Lets look at the biggest needs for the Miami Dolphins in this years NFL draft. To do this I think you need to really dig in and see what the issues are surrounding the Miami Dolphins. First off lets look at sacks vs. sacks given. Four teams in the NFL had a negative sack to sacks given for the season and made the playoffs. Those four teams are Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Denver. All these team are out of the playoffs, except for San Francisco. As for the games these teams lost in the playoffs Green Bay lost the Sack battle vs New York, Denver lost the sack battle to New England, and N.O. lost the sack battle to San Fran.
Looking at the stats there are only four teams with winning records for the season with a negative sack ratio, and 7 of the top ten teams in sacks to sacks given made the playoffs and 3 of these are still in the playoffs now. The reason I think that this is important, are negative plays. If you are causing more negative plays with sacks then your opponent then you are going to win battles. The line of scrimmage is an important battle to win, and is a key to victories. So I want to break down how Miami looked in this category
Miami had 41 sacks on the season. This is tied for tenth in the league and is actually really good. One of the issues we will need to face is Jason Taylor had 7 of the 41 sacks, and he is gone so we will need to replace that production with someone else. Next Miami gave up 52 sacks on the season which is 3 worst in the league. That is negative 11 on the sack ratio which is the 7th worst in the league, and what do you know we are picking 8th in the draft. These stats show us a couple of things first that Miami is good at getting to the QB. I feel that anytime you are in the top 10 in any stat in the NFL that you are getting top tier performance. Second our offensive line is horrible. Giving up the 3 most sacks in the NFL is not good, and creates a huge need on the offensive line to help this team progress. Right tackle and Right Guard has to be big needs for the Dolphins.
Next I would like to look at turnover ratio. Miami Dolphins had 16 interceptions this year. Leaders on picks were Davis with 4, Smith with 2 and Randy Starks with 2. Starks had the same amount of interceptions as our safeties combined. I think that Smith is an OK DB. He had the same amount of passes defended as Vonte Davis, and fell short on the interceptions. Our Safeties on the other hand are not helping the team get the turnovers. It is great that Bell is leading the team in tackles, but he only caused 1 turnover. Troy Polamalu only had 2 turnovers this year, but he had 1 defensive touchdown, and 14 passes defended which is over 3 times the amount for Bell. Jones was just as bad as Bell. Matching him in every category in the passing game, but 40 tackles behind. Our pass defense was 25th in the league, and needs to get better. In the AFC we are going to face a lot of pass happy teams. The teams at the top of the conference pass the ball, and Miami needs to improve. I think the improvement needs to start at safety. Free Safety and Strong Safety are big needs for the Dolphins.
Next need for me is the passing game. The dolphins had 8 plays of over 40 yards on the season in the passing game, and only 1 play over 50. The Pats had 4 plays over 40 yards, and 1 over 50 just in the opening game alone. I know that it is hard to find a QB as good as Brady, and that is understandable, but what our Quarterbacks are bring to the games are not cutting it.. Matt Moore was 29th in the league in yards per game. Our Passing game needs to improve. Anthony Fasano was the 22nd receiving Tight End in the league, and some teams number 2 tight end had better stats. TE and QB is a must fix this year as well.
So in my mind looking at the needs of the team for me go in this order.
5 . RG
That doesn't mean that you pick guys in that order, but you need value at each of these positions when the season starts next year. I know it seems like a lot of gaps, but that is what you get with a 6 win team. If you can fix the o-line, the tight end and one of the safeties maybe the pass defense, and the pass offense gets better.