I just thought I would look into each of our "needs" and "wants" and find out which positions are strong in free agency this year or which ones should be addressed in the draft. The Dolphins have a very big CAP amount this year to splurge a bit in free agency.
Safety: Free Agency
- Jairus Byrd, S, Bills. Age: 26.
Jairus Byrd is one of the top safeties in football. He shuts everything down in coverage - he was responsible for no touchdowns all year - and he constantly comes up with turnovers. He's also decent in run support and is seldom penalized.
- Dashon Goldson, S, 49ers. Age: 28.
Dashon Goldson had some issues in coverage back in 2011, but did what he needed to do to correct them this past season. Goldson made the Pro Bowl for good reason.
- Louis Delmas, S, Lions. Age: 26.
Louis Delmas is one of the most talented safeties in the NFL, but he just can't stay healthy. He's missed 13 games in the past two seasons.
- Glover Quin, S, Texans. Age: 27.
A converted cornerback, Glover Quin has starred in his new safety role over the past couple of years. He was particularly sound in 2012.
- William Moore, S, Falcons. Age: 28.
William Moore missed the final quarter of the season with a hamstring injury, but he performed extremely well in all facets otherwise.
I think we should aim to sign one of these safeties in free agency as opposed to the draft. Although we might consider drafting one late for depth/ a project.
If we don't sign Sean Smith
we will need at least 2 CB's and I think we should look at some of these Free Agents
- Keenan Lewis, CB, Steelers. Age: 27.
Keenan Lewis played very well in his first season as a starter in 2012, surrendering a solid 52.7 completion percentage and just three touchdowns.
- Aqib Talib, CB, Patriots. Age: 27.
Aqib Talib has No. 1 cornerback potential, but happens to be a major head case. Any team that's even thinking about bringing him in needs a strong locker room.
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Eagles. Age: 27.
DRC stands for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. It can also be short for "doesn't really care." Rodgers-Cromartie is a very talented cornerback, but he's not all there mentally. He's still young, so maybe he'll get it together.
And we should also consider picking up Dee Milliner, Jonathan Banks, Xavier Rhodes,
David Amerson, Jordan Poyer, Logan Ryan, Bradley Roby, Desmond Trufant, etc. in one of the first 3 rounds.
Offensive Tackle: Free Agency
If we don't resign Jake Long
we should sign a free agent tackle, such as:
Defensive End: Draft
- Andre Smith, OT, Bengals. Age: 26.
Andre Smith has developed into one of the league's premier right tackles. He was a dominant run-blocker and also excelled in pass protection. There's still some concern that he could get lazy with a big contract.
- Ryan Clady, OT, Broncos. Age: 26.
Ryan Clady is not a very good run-blocker, but he surrendered just one sack in 2012. Of course, part of that is Peyton Manning releasing the ball quickly, but Clady was still very sound in protection.
- Will Beatty, OT, Giants. Age: 28.
Will Beatty was heavily penalized in 2012, but otherwise served as an outstanding left tackle for Eli Manning.
- Phil Loadholt, OT, Vikings. Age: 27.
Phil Loadholt was one of the most penalized linemen in the NFL this past season (11 penalties), but he made up for it with his powerful run-blocking and sound pass protection.
There is plenty of DE talent in the draft, Mingo, Jordan, etc.
Wide Receiver: Combination
I think everyone wants us to either sign Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, or Mike Wallace in Free Agency, but I think we should also draft a WR in one of the first three rounds. I think DeAndre Hopkins is great value where he is projected. I'm a Clemson fan and I know that he's going to be a great WR at the next level.
In conclusion, there are some areas strong in Free Agency, and some area's strong in the draft. The Dolphins need to utilize these strengths to fill their needs to get best value.