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Where Dolphins needs, wants and must haves stand

First a quick refresher course on material covered over the years on this blog: The Dolphins personnel department, at least this group that has been mostly together since 2008, rates their offseason priorities in three general categories ...

Needs.

Wants.

Must haves.

Must haves are players that play positions that are an absolute necessity to field a team in the fall. Must haves have the ultimate priority. If the Dolphins don't fill their must have list, they are doomed. And that obviously means the world is doomed. So not wanting to doom life on the planet, the Dolphins always address their must haves.

By the way, when the team fails to properly address must-haves, it goes to training camp and ends up signing stopgap veterans such as Marc Colombo in 2011. Who wants that?

Needs are players that play positions that are necessary to upgrade the team but don't meet the urgency of a must have. A need, for example, comes at a position where a player already at that position is lacking and the team wants to replace. But if you don't upgrade the spot, at least the team has a body to play the position at some tolerable level, even if it requires holding your breath and pinching your nose.

Wants are the least urgent of the categories. These are players that play positions that the personnel department would love to address, but often cannot. The last three years or so, the Dolphins wanted to upgrade the tight end position. But because starter Anthony Fasano was a C-plus to B-minus player at the spot, the team put it off and put it off. The team had a want at tight end. But, well, the franchise didn't fall apart because tight end wasn't properly upgraded.

Got it? Good, refresher over. Now let's skip to today.

The Dolphins are about one week past their breakneck run through free agency and just over two weeks from the draft. And so it is time to assess where the Dolphins stand going to that draft. It is time to assess what the team's wants, needs and must haves are today.

This, of course, is my opinion. It does not reflect what the team is thinking because I have not asked team personnel. (Frankly, this is a bad time to talk to those guys because they are locked in rooms for long hours everyday in draft meetings. Nobody has time for wittle 'ol me :-(

Here we go:

Must haves: Offensive tackle qualifies because the Dolphins lost Jake Long to the St. Louis Rams and didn't really replace him. The club either needs a left tackle so that Jonathan Martin can go back to right tackle, or it needs to add a right tackle to start while leaving Martin stays at the left tackle spot where he finished last season. Either way tackle is a must have ... Cornerback is a must have in my humble. The Dolphins might not agree based on how much love GM Jeff Ireland showed Dimitri Patterson weeks ago while at the NFL annual meeting. Me? I'm not sold on Patterson as a solid starter and I cannot be completely sold that Brent Grimes will be back to his old Pro Bowl self by the start of the season. Richard Marshall is also back from back surgery, but again, the next season he plays without being injured for the Dolphins will be the first. Yes, the Dolphins have bodies at the position but all of them, ALL OF THEM, come with question marks.

The must-haves this year are particularly important to address because they both involve the passing game. The tackle must protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The cornerback must defend the pass. And the NFL, by the way, is a passing league.

Needs: Defensive end has to fal here because Cameron Wake cannot do it all by himself. Yes, the Dolphins have high hopes for Josh Kaddu as a rush specialist (which I reported last month). Yes, Olivier Vernon has promise. Yes, the club has a starter opposite Wake in Jared Odrick. But none of the players I just mentioned is proven as a very good 4-3 NFL defensive end ... Tight end makes this list because while the Dolphins added Dustin Keller, that was a one-year rental. Charles Clay isn't the answer and neither is Michael Egnew. Meanwhile, Fasano is gone. So you need to draft somebody for the future.

Wants: The club wants to add a defensive tackle. Yes, another one. Remember that Paul Soliai and Randy Starks will be in the final year of their deals in 2013. Also, Vaughn Martin is only signed for two years ... The club wants to add a safety. Yes, Reshad Jones is a keeper. But Chris Clemons is on a one-year deal that shows the team likes him, but doesn't love him. While Clemons can be the starter this year, Miami wants to upgrade the spot for long-term ... Kicker qualifies here. Dan Carpenter had a poor 2012 and finisihed the season on injured reserve so the club cannot go into 2013 without bringing in someone -- perhaps a priority free agent -- to at least compete ... A running back would be nice, too. Yes, Lamar Miller will be the guy and Daniel Thomas is expected to back him up. But Thomas is often injured and you probably need three guys. Are  Marcus Thigpen or Jonas Gray that guy? I don't know. I'd rather bring another body in there just in case.

Discuss ...

Comments

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Defensive tackle is probably a need rather than a want. The guys there are on one year days and both be on the wrong side of 30the next year. Bringing in Sheldon Richardson if lane Johnson isn't your #1 pick would be a very tolerable move in my opinion. Kawann short if he falls to the 2nd would be sweet. Guy had 7 sacks last year. Someone to rush up in Brady's face!

Slogan for the new era in dolphanland. Walk slow, drink water...

OT is the no brainer n°1 priority, because it impacts other positions, including
1) QB, and Tannheill's development
2) WR : we have just invested 60 millions on Wallace. What happened to Wallace in 2012 when the Steelers had problems on the OL? Well, an 800 yards season...(which also leads me to thinh that he is indeed a one trick poney and you'd better give your QB time to throw deep to him)

I can see us trading up to get one of the 3 top OTs in the draft.

Tackle, tackle, tackle... I hear it everywhere and it reeks of smokescreen! If the Dolphins want to break this offense open, this is the year to draft a great TE. There are 3, but Tyler Eifert is going to be a stud. Question, name one player on the the ND offense? Every defense knew the ball was going to Eifert and still couldn't stop him. Miami has trouble in the redzone scoring TDs, Wallace is not going to help in close unless the defense is concerned about the TE.

Add an OG and an OLB to that list.

First OL and CB. Which position first? Depending on what position that offers the deepest draftpool. If there are a nice TE left when we pich for the 3rd time, we get him. If not we go for DE.

Armando all you did is say what we've been saying 24 hours a day for months.

one question. Who is our red zone threat?????

this is why I am all in for EIFERT TE...!!!

if we could trade down a few pick up an xtra pick

Would love to trade back up in 1st; and grab Tavon Austin WR, not very
Logical with all the money we spent in FA.

2a. FS
2b. CB
3a. DE
3b. OLB

TRADE 2014 2nd rd for B ALBERT OT.

Sign F/A. RB maybe Turner 1 year deal


2b.

Nada de football, esto es casi un mensaje personal, gracias Sr. Salguero por todos estos años por sus observaciones y comentarios...que los encuentro cada vez mejores.Su lectura es parte de mi rutina diaria y han hecho mis años mas llevaderos y es justo que le mostremos nuestra apreciacion...lo pude escribir en ingles pero asi se da cuenta que sale de adentro, gracias

trade up for LT or trade down for TE.
At 12 BPA

Good morning weapons weapons and more weapons for Tannehil on offense, you can draft a couple of fat a** lineman in rds 4-7 in the draft !! Rounds 1-3 is for playmakers on both sides of the ball period period !! Enough offensive lineman early in the draft the fat a** lineman later on in draft !! Philbin expertise is gooming offensive lineman they can easily develop zone blocking offensive lineman we'll be just fine on the offensive line !! I have complete confidence in Coach Philbin and his staff to develop lineman !!

I'LL CONTINUE TO STATE THAT NOTRE DAME TE TYLER EIFERT NEEDS TO BE THE FIRST SELECTION BY THIS ORGANIZATION.

Wow did Armando really write this article??

Go look on the last blog where I basically say the exact thing. The only two must haves are OL and CB. I would draft Warmack or Cooper at 12. You can move Jerry out to RT tackle or draft another tackle later. Cognito will not be back next season.

I just don't know if it is worth moving up for Millner. I still say if the price is right drop a few spots back.

first pick should be either someone who puts the ball in the endzone or sacks the QB

You can always find linemen later in the draft

Oh and we could use a running back now that Bush is gone not really sold on Miller and isn't he smaller than Bush

Here we go again, typical dolphin fan wanting to reach for the white te who can't block worth a dwmn. Just like that clown bust wwho is disgracing M.Clayton #er 83 as I'm writing this post !! If you want a TE draft the kid from Cincinnati in rounds 2-4, at least this kid can block&catch the ball and his stock is rising as I post this !!

Please not another OT...Patrick at 06:31AM, amen brother!!! Give me Tyler Eifert...Give Tannehill another weapon...And the scary thing about Eifert...He can also block pretty darn well...Baltimore won the SB with 86 year old Bryant McKinnie...Get a guy who scores TDs!!!!!

If top 3 LT's are gone by 12 either trade back and take best available at pick. DO NOT over reach . They can still sign Winston if they want and then MArtin slides ove and they still can groom a 2nd rounder. Over pay a little for WInston, Give him the 2 years he wants. Why not that vs trading up or reaching because they are desparate. If I own the 6 pick id demand Miami 1 and 2. That is way too much for Johnson a 1 year starter. Johnson does not have any higher grade tyhan martin last year who was a 3 year starter.

Here is one more thing that will in our favor. The beginning of the 2nd round could be a QB frenzy of picks!! This will only help us land even better quality players!! There could be 3-4 possible QB's taken.

I couldn't agree with you more RR, no more offensive lineman in round 1 period period !!! Just continue to draft playmakers on both sides of the ball rounds1-3 !!

Hey if Eifert grades out take him. I just think the OL is more important at this point. If they really like the Escobar, they can take him in the 2nd or 3rd.

Just because OT is a must have doesn't mean we have to use the first rounder on the position. Just the fact they were talking to Winston means they believe Martin can play on the left side. I'm with the rest of the guys here and want offensive weapons. TE, RB, WR guys that will put up points. I'm not convinced we have enough weapons on Offense.

CB can wait too..this is supposed to be a deep class for that position.

If we can get a LT & EIfert via trade up, WOW , I am draft happy with that. I'll take slepers after that. I am confident Grime & marshall turn it around after injury while the jury is out on Patterson. RB yes, cuz I am still not sold miller & thomas can carry the load, especially Thomas who I only view as short yardage guy. De? yes but curious to see Misi at the spot if he is moved there, Please dont go DT early, yes we need to look at the future but Solai & starks are our guys just like Bowens was, if they have another solid yr which I suspect they will resign em. Monsters in the middle is important. If we dont get Eifert which I dont think they are even looking at him. We goota go for Milner or Rhodes, honey badger would be geat too, but Miami nite life & his previous history of trouble may be a bad combo

Just don't screw up. There has been a history of bad drafts for this organization. Don't reach unless you believe it's a can't-miss type player. Lot of picks this year. Get guys you believe can contribute and get as many as you can. No "Pat Whites". Get guys who will play in the game....not sit on the bench "developing". There are going to be some "misses", but there hasn't been enough "hits" in the recent past.

No1finfan, so true...

Mostly agree with your comments, Armando.

But I think you and many are seriously underestimating the loss of Reggie Bush and the lack of a proven replacement at RB. If Miami wants to run the ball on occasion, it ought to pay some attention.

The main focus should be, without a shadow of doubt, LT and secondary help. We need a shutdown corner, a starting LT and a replacement for Clemons at Safety.

We can't over analyze this and expect to get EVERY position of need who will come in and contribute week 1. We made improvements to the LBer corp, we made improvements with the throwing game, we shored up the D-Line.

Obviously we need a DE opposite Wake, we could use another RB, a better OLB, and upgrade at RG. But, we've improved a lot already, and you can't be perfect at every position.

Lets get the secondary looking better and shore up the o-line so we can win some games. The rest can come later when the best opportunities present themselves.

For those of you who keep saying WR. I'm baffled.

Why would we use an early pick on a WR? Ireland signed two WR's via free agency and resigned Hartline. That's a lot of money invested in the WR corp. There is no need whatsoever this season to draft a WR so high when we have other glaring needs. Even wasting a late pick on a WR is just plain stupid. Oline, secondary and DE. TE is a need aswell but not as much as the others.

Wow I can't believe tha garbage I'm reading besides a few of u with common sense,Not worth trading up for tackle, if they trade up it's Milliner or Jordan they should draft, Oline & Dline is deep in this draft we gave up good players for those draft picks unless someone busts out an incredible deal its not going down,wait till later rounds Armstead,Warford,Long,Watson,Pugh are just as capable I'm only looking for impact players first 3rounds!At #12 if they stay its gotta b Rhodes,Vaccaro,Austin or Eifert anything less would b insulting, I'm tha biggest Dolphan and over last few years we've wasted picks on oline that we coulda addressed in Free Agency or later rounds hopefully we've learned from our previous draft mistakes n Ireland has been on point finally this off season,Philbin came from a Franchise that builds str8 thru tha draft,Philbin is master as evaluating talent so I'm confident He'll put in his 2¢ents and collaborate wit Ireland & others to get sum serious young talentamd I believe those disappointing seasons of past decade are over n done with so Dolphanz get excited we have #11 picks only team.with 5picks in 1st 82 so we have serious options n I'm sure team n coaches n GM.will come through n represent

Jared Odrick should not even be mentioned as a pass rusher, and no we have no running back. We will realize we should have thought more of RB when we keep handing off and getting two yards all season.

Eifert is the biggest bang for your buck. OT is as deep as any year, WR is as deep as any year. Eifert is a complete player. Big, fast for his size, runs great patterns, great hands and can block. He's the guy tannehill can come back to if Wallace isn't open he's a12 TDs in the red zone type of guy. If you can trade back to 17 or 18 do it. Get an extra pick and get the guy tannehill will have for the rest of his career. Like romo has witten!! We will look like the teams that always kill us with TE play. So many option. Two TE sets that you can run or throw behind. Empty backfield with any configuration you can imagine. 5 WR, 4 WR and aTE, shift miller out. It's endless and will be super talented.

Methinks is not the Time to be conservative but to be daring and bold.

Spanish Dolphan, you're wasting your time .. Mando forgot all his Spanish ...

Me sumo al que escribio en español. Muchas gracias Armando por mantenernos informados a todos los fanaticos de los Dolphins de diferentes lugares del mundo. Cada dia que ingreso a internet me doy una vuelta por el foro...

Montreal, I'd be all aboard for Eifert too. I think he would be the best offensive skill player on the board when we pick. However, they need to get someone who can play OT from day one next year. They only have one in martin and I think he's a RT at this point unless he dramatically improves. He's a big IF

I think McKinnie can do the job for one year, Albert too ... but other than that the only guys that can play LT from day one that are on the market are the three OTs at the top of day one. Maybe Terron Armstead in round two but that's a big jump from Arkansas Pine-Bluff to the NFL. he has the talent though. Not re-signing jake Long for all his blemishes really appears to have held up this draft.

TD's are the reason we should consider another WR or TE. Red Zone offense. Who's tired of kicking FG's? Last year we have 2 TD's between Hartline and Bess. They resigned Hartline so he's not going anywhere. But I do think Bess could be traded and another WR drafted. And I do think they could draft another TE to go with Keller.

Two Reasons Why You Screw With Your Own Heads Thinking Tyler Eiffert:

Dustin Keller

2008 1st rd pick of the Jets(30th). He ran a 4.53 40, 38in vertical, 26 bench that year at the combine.

Michael Egnew

4.63 40. Egnew's a converted wr, therefore still learning top be a TE, and I don't think Ireland has given up on him yet. They knew his weakness when drafting him.

dads, I don't see the need to trade Bess at all. For what? A 4th, 5th pick? Isn't having him on the team with the ability to go 5 wide more valuable than some middling draft pick? Especially since we know injuries happen or Gibson may not mesh with Tannehill. We finally for the first time since 1995 can go 5 wide ... no need to mess that up... IMO. Especially since we have loads of cap space even after the draft.

I know it feels Keller has owned our lb corps for a decade now. But he's only entering his 6th nfl season. Or in nfl terms, just entering his prime.

Am I the only one who wants to trade up for one of the Big 3 LT's? I must be an idiot

No doubt Keller is underrated by this fan base .. he's as good as there is in the NFL skill wise - he was just hamstrung by a garbage butt tackling QB. However, a lot of teams go two TE sets. And Eifert is an effective every down TE ... Egnew is also as talented as any TE but the lgiht bulb hasn't gone on for him and you can't wait around for that in the NFL. If it does come on then you go forward with Eifert andd Egnew and let Keller walk and save the cash.

Anyway, we preference would be with one of the super athletic DTs in this draft rather than Eifert if Lane and Fisher are gone. This team could use more pressure from the middle. however, I can see the need with Eifert too.

Montreal and Toronto,

I'm really big on Eifert too. I think he's a true mismatch in 1 on 1's with his size 6'6 250. Keller is going to be a major plus in that area as well but he's 29 and on a 1 yr deal. I'd be more then happy if he was the selection at #12.

I know some other guys like Reed from Florida and Escobar are round 2 possibilities but these guys haven't produced on a consistent level and are more miss then hit. Eifert seems like the real deal that not even Ireland can screw up.

All the knocks on Eifert can be legit such as he isn't a true seam threat because his speed is just so-so. Thats BS to me. His size to speed is excellent. And he was the only threat in the passing game at ND so he was getting all the focus and attention. Take a look at the BS Championship, Bama was lining up Dee Milliner on him and the announcers kept saying how Milliner was shutting him down like it was some WR vs a CB and go and look and tell me where Milliner didn't have shell coverage on him with some help.

Im with you guys with Eifert at #12.

Draft Qb tidbits ...

** QB Ryan Nassib drew comparisons to Drew Brees from NFL Films guru Greg Cosell. The Syracuse product's "anticipation and ball location at the intermediate level remind me of a very young Drew Brees," Cosell said after studying Nassib's tape. Cosell also likes the velocity and accuracy on Nassib's short and intermediate throws. On the downside, Nassib throws with a bit of a hitch and needs to work on his deep ball. Remember that Brees was a 2nd-round pick. And he wasn't an instant success. Nassib still has plenty of work to do but has the tools to get it done at the NFL level. Sports Illustrated's Peter King hears that Nassib is viewed as a late-1st-round prospect by NFL teams. We'll likely see a team trade back up into the tail end of the 1st round to grab him.

** Peter King is also hearing that Florida State QB E.J. Manuel has a good shot to come off the board in the late 1st. The best athlete among this year's top-end QBs, Manuel has been steadily climbing the rankings all offseason

Exactly why with the latitude Ireland has, he can actually trade as high as 5th, then have a choice of Ansah, or Lotulelei. He could also go cb by trading up to 10 and grab Milliner. Walter's latest mock now has Milliner at #10.

I've been saying this about this guy for a while now ...

** Texas A&M's Christine Michael is Mike Mayock's biggest riser at the RB position. "Michael is as gifted as any tailback in his class," Mayock says. "He’s has some off-the-field issues, but has rehabbed his image since the East-West game. His talent is crazy. He got in (A&M coach) Kevin Sumlin’s doghouse last year and didn’t carry the ball a lot as a senior. But I have trouble seeing him getting out of the second round just because his physical traits are so good." Michael is a sturdy 5'10, 220-pounder who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the Combine. He's certainly capable of making a fantasy impact in 2013 and beyond. We'll see where he ends up.

** Cal WR Keenan Allen has missed the entire pre-draft process with a knee injury he suffered in October. He finally worked out for NFL teams on Tuesday. The results were disappointing – most notably a 4.71 40-time. Speed isn’t Allen’s strength, though. He's a physical receiver who's extremely tough at the point of attack. He’s drawn comparisons to possession-types like Reggie Wayne and Anquan Boldin. In fact, Boldin ran a matching 4.71-second 40-yard dash prior to the 2003 draft. Wayne recorded a 4.45. Allen’s time certainly won’t help his draft stock, but it shouldn’t crush it either. Once considered the top WR prospect in the class, Allen is now looking like a 2nd-round pick. We think he’ll be an excellent value for the team that scoops him up there.


Personally, I'm not crazy about this guy but ...

** ESPN's Mel Kiper lists San Diego St. TE Gavin Escobar as one of the draft's biggest risers since January. Kiper says Escobar has better hands than anyone in this TE class not named Tyler Eifert. And "he'll look like a power forward splitting the seam." Escobar is a "safe bet" to come off the board in the 2nd round, per Kiper. Depending on landing spot, Escobar could be worth a flier in fantasy drafts this summer.

I think it too early to say Lamar is going to be this or that since we really haven't seen that much of him yet. and who knows with thomas. RB is a need IMO.

Why should the taxpayers have to worry about the Dolphins too? They're making plenty of money and are owned by a man worth 4.4 billion dollars.

AndyNJ,

Eiffert is a legit seam threat. He ran a 4.68 40. 4.7 and under are consider seam threat times or nfl TE's.

I pulled up Fasano combine results. Guess what? His 40 time was 4.86. Google Anthony Fasano combine and see for yourself. Now I see why he seems to be running in concrete.

How the hell did Fasano get drafted 2nd rd running a 4.86 40. WOW!

What a mess without Jake Long. They should've just paid him there is plenty of cap space.

I wouldn't consider a guy with a single TD last year safe. I don't see us going 5 deep too much and it's not always going to be about getting value it's about upgrading aspects of the team such as red zone offense. Don't get me wrong I like Bess but he will be a FA next year. What are we going to do extend a guy with more career fumbles than TD's and at what cost? This offseason has been about upgrading for the most part. The offense maybe good on paper at this point but there is still some work to be done on this side of the ball to be elite.

dadsmith,

Many dolfans have Welkerphobia. Any wr we have even remotely reminding them of Welker, they fear we lt him go and Bellichik will turn him into a star.

It was their greatest fear in having Hartline resigned and it's their greatest fear to let Bess go. Some dolfans just can not let go of the fear of the past.

I now officially call it WELKERPHOBIA.

WELKERPHOBIA is a very real and serious illness in dolfan nation.

As much as the Dolphins may need a LT it shouldn't be a top priority in the draft. The Dolphins don't need a pro-bowl LT to be able to contend, just someone competent will do. Corner and TE should be the top picks because they stand to make the biggest impact when it comes to getting W's in the future.

I also see running back as more of a need than a want. Lamar Miller has not shown he's a playmaker as of yet, and if teams don't respect our ability to run it's going to put undue pressure on Tannehill to pass.

We'll harbor garbage on our roster for a decade in fe4ar Bellichik will turn him into a star. LOL...

So is Ginnphobia - fear of running out of bounds on punt returners.

and Colombophobia - fear or failure to block for the QB, and allow sacks.

upgrading the entire team is why you don't trade Bess this year.

You trade him, guess what, you'll need to draft a WR because you will be down to three NFL WRs. No, Bess is not the best WR on the roster but he would've cracked 1,000 yards if he didn't get hurt, doesn't make a tonne of money, and is very dependable. So he walks at the end of the year and you get nothing for him, so what? he was an undrafted free agent. You get 6 years service out of an undrafted free agent ... seems like an excellent return to me.

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