Last week I wrote about what I feel is the Miami Dolphins main position that needs to be addressed in the draft. The next important position that must be addressed is the Offensive Line. After the Dolphins let Left Tackle, Jake Long, walk away and sign with the St. Louis Rams, they are lacking in talent on the O-Line.
Last year Miami took OT, Jonathan Martin, in the second round with hopes of being a dominate force opposite Jake Long to help protect the young Ryan Tannehill, and he did a pretty good job at it. But he seemed to play much better after being moved back to the left side which was his primary position when in college at Stanford. That might be one reason Jeff Ireland didn’t really try hard to bring Long back. Another good reason is his performance this season had dropped tremendously. He didn’t look like the Jake Long Miami fans had seen in his previous season’s.
Former Kansas City Chiefs OT, Eric Winston, has been linked as a potential target for Ireland, but his name hasn’t been mentioned by the Dolphins for a week or so now. Plus Ireland has said he doesn’t plan on signing any more players in Free Agency until after the NFL draft at the end of the month.
So what options are there for the Dolphins in the Draft? Several, but I’m just going to talk about 3 that could potentially land in Miami.
1. Jonathan Cooper(OG from North Carolina)- This should come to no surprise. Cooper’s name has been mentioned heavily by analysts as one of the main options for the Dolphins 12th overall pick. Cooper in my opinion is the best Offensive Guard in this years draft. He’s extremely athletic and has the speed to get out on blocks for run protection. He also does a great job using his hands to keep the defensive lineman in front of him. The only real knock on Cooper is he is a bit undersized for the position at 6’2″-311 lbs, but still is adequate for his skill set. Another issue is he has a tendency to miss some assignments on pass protection, but not very frequently. Cooper would be a great addition to the Dolphins.
2. D.J. Fluker(OT from Alabama)-Fluker is a big bodied Right Tackle who has great length. Defensive End’s have to be very quick off the snap to get past him due to his arm length and quickness. His quickness also helps him get around the DE when helping block for the running game. A couple issues with Fluker are he has a tendency to struggle blocking secondary defenders. He also has a tendency to get burned by defensive players if they get a little space on him. Overall he is a solid RT who has some room to improve but would instantly be an upgrade for the Dolphins at RT.
3. Lane Johnson(OT from Oklahoma)-Johnson would be at the top of my list, but I don’t think he will drop this far even though it is possible. Johnson has the ability to play LT and RT, he even was a backup QB in high school and Junior College. He also spent some time with the Sooners as a TE before finally being moved to RT. With his size he has great quickness to prevent Defensive Linemen and even Secondary defenders from making the corner of the OL. The biggest problem with Johnson is his lack of experience at the position. That would be the main reason he could potentially drop down the the Dolphins at 12, but don’t count on it.
Any of these guys would be a huge upgrade compared to what the Dolphins currently have on the roster. Other than Mike Pouncey and Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins are in desperate need for some help at that position. If the Dolphins decide to not use the 12th pick on an OL, they will for sure bring one on in the second round.
Which three Offensive Linemen do you think the Dolphins could potentially use their first round pick on?