Dolphins Pre-Senior Bowl Needs

The Dolphins coaching staff begins the week tomorrow with their first practice with the Southern squad in preparation for the Senior Bowl.

The Dolphins have a lot of holes that they need to address, and they have placed themselves into a perfect position to fill most of the voids that we have in our roster.

Here is a list of the holes on the team, that I would bet good Atlantic City money that the Trifecta will be playing close attention to this week at practice: (these are in order of importance.)

1. OLB: This position did not exactly kill the Dolphins this year, but it definitely did not help them at all either. The Dolphins, who were expected to have a dominating pass rush this year after signing Dolphins legend Jason Taylor, and having Joey Porter coming off of a career year.

The Dolphins pass rush from their linebackers was a complete dud, and most of their sacks from their defensive ends. Randy Starks provided much of the pressure on the quarterbacks this year. Some hired pressure through the draft would help, such as Sergio Kindle from Texas, who is one of the best pass rushing outside linebackers in the draft this year. The Dolphins also will keep an eye on Jerry Hughes from TCU, who will be on their squad. If Rolando McClain is off the board when the Dolphins are on the clock, these two may be competing for the Dolphins pick.

2. ILB: The inside linebackers may have lost the most games for the Dolphins this year. Our unit simply cannot keep up with opposing tight ends and running backs. To put it plain and simple, our inside linebackers cannot cover to get off the field, and this may be our biggest weakness. The Dolphins have only one inside linebacker that they should keep on the roster, Channing Crowder. All the rest have proven nothing to me this past season that they can help this team win a Super Bowl. Akin Ayodele cannot defend the run or drop back in coverage very well, so I would not be surprised if the Dolphins considered him dead weight, and put him in search of a new job.

The simple solution to this huge hole is to draft Rolando McClain, from Alabama. He is only a junior, so the Dolphins will not get a chance to look at him during the Senior Bowl, but nevertheless, he is the best solution out there, and would come in and instantly make an impact for this Dolphins team that is in desperate need for a coverage linebacker.

3. NT: After losing starter Jason Ferguson to a season ending injury, the Dolphins find themselves in a land of uncertainty regarding the nose tackle position. Paul Solia at times proved that he could be a solid player in the league with more work, but in certain games he just did not prove that he could be a difference maker in the run game on a consistent basis.

Through the draft the Dolphins could select Terrence Cody, a senior from Alabama, who resembles Solia in some ways, and who many consider is only a two down player, but is a difference maker in any way that you can imagine.

Dan Williams, from Tennessee will be playing for the Dolphins staff as well as Cody. Both are expected to go in the draft somewhere between the end of the 1st and middle of 2nd round. Williams is more athletic, and possibly has more potential than Cody. These two will battle it out for the Trifecta’s attention as well.

Please not that the Dolphins could always go out and sign Vince Wilfork during free agency, as this is an uncapped year. The New England Patriots will most likely try and put the franchise tag on him though, so Williams and Cody are good fall-back options if a nose tackle were to be selected in the first couple of rounds.

4. FS: We have Chris Clemons to develop as of now, and as I think the Dolphins let go of Gibril Wilson this year, we would be on the lookout for any falling prospects that interest the Dolphins. This is not as big of a priority as some of the aforementioned holes, but still killed the Dolphins all season long, especially when our rookie cornerbacks often times found themselves on an island because of the poor pass coverage from our free safety (Wilson).

5. WR: Some of you may be surprised to see this position ranked so low on the list. Keep in mind we do have four quality receivers, but are looking for that one special kid.

While many fans say there is not many prospects out there to look at besides Dez Bryant, you are forgetting Brandon LaFell, Mardy Gilyard, and Desmon Briscoe.

Gilliard is being compared to a slightly slower DeSean Jackson, and both Briscoe and LaFell are considered solid prospects as well.

All three of these kids will be selected somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I would consider all of them sleepers, and would jump if we would steal one of these guys in the 3rd round.

6. TE: This is not a position for concern unless Anthony Fasano leaves Miami for more money. Then the Dolphins will need to scramble to find someone either through free agency, or the draft. Joey Haynos does have great size and athleticism, , but I am not sure whether he is a proven starting tight end or not. Again, not a big worry unless Fasano were to leave.

7. RB: A couple prospects interest me here. There of course if C.J. Spiller from Clemson who would have to be our first round pick. Then there is senior Charles Scott from LSU, who could be a sleeper that goes in the later rounds of the draft. Scott runs with power, and reminds me of Ronnie Brown. With Ricky Williams looking to retire after next year, we will need to be prepared, and even though we do have both Lex Hilliard and Patrick Cobbs returning, we should be looking for a kid that can come in, and relieve Ronnie of all of the bumps and bruises that he has to deal with in being the feature back, once Ricky leaves.

I would be shocked if the Dolphins were to not address 4 out of these 7 holes. The Dolphins have an advantage over most teams since they are going to be implementing their system for the players to learn, and use in the Senior Bowl this weekend. They now have no excuse to have a great draft this year after getting a chance to see how all of these seniors react to having to learn their system in a week, and utilize it in an actual game.

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