So here we are, now less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2008 NFL Draft. The anticipation continues to build.
And as it does, I wanted to just throw my 2 cents in and give everyone my ideal Dolphins draft (realistically speaking, of course). "The Phinisher" did this very thing in his FanPost , and I encourage you all to do the same in the comments section of this post.
I'll keep this short and sweet.
#1 Overall Pick: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Obviously, since this is decided, there's no use talking about it. But I did say all along I would be happy with either of the two Longs or Vernon Gholston. So I'm quite satisfied with this decision for all the reasons we've discussed this week on this site.
#32 Overall Pick: Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn
The heart issue that arose earlier this offseason is now in the past and shouldn't be a problem moving forward. At 6'3, 259, he's got the size and speed (4.57 40) to be an ideal replacement for Jason Taylor. And yes, I did just call Groves a replacement for Taylor. In my "ideal" draft, Taylor gets traded to the Jaguars. We'll get to this in a second.
#57 Overall Pick: Chilo Rachal, OG, USC
The only remaining major need of this team in terms of finding a starter for the 2008 season is at left guard. Rachal meets this regime's size standards, measuring in at 6'5, 315 pounds. But he's also relatively agile for a guy his size. He's very strong and he plays with that same kind of nasty attitude that Jake Long plays with. Adding Rachal gives Miami potentially the best young offensive line in football.
#58 Overall Pick: Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M
In my "ideal" world (but also keeping it realistic), Jason Taylor gets traded to the Jaguars for a 2nd round pick and a 5th round pick. The 5th round picks acquired gives the Dolphins their only 5th rounder, as Kansas City currently has Miami's original 5th rounder as part of the Trent Green deal. And with this pick, I have the Dolphins taking my favorite tight end in this class (which is rather deep). Bennett has a basketball background as well, meaning he's very athletic for a 6'6, 259 pound tight end. He's got very reliable hands, something this Dolphins' team is missing, and is a solid blocker (which Bill Parcells demands from his tight ends).
#64 Overall Pick: Beau Bell, LB, UNLV
As I've said many times previously, Bell is my favorite "sleeper" pick. I simply love the way this kid plays the game. At 6'1, 244, he's got good size. Some people, though, question his speed and athleticism. It reminds me of the same way people criticized Zach Thomas when he was entering the league as a 5th round pick. And that's the kind of player Bell is. When you watch his tape, you constantly see him making plays. He's smart and has a nose for the ball.
So that's as far as I'm going to go, as anything after those first 3 rounds is really a crap shoot without the resources NFL teams have available.
I will just add that if Taylor isn't traded, then my "ideal" draft would change. I'd replace Groves at #32 with Indiana WR James Hardy, who I think is going to be a star in this league in a few years as long as he keeps his head on straight. And then, since the pick I used for Bennett wouldn't be Miami's anymore, I'd have the Dolphins taking a tight end with the first pick of round 4. Potential targets might be Tennessee's Brad Cottam, Michigan State's Kellen Davis, and Missouri's Martin Rucker.
So what do you think? Be sure to tell us how your "ideal draft weekend" would play out for the Dolphins.