Dec 28, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) blocks against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankees Stadium. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won the game 29-16. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins Have Options With 19th Overall Pick


In my opinion, there is no greater month in all of sports than March.  Not only does March typically bring more sunshine and the start of Spring, but it also gives sporting fans NFL Free Agency, NCAA March Madness, pre-NFL Draft hype and rumors, the Indian Wells tennis tournament (for all those fellow tennis fans out there), the start up of professional baseball (even if it is just mainly preseason) and the winding down (a.k.a) crunch time of the NBA regular season.  In other words, March hosts a plethora of meaningful events for all sports across the board.  Arguably the most hectic of them all, barring of course March Madness, is the NFL Free Agency and the pre-NFL Draft discussion.  The Miami Dolphins recently made a relatively large splash in FA by signing LT Branden Albert and corner backs Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan.  Today, they are reportedly hosting FA running back Knowshon Moreno for a visit.  What does Miami’s involvement in FA mean for their future draft plan?

The Dolphins have decisions to make regarding their first round pick, the 19th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Most fans and analysts alike (me included) would argue that GM Dennis Hickey and the Dolphins did not do enough in FA to fix their weak O-Line.  They made the necessary move in adding bookend tackle Branden Albert from the Chiefs and also added Guard Shelley Smith from the St. Louis Rams.  That leaves two spots remaining on the Miami O-Line.  One guard and one tackle.  There is still time for the ‘Phins to add another trench man.

The majority of Dolphins nation is calling for an offensive linemen of some sort with that 19th overall pick.  A lot have joined the Zack Martin (OL of Notre Dame) bandwagon.  I must admit, I was skeptical of Martin at first.  That being said, if the big man is still available at 19, the Dolphins would be foolish not to take him.  Martin can play either RT or Guard, and his versatility would be a huge asset to an O-Line that may need to be moved around before perfected.  Martin has great potential too, and given some time to groom under new O-Line coach John Benton, I see Martin becoming a great bookend tackle for the ‘Phins.

However, the Dolphins could also draft a RB at 19 overall, or select the Best Player Available, regardless of his position.  Although Miami recently re-signed DT Randy Starks and added Earl Mitchell from the Texans, it would not hurt to add another monster run-stuffer or inside pass rusher.  As for RB, I Miami could strike a deal soon with Knowshon Moreno, and therefore not need to go RB with their first pick.

Having options with a draft pick is not necessarily a bad thing.  What GM Dennis Hickey needs to be careful of his entering the draft with a narrow mind.  We have seen teams like the Oakland Raiders enter drafts with predetermined mindsets and draft horrendously as a result (example Darrius Heyward-Bey).  Yes, the need for linemen is a big one.  That doesn’t mean the Dolphins should reach for a 2nd round talent at 19th overall though (i.e. any of the linemen after Zack Martin).  If the right linemen is there at 19, I say go for it and anchor down what was the weakest position for the team last season.  But if the right guy is not there at 19, I believe Miami should draft BPA or address another need (like LB).

I am looking forward to a successful first draft by Dennis Hickey and the Miami Dolphins.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Miami Dolphins

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Nice insight and well written article as usual Eric. You like March madness eh? OK, well, I don’t share the same enthusiasm about the madness thing. The only basketball I watch is my hometown team, and during the Olympics when the US team normally takes gold but I still watch anyway, but other than that, I’m not even sure I understand what the pick and roll is and the only bracket I concern myself with is my tax bracket.
    I agree with you in that I think the Hickey/Philbin duo or as I some might call it Philbins’ Hickey… (drumroll … I’ll be here all week folks), has done only the bare minimum regarding the O/L. Allow me to recommend yesterday’s edition of the Finsiders radio/TV show, during which former LB Twan Russell said one really can’t fairly rate the Dolphins’ existing running game, when there was a poor OL blocking in front and opening holes. I have been saying this now for a few weeks, ever since all the RB furor started. Miller is a 4+ yards per carry RB without a good OL… imagine what he could do with a half decent one. Thomas? OK, there are could be improvements there, but why not your guy Wilder Jr. in the 5th or 6th? I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all as you know from your previous posts and mocks. We need a quality OL and we need to move on from mistakes made in the past, in my ever-so-humble opinion, when we’d get one (1) stud and the rest were fillers. I would still prioritize CB after the OL because, we got our stud in Grimes but who doe we have on the other side, Finnegan? Delmas? This is how I have it in one scenario: I have Yankey OT, Watkins CB, JaWuan James OT, C. Jones ILB, B. Coleman WR, D. Coleman DT or your guy Wilder Jr. My second scenario goes like this: Trade down in the 1st, Watkins, Mewhort (OT), everyone else stays the same after that. That’s also a mirror image of how see the Phins needs going into the draft.

    • tpl

      I would like your draft, though I am hoping Taylor lewan drops to miami at 19.

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        Thank you tpl… he just might, talking of course about Taylor Lewan, because some of his legal troubles up north just became a bit more official as I understand it, and that may make him drop … how far he will drop, or if Philbin would want him because of his troubles, that I don’t know. This is the way I see it though. Lewan will be a rookie when drafted and he can be molded by leaders on the team, unlike af ree agent who is already set in his ways. Lewan is an athletic stud and has the potential to be a great contributor at tackle and later on,a fter Albert retires, he could take over LT. the question is will Philbin want him.

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      Update to my comment: Eric, I have officially switched my 6th rd pick from DT Deandre Coleman to James Wilder Jr. This is due to several factors, Moreno not signing, Wilder Jr. dropping to the 6th round, the fact we resigned Starks, and your contagious enthusiasm and admiration for the FSU RB. (not necessarily in that order). Credit where due.

      • Eric Roddy

        Thanks Jules! glad someone else sees his potential! especially in the 6th, he would be MORE than worth it!

        • Miami Jules (Julian)

          I totally agree Eric… always made sense, just didn’t fit in what I estimated to be priority at the time. Now, it just makes too much sense to ignore.

  • Johnny

    Moreno left Miami without a contract.. He was probably asking for too much $$$… He had his best season just because he was in an explosive Manning-driven Denver Offense… No stacking the box with Manning at the helm…

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      Probably so (asking for too much)… I just think of his multi dimensional skill set plus the fact he can help in pass protection. I’m still prioritizing OL, although Patrick above makes a lot of sense too, the point is we don’t currently have anyone who to coach… Dallas Thomas maybe, but then we’d have to either bring Clabo back, dig in deeper, or have a rookie starting at LT.

      • Patrick Keegan

        I just do not see the positives in giving our O line 20% of our cap space. Offensive lineman are supposed to be blue collar, go to work and get the job done ,kind of guys. We want to run a zone blocking scheme , so get some agile big men who can move to the second level.
        Easy Right!
        And lets not forget , Tannehill has 4.5 speed in those legs of his. If his first 2 reads are covered, then for goodness sakes run out for 3 or 5 yards.
        Last year was square pegs in round holes. This year please take time and find the round pegs. You know what im sayin.

        • Miami Jules (Julian)

          I just want us to prioritize what has consistently been ignored over the last …hmmm.. decade? Even before Parcells, the year Cam Cameron was the HC… the list of QB’s who were out because of concussions or other injuries was embarrassing, including at least one whose career ended in Miami (Greene). We get 1 stud and pretend to get by with fillers. You make a point about 20% of the cap on blue collar positions and that’s why consistently good teams build from the draft. Salary cap only becomes an issue when teams try to do it in free agency… had we drafted a 1st rounder OG the year we got Tannehill (I happen to be a fan of Tannehill) and a guy I raved about by the name of Wilson(those who knew me back then know about it), one OT last year and one this year, maybe we wouldn’t be in as deep a hole as we are regarding pass protection. Paying for flashy free agent WRs and mortgaging the team future on one player, it’s been something I have never subscribed to… it is what it is though and I’m just an opinion behind the picture of a leaping Dolphin. BTW: the year I wanted Wilson, I also wanted a local WR by the name of Hilton.

          • Patrick Keegan

            So the smart thing would be Rd 1, OL. Rd 2 , OL , Rd 3 RB, Rd 4 OL etc. Everyone and there mother would be booing and the team would have egg on their face again.
            But thats what we need. We were 8-8 last year. We beat quite a few playoff teams. Hell you know and I know we should of swept the patriots. Tannehill has progressed nicely every year, so expect a little of that to.

            Wilson would’ve been a great pickup, especially in the 4 rth round. TY also would’ve been a good pick. This year I see a little something like Wilson in Fales outa San Jose ST. The kid is quick, slippery and great at the mid range throws. I think he threw for 4000 yds in back to back years, same with Carr but no thank you, I’ll pass on him.

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            You are right Patrick on both accounts, that’s what the team needs and a lot of fellow arm-chair GM’s would boos us out of any site (I have already been “banned” from one site and I am quite proud of it… I didn’t just take their jokes on my opinion quietly, I joked right back and they didn’t like it when I did), but yes I would not be opposed to your priorities, personally, I also see the secondary as somewhat still handicapped and agree with Eric that a nice north/south strong RB would be nice for 3rd and short type plays (remember Lusaka Polite?) especially if we can land a Wilder Jr in the 6th (watch his tape on utube), but if we went OL through all 7 rounds I wouldn’t be disappointed either LOL.. Last year the same people who would throw eggs at us were calling for a pass rusher or TE in the 1st round… I knew Lane Johnson was out of reach, but as we traded up I was sure we were going after Johnson, I had the chance to personally ask our former GM if he regretted his decision given all the sacks we were suffering… check that, poor Tannehill was suffering, and of course he defended his position as I expected, but what his answer revealed to me was the level of frustration he was feeling… perhaps a bit of “buyer’s remorse”… in hindsight, TJ Fluker who ended up going int he 8th would’ve been a better pick than Johnson.

    • Mike Givens

      Make that trade for DeSean Jackson. :)

  • Patrick Keegan

    Lets not forget the the most important aspect of the O line, ,,, Coaching! Benton and Lazor with Philbin should improve our line simply by coaching them up. Or so I hope.