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2011 NFL Draft: Final thoughts on Pouncey (for now) as attention turns towards rounds 2 and 3

If you read my piece this morning or follow me on Twitter, then you probably know my feelings on what the Miami Dolphins did yesterday. But before we move on and look ahead to day two of the NFL Draft, which get underway in less than four hours, I just wanted to but a little bow on the Mike Pouncey pick...for now. Of course we're going to have much more time to discuss the selection - and the rest of the team's moves - in the coming days and weeks.

I just want to clarify something. I've been really pounding away at how the team's decision to draft Pouncey yesterday was the "safe pick." But don't take that as me feeling it was a bad pick. Big difference.

I believe Pouncey is going to be a good player. Truth be told, I hope Pouncey becomes an elite center (or guard). But it's not going to matter, unfortunately, unless the Dolphins get better play out of their quarterback and more production on offense. Contrary to the opinions of some, an interior lineman is pretty far down on the list in terms of positions that make the greatest impact on offense. I'd rank quarterback, tackle, receiver, and running back all ahead of interior linemen. So how is drafting an interior lineman with the 15th overall pick a particularly wise decision?

I also thought that the idea of having a head coach who is supposed to be an offensive line guru would mean the Dolphins wouldn't have to invest so many draft picks and so much money into the line. I thought the Dolphins would be able to develop a line. But millions of dollars and multiple draft picks (including two first rounders) later, I guess I was wrong.

Again, I think Pouncey will be a good player. He might be a great player. But I would have preferred this regime stop being so conservative and, for once, swing for the fences - much like the Falcons did last night and the Jets did a couple years ago. But this regime did what many, including myself, expected.

Now they must find a way to address the remaining holes on offense, which brings me to the top remaining offensive needs of this team right now as we await day two of the draft:

  • Quarterback - Whether it's a veteran or it's a player yet to be drafted, the Dolphins have to add some competition for Chad Henne. We can all hope that a new offensive coordinator can help get Henne back on the right track. But I'm not willing to bet this team's future on "hope." And I doubt Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland are willing to risk their jobs, either. The more I think about it, though, the more sense it makes for the Dolphins to just wait until free agents can be signed and trades can be made.
  • Running Back - The Dolphins only have two tailbacks on their roster - and both are relative unknowns in terms of ability at the NFL level. The Dolphins will draft at least one running back, maybe two. Who those guys are, though, is anyone's guess.
  • Tight End - The Dolphins are very interested in upgrading their tight end position. They need a stretch the seam type of tight end and I'll be surprised if the Dolphins don't draft one either tonight or tomorrow.
  • Receiver - This is a specific need for a specific type of receiver. They need an outside speed receiver that can stretch the field and force defenses to respect the deep ball. If he can be a return man as well, that would be a nice benefit.