Miami Dolphins Draft Needs

Sep 9, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL team has needs.  Even the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.  The Miami Dolphins have needs as well.  Some are far more important that others.  The question is why do we have these needs to begin with?  For starters, poor drafting and poor free agency moves create needs.  A teams own free agent departures, retirements, and yes, poor play also create needs.

With the NFL Draft a few short weeks away, it’s time to take a look at the Miami Dolphins needs.

Offense:

Offensive Line:  Jonathan Martin played good but not great following his move to left tackle after Jake Long left for the injury list.  Some believe that Martin is capable of playing the left side permanently but he will need to get stronger in the off-season to make that happen.  There are questions as to whether or not the Dolphins view him as a solution to the left side.  If they do, they have no need for a top LT but they will have a need for a RT.  If they do not, then the need for a LT becomes glaring.

The departure of Jake Long was neither a shock nor unexpected.  The Dolphins did not value Long like Long valued himself and that kept the team from making a run at him prior to the start of free agency.  This years FA market at the position was weak and while the Dolphins still have options, either RT or LT will be a top need heading into the draft.

TE:  The Dolphins made a big attempt to land free agent TE Jared Cook but lost out.  The did however add former New York Jet TE Dustin Keller.  However the team currently employs only Keller, coming off an injured 2012, Michael Egnew a major disappointment thus far, Kyle Miller who has no experience, and flex HB/TE Charles Clay currently on the roster.

Keller’s deal is for one year and with the loss of Anthony Fasano the Dolphins, while not having a glaring hole at the position, needs to have a second TE for their two tight sets.  The Dolphins will likely address this position in the draft and many believe they will draft a top TE in the first three rounds.  Regardless, the team lacks more than a suitable starter opposite Keller.  They lack depth of any kind.  The Dolphins do not possess a clear replacement for Keller should he miss time.

WR:  The Dolphins spent a ton of money on the WR position this off-season.  They re-signed Brian Hartline, added Michael Wallace, and slot receiver Brandon Gibson.  They have on their roster Davone Bess but Bess is entering his final season of his contract and while he is a great asset to the possession game, he adds little in terms of down-field threat.  The Dolphins’ Jeff Ireland recently made comment to the fact that they have added solid WR’s to the team and that they still had the draft to come.

It’s obvious that the Dolphins do “need” another WR, they surely have the picks to address the position and if the opportunity presents itself to find another speed WR, they may take that shot.

RB:  Miami allowed Reggie Bush to leave for Detroit VIA free agency without hesitation.  They firmly believe that Lamar Miller, entering his sophomore season will be more than adequate to fill Bush’s role.  Marcus Thigpen is expected to see increased opportunity as well.  The issue lies with Daniel Thomas who is not presenting himself as a reliable goal line and short yardage runner.

Defense:

DE/OLB:  To say that the team will be fine with Olivier Vernon and Koa Misi means you didn’t watch a lot of football last season.  The Dolphins lack a consistent edge pass rusher and while Vernon showed an improvement and Misi proved he can play to support the run, neither showed enough to believe they can play opposite Cameron Wake.  The Dolphins have a very solid front line and it could be one of the best in the league.  Still, without a pressing pass rusher on 3rd downs creates a need.

CB:  The Dolphins traded Vontae’ Davis and let Sean Smith leave for Kansas City.  They signed a one year deal with Brent Grimes who is coming off an Achilles injury.  They have Richard Marshall returning and Dimitri Patterson in the fold but there is no question that the Dolphins need to upgrade both sides of the field at the position.  The Dolphins don’t lack depth they lack unquestionable starters at the position.

S:  Reshad Jones played very well last year and emerged as leader but the Dolphins still lack a ball hawking safety.  Depth is thin but in reality there is a big gap between Jones and whomever lines up next to him.   The Dolphins need to find a solution to that situation and give them two hard hitting safeties to control the deep field.

Topics: Miami Dolphins, NFL Draft

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  • Jcartwright67

    I think if LT was a glaring need; we’d have signed Long. The fact we let him walk tells me that the front office has faith in Martin. The fact that Winston is unsigned tells me that the office feels confident that the RT position is deep in this draft and a 2nd or 3rd pick can be utilized to find our starter next fall and later rounds can fill for depth on the OL. The WR position was solidified during FA and too much guaranteed money will be on the field to allow a rookie to join in the mix, Bess is safe because we have greater needs than to replace him with Austin at 12. If Milner and Rhodes are gone when we’re on the clock, the best available CB would be a reach for our first pick at 12. I’ve read the draft is deep with CB talent in the early to mid rounds. This leaves us TE and DE as our two best options. We targeted a top TE in FA…he got away…we settled for second choice in Keller but signed him to a 1-yr deal. We had an opportunity to go after some veteran FA’s recently at DE…we passed….even after the fax machine malfunction in Denver allowed Elvis onto the market. I think the office is satisfied with Vernon and is gauging his progress this summer. Thus, we covet a premier TE. Welcome Tyler Eifert to South Beach. We lock up Tackle, CB, and DT/DE in that order in rounds 2-4.

  • henry

    Glad yu took the time to type all that cuz I’m too tired to but Completely agree with yu. And I bet they DO NOT bring Eifert in for a workout either. The last few yrs they haven’t brought in guys they tend to draft except for Tannehill being the exception last yr. I believe Eifert gives us the Biggest Bang for Our Buck…at 12

  • Miami Jules

    Please Pardon the interruption and accept my apologies in advance, but I’m going to to go into a somewhat frenetic rant… hopefully, you’ll think it’s funny instead of offensive, it’s intended to make light of how I feel and not be offensive.
    TE’s, TE’s and more TE’s… if it isn’t the one with the little short arms is the other one…everywhere… one would think we have none or that Eggnew is our starting TE by default. Much better use to these first 166 picks than a TE… they’re everywhere… Can’t go to any Dolphin blog site without running into someone, usually the author him or herself calling for a TE…followed by 99% of the comments. Hey, I realize I’m in the minority, but I don’t allow that to interfere with my quest… don’t mean to be critical but I’m overdosing on TE’s already and I’m suffering from TE exhaustion .
    Again, please excuse my rant. I apologize in advance if it didn’t make you at least chuckle a bit. Seriously for a moment, I’m obviously not partial to TE’s in the ’13 draft.