Kevin C. Cox
ESPN's NFL Draft and hair gel guru Mel Kiper, Jr. has released his first look at the needs of all 32 NFL teams heading into next year's draft. For the Miami Dolphins, Kiper says the team needs to be looking at wide receiver and safety help in April.
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN's all knowing Draft Expert, has taken a look at all 32 NFL teams, as the season reaches its halfway point, to determine what each team would see as their biggest needs if the NFL Draft were today. To explain his though process, Kiper writes:
And at this stage, personnel folks for NFL teams are quite aware of where the biggest voids on the roster exist. They've seen plenty of reps against good and bad competition, and injuries have allowed them to go deeper into the roster for help. So while the scouting process is a perpetual one, at this point you can start to get a better sense of what you'll need to look at in the offseason.
So let's take a first look, as if the NFL draft were being held tomorrow. The draft portion of this is mostly for fun -- all juniors mentioned here aren't even guaranteed of being in the draft -- but we'll put a name in for each team just to get you more familiar with some of the top prospects in my rankings.
Kiper goes on to stress that the picks he suggests throughout the article are needs based, and not value or draft position based. Thus, a player may be listed based on him being a good fit in the team's system, even if the team could select someone of better "value." He also points out that since these are not real "picks," some of the top prospects get passed over during the article.
If you want to see the full article, click the link above (and have an Insider account), but here's the section on the Miami Dolphins:
Top emerging needs: WR, S
Analysis: The development of QB Ryan Tannehill could not be going better. If you take into account the loss of Brandon Marshall, and the total lack of what I'd consider an option in the passing game that defenses truly fear, Tannehill has been superb in terms of maximizing his surroundings. The familiarity with Mike Sherman's system has made the transition a smooth one. The Miami defense is above average on every level, so you could imagine the Dolphins being really specific in targeting a need, or just looking for the best value. This roster, led by Tannehill, now has a ton of promise.
Drafting tomorrow: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Sadly, my personal draft crush right now, Tavon Austin, West Virginia wide receiver, is listed as a "good fit" for the Seattle Seahawks.
Do you agree with Kiper? Would Hunter be a good fit? Let us know in the comments below.