By the end of the day Miami will have two holes filled via free agency. As Nolan continues to retool the defense, the most likely selection will be another defensive stud. With that in mind, let's take a look and debate which fits Miami's needs.
Eric Berry - the guy many scouts consider the best player available in the WHOLE draft, has the potential to slide. Safeties just don't get taken that early that often. If the Rams go QB, and DT's follow 2nd and 3rd, OT's have the potential to be taken 4 & 5, and the slide begins. The NFL.com mock draft has berry sliding to Jacksonville at #10. If Miami wanted him, it wouldn't take much to move up and get him. With the potential imminent signing of Clark, this doesn't seem to be a pressing need. Rather, Miami is likely to trade the pick to someone who wants Berry if he happened to fall to them. (same goes for Earl Thomas)
Dan Williams - at this point the likely leading candidate for the #12 pick. The problem is whether he lasts that long. Both Buffalo and Denver are looking for NTs and even though some people think picking a NT that early in the draft is way too high, we are dealing with the simple principle of supply and demand. There may be some who MIGHT be able to be a NT in the NFL, but very few actually are good at it. Miami could try to address the NT in the 2nd round (see Cam Thomas or Terrance Cody), Williams offers the most potential to a Vince Wilfork in the draft. I honestly prefer Cody (no one ran for over 100yds against that Alabama D) if he falls to them in the 2nd round. Cody, however, provides the best chance to frustrate coaches since Shaun Rogers with a lack of a solid work ethic.
Brandon Graham - Here we face a Parcellsian dilemma: Parcells loves players from Big Schools (and Michigan fits that bill--see Jake Long, Chad Henne). Parcells also loves big players. X factor: Parcells loves players who perform well at the Senior Bowl. Graham has made a name for himself for tearing it up in the Senior bowl and no one disputes his performance at Michigan (he led the nation in total tackles for a loss) and he plays with a non-stop motor. The one problem is he is a bit on the smaller side. This wasn't a problem for Elvis Dumervil (whom Nolan coached) but the problem is whether Miami can have two "smaller" OLB's in a 3-4. Wake and Graham could terrorize QB's for the next 10 years. But can they stop the run? Can they cover running backs? I believe in the right system, Graham can average double-digit sacks for the next decade. I just don't think it can be in Miami.
Sean Witherspoon. - There isn't another draft pick rising up in draft boards faster than Witherspoon. the Missouri LB impressed many at the Combine and showed off an array of skills, including coverage ability. He has a knack for the football (as evidenced by his 400+ tackles), extremely instinctive and a no-nonsense, high character guy that someone like Parcells would love. #12 is too high for him so he'd be a trade-down option--if they thought he was big enough to move inside in a 3-4 D. Even if he doesn't end up on Miami, this is a name we will get used to hearing on Sundays.
Sergio Kindle - Many want to compare him to his former teammate and last year's Redskins pick Brian Orapko, but the comparisons fall short greatly. Kindle has the size, but not the high-end ability. At the combine he also showed very little fluidity in his hips, giving scouts concerns about his potential to drop into coverage.
Jason Pierre-Paul - A literal freak of nature, Paul displayed the types of skills last season that keeps a quarterback up late at night. Concerns about being a one year wonder and a one-trick pony (can he drop into coverage?) make him the biggest risk-reward pick of the first round, the type of pick that can make or break any GM's career. I don't see Miami taking a gamble on someone they are not sure can be a complete player, or anchor the run.
Ronaldo McClain - with Karlos Dansby in the fold, the likelihood (as mentioned above) of taking another ILB at least in the first round seems doubtful. It will depend where their scouts rate and rank both Witherspoon and McClain. If they think their ceiling has multiple Pro Bowl potential, then I see them taking another, even with Crowder present.
Mike Iupati - I couldn't resist listing Iupati as an option if Miami trades down. Other options include TE Jermaine Gresham, or CJ Spiller, or Dez Bryant (if Parcells went off his meds), but Iupati makes too much sense for the smashmouth Parcells who desperately wants to stick it to the new-age NFL by running the ball down their throat. Iupati would complete the line and give them the best OL in the division, if not the league. Iupati is a safe pick, and some scouts are comparing him to Steve Hutchinson, as such one of the few guards that anyone would consider ever taking in the first round. I could see Iupati donning the aqua and orange if Miami trades down.
NT is the #1 need and Williams could be their pick. But if they are convinced Cody or Thomas could do it, they could wait until the second round to fill that need. If that is the case, then Miami becomes the biggest wild card in the draft, as a potential trade-down candidate who could take nearly anyone available to them. I honestly see Miami trading down and if Miami can address their NT and TE needs in the 2nd/3rd rounds (say, Thomas and Jimmy Graham), I would not be shocked to see Mike Iupati's name called when Miami turns in their card to Goodell.