team would be Right Tackle, Wide Receiver, Right Guard, Safety, Pass Rush Specialist, and Quarterback.
In order of greatest importance, the needs would stand as follows, Quarterback, Right Tackle, Wide Receiver, Pass Rush Specialist, Safety, and Right Guard.
Now at all of these positions, the team possesses either depth or young guys they expect to develop. So when factoring that in, needs in the order of greatest want become Quarterback, Pass Rush Specialist, Right Tackle, Wide Receiver, Safety, and Right Guard.
With 5 picks in the top 105 picks, expect the Phins to concentrate on adding impact players at Quarterback, Wide Receiver, and Pass Rusher in the early rounds and then draft Offensive Linemen in the later rounds for development.
Preliminary 3 Round Mock Draft for Phins
1rst Round QB- Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
2nd Round WR- Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers
3rd Round DE- Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
3rd Round WR- Chris Givens, Wake Forest
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