Nov 9, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive linesman Taylor Lewan (77) walks off the field after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium. Nebraska won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins Could Have Solved Line Problems

Nov 9, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive linesman Taylor Lewan (77) walks off the field after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium. Nebraska won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Martin.  Taylor Lewan. Cyrus Kouandjio. Those are the top three names making their grapevine word of mouth connections to the Miami Dolphins ahead of this coming May’s draft.  The Dolphins through reports are very smitten with Taylor Lewan but they are not in position to get him.  At 19, where Miami stands, Lewan and likely Martin will both be off the board.  It’s not out of the question to see Miami move up or at least try to move up and get one.  A tackle that is.

Some will point their fingers backwards to last year when Miami moved up to get Dion Jordan instead of taking a tackle.  Others might point their fingers at the long list of failed attempts to fix the line over the last six seasons.  The Dolphins could have had this already fixed, should have already had it fixed.  This year.  Not last, not the year before, this year.  Instead, their backs are for now, on the surface, against a wall.

The hands of the Miami Dolphins are tied.  They have no one who can step in now and play guard or tackle on the right side.  Sorry Jason Fox but your injury history makes you a competitor for that side not a starter.  A couple million more added to the offer Jacksonville gave Zane Beadles and the RT spot would have been solved and drafting a tackle would not be as big a priority.  Instead, it’s rather glaring.

The Dolphins should be entering the draft looking at BPA in the first round and maybe even the 2nd instead they will play a dangerous game.  If the Dolphins move up in the draft, they will likely overspend in compensation.  If they stay put they either lose out one of the top tackles or reach for a projected late to 2nd rounder.  If they go BPA and hold their cards for a tackle/guard in round two they stand a chance to completely miss on everyone or reach high in two for a projected three.

All because they opted to not spend a few extra million on the right side.

This is not to say that Beadles was the right answer.  I don’t know if he was but there were other options.  The Dolphins opted to add Branden Albert and then add a couple of competition pieces instead of starters.  I’m not complaining either only making the obvious observation.  The Dolphins have a hole on the right side of Mike Pouncey and there is little left in free agency and a gamblers table awaiting them in New York on draft day.

It’s an old drum that keeps getting beaten on but the simple fact is the Dolphins do not have what is believed to be a starter on the roster ready to take over both guard and tackle positions if the season started tomorrow.  You would need to use Nate Garner, Sam Brenner, and others to fill those holes and hope they develop.  The Dolphins want to protect Ryan Tannehill and they want to be a better running team.  You can’t do either without lineman capable of blocking.  In this one area the Dolphins have thus far not succeeded.  They haven’t failed but they have surely not fixed that part of the line and frankly you can’t have a good passing game and a rushing attack with no line.

The Dolphins are sitting on a draft that will frankly be a bit boring.  Lineman are not exciting they are necessities and it’s fine drafting needs when you have other key positions filled with players who make a difference.  Miami lacks difference makers.  I’m not so sure it will be all that interesting come draft day.  If a lineman falls Miami should feel fortunate but I sense they may reach for a guy because their options may be gone.

It’s a position they have no one to blame but themselves for.  They had the chance to fix the line and opted to chance it with the draft.  It may still work out well and we all hope it does but frankly, too much is riding on finding that right fit rookie to not only fall to you at 19 but to make the move to the NFL a seamless one.  They could have had this addressed early in free agency.  Wouldn’t have been cheap but it would have taken the risk out of what they are hoping for now.

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Tags: Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Taylor Lewan Zach Martin

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