Dec 24, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) scrambles out of the pocket away from San Diego Chargers defensive end Vaughn Martin (92) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
By the time the April NFL Draft rolls around, the Miami Dolphins should be pretty set to draft the best player available and not just the best player available at a position of need. Jeff Ireland, while slowly churning the backyard of the NFL for acorns, continues to add to his roster. Yesterday the team signed offensive guard Lance Louis, a player who could make a major impact on the field if he returns to health, and today they added former San Diego Charger DT Vaughn Martin.
Martin received a two year deal with a 750K guarantee. He had also been talking with the New England Patriots but told local media members that his choice of Miami was their obvious desire to win.
The Dolphins still have holes at corner back but recent rumors will have you believe that Atlanta Falcon CB now free agent, Brent Grimes is leaning towards Miami. While the addition of Grimes could be a great bargain for the Dolphins, the rumored interest could be a ploy to get another team to give him more money. The obvious solution is to use the draft to fill that hole but the problem that goes with that solution is there isn’t a sure bet to be had at the 12th pick.
The most notable player in mock drafts is Xavier Rhodes and most have him rated as the “top available” CB at the time the Dolphins pick. The cream of this years crop is Dee Milliner but he will be long off the board by the time the Dolphins select. The question is this. Does Rhodes posses enough talent to warrant being drafted at 12 compared to those CB’s the Dolphins may be able to get in round 2 or even 3 but likely one in each.
I use this as a barometer because there are those who will argue that Vontae’ Davis, a first round selection, was not better than Sean Smith, a second round selection. Should the Dolphins opt to jump high on a corner because it is a need or should they take the best player available at any position?
Jeff Ireland told members of the Dolphins season ticket holders VIA a conference call that he is pleased with the WR group and then quipped that he still has the draft. An indication that he isn’t done. Those kind of comments could lead to speculation of WR Tavon Austin. Perhaps the Dolphins go offensive line. It’s not a flashy position but the line is a strength of Ireland’s. Finding the replacement for Jake Long or to start at RT wouldn’t be out of the question.
Of course the Dolphins have only added one TE to their off-season roster thus far. With Dustin Keller inked to a one year deal and Michael Egnew and Kyle Miller his back-ups, the Dolphins are going to need more than flex HB/TE Charles Clay to make an impact this season. Could another free agent be added or will be talking about Tyler Eiffert or Gavin Escobar?
What is certain is that while the announcements of team additions is now at a trickle, the Dolphins still have some money to spend and holes to fill. There are still corners on the market as well as DE’s and lineman. The Dolphins are not quite ready to throw in the towel but they are much more frugal than they were three weeks ago.