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Dolphins open some draft possibilities, close others

Practically every day, someone who follows me on my twitter feed asks me what the Dolphins are going to do in the first round of the draft even though the draft is one month away.

Last week, I said the Dolphins were heavily interested in Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

I jumped the gun.

Rhodes is a fine player. He looks the part at 6-1. He plays with some nastiness. And the Dolphins do indeed like him. But that has to be measured in degrees and I was told recently that he probably isn't the guy in the first round because he's not a 100 percent system fit for the Dolphins.

Me: :-(

Rhodes needs to be in a system where he's getting his hands on a receiver. He might be able to learn the discipline of combo coverages that inlcude a lot of zone work and playing quarters. But that's not his game. He's more a press corner, folks.

So there's that.

I also said early on in the process that I would scream if the Dolphins used their first overall pick on an offensive or defensive lineman. Since general manager Jeff Ireland arrived with Bill Parcells, the Dolphins have tried to upgrade those two units in the first round three out of five drafts -- with Jake Long, Mike Pouncey and Jared Odrick as first-round picks.

Well, guess what?

The Dolphins are open to upgrading those two spots in the draft again -- perhaps even in the first round. Ireland wants to sorely keep the defensive line, a team strength, very strong. Two days ago, I reported to you the club has parted ways with Tony McDaniel. Well, the Dolphins want to add a defensive tackle. And, as you know, a pass-rusher is something the Dolphins continue to consider in free agency and will consider in the draft.

And this is supposedly a great year for defensive ends. So that is a serious possibility.

The Dolphins also will look at offensive line, particularly offensive tackle. Indeed, even if the team signs Eric Winston to play right tackle, I don't believe the club sees him as a long-term solution. Even if the left tackle job is handed to Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins want a fallback.

Well, drafting a left tackle and moving Martin back to right tackle is a possibility.

I've mentioned Oklahoma's Lane Johnson on twitter as a possible first-round selection. The Dolphins like him. They don't love him. Yes, they agree he's a first-round talent but what I'm hearing is not at No. 12 in Miami's eyes.

So where does that leave the Dolphins in the first round? Well, that's the point. The Dolphins have worked this offseason with the idea of filling in as many gaps on the team as possible. No the cornerback spot is not filled, but I believe the club will get serious in the next day or so about trying to sign Brent Grimes or some cornerback option so that cornerback is no longer a glowing, ominous and obvious need.

Basically, the Dolphins want to go to the draft with a wide field of possibilities. They want to draft the best available player (BAP) and not draft necessarily for need. The club drafted for need in 2009 when Vontae Davis and Sean Smith were added in the first two rounds. Neither are on the team four years later.

Lesson learned, I think."

"I don’t know that we’re complete at any position," coach Joe Philbin said this week. "I think hopefully what’s happened with some of the free agency moves is it gives Jeff more latitude to just go find good football players.

"We’re as interested in adding, again that term, it’s a vague term, but good football players to the roster at a variety of positions. I don’t know that we’re locked and loaded anywhere. That’s not a bad thing. I don’t know that many of the other 15 [coaches] that are in the room today are locked and loaded at a ton of spots. We’ve got to add good players at every position."

Yes, I'd say every position except quarterback, linebacker, punter and kicker is a first-round option for the Dolphins.

The offensive line is an option, as I've explained. Defensive line is an option. Cornerback, but not Rhodes, is an option. Safety is an option. Running back, following the loss of Reggie Bush is an outside and long-odds options I suppose. Receiver pops back into the picture as an option. And tight end is an option -- although I do not see a tight end in the draft worthy of the No. 12 overall selection.

The Dolphins have opened the field for themselves. Smart.

Comments

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Hope S Floyd but he wont be there at 12, top 3 pick think J Cooper is the pick at 12

If they don't love johnson then go with warmack or cooper. Yes 12 is high for OG but either one of those guys will be here for 10 years.
If ansah is there at 12 you have to go for it.

Dolphins are caught in the mushy middle of this draft, too low for Milliner, too high for a TE/FS and no RBs have earned a solid first round grade.
I hate to say it...
I'm gonna say it...
Trade down. Or up! But probably down. This is a great draft for 2nd and 3rd rounders.

Sounds like the Dolphins are not only in a great position to pick best player available which is what I believe to be the best strategy to draft, but they can also be open to trading back in the 1st round to pick an yet another 2nd rounder or can trade up to pick an elite talent. Great spot to be in!

Always good to maximize the draft with FA. Open as many options as possible. I thought it was bpa?

lol

Love going into the draft like this. Taking the best player available, if able to do it, is always the best way to go. Can't wait for the draft and this new season to begin!

I hope they add Winston or Albert, as well as a seasoned CB and a seasoned pass rusher, I know the money is there and it will make the draft much easier as they may not have a long term solutions in many positions but they will be solid next year and will give the rookies time to earn a starting job instead of being thrown into a position out of not having a better choice. One thing i really like going into this year is that the Dolphins seem to be in the drivers seat this time instead of hoping and praying for mediocre players to over achieve. Good Job Ireland. I have bashed him for years but now i owe some props.

I think Ireland bucks his trade down trend and trades into the top 5 for Dee Millner or a left tackle.

it's bap got it?
lol

I am going to go out on a limb and say we need a MLB. I believe Elrebe & Wheeler are good Sam and Will linebackers, and Misi is going to DEfensive End, where he played in College. Ordrick is going to defensive Tackle, where he played in college. I see the Phins taking Manti Teo or Jon Bostic from the gators as our starting MLB. Whether it is in the 1st or 2 nd round. Before all the issues with Manti Teo, everyone was talking about him as a top ten pick, and if you look at just file over the last three years, minus the Alabama game he was a stud. Don't believe me, then watch the film.

Great if we in position to get the best playmaker available with the 12, by filling up those couple of wholes undecided. Just not a safety. I hope we cld get the Honey Badger later. We need TO'S and shorter fields to equal more touchdowns. please get winston and grimes. Then we can get the best player @every pick.

Trade up for Fisher or Milliner

I am happy with TE Tyler Eifert. He is very good and can develop nicely. He was huge part of Notre Dame success (No.2 team in NCAA).

I keep insisting TE will help you win games, score touchdowns in the new NFL. TE is super important now. If you are old school you will say tight end is not worthy no.12 overall.

Offensive weapon in the first round. I don't care how many Db's and OL's we draft after that.

I don't think fans would be that upset if the Fins upgraded LT or DT in the first pick, Ireland has done a super job in free agency this year. If the Fins picked someone like Lane or Anash or Vaccaro, there would not be the outcry as in past years. Just get the BEST player available, not some acorn rotting on the ground.

Jake Long was supposed to retire a Dolphin and be a hall of famer!

Turned out to be just a flamer.

Trade number 12 for Minny's 2 first rounders. The could draft Tavon Austin to replace Percy Harvin, everyone wins!


BAP at 12 will probably be an offensive or defensive lineman? Unless Milliner drops that far or the Dolphins go for the best available WR.

Trading down for another 2nd or 3rd pick would be ideal. Apparently there are a lot of under classman (is that the right term? - I'm from the UK) in this draft which has created a lot of depth but less obvious elite talent.

Trading down in the 1st between 20-32 might allow for drafting Efiert. Either way, drafting the BAP will improve the likelyhood of drafting starters this year or next and I like the thought of drafting 5-6 players in the 1st 100 picks to create serious competition at every position.

Why isn't linebacker an option?
Did I miss something? Did Koa Misi suddenly get better this off-season, and learn how to cover a pass?

Otherwise agree w/ Mando. And YES I'd scream too if they spent yet another top round choice on yet another O lineman.

DE, I get, and that wouldn't bother me one bit.
CB, I get, just sucks for 1st round.
TE... zzzzz ..but it won't make me sell my Fins gear.
DT ..really? I thought Odrick was moving inside.
OL ... had it. Done. Sell my gear, and start watching the WNBA and syncronized bass fishing.

This is the worst team for a draftnik to be a fan of.

2 watt, bap lmao. Must be the Spanish translation into English.

Austin should be the #12 pick -- He's a game changer.


Rdubs,

The Vikings would never give up two first rounders for the 12th pick, espcially not in this draft. Maybe a first and a 2nd.

LB is Still A Need.

Yes, They Replaced 2 Garbage LB's. But You Still Need 3 To Start!! And Misi Is Not The Answer.

Good To Know That They Are Looking For The CB's To Play More Zone And Less Man To Man. Somebody Has Been Saying That For A While. I Think DD?

Reason, S.Smith Was Never A Priority. I Was Also On The X.Rhodes Bandwagon. But Agreed Zone Coverage Was Not His Forte. The Guy Is Just A Beast.

Would Love The Fins To Sign B.Moore. I Don't Trust Ben & Jerry Will Come Back In Shape. And Moore Is Just A Better OG Period!!

Lacey in rd 1.
It will take 8 or 9 in the box to keep this guy from getting 5 yards. He is a monster. Mix him with the speed we just got and it becomes an issue for whoever we face.
Think Rice and Gore. But faster and younger with an attitude.

Glad to hear its not Rhodes
Id take Amerson anyday over Rhodes

A new season & a CRAPPY NEW GIRLIE LOGO!!! Thanks Ross for making the Dolphins logo so feminine

Mando,

You didn't mention the possibility of upgrading the RG position @ 12 if Jonathan Cooper is available. I believe that the DT Sheldon Richardson & the DE Demontre Moore are definitely in the mix.

As for Xavier Rhodes--I'll defer to you on this BUT WR??? After adding Wallace & Gibson plus re-signing Hartline on top of Bess & Matthews??? IMO--seems highly unlikely @ 12.

the BPA to us at 12 may very well be TE from the notre dame

dont forget Pete, Spielman is their GM, he can be swindled!

I can see Ireland trading down. It's a deep draft, especially at our need positions and Miami is losing alot of contracts the next 2 years. I expect trade downs that involve extra picks this year and next.

Replace those expiring contract with young players.

It's not BAP, it's Best Player Available (BPA).

Lane Johnson, Sheldon Richardson to me are the most athletic players at their position and both will be considered. I'm not convinced by this not at 12 business for Johnson ... he's the prototype zone blocking LT.

Sheldong Richardson would give us serious athleticisim and pass rush from the middle which is Tom Brady's achilles.

After that I see Eric Fisher, Tyler Eifert, Jesse Williams, and Desmond Trufant as the BPA's

yes I love Rhodes but Trufant's athletic scores are a little higher and perhaps he fits a bit better in a zone scheme.

Dee Milliner is also a press CB who doesn't even know how to backpedal.

My best bet is a trade down for either DJ Fluker, Terron Armstead Tyler Eiffert, Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins or maybe Kenny Vaccaro (Gronk is going to love that pick). Ireland could also draft Chance Warmack at #12 if he is still there. DE could be addressed later.

For the CB department I still like David Amerson and Darius Slay first and foremost.

Hardest-hitting S still available at 3rd round would be DJ Swearinger, I believe.

Js,

Agreed.

I Still Wouldn't Sell My Gear And Stop Being A Fan.

But Agreed. Why Isn't LB's An Option?

You Guys Are Telling Me If An Impact OLB Is Out There? The Fins Won't Go After Him?

Remember Philbin Wants Impact Guys!!

A OLB That Can Get 8+ Sack!! 1-2 INT's!! And About 4 Fumbles. Is An Impact Guy!!

You Are Telling Me The Fins Don't Need A Guy Like That?

Kaddu Better Have Improved A lot!! Cause If J.Jones Or The OLB From A&M is Still There At #12!! I would Think That Is Still A Priority!!

JS_in_LA

If we can get Star or Sherrif at dt at 12, do it. Both Starks and Soliai are Free Agents next year. Get one of those two in and get them ready for next year. They learn from 2 of the best DT's in the league and then you have 1 of those two and Odrick starting next year.

Sheldon Richardson

I wouldn't mind someone like Johnson, Warmack, or Cooper if they are the BPA at 12. Teams like the Pats and 49ers have really solid o-lines. I know its not exciting, but Ireland has plenty of picks to gamble with later in the draft.

The best move would probably be to trade down, but i'm not sure if anyone would to trade up.

I'll take Cooper at 12 in a heartbeat

Well hopefully we hit on even 50% of our draft picks. That could bring 5-6 players into the fold as starters or primary backups. Another year of paying Trusnik 2 million instead of paying a hungry rookie peanuts is going to be bad. Overpaid, low talent backups make no sense. We had to do it before because our drafts were so bad, crossing my fingers for this draft changing that.

Oh Yeah, Johnathan Cooper and not Chance Warmack will be in that mix too.

Offensive weapon in the first round. I don't care how many Db's and OL's we draft after that.

Steve-O,

If we wind up drafting the RG Jonathan Cooper & he's as good as I think he is, he'll make the entire offense better. Not sure there are too many--if any--offensive weapons that merit a pick that high. Not sure why some fans consistently overlook the significance of pass protection & run blocking.

Bear in mind--if Long stayed healthy & Jerry was as good as Sparano thought he'd be--we're not having this conversation about the O-line. I don't believe anyone is to blame about drafting Long. I think Long was the best player coming out of that draft & unfortunately injuries happen. There are no guarantees about a player's ability to remain healthy.

BPA At #12 Will Not Be A TE

BPA Is About Everybody!! Not Just Your Team!!

Biggest Need For The Fins Might Be A TE In Your Mind. Here's A Hint. TE's Aren't That Important In This Offense. And No TE In This Draft Deserves To Go In The First Half Of Round 1.

BPA, Is The Most Talented Guy Still Out There!! At #12 I Can Still Name About 10 Players Better Than The Best TE In This Draft. At Least 10.

Dashi, would agree that OLB will be in the mix but as you allude to, it won't be a traditional 4-3OLB but a new age JOKER type - a pure pass rusher - think along the lines of jarvis Jones ..

TAVON AUSTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I keep going back to what Darlington said about the Dolphin Draft. He said it was "intriguing" Still thinking most of our guesses are going to be wrong. Think Fons are blowing a huge smokescreen here. Just like when Armando's sources told him they wouldn't make any signings for this Stadium upgrade. Riiigggghttt

I just don't like the idea of trading up or down. The draft at any position appears to be a crap shoot. Daniel Thomas is a good example. So is Gronkowski. I am sure that everyone on this board would select Gronkowski over Thomas any day of the week. Gronk was taken in the second or third round while we traded up for Thomas. Just an example of seeking something that is there and changing for the sake of changing.
To me when it is a crap shoot rolling the dice for a bigger crap shoot is dumb.

I wouldn't mind someone like Johnson, Warmack, or Cooper if they are the BPA at 12. Teams like the Pats and 49ers have really solid o-lines. I know its not exciting, but Ireland has plenty of picks to gamble with later in the draft.

The best move would probably be to trade down, but i'm not sure if anyone would to trade up.

Nemo,

I think Cooper would be the best fit in our zone blocking schemebased on his athleticism & his ability to pull. We haven't had a Guard like that since Smiley got hurt.

Warmack is a mauler & would be perfect for a team that features the power running game like the Vikings. You put Warmack next to Loadholt on the right side & AP will run for another 2000 yards.

GO PHINS 2013 and beyond!!

If we sign Winston and Grimes or another CB I see two options

1. Trade down and get more picks and draft depth, we have not had depth in the past and are constantly having to sign FA's when people leave....so preparing for Starks and Solia next year maybe an option with more picks

2. Trade up and get Dee Milliner from Alabama....probably cost our 1, one of our 2's and one of our 3's, still leaves enough picks to add depth

Who knows, but with what has been done in FA it gives us options

Draft Matt Barkley QB UC with the 12th pick.

I just don't like the idea of trading up or down. The draft at any position appears to be a crap shoot. Daniel Thomas is a good example. So is Gronkowski. I am sure that everyone on this board would select Gronkowski over Thomas any day of the week. Gronk was taken in the second or third round while we traded up for Thomas. Just an example of seeking something that is there and changing for the sake of changing.
To me when it is a crap shoot rolling the dice for a bigger crap shoot is dumb.

Klndry,

You realize that Gronk was missed his senior season due to injuries which is why he dropped to the 2nd round to begin with. Yes his production is off the charts when he's healthy but before we vote him into the HOF let's see if his body can hold up. Talent & size mean nothing if you can't suit up for the games.

WNP, trading up is no longer the big negative it used to be, especially with the rookie salary cap. If there is someone the Fins absolutely love in this draft they have the picks to do it. It wouldn't surprise me if they trade up. Something no one expects, just like FA

Misi may be better with these 2 new LBs. i don't see LB as a first or second day need.

we need to load up on secondary

i disagree with mando about TE. eifert is a mid-first rounder. so he's not a giant reach at 12. trading back would be great but i just don't see a ton of moving like last years draft. you can get reliable talent deep into the 4th round this year. it truly is a great year to have 11 picks!

PLEASE DON'T RUIN THE DRAFT A WEEK EARLY BY SHOWING OFF THAT LAME FLOATING DOLPHIN AS THE ACTUAL LOGO!!! THAT THING SHOULD BE ON THE BUMPER OF CARS THAT ALSO HAVE A RAINBOW AND UNICORN STICKER IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!! I AM REALLY HOPING IT'S NOT THAT. I'LL KEEP WATCHING MY DOLPHINS BUT I'LL NEVER BUY ANYTHING WITH THAT THING ON IT. I'LL WATCH GAMES WEAR THROWBACKS OR MY PITTSBURGH PENGUINS GEAR. GO FINS, G PENS!!

i don't think we should draft a WR unless it is best player available in round 3. we need to keep defense strong and secondary is our weakness. also need to keep OL strong.

Don't get the small amount of complaints about the logo, especially the one calling it girlie. It just looks new age to me. Eyes are still mean looking and the Dolphin isn't wearing that stupid football helmet. And his snout and tail are pointing up instead of down in a defeated pose. And the color is darker, not that feminine light colored aqua.

If that is the logo it's hard to see how anyone could think that it's worse than the last one that looks as if it were designed by Howdy Doody fans. Next to go, God awful twangy banjo fight song. We don't need to have a death grip on the past in order to honor the teams long gone success. Time to move on and I'm fine with it.

Definitely will trade down and take K.Allen and take ol-db's-dl-bpa dolphins having a very good off-season so far !!

Lt or cb with #12, those can still be addressed via free agency however. Then best available. I have a feeling Ireland may buck his trend and move up, that would be awesome and get us phans even more excited!

"If we sign Winston and Grimes or another CB I see two options

1. Trade down and get more picks and draft depth, we have not had depth in the past and are constantly having to sign FA's when people leave....so preparing for Starks and Solia next year maybe an option with more picks

2. Trade up and get Dee Milliner from Alabama....probably cost our 1, one of our 2's and one of our 3's, still leaves enough picks to add depth

Who knows, but with what has been done in FA it gives us options"

Craig,

There's a LOT more than two options. We still have 10 draft picks after the first round to find players. Three players that I think may be the BPA @ 12 are either Jonathan Cooper, Sheldon Richardson, or Damontre Moore.

I don't know enough about Rhodes from FSU but if Mando is wrong & our coaches LOVE him then it's a perfect marriage of talent & need.

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