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Needed help at LG? Don't sleep on Michael Iupati

All the so-called experts as well as fans -- me included -- have for several months told you what the Dolphins' needs are without, you know, actually hearing it from the Dolphins. Those are among the closely guarded secrets of Team Big Tuna.

Well, the needs you heard about are still accurate. They're just incomplete.

The Dolphins can definitely use an OLB, a NT, WR, FS out of this draft.

But did you know LG should be on the list, too?

And perhaps even in the first round.

Surprised?

Don't be because the Dolphins have been, and continue to do much legwork on Idaho guard Michael Iupati, a 6-5, 331-pound behemoth that truly impressed on tape and continued to impress the Dolphins during the Senior Bowl week and in the game.

The Dolphins were so impressed they brought Iupati to town on March 15 and 16 for a visit. The Dolphins were the first team Iupati visited so they were obviously the first to recognize his potential worth. But they haven't been the last.

Iupati, who is expected to be available when Miami picks at No. 12 in the first round, has been a busy man lately, traveling to several other teams. The interest in him is substantial.

By the way, if the Dolphins go with an interior offensive lineman in the first round, it would almost have to be Iupati, as there isn't another player at the position that offers value so high. Iupati is the only one that does while Ole Miss guard John Jerry rates slightly lower.

So why would Miami seriously consider Iupati at that spot?

Well, have you heard, they have interior offensive line issues. Still. The club is expecting to trade left guard Justin Smiley at some point this offseason. That creates a void at the position. I suppose Nate Garner, who started four games at the spot last year, could be a candidate to fill the void, but who else will compete for the job?

Donald Thomas and recently acquired Richie Incognito are both right guards. That's their spot. That's where they are clearly best suited. Moving either to left guard is asking them to play out of position.

So the Dolphins need LG help assuming Smiley goes as planned.

Don't be surprised if Michael Iupati is that help. Don't be surprised if the Dolphins pick him in the first round.

[UPDATE: The National Football Post rates Iupati the No. 8 best prospect in the draft while ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. has rated at No. 14. So obviously, folks are thinking No. 12 is around the place he should be selected at this stage.] 

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