The Miami Dolphins were the big spenders in this year’s Free Agency, shelling out more money than almost any team did during all of FA on the very first day. Words that have been used to describe Miami’s activity are bold, exciting, sexy, and stupid. The Dolphins added players that some consider to be risky, such as WR Mike Wallace. They have left some people wondering if they over spent on players such as Dannell Ellerbee and Philip Wheeler. Only time will tell if Miami did overspend or if they hit the jackpot in this year’s Free Agency. Whether or not you agree with their moves, you can’t deny that GM Jeff Ireland finally stepped up and actually pulled the trigger. He went after the players he though the Fins needed, he did not idle around and wait. For that, I commend him, However, he has only done half his job so far in this off season. He’s got to finish this off season strong in the NFL draft.
While adding key pieces through Free Agency is important, I believe teams really get better and become elite through the draft. Miami currently has 11 picks in this year’s draft, with five of those eleven coming in the first three rounds. It doesn’t get too much better than that. Ireland has tons of potential to dominate this draft, much like he dominated free agency. What I think is most important is that Ireland and the Fins fill the positions they need most in this year’s draft, and draft according to what they need. They had the “sexy” free agency and got their big name wide receiver and bolstered their defense. Miami needs to fill these positions the most:
Offensive Line: With Jake Long gone, Miami has to fill the RT position (Martin will move to the LT spot). It doesn’t look like Ireland wants to do it in FA, and the draft is loaded at the position.
Cornerback/Safety: S Reshad Jones is all alone in what is a deserted Miami secondary. They re-signed Clemons, but lost Sean Smith. I see the Dolphins adding 2 corners in the draft, but could grab a safety if the corners go quickly.
Defensive End: Cameron Wake can’t do it alone, and adding a fierce pass rusher on the opposite side can only help Wake. If Miami doesn’t sign one of the vets in FA, I see the Fins filling this hole with one of their first three picks.
Wide Receiver: Adding Mike Wallace, Gibson, and Keller while retaining Hartline and Bess gives Miami a dynamic passing attack. Adding a rookie to come in and learn from this group would give Miami one of the best passing games in the league, and Tannehill’s only problem would be deciding which beast to throw it to. I’d like to see Miami wait until at least the third round to grab a receiver, and use their earlier picks on OL and DE.
Tight End: Adding Dustin Keller was huge for two reasons: it gives Tannehill the red zone threat he’s been missing. It also takes away the Jets best receiver. Keller is aging though. If Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert drops until Miami’s lap in the second round, they MUST take him.
This year’s draft is one of the most anticipated drafts for Miami fans in a while. Ireland stepped up and blew FA out of the water. With 11 picks in late April, Miami has the ability to join the elite teams in the league and finally make a deep playoff push. There are no more excuses. Hopefully after this year’s draft, every piece will have been put into place, and the Fins will be ready for the 2013 NFL season.