The NFL Draft is a month away. The Miami Dolphins will likely be trying to fix their offensive line long after it has ended.
This year there is a lot of buzz about Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp. Is he the best guard in this years draft? Perhaps. Yet most believe that he will be available when the Dolphins pick at 22 in round one.
Drafting Lamp would be a very smart move. It potentially ends any worries about the left side of the Dolphins offensive line for years to come. With Laremy Tunsil now at left tackle, Lamp would make the left side a strong formidable front.
Lamp is one of those examples of top left tackle collegiate talent needing to move to guard at the NFL level. Lamp doesn’t have the size or strength to play tackle but at guard he could excel. Lamp is strong enough to push defensive tackles off the line and quick enough to pass protect.
In addition to intangibles, Lamp fills a glaring need for the Dolphins and is a day one starter. He will not be rotational and immediately upgrades the offense. Despite all of this. Miami won’t likely draft him.
The problem at hand rests on the defensive side of the ball where Miami needs a starting linebacker. Another rotational defensive end and defensive tackle. Perhaps even another cornerback. For the Dolphins, Lamp is a luxury pick despite the need.
Miami has become content to play revolving door with the guards. They are fine with aging cheap veterans who can play on one or two year deals. This off-season Miami added Ted Larsen and brought back Jermon Bushrod. And they are happy with that lineup.
That is not to say they won’t draft a guard this year. They very well might but it will likely come on day three. The first two days? Miami will concentrate on defense. In the 7 round Dolphins mock draft I did earlier I projected Lamp to go to Miami at number 22. I still believe that is a possibility and the right selection. Provided of course no one falls unexpectedly.
The names Miami fans will hear over the next four weeks are Taco Charlton and Derek Barnett. Both of whom will more than likely be off the board before Miami selects. Names like Takkarist McKinley and Haasan Reddick will also be floated and those are two players who could be sitting on the board when Miami selects.
This years draft is very deep in starting defensive prospects. Some say three rounds deep. Which also lends more depth to drafting Lamp because the field of guards and offensive lineman is not very deep. That too could also take Lamp off the boards before Miami has a chance to decide.
In one recent online mock draft only one offensive lineman came off the board before Miami selected. Two other players on the offensive line were selected after Miami. In that particular mock draft the Dolphins went defense with Michigan’s Jabril Peppers.
Peppers is getting a lot of attention and that should continue as the draft approaches. He is good at several positions but a master of none. Yet his potential and upside along with athleticism has his name perched on top of many Miami fan base draft boards.
Lamp is as close to safe as you can get and Miami needs players that will immediately improve their team. Yet here is the rub. Miami will find repeating in 2017 tough. It will be tougher without fixing the problems on defense. In 2016 Miami made it to the playoffs with an injury riddled offensive line that was pieced together as the season progressed. The defense just stayed bad.
Lamp makes perfect sense but the needs of the defense are enough to force the Dolphins to wait until 2018 to address the guards. If they bother to do so at all.