The Miami Dolphins have made an immense amount of noise this offseason, but with the NFL draft approaching, there are still more positions to be filled. All expectations considered, April 26’s selections may bring more excitement and additions to South Beach.
Round 1, Pick No.12- OL Lane Johnson (Oklahoma):
Many signs were point to a cornerback or wide receiver coming into the 2013 offseason, but now since Jake Long has took his offensive line tactics to St. Louis, Miami will have to target a blocker for their young quarterback. That being said, the best choice on the board (that will be available) will have to be former Oklahoma Sooner’s offensive lineman Lane Johnson.
Johnson, the 6-foot-6, 303-pound lineman, is exactly what the Dolphins need in this point of the draft. It is rare to have a good offensive line, and if you tack Johnson in the mix with Mike Pouncey, Richie Incognito, Nate Garner and others, the new-look Dolphins will be in good shape to secure their second-year quarterback.
Round 2, Pick No. 42- DE Datone Jones (UCLA):
Miami selected Jared Odrick with the 28th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, but his production has been low with 58 combined tackles, 11.0 sacks, and one forced fumble. And with Cameron Wake turning 31 in January, the need in this spot in the draft must point to defensive end Datone Jones. The former Bruin recorded 62 tackles, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
In the 2013 season, Wake posted 53 combined tackles, 15.0 sacks and three forced fumbles, but he can’t do it himself. That’s why Jones is the guy.
Round 2, Pick No. 54- CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (UConn):
Besides his name bringing trouble to commentators, Wreh-Wilson has a knack for the football. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback brings depth to the small list of the Dolphins secondary.
Wreh-Wilson used his height to an advantage in college against receivers after posting 47 total tackles and one interception.
Round 3, Pick No. 77- CB David Amerson (NC State):
The cornerback need after Sean Smith left is less due to the signing of Brent Grimes, which leads to the next pick in this draft: David Amerson.
There is never not enough depth in the NFL, especially with the Dolphins. Amerson, who tallied for 12 interceptions in 2011, has a knack for the football. The 6-foot-3, 194-pound cornerback has the ability to extend his length by jumping into the air and fighting for 50-50 balls.
At this juncture in the draft Amerson would be a solid acquisition playing alongside Grimes.
Round 3, Pick No. 82- TE Gavin Escobar (San Diego State):
Again, the Miami Dolphins added a lot of players within their needs, and tight end was one of them. A week after Miami signed Dustin Keller, they sit with a comfortable, yet loud, at the tight end position including (Keller), Charles Clay and Michael Egnew.
Escobar would be a fantastic addition. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end will be another blocker for Tannehill under center, and will bring an offensive stance for Joe Philbin‘s team.
The former Aztec posted 42 receptions for 543 yards and six touchdowns in his junior season.
Round 4, Pick No. 111- WR Conner Vernon (Duke):
Ireland had Mike Wallace as his primary target in the 2012 offseason, and his wide receiver trend continued with Brian Hartline, who signed prior to the start of free agency, and Brandon Gibson. There isn’t a lot to improve in this position, but Conner Vernon may be a nice pick up for Miami.
Vernon counted for 85 receptions for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior year with the Blue Devils.
Round 5, Pick No.146- OG Hugh Thorton (Illinois):
Hugh Thorton has a quick step, fencing in his defender inside. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound guard gives his running back a direct hole to run through.
Thorton’s technique does need work, however, but he can take the time to learn from the best on the Dolphins offensive line.
Round 5, Pick No. 166- RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina):
Marcus Lattamore is a sleeper, but if the Dolphins can select him in this round with this pick, it would be the steal of the draft. Despite Lattimore’s ACL setback, the 6-foot, 218-pound ball carrier has incredible talent and versatility with the bests.
The former Gamecock recorded a total of 555 carries for 2,677 yards. and 38 touchdowns.