My Analysis Of The Miami Dolphins And The NFL Draft

Yesterday I was emailing in a mock draft "application" to one of ESPN's podcasts, and I had to write what I thought about the Miami Dolphins and what they need to do. I figured I would share it with you guys.

"Despite their pedestrian 7-9 record last year, the Miami Dolphins don't have that many needs. There were a few positions that were holding Miami back, and because of those few problems they had such a poor record. The Dolphins are actually a very talented team. They're just missing a few parts. Their top needs in order are:

1. Guard
2. Quarterback
3. Center
4. Running Back

Let me start off by saying that Miami has no glaring needs on defense. Last year they focused on defense, and it has paid off with a very young and talented group.

In my opinion, the Dolphins don't need to take a single defensive player in this year's draft. If they were to take a defensive player, my best guess is that that player would be an outside linebacker. They are set at one OLB slot with Cameron Wake, but their other OLB slot is filled by second year LB Koa Misi. The Dolphins drafted Misi in the second round last year, and he has been great at pass coverage. However, he is lacking in his pass-rushing abilities. Misi is hardly a problem, but if I had to choose one position for the Dolphins to take, I would guess OLB to compete with Misi for the starting job.

Defense is hardly a problem, which is good because the Dolphins will need to focus most, if not all, of their picks on OL, QB, and RB.

I believe the Dolphins biggest need is Offensive Guard. Left guard isn't as big of a concern as right guard at the moment. The Dolphins LG is Nate Garner, and I believe he is manageable enough to not have to worry about replacing early in the draft. The problem comes in at right guard. Richie Incognito was the starting RG for the majority of the season, but he will be moved to center next year, leaving the right guard spot up for grabs.

That is the position I believe the Dolphins should fix with their first pick at 15 overall if they don't trade down. My preference for Miami would be for them to trade down, and I believe they are considering that possibility. Because of the Brandon Marshall trade, Miami doesn't have a second round pick, and that hurts them a good bit. What would make the most sense for them is to trade down to a later pick in the 1st round and get a 2nd rounder as well.

If the Dolphins don't trade down, then I think they should take Mike Pouncey. Pouncey is a very talented offensive lineman who is capable of playing guard or center. Not only would he be able to fill in at right guard, but he would also be able to swap with Incognito at center and move Incognito to guard while he played center if that would work out better. Pouncey's versatility is a definite plus, and I think he would be the perfect pick for Miami at 15.

If Miami does trade down Pouncey could still be available, and I would still want them to get him. If Pouncey is gone, then I believe the Dolphins should take Ryan Mallett. Mallett is a supreme talent and has been extremely underestimated recently. I believe he would be a steal later in the first round if the Dolphins are able to get him.

If the Dolphins do get Pouncey with their first rounder that they traded down to get, then I would want them to use their second round pick on Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a very good quarterback prospect, and with a little developing could end up being a very good NFL QB. If Miami got Mallett with their pick they traded down for, then I would want them to draft G Danny Watkins of Baylor.

I am in the minority of Dolphins fans in that I don't want them to get Mark Ingram with their first pick. I acknowledge that Ingram is a great player and that he will be really good in the NFL, but I don't think it is worth taking a running back first round when they have other, more important holes to fill, and it is easier to find a breakout RB in the later rounds than most other positions.

Another reason I don't want Miami to take Ingram is that I think they will be able to re-sign Ronnie Brown. Both Brown and Ingram are slower NFL running backs, and I don't see a point in having two running backs who don't have elite speed. Miami also has a few great running backs that could fill in nicely if they are called upon. Backs like Kory Sheets, who was on IR last year, and Lex HIlliard have shown that they can actually play pretty well if given the chance. This may be the year that one of them gets a lot of carries and does really well."

I hope you guys enjoyed reading that. Thanks for reading.