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For me, Hayden if the pick is defense, Eifert or Austin if the pick is offense

I want the Dolphins to pick D.J. Hayden. There's no denying that. I've made the case in the newspaper and I think the need is obvious.

Let's face it, the NFL is a passing league and the Dolphins secondary has been frustratingly inconsistent.

They made Kevin Kolb seem like Joe Montana.

They let Andrew Luck break the NFL record for most third down conversion passes.

And more problems loom because Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tom Brady (twice), Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco are all on the schedule in 2013. You have to be able to overcome that kind of firepower quarterback play with dynamic pass defense.

But ...

What if the Dolphins go offense? What if the Dolphins continue their offseason upgrade of the offense that included Dustin Keller and Mike Wallace?

Well, a right tackle at No. 12 would be terrible. A guard? Terrible. A running back? Not happening.

Thinks two players: Tavon Austin and Tyler Eifert.

If you are any kind of frequent visitor to this blog you know I believe the Dolphins have underestimated the importance of tight ends for years. They let Anthony Fasano's mediocrity lull them into a false sense of satisfaction. This while the Patriots went crazy turning tight ends into some sort of newfangled weapon.

Eifert would turn that tide back for Miami. He's got prototypical size at 6-5 and 250. He's not fast but he's not slow. He presents a matchup problem for linebackers and some safeties, although he doesn't separate with the consistency I'd expect. His hands are good. He's a good and willing blocker.

Austin, meanwhile, is more a dream pick. It's likely not going to happen. He's probably going to go higher than No. 12. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland doesn't like little guys and Austin is 5-8. He's only just a slot guy. His arms will prove too short to be a factor along sidelines.

But the guy is a playmaker. His tape makes your heart skip a beat. He's dynamic. He is a boom or bust pick, but if he succeeds, he's going to be great. I'd make a leap at being great over a chance to be good.

 

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