Our needs going into the 2014 draft are Offensive Tackle, Offensive Guard, Line Backer, Wide Receiver, Safety, and Corner Back. I ranked this list in terms of need. We do not have a left tackle on the roster yet, but we do have two young CBs on the roster for the future. We need those young CBs to step up in 2014.
Offensive Tackle should be obvious. McKinnie filled in nicely for awhile, but he can't run block effectively. He also got blown out of the water the last two weeks by superior talent. Clabo can still hold the fort at RT for another year, but we desperately need a LT.
Offensive Guard is very troubling, as we have no starter material on the roster there. Brenner did poorly against 3-4s and Jerry is a guy we've been needing to replace for years now. Incognito is likely not coming back as a Dolphin either. This is only below Tackle because of importance. The OG position is where we lost the offensive battle against the Bills in week 16. Better offensive guards would have allowed us to win that game and get into the playoffs.
Line Backer is a hard position to fill, because of how much money we spent at the position. Ireland may have been a decent or better drafter, but he sucked in Free Agency. Ellerbe was our worst LBer this season and is getting paid the most. Wheeler was frequently tasked with covering TEs, as our best cover Lber, but was horrible in man coverage. Wheeler and Ellerbe had too many missed, too. The only good news for this position is that Jenkins might be a decent MLB one day and Jordan may move to OLB.
Wide Receiver is a need, as our WR corps doesn't fit what Philbin needs for his offense to work. Philbin typically wants most of his WRs to be 6'2" 210+ lbs and have decent speed. Hartline is the lone guy that resembles this prototype. Wallace fits his other prototype of being a speedy guy that he can move around the outside and into the slot. What this offense needs is a WR with size and speed to work on the outside when Wallace moves inside.
Safety is another situation with a cap problem. Jones could not handle the transition from being a zone safety to a man safety and had a horrible season. We really need an in-the-box safety that is good against the run and can cover TEs and slot receivers in man coverage. Clemons was fine this season and was one of the lone bright spots in the secondary.
Cornerback is the victim of a change of philosophy. We used to run press man and now run off man. We drafted two CBs last years and neither of them was good enough to play despite injuries and poor play. Patterson is injury prone and will probably be a cap casualty. Carrol was a below average CB masked by a great pass rush. He was frequently targeted by Brady and did not help his case in week 16 and 17. We really need our young guys to step up, as we have other holes to fill.
Dolphins 2014 Draft
1) Cameron Erving, OT, FSU
Erving is a fantastic run blocker and is very quick for his size. He was not challenged much in his senior year as a pass protector, but he did do a very good job protecting Winston's blindside. Erving has protypical size, strength and mobility for the OT position.
2) David Yankey, OG, Stanford
Yankey played OT in 2012, but was moved to LG this past season. He was an instant success and was a great puller. Right now only Pouncey on our line can pull effectively and we truly need another puller. Yankey is a road graver and should pair up with Pouncey and Erving to make running left easy for Miller.
3) Mike Davis, WR, Texas
Mike Davis 2012 Junior Highlights (via godzillatron24)
Mike 'Magic' Davis combines a nice combination of size and speed for a WR. What Magic Mike lacks is collegiate production. Davis has the ability to play outside, which will allow Wallace to move inside. If Davis pans out, he will complete our WR corps.
4) Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska
Long was having a fantastic season until he tore his ACL. A four year starter at Nebraska, he was quite well known for an OG in the preseason. Long, if his ACL heals completely, will be a steal here and will fortify our OL for years. This draft pick will allow us to rush up the middle effectively and give Tannehill a nice clean pocket to step up into.
5) Isaiah Lewis, S, Michigan State
Lewis was a good college safety, so I was surprised he should be around this late. Lewis was a part of the outstanding Michigan State defense and was an enforcer in the secondary. He was used in college in both zone and man, making him scheme friendly. Lewis has enough speed to cover WRs on an island and is not afraid to stick his nose in the ground game, like any big 10 defender.
6) Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan
Gallon is the most impressive of the late round receivers, but stands at just 5'8". He could work out to be our slot receiver when Wallace is not in the slot in a few years. I could have easily went with Shaq Evans here, but I went with production and speed over size and potential.
7) Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota
Jeremy Gallon 2013 Highlights (via EFWolverine)
Vereen was a playmaking CB for Minnesota in 2012 and moved to FS in 2013. He played well there, recording 1 INT and 7 pass deflections. In 2012 he got two INTs and 11 pass deflections. His versatility playing two positions should interest the Dolphins, as they ask their safeties to cover WRs in man coverage.
The OL will be revamped after the draft, allowing Miami to run the the ball well and protect its QB much better. The addition of new WRs should allow us to develop a better passing attack, as that somewhat limited our offense this season. The additions to the secondary are there to be backups and maybe grow into a starting role in 2015, if Jones does not pick up his play.