Ranking the Miami Dolphins position groups by draft needs

Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

With the free agency period all but in the rearview mirror for good, we have an idea of what the Miami Dolphins need heading into the draft.

Miami made some additions at several positions of need but did they do enough to take a step forward in their chase for a deep playoff run? That will depend on whether or not Mike McDaniel's offense can beat good teams and whether Anthony Weaver, Jr. can reshape the defense into a physically dominant team.

There are still needs despite the Dolphins' free agency additions and with the draft approaching in less than a calendar month, we can get a better idea of where the team stands and where their minds might be leaning.

Quarterback - This is the least important position heading into the draft although Miami may take a late-round flyer on a prospect, there is no need to draft one.

Running back - The Dolphins are "running it back" with their unit from last year and that includes both Salvon Ahmed and Jeff Wilson, Jr. They may draft a mid-round runner to compete but this year it seems as though the position is set.

Special Teams - After giving Jake Bailey nearly $5 million over two years and Jason Sanders still on the books, Miami isn't wasting a pick on competition. They are not the Jets after all or the Patriots.

Tight End - Dolphins fans are still dreaming about a high draft prospect but the Dolphins addition of Jonnu Smith is about as good as it will probably get for Miami this year.

Cornerback - The Dolphins added Kendall Fuller to play opposite of Jalen Ramsey. As one reader noted in comment, Miami could move Ramsey back to more of a safety role if Cam Smith can prove he can start outside. I'm not so sure of that but the thought is sound.

Linebacker - The Dolphins could still use linebacker help but the additions they have made, most notably Jordyn Brooks, there isn't as big of a need.

Edge - The Dolphins added Shaq Barrett and will eventually get LBs Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips back. They still need help at the position and could address this one early in the draft. A name to watch is Chop Robinson. For the Dolphins, the Edge position tends to be more of an OLB hybrid type so it will be interesting to see how they handle the unit as a whole.

Offensive line - If we are ranking the positions by need the Dolphins don't "need" to address this as much as other positions but make no mistake, until they fix this unit completely, it will always be a high priority. The Dolphins should address this in round one and no later than round two. There are a few talented guard/tackle prospects that should be available at 21 and 55 overall.

The Dolphins need help at guard and Chris Grier needs to have the foresight to realize that he will need to get a left tackle prospect on the roster to take over for Terron Armstead in another year or two. One that can start at guard until that time. Miami has addressed the center position.

Defensive tackle - The Dolphins have a real need for DT. The loss of Wilkins and Raekwon Davis left holes both on the starting unit and depth. Miami has addressed the depth portion but they have yet to identify a starter. The team may believe they are all set at the position and will allow the multiple low-end FAs to battle it out. They could view the position as not a priority and use a platoon of players to fill the gaps and allow the LBs to make plays.

On paper, this position is a big need but again, is it a need to the Dolphins?

Wide Receiver - Miami may end up signing Odell Beckham, Jr. before the draft and if they do, that shouldn't be a reason not to draft a WR in what many believe to be the best WR prospect group in years. The Dolphins need to find a permanent WR to fill the slot and maybe even replace Tyreek Hill in a couple of years. Drafting one now eliminates a need to do so next year and Grier needs to stay ahead of the salary issues he is going to face that will include Jevon Holland and Jaylen Ramsey.

The Dolphins WR unit is better on paper than it was two weeks ago but only because they brought back guys that are supplementary to their starters. Miami still lacks someone to fill what Cedrick Wilson was supposed to bring to the team and didn't. OBJ won't bring it either.

Safety - There is a glaring hole at Safety. Sorry, but the addition of Jordan Poyer doesn't have me jumping up and down. He is good but far from his best years. Poyer and Jevon Holland make up the entire safety unit. Maybe the Dolphins do see an opportunity to use Ramsey as a 3rd safety, something Weaver reportedly likes in his schemes.

Despite the need for a safety, the Dolphins are not likely going to draft one on the first or second day barring a move to add an additional third-round pick that they don't currently have. I could see them using a 5th round pick on the position or they could simply wait out the remaining FAs and sign two to fill out the unit.

Prioritizing the needs of the Dolphins based on their draft position.

While Safety may be a big need for Miami, I have to imagine that their draft priorities look like this, or at least should.

  • Offensive lineman
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Wide Receiver

You could literally swap any of those three and the Dolphins should leave the first two rounds addressing two of those positions.