FanPost

Miami Dolphins Draft Positions of Need

Miami has some surprise needs that haven't really been considered, as well as some areas that seem so highly stocked that they would be foolish to draft them, or at least draft them early.

Draft positions which Miami doesn't appear to have a need: DT, DE, QB.

DT:

Miami has 3 players capable of starting at a high level in Randy Starks, Evan Mitchell, and Jared Odrick, as well as two good prospects in Isaako Aaitui and AJ Francis. Unless a player like Hageman, Nix, or Jernigan drops to them in the 2nd, I don't see them drafting a DT.

DE:

Miami has 4 players capable of starting at a high level in Dion Jordan, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Derrick Shelby. While there room for a 5th on the roster, it makes no sense to draft one high, because there is little playing time left to split.

QB:

If Matt Moore gets traded or released it is very possible this becomes a need, but as of now the only option looks like taking a shot at a high ceiling player in the 6th or 7th (David Fales or Brett Smith, possibly).

Positions Miami definitely has a need:

RT:

Miami really needs both a RT and a capable backup LT. They also need to be athletic enough for a zone-system, but strong enough to not wear done and maintain the pocket. That is a tough resume right there, although some players in the draft are capable of filling it. Although many people claim there are a lot of OT prospects in this draft class, the only ones likely capable of starting on day one will be in the first 3 rounds, limiting Miami's options. After Morgan Moses, Ju'waun James, Jack Mewhort, Antonio Richardson, and James Hurst, you end up with guys who need a year of seasoning to really become capable (Cameron Fleming, Billy Turner or Michael Schofield), or guys who are more likely to be guard conversions (Brandon Thomas or Joel Bitonio).

OG:

While Zach Martin is a desirable option in Round 1 because of his day 1 starting capability, his key asset is as a capable backup at LT in case of injury. But is that really worth passing on high impact players at other positions, such as Marqise Lee, Eric Ebron, Darqueeze Dennard, Calvin Pryor, Rashede Hageman, or CJ Mosley? Especially considering that there are other good OG candidates through the mid 4th round. I think it likely Miami passes on Zach Martin but targets the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds for OG depth, with players such as Weston Richburg, Brandon Thomas, John Urschel, Joel Bitonio, Billy Turner, Anthony Steen, Chris Watt, Wesley Johnson, Gabe Ikard, or Trai Turner.

RB:

A zone blocking scheme requires a back with excellent vision because they need to react quickly, decisively, and with a single cut. While Lamar Miller has excellent top speed, he lacks vision and decisiveness. The problem is that most college RBs don't have much experience with blocking, and Miami needs to cut down on the amount of sacks that Tannehill gets. So, who do they draft? Miami's new OC, Lazor, had LaSean McCoy in Philadelphia. Hickey influenced the drafting of Doug Martin and James Jones in Tampa (both are 5' 9" 220 lbs). So, who do they draft? My guess is that Miami will target value. This would be, according to round: 2nd: Hyde, 3rd: Mason or Carey, 4th: Seastrunk or Williams, 5th: West or Sims, 6th: Johnson or Freeman. There is such a glut of RBs that one of them should drop into Miami's lap at a good value.

ILB:

Miami's interest in D'Qwell Jackson at ILB implies they are looking to upgrade their 4-3 MLB position. They need a more athletic player who can avoid blocks, but who also has the instincts to find the ball and stop the run. This would enable Ellerbe to replace Wheeler at SOLB, with Misi staying at WOLB. In the draft, there are a few options which may be available to them, but not particularly after the first 3-4 rounds. CJ Mosley would be ideal in the 1st round, Shayne Skov is an option an option in the 2nd or 3rd. Christian Jones or Jordan Zumwalt are an option for the 3rd/4th, and Max Bullough is an option for the 5th. It is likely only Mosley and Skov could compete for the position on day one, which seems to be what Miami needs.

Surprise positions which Miami appears to have a need:

CB:

Yes, Miami has Grimes, Finnegan, Davis, and Taylor, but two are unproven 2nd year players, and 2 are older players with a recent history of severe injuries. Jimmy Wilson will likely compete with Louis Delmas at FS, and if Delmas is hurt, would become the starter. If Miami were to draft Darqueeze Dennard or Kyle Fuller in the 1st, I don't think anyone would be shocked or disappointed. Instead, it would lock up the position with a high level of talent for the next 3 years.

WR:

Yes, Miami has Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Matthews, and Binns, but 3 are coming off knee injuries, and Gibson may not be able to play effectively until October. Also, Wallace and Tannehill haven't exactly demonstrated a huge degree of chemistry. The fact that there were so many rumors about Miami being interested in James Jones hints that they will add someone to the WR group and are unsatisfied with what they have. If I was Miami I would target a red-zone WR in the 3rd round, who would be a 2nd rounder any other year, and develop him as the #3 WR while Gibson heals. My short list would include Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, and Brandon Coleman.

TE:

Charles Clay put up some great numbers, but he is an H-Back, not a true TE. His blocking is average and he is not tall enough to be an effective red-zone threat. I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami pull the trigger on Fiedorowicz/Niklas in the 3rd or Sefarian Jenkins in the 2nd, as they all have more prototypical size and blocking potential for the position.

OLB:

Miami would seem to have a good set of OLBs if Ellerbe moves over to the Weakside, but that is very uncertain, and coaches tend not to like risk. Misi is good against the run, but just a slightly above average starter, Wheeler is fast but lacks instincts, and there is little depth behind them. If Miami determines that Ryan Shazier is the BPA for them in round 1 and is an upgrade, or Demarcus Lawrence in round 2, I wouldn't argue with them. The OLB group is filled with question marks this year, and mostly consists of project type players after the first 3 rounds.

So, if the draft is deep at QB, WR, S, CB, OT, and RB, but shallow at ILB, OLB, and TE, Miami may need to take the players at positions of rarity earlier in the draft, if they consider them a need of course. I could see the following draft taking place:

1. CJ Mosley (ILB)

2. Demarcus Lawrence (OLB)

3. Martavis Bryant (WR)

4. Crockett Gilmore (TE)

5. James Hurst (OT)

6. Storm Johnson (RB)

7. Brock Vereen (S)

Or, possibly:

1. Zach Martin (OG/OT)

2. Austin Sefarian Jenkins (TE)

3. Jordie Tripp (OLB)

4. Jordan Zumwalt (ILB)

5. Mike Davis (WR)

6. Trai Turner (OG)

7. Devonta Freeman (RB)

You could also prioritize the positions of need and simply take the BPA for within a round of their importance. For example:

Prioritized list of needs:

1. Zone-based Offensive Line - Pulling Left Guard and Sturdy Right Tackle. Requires high athleticism, while sacrificing some strength.

2. ILB with instincts and Athleticism

3. RB with Power, Starting RG

4. Longterm answer at Free Safety, Red Zone Threat at TE or WR

5. Depth at CB and OLB

If you assume Miami would rank their board with their needs more highly on the list, you could generalize who they would take by doing a +/- 1 round according to their priority.

Round 1: OT or ILB

Round 2: OT, ILB, RB, or OG

Round 3: ILB, RB, OG, TE/WR, S

Round 4: RB, OG, TE/WR, S, CB, OLB

Round 5: TE, S, CB, OLB

Now, it is more complex than this because it doesn't take into account the depth or grades of each players by position within the draft. If Miami gets to the 3rd round and hasn't drafted an OT yet, and only has 4th round grades on the remaining tackles, it wouldn't be wise to reach.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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