The Miami Dolphins are heading into the final stretch of their 2017 regular season, a season that, thus far, did not go as expected. The season has shown the Dolphins have many questions that still have to be answered, with many of those answers not being able to come until the 2018 season. Where do the Dolphins need to address their roster holes this offseason? We take a look this morning at the top three needs for the Dolphins in next year’s NFL Draft.
Miami’s offensive line has been retooled and rebuilt year after year, and yet it is still the biggest question mark of the roster. The tackles appear to be solid enough, with Laremy Tunsil still transitioning to being an NFL left tackle and Ja’Wuan James hopefully coming back from injury next year ready to resume his role on the right end of the line. Mike Pouncey this season has not looked like the dominant version of Mike Pouncey that we have seen in the past, but that does not mean the Dolphins are in dire need of a center. The team has to address the guard position. Assuming Isaac Asiata can develop into a solid starter as the team continues with him on his redshirt season this year, they have to at least draft one guard early in the selection process. Adding two guards, or a center who can play at guard both as an eventual replacement for Pouncey or as depth in case his hips do not keep up, is not a bad move, either.
The tight end position was high on last year’s draft needs for the Dolphins, even as everyone knew it was going to be a defensive heavy draft. Miami chose to trade for veteran tight end Julius Thomas and sign veteran (and former Dolphins player) Anthony Fasano, rather than select a potential future starter. That said, the Thomas experiment has failed and Fasano is nearing the end of his career. Miami has to add a tight end this year, along with hoping Thomas Duarte develops into a depth player after two years on the practice squad, the newly acquired A.J. Derby becomes a solid player as he recovers from his shoulder injury, and MarQueis Gray continues to be a solid depth option at the position.
The Jay Ajayi trade has made running back jump up the needs list for this upcoming Draft. Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams could be an effective pairing for the team, but Senorise Perry and De’Veon Smith as the depth options behind them leave some question marks. Grabbing a mid-round running back to either challenge for a starting role or provide depth behind Drake and Williams seems to be a requirement.
Defensive top need: Given the top three options are all offense, there has to be some focus on the defense this offseason as well. Adding a linebacker seem likely, which would either push out Lawrence Timmons or Kiko Alonso, giving Miami two young linebackers around who to build (assuming Raekwon McMillan returns from his knee injury fully healthy). Defensive end is also a concern, given the age of Cameron Wake, so adding a developmental defensive end to eventually pair with Charles Harris as the starting pass rushers makes sense.
What is the top draft need for the Miami Dolphins this year?
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