This is a very important draft for Miami. It looks like they have finally found their first franchise QB since Dan Marino retired back in 1999, and now they are must carefully choose how to build around him.
Remember, Marino made it to the Super Bowl in his second season, but never returned to the big game (17 seasons) mostly because the Dolphins were never able to build a defense around him.
With FIVE picks in the top 82, a case could be made to draft either Sheldon Richardson or Shariff Floyd in the first, and an OLB like Arthur Brown or Khaseem Greene, and a CB like Desmond Trufant or Ryan Logan in the second.
Finally in the 3rd, you still maybe able to get one of the injured Florida State DEs (Brandon Jenkins or Tank Cornelius Carradine) and one of the Georgia Safties (Bacarri Rambo or Shawn Williams)
However, one year after trading away their #1 WR Brandon Marshall, they look like they are going to part ways with last year #1 RB Reggie Bush, starting TE Anthony Fasano, and their LT Jake Long.
Even last season’s #1WR Brian Hartline is a free agent, although he would be no more than a #2 for nearly every NFL team.
I would suggest, that NOW is the time to go heavy on the offensive side of the ball, or risk slowing the progression, or even worse injury to Ryan Tannehill.
#12 Eric Fisher LT, Western Michigan: With Long set to leave, and last year’s rookie Johathan Martin struggling at RT, Fisher and Tannehill should play together for ten years.
#42 Zac Ertz TE, Stanford: A more complete TE than former Cardinal teammate Coby Fleener, Ertz will give Tannehill that “mismatch” TE that most franchise QBs enjoy.
#54 Robert Woods WR, USC, more likely to drop to this point than DeAndre Hopkins, or Terrence Williams, I have a feeling the Miami coaching staff will pair a rookie with former Packer Greg Jennings.
#77 Either Kenjon Barner or Andre Ellington, will give the Fins a younger/cheaper version of Reggie Bush who is likely to leave Miami. I prefer Barner.
#82 Brian Winters OG Kent State (or best available guard) ProFootballFocus ranked Miami’s offensive line #22, and that was with Jake Long.
4th Terry Hawthorne, CB Illinois: After trading away Vontae Davis last year, the Dolphins have Sean Smith as their top free agent on defense, even if they retain him, a replacement for Richard Marshall is needed.
5th Everette Dawkins, DT FSU: The undersized DT for the Seminoles didn’t catch the attention of scouts at the Senior Bowl, and was a notable non-invite for this year’s NFL Combine, but he could prove to be a steal as a 3-technique in Miami’s 4-3 defense.
7th Ray-Ray Armstrong, S Miami: Although I expect Armstrong to have a great combine, I also expected him to show very well in the Texas Vs Nation Bowl, where apparently he didn’t standout either during the game, or in practice.
However, the former Hurricane (dismissed from the team) was once thought of as a first rounder.
7th Stansly Maponga, DE TCU: A surprise early entrant, Maponga is lightly regarded after registering a mere three sacks as a Junior, but may go much higher than this, considering is nine sack Sophomore season.