With the Super Bowl not even in conclusion yet, and only the Senior Bowl to go off of, I’ve nevertheless decided to do some predicting of the Miami Dolphins off-season. Let’s just say I’ve got the draft itch. I’ve always been a big draft guy, and personally think draft day is a bigger event than free agency. So let’s delve into the possibilities for the Dolphins off-season, take a look at what positions they will be looking to upgrade, and my reasonings behind my picks.
The Positions of Need:
Let’s be honest here, most of the upgrades that our team needs come on the offensive side of the ball. General manager Jeff Ireland admittedly said that no more than one member of the R&R Express will be back next season, if any of them will be. That means running back is right at the top of the list of needs the Dolphins will look to address this off-season. With the Dolphins looking for two new starters, I cannot imagine that Lex Hilliard will be back next year either, although Miami has carried four RB’s in the past.
To compliment the new backfield the Dolphins will also need to go out and find themselves a speed threat at wide receiver. While the Fins are currently set at receivers, going three deep already with Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, they still need that one guy that can make the safety play over the top coverage.
Of course, to allow the quarterback to have enough time to get the ball to that deep threat, the line will have to be solidified, mostly by adding a left guard, and yet another right tackle/right guard to groom for the future. John Jerry did not have the best rookie year last season, and Vernon Carey’s stats suffered when he was forced to cover for Jerry’s mishaps during the game. This can’t happen again this year, because Chad Henne calling for max-protection every snap just won’t cut it in the NFL.
Last, but certainly not least the Dolphins will look for an athletic tight end to stretch the field. They used to run the 2 tight end sets to perfection back in 2008 with Chad Pennington, Anthony Fasano, and David Martin running the show. Now Pennington and Martin are gone and the Dolphins are looking for a tight end who can be a vertical threat.
The Draft Strategy:
With the draft coming first this year, in the case of the likely lockout, we’ll take a look at that first.
Let’s first address the topic of trading down a few spots in the first round. Really is there any reason to stand pat at pick #15? What value are we going to get there? Mark Ingram? No thank you. While he is drawing some comparisons to Emmit Smith, I just do not trust taking a running back at #15 who had a down senior season, and while there are better value picks later on in the draft.
So I think we will do much of the same thing that the front office did last year, trade down 10-12 spots, and garner a second round pick.
But here is where I think things will get interesting. I already saw this idea somewhere on the web, and I have to say I agree with it 100%. With the Dolphins not really getting any bang for buck if you will in the 1st round at a position of need, why not keep trading back and notching themselves more draft picks? Perhaps even another first round pick next year? I think we might see the Dolphins trade out of the first round, so as not to reach for anyone, and take their guys in the 2nd round with multiple picks.
So with that being said I think this is who we’ll target in the draft, and all just so happen to fill positions of need, with one exception:
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