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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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Bess is a great slot WR... who cares about a slot WR TD numbers Bess w/ the Pats would be Welker 2.0 He has great hands and consistently makes hard catches for 3rd downs. It's almost like you don't even watch the games... If you did you'd know besides Hartline, Bess was the only other WR able to get open and make plays. He's our #3 WR and imo Gibson may not even be an upgrade over developing Matthews. If they take a WR early we will see how it shakes up...

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 10, 2013 at 08:31 AM


YGs up early oday to break Odindouches 33 hour record for non stop posting.
A record that will be hard to break, Kinda like breakng the home-run record.
You Go YG.

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.

Mark,

I agree with you. There's no reason to get rid of Bess. In today's NFL you can never have enough guys who can help your QB in the passing game. Injuries happen & at least with Bess you know we have a solid guy who can catch the football.

We drafted Matthews last year & assuming he improves we'll have five WR's & a pass catching TE. Hopefully two if we draft someone. This is exactly the way GB operates on offense.

WE DON't KNOW WHO WILL BECOME WHAT BUT IT's FUN TO TRY TO PREDICT.

I MUST ADMIT I BEEN PRETTY GOOD AT THIS.

There are now Wawa convenience stores in central Florida and the Tampa MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area).

They are much better than disgusting 7-11 or the even worse Circle K, where only filthy pigs would shop.

ndyNJ,

What I see most in Asah is a potential dominant pass rusher. He isn't that yet, with only 4,5 sacks last season.

The most amazing number he put up in 2012 was 9 PASSES DEFENSED AND 1 INT. Im shocked you don't know what this means.

It means that as he learns and develops his dominant pass rush trade. This guy will be King of Swat at the line of scrimmage as qb's try and launch their pass attemtps. He immediately be shades of JJ Watts in swatting qb passes at the line.

So once he fine tunes his pass rush skills he can definitely be JJ Watts-like. Pressuring, sacking, and swatting qb passes to the ground. Just his pass swatting ability alone will mke the db jobs that much easier.

It will be a tough day at the office when opposing qb's know that theyre facing Ansah and Wake. There will be sacks, pressures, and balls swatted at the line of scrimmage.

That's what I see in Ansah, 9 passes defesed at th DE position. That freaking incredible. Wait until his sack skills catch up, WOW!

"Bess is a great slot WR... who cares about a slot WR TD numbers Bess w/ the Pats would be Welker 2.0 He has great hands and consistently makes hard catches for 3rd downs. It's almost like you don't even watch the games... If you did you'd know besides Hartline, Bess was the only other WR able to get open and make plays. He's our #3 WR and imo Gibson may not even be an upgrade over developing Matthews. If they take a WR early we will see how it shakes up..."

B33,

Great post. I couldn't agree more & there are TOO MANY people on here who clearly don't watch the games. It's the same thing with these draft prospects. It's pretty sad when people are falling in love with players they've never seen play. Ezekial Ansah???? Really??? Give me a break...And no the combine doesn't count!!!

It's not about drafting the best athletes, it's about drafting the best football players. I've seen too many GREAT athletes become complete busts b/c they're not GREAT football players. Beware of guys like Cordarelle Patterson & if a team takes him with DeAndre Hopkins still on the board it's going to be laughable.

Again YG, Do we have any size concerns with Wake? They're the same size!!! Check out another site besides Camp .. he sucks. And Moore's explosion and first step are top notch as is his agility. And did I mention 12.5 SEC sacks and 86 tackles??? I know his combine was rough and I crapped on him for that too but look at his pro day. He just showed he had a bad day in Indy...

I think that Clabo is a better free agent pick up than Winston. Clabo's a pro-bowler and played for Atlanta. He'll probably be more expensive than Winston, but is a better player, in my opinion. Then, Miami can see about moving up for Milliner. Hopefully, it won't have to be too far. Giving up 3 picks for one of the "Big 3 LT's" just doesn't make sense to me. If I'm going to use that much firepower, I take the best ranked player at their position because that's who I really want; and Milliner fits that bill.

Andy I share the same concerns with you on Ansah. Mingo has them too. But the physicals are off the charts. It is for that reason that if they drop to 12, I woudl consider them but I wouldn't trade up. Moore is a much safer pick IMO if you want a DE.

AndyNJ,

Also, I don't once remember any of our d-linemen batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage last season. That has become a lost art in the Dolphin defense. Ansah had 9 passes batted down alone last season.

A batted down pass is as good as an incompleted pass. That's the best you can hope for when not a sack or pick. Batted passes also lead to int opportunities for other defensive teammates. Right?

YG 4Ever,

I know what it means and it means it's hustle plays. He gives max effort and his long wing span is impressive and allows him to erase pass plays by PD not sacks or hurries or QB hits. He had a total of 6 QB huries and 4 sacks. PD's are impressive when they are combined with sacks or even QB hurries cause it shows he is impacting the QB's timing even if he isn't getting the sack. I never heard a single scout say this guys is an awesome DE we can use him as a Pass Deflector on pass downs.

Mark,

Playing it safe has gotten us what, 2 one and done playoff appearances over 15yrs? Oh yeah, playing safe really works.

For over 15yrs now, we've either played it real safe or played it real stupid. Its been so long since we've had a real team in Miami, it seems now, dolfan would have the hardest woodies just to field a .500 ball club.

F>ck that, after all of the suffering I want to sit on the mountain tops. We all deserve it as long suffering dolfans. Anything les is still unacceptable.

Done deal... and the Dolphins select Lance Johnson or Chance Warmack in that order if one or both are available at 12.

I sold on little know TE Dion Sims, who is a better blocker and can catch the ball. He can be gotten in the 6-7 rounds. Take the chance and get Austin in the 1st for special teams (kickoff and punts). Gives you two speed wr in certain situations. You can always get aline men in the 2-4 round

Bobbyd I agree with Eifert or Vaccaro both would be immediate upgrades to offense or defense. Are pass offense and pass defense needs to get better. There are a lot of good safeties and cbs this year it seems. I'll be happy if we land one of these guys at safety. Vaccaro
Cyprien
Elam
Reid

also I'd really like to see if Ray Ray Armstrong could be an option late like rd 6-7. He has potential. I'll leave it at that

Hurries mean sht if the qb still completes the pass. I see Pierre Paul with Ansah. Lets look at being done with the pass rush position over the long haul. I see potential pereenial pro bowler in Ansah.

Still both our arguments are moot. Because its very unlikely Ireland trades to #5 spot to land Ansah. I was only making observations in what I like about the kid and would not feel disappointed in the least if Ireland had the balls to trade up to the 5th spot to get him.

Ansah is merely the only player I would trade that high to get. Does not mean Ireland sees it the same way.

Eddie,

Im with you. I think if Johnson is still there at #12, he's the pick. If not, I can so see Ireland taking Chance Warmack.

sorry our not are in last post.

WNP, I have seen Cordarrelle play a lot this year and he is physically the best WR this draft. He is raw no doubt but IMO worth a top 15 pick. Was hoping he'd fall to 2nd rd. Hunter however is intriguing everyone hated on him for his drops last year and nonchalant attitude and it's hurt his stock but I see him as a project that could turn out to be the best WR in the draft. If he has great coaching and a good QB he'll be a serious deep threat.

I sold on little know TE Dion Sims, who is a better blocker and can catch the ball. He can be gotten in the 6-7 rounds.Draft Austin in the first for special teams (kickoffs and punts) and that gives you two speed wr in special situations. You can always in a linemen in the 2-4 rounds
2- CB
2-OT
3-OLB
4-s

Andy I share the same concerns with you on Ansah. Mingo has them too. But the physicals are off the charts. It is for that reason that if they drop to 12, I woudl consider them but I wouldn't trade up. Moore is a much safer pick IMO if you want a DE.

Mark,

Too much of a bust factor on either Ansah or Mingo if I'm a GM. As a fan I'd be incredibly disappointed with either player @ 12.

I also think this kid Dion Jordan is highly overrated as a pass rusher. They keep comparing his athleticsm & lean size to Jason Taylor but does he have the same toughness & intensity that JT had that made him such a a dominant pass rusher & player??? Not sold.

BTW--If the sacks weren't there in college from Jordan then why expect them in the NFL???

YG,

I hear you. I wasn't trashing your pick just disagreeing is all.

Jason Pierre Paul comparisons are somewhat legit from an athletic standpoint but JPP also had some accolades to back up his play. He had slightly better sack numbers something like 7 but also had around 15-20 TFLs, pass deflections, forced fumbles, etc. Some said he had good but not outstanding production or was a 1 year wonder. I don't feel Ansah falls in either category. He's just an athlete with potential at this point.

If were going off physical nature of the pick why aren't we screaming for Margus Hunt. He's an absolute freak

I agree we will draft someone to replace Bess. Bess is nice but we can get someone younger, quicker, cheaper and with more upside in the draft. Bess will be trade bait IMO.

Posted by: Bobbyd12
========================================================
I agree also.......Offense Offense and more Offense

Ansah top 5?? Don't see that. Mock I saw yesterday had him at 16. Had Jets taking Patterson. All a guessing game :)

We Need Playmakers,

I totally agree with you on Dion Jordan too. He's raw with no position. He played at 6'6 239 last year. That's such an odd build for a DE or 3-4 OLB.

"sorry our not are in last post.

WNP, I have seen Cordarrelle play a lot this year and he is physically the best WR this draft. He is raw no doubt but IMO worth a top 15 pick. Was hoping he'd fall to 2nd rd. Hunter however is intriguing everyone hated on him for his drops last year and nonchalant attitude and it's hurt his stock but I see him as a project that could turn out to be the best WR in the draft. If he has great coaching and a good QB he'll be a serious deep threat."

B33,

I believe you on Patterson but now there's character & work ethic questions that have come to light about Patterson. Too much of a risk for my blood. If I'm going WR in the first round I'm taking my guy Hopkins who I've watched play MANY times this season. He may not be the fastest or most electrifying WR but is EXTREMELY solid.

Done deal... and the Dolphins select Lance Johnson or Chance Warmack in that order if one or both are available at 12.

I'd be very happy with either player BUT with this draft??? The QB's are just horrible so I'm starting to think that the top 3 LT's & both of the top Guards will be gone before 12.

Pass Rushers,

I like 2 guys for Miami at #12 if Pass Rush is what they needed. And this is just my opinion.

Bjoern Werner - safest pick IMO and was highly productive. He's a high motor, relentless worker. He's a good pass rusher but is also effective at setting the edge as well vs the run.

Jarvis Jones - minus the red flags I would be all over this guy if he slips. You obviously have to do your homework on the spinal stenosis he has or doesnt' have. But forget his crappy Pro Day he dominated the SEC as a pass rusher, playmaker. He said he's a player after his Pro Day and to me it wasn't an excuse he really just is a player. He gets pressure on the QB with sacks, hurries, hits, causes fumbles, and is also relentless. He can play OLB in the 4-3 but also double as a blitzer and on pass downs play DE much like Denver does with Von Miller.

Not exactly like you are settling for kissing your sister if you pick Moore over Ansah... Ansah is a bit bigger and a bit stronger but the rest of the measurables fall towards Moore. he is more agile and explosive and has a proven track record against the best college teams in the country which Ansah does not.

I love the A&M players. if Sherman can bring to Miami what he did to A&M we will be flying ...

WNP:

I DISAGREE ON PATTERSON.

YES I GET IT THAT HE ONLY PLAYED 1 SEASON BUT THAT WAS IN THE SEC.

THE CLOSEST THING TO THE NFL.

AND HE STOOD UP AGINST THE BEST AND ROSE TO THE TOP WITHOUT PLAYING EXPERIENCE.

YOU CAN't TEACH SPEED OR AGILITY AND HE HAS MORE AGILITY THAN ANY WR COMING OUT IN RECENT YEARS.

BETTER THAN JULIO JONES DEZ BRYANT AND BOTH JOHNSON's.

I'm NOT SAYING HE IS EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT THEY ARE OR IF HE COULD EVER BE BUT WITH SO LITTLE EXPERIENCE AND TO BE MENTION AS A TOP 15 PLAYER AMONG THOUSANDS IS UNHEARD OF.

IF HE CHOOSE TO STAY ANOTHER YEAR I BET HE BECOMES A TOP 3 PICK.

I've got indy taking Hopkins later in 1st. I've only seen highlights of him... Didn't catch any Clemson games this year. But I agree with the 1st rd grade. I only have 3 WR taken in the 1st rd this yr. CP Austin and Hopkins... Not sure about Allen from cal.

Tennessee program has taken a lot of heat cuz of expectations this year. A lot of it is justified if you know about the partying issues and arrests and overall displeasure Dooley had with his players before his firing. I still see the potential outta the players though with the right fit in the pros...

One guy that gets no love n I don't see why is the TE Rivera. Very good all around TE.

WNP, I agree with your assessment even wrt Jordan. if you want the best combination of athleticism and production .. it's Moore. Some lucky team is going to reap huge rewards by this guy flunking the combine. He should be the first pass rusher off the boards. As athletically inclined as anyone and production only matched by jarvis Jones who isn' t the same level athelte as Moore.

And someone mentioned Margus Hunt ... yep this guy would be a great pick and be gone by the time we pick in the 2nd.

DT should not be a need or a want unless the following are addressed first: OT, CB, TE, WR, OG, DE, and RB.

If the Dolphins use a premuium pick on a DT, then that will be similar to Wanny using a 1st round pick on Fletcher when he had Madison and Surtain on the roster.

TE and WR should be nearly equal in terms of 'need' to OT and CB. If Wallace gets hurt or is doubled covered every play, then the Dolphins need options other than Hartline and Bess and Gibson. Keller can be good, but is a serious injury risk and the depth of Egnew and Clay is not promising based on past performance.

The Dolphins need to be careful not to return to the Parcells blueprint of focusing on OL, DL, and CB to te exclusions of almost all other positions.

Remember, this is year SIX of the Parcells/Ireland rebuilding project. It's time to start winning big.

I totally agree with you on Dion Jordan too. He's raw with no position. He played at 6'6 239 last year. That's such an odd build for a DE or 3-4 OLB.

Watching him run at the combine he looks like a big WR. He's going to get manhandled in the NFL if he doesn't get a LOT stronger. And five sacks as a Senior??? For a top ten pick??? Stop it!!! Dion Jordan ain't no Jason Taylor. Plus Jason Taylor was a 3rd round pick.

IMO--JT is the exception not the rule for a tall, lean pass rusher. I can't think of another player besides JT who got it done as a pass rusher at that size in the last 20 years.

I'm very curious to see how high Tavon Austin & Dion Jordan go. I'd avoid both players like the plague.

WNP I also see the top 3 LT and both Warmack and Cooper gone by 12... however I think if they were to fall to us I'd still draft OL later in the draft. Right now I'd scoop Clabo or Winston as a safety net over inserting another rookie lineman right away. Just rather see a true playmaker in the 1st this year. Nixon or Fragel in the 3rd rd would be fine by me.

How did Patterson rise to the top of the SEC? With 700 rec yards? And top agility?? He ranked 16th and 17th among WRs in this year's class agility wise.

Hi YG.

Reid Fragel ... I like this guy's upside as a later pick... looks like a zone blacking beauty ..

I SEE HERE FILTHY MOUTH BOBBY 12 IS HERE TODAY.
YG/YG4E/LOL/DYING BREED, ARE YOU RELLY TRYING TO BEAT THE GREAT ODINS RECORD FORNON STOP POSTNG?////////

TO BE
OR
OT TO
BE.

MIKE MAYOCK SAY CORDERRELL PATTERSON BEST WR IN DRAFT.

lol

I'd draft Patterson #12 if he falls without question It'd give us something similar to Roddy White and Julio Jones. Yes it's risky but risk weighed with reward is your getting another #1 WR to go with Wallace. I go with another #1 WR over a TE or S to improve the offense. I am well aware of TGJR and that year I would've went Willis. Patterson is a freak WR

YG/DB/LOL/YG4E I HOPE YOU MAKE PEACE WITH THE GREAT ODINSEYE///
FOR THE GOOD OF THE BLOG..

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

MARK:

FIRST YEAR..

HE ONLY PLAYED 1 YEAR.

YARDS? LOOK AT HIS WHOLE BODY OF WORK. PUNT AND KICK-OFFS. PLUS THE TIMES HE RAN THE BALL FROM AROUND ENDS AND OUT OF THE BACKFIELD.

ALL PURPOSE YARDS ARE TOP 5.

BUT HE MADE PLAYER AFTER PLAYER MISS WHEN THEY HAD AN EASY TACKLE.

SOMETHING HARTLINE HAS NEVER DONE.

Ohio State has some really good players this year... Not a lot of hype which is disturbing to me seeing how they went undefeated this year and if it weren't for sanctions people would be talking about them in the NCAA champ game.

Reports saying Pats attempting to sign Emmanual Sanders from Steelers. While we are talking about drafting O lineman with our 12. NO NO NO guards, tackles, D lineman at 12. I don't care, it will drive me nuts. No freakin Lineman at 12. PLAYMAKER

Agree with Justin but let's knock Hartline. He is very good still and valuable becuz he can play any WR position good enough. Hartline embarrassed a handful of CBs this year as our #1... But still it's hard to think of Hartline as a #1 WO...
Wallace
Patterson
Hartline
Bess
Gibson/ Matthews

pretty dangerous looking WR corp

Justin, his rushing and WR yards combined don't even put him top 10 in the NCAA. Return yards? Really you want to count that???? Any stiff who fields a kick off gets 20 yards minimum. Those yards are lot harder earned in the receiving game. This guy is a high bust rate candidate. never remember anyone without the elite measurables or production every being yelled for as a top 15 pick. Absurd.

@12:59, yes they do. I like pass rusher John Simon too. Apparently the Steelers are hot on this guy. Considering how they breed edge rushers, it says a lot about him.

Great article before the draft!!! I agree with you on all of this EXCEPT that Running Back should be moved up to the need area. The backfield is young, prone to injuries (gray & thomas), and unproven yet has potential with miller.

bobby, the Pats actually signed Snaders to an offer sheet. Steelers have 5 days to amtch or get a 3rd rd pick. Apparently they are up against the cap and may not be able to do it.

There's only 2 offensive playmakers worthy of a #12 bobby, Eifert and Austin and Austin will be gone. And if we don't pick Eifert, the Bucs right behind us will.

Also Urban Meyers is an excellent football coach. Simon would be a great pick in the 2nd or 3rd rd.

i don't want the 3rd best DE, CB or 4th best OT at 12.

i want the best player at his position and that means safety, TE or guard...

Simon didn't bench because of an injury but apparently he has a reputation of being one of the strongest players in college ball. He also has better than average agility and explosion. Produced 9 sacks this year. Very intriguing guy.

There's only 2 offensive playmakers worthy of a #12 bobby, Eifert and Austin and Austin will be gone. And if we don't pick Eifert, the Bucs right behind us will.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 10, 2013 at 01:14 PM

I'm pretty sure Austin will still be there but we don't want him. Interesting thing about Eiffert is TB is likely trade that 13th pick to the Jets. I could definitely see the Jets taking Eiffert there.

Yeah, Eifert to teh Jets makes sense too. I wouldn't make that trade if I'm TB. I mean, with all theri holes, how big of an impact does a CB make? If he does return to being the best CB in the game, how many more games will they win?

I'm not crazy about Austin either. he's worthy of the #12 but it wouldn't make me all hard in the trousers.

check out Wisconsin game for Simon.

I can't see the Jets taking Eifert. I can see them taking Austin or Patterson though. That team is so horrible their home games may look like Marlins home games. They need to make a splash cause they are the J E T S

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