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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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JD, you need to do better than that to get someone to fall for your bait. Not even a nice try. I guess you are from Florida.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHO THE STUPID RUNNING BACKS ARE.

DOLPHINS NOT RUNNING THE BALL THIS YEAR.

NO RECEIVER ON THE TEAM CAN BLOCK WORTH A DAMNNNN.

I am from Florida. My hobbies are playing wth myself and tv dinners. Also my sister works at Walgreens so I get a discount on beach balls. I like football when there is a long pass. I don't think the cheerleaders are really smiling at me, but I like all of them very much.

Look at the last hour of this blog.

Nice work Monkey Boy, now tell us again how you're not a dimwitted degenerate.

Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Despite what Armando said above, he's way off on the TE situation.

You can safely forget either of the top two TE's.

We have Keller on a 1 year deal with options. Then we have Clay and Egnew, either of which could have a breakout season.

Objectively speaking, it's not "All That". But it is just enough to ensure that we won't be targeting ANY TE's in the first round.

Our situation isn't desperate enough for that. Then combine that with the fact that there are some quality talents that can be had in a later round.

No Ertz, no Eifert.........Not Happening.

Odin, will u be at Fins draft party? Or your hottie keep u in?

Dashi, are you concerned at all that Lacy might be affected by that bs helmet rule they put in? He's a violent runner, so I could see it being a problem.

Odin, will u be at Fins draft party? Or your hottie keep u in?

Posted by: Sosa | April 11, 2013 at 01:15 AM
============================================

Is Monkey Boy going to let you go..........?

Why you asking anyways..........?

Are you "Coming On" To Me..........?

Sorry, Odin isn't into any Skinny - Government Cheese Fed - Meth Head!!!!

Armando mentions Offensive Tackle and Corner-back above as **Must Haves**. And rightly so, we all know the story on Long and not having his replacement......YET.

Ireland's "Patterson Comments" are most curious in my opinion. Armando speculates that the Club might not share his concerns, based on Ireland's comments. I'm not so sure.

------------
"The Dolphins might not agree based on how much love GM Jeff Ireland showed Dimitri Patterson weeks ago while at the NFL annual meeting."
-------------------------------------

This smacks of smoke Y'all. I'm not buying it for a MINUTE!

We've got Grimes on a 1 year, "Prove It" deal, hoping he'll recover and return to Pro Bowl form. And frankly, that's about it.

Marshall is trying to return from a SERIOUS injury and his best NFL days were spent at the Nickle.

Patterson(CoughCOUGHsmokescreenCough)went undrafted in 2005, will be 30 years old in June and is on his 6th team. In 8 seasons he's managed all of 5 int's and the only time he did get any love from a coaching staff HE TOO PLAYED THE NICKLE.

After that, it's all downhill with RJ Stanford, Carroll and Wilson.

You could put up a pretty good argument that Corner-Back is the biggest need we have going into the draft. It's no big secret that it's Corner-Back and/or Left Tackle.

So Ireland can preach Marshall, Patterson and Stanford until he's Blue In The Face. Nobody in their right mind is buying it. This is about the most obvious and thinly veiled SMOKESCREEN I've EVER seen......LOL...

Odin,

I agree completely. The bigger question is whether or not this FO believes Martin is a legit LT. If they do then CB is most likely the 1st rd pick. If not then we probably trade up because I do t see Fluker as a zone scheme guy and Manelik Watson is too raw to play LT immediately. The wildcard factor in this is Yeatman. By all accounts he is very athletic but how big were his strides from the beginning of last year to now?

Once you get past Milliner, Trufant and Rhodes there are a ton of athletic CBs but they all need some refinement. That's what Coyle is known for. Also, Banks redeemed himself with a decent pro day and could be seen as a viable late 1st rd pick. Tons of talent and we could afford to double down in the 2nd and 3rd rds.

I have to think at this point we will trade up for Fisher or Johnson then take care of CB in the 2nd and 3rd rds. I do think we will also look for some 4-3 OLB as I hear Misi might play more with his hand in the dirt.

While Ireland's "Blowing Smoke" with the Patterson talk, the CB that really impressed the Coaches was RJ Stanford.

He first caught Philbin(and Coyles) attention in the second preseason game when he was with Carolina. Devlin had the offense deep in Panthers territory, closing minute down 23-17. Devlin tried to hit Fuller in the back of the end zone with four seconds left. Stanford stepped in front of Fuller and intercepted the pass to end the game.

Stanford, Solia, Misi and Sean Smith were teammates at Utah. He and Smith were part of the Conferences No.1 Secondary.

At 24 we signed him off waivers. He picked up Coyles system quickly and beat out Wilson for the starting Nickle. He challenged Carroll on the boundary and ended up EARNING the chance to split Game Day Snaps there too.

From his Pro Day:

Stanford (5-10 1/8, 190) ran 4.45 and 4.44 in the 40, had a 37.5 inch vertical jump, 10-11 broad jump, a 4.26 short shuttle, 6.81 three-cone drill and 12 reps in the bench press. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
=========================================

Continued....

Philbin was convinced from the moment the Dolphins signed Stanford that he would be able to make a contribution. Seeing it firsthand in Carolina definitely left an impression, and he has seen Coyle increase Stanford’s snap count at cornerback.

Against the Seahawks, Stanford split snaps with Carroll and that ended up benefiting both players because of the amount of snaps they get on special teams.

Philbin: “...when you get a player initially there’s a little bit of adjustment period and there’s no question about it,” Philbin said, “I think he’s beyond that and now he’s playing a little more instinctively, a little faster, a little more decisively and I think that’s enabled him to earn more opportunities.”
---------------------------------------

With the draft coming up everybody is talking about needs and prospects. So I had to post about Stanford. He's flown under the radar, practice squad-er as a rookie and didn't have any starts to date. He played in parts of 12 games for Carolina and parts of every game for us last year.

He's got the skills, the Coaches Love him, he keeps his mouth shut and works hard. He's my Dark Horse favorite for being the Teams Most Improved Player.

Regardless of what we do in the draft, I predict Stanford makes it this year and ends up being our Kick Ass Starting Nickel Back!

I still believe Joeckel is the player Ireland and Sherman(his coach just a year ago at Texas A&M)covet the most in this draft. I mean how great would Tannehill feel with his buddy Luke(not skywalker but kinda, he has lots of force?)Joeckel. If he falls down to 4 or 5 i wouldn't mind seeing a big trade. I know there's a lot of teams that would like to move back if we don't give up too much i'm all for it maybe (2)1st and our late 2nd rd pick but even that would be a stretch. I know we have lots of holes to fill but there's no guarentees in the draft heck the Redskins gave up a king's randsom for RG3 and went to the playoffs with a bunch of free agents and low round draft picks, and we would'nt have to give up as much as them(WAS) even though it's a bigger leap in the draft they gave up so much conpensation because of the hype created around the pick and they didn't want CLE or any other team to jump in there so they over paid essentially. I'm a strong believer in chemisty and keeping guys together sure you need talent as well but its a crap shoot none the less. Why not draft Alabama players with every pick they have the best odds to transition to the NFL based on there coach,strength of division, and sucess on a big stage. But Joeckel is a dream hopefully we pull the trigger on B.Swope at least maybe Bess gets the axe if we do. Either way there will be plenty of talent at #12 even D.J. Fluker(Go watch him on Sports Science he wrecks Jon Brinkis BaHAHA)would be a nice RT probably will transition the best out of the top OL in this draft next to Warmack.

Woodshed,

I don't think "Team Philbin" is convinced Martin can do it. It's just my own belief, but two things mainly. First is because of the way they handled Long. They offered him multiple contracts and even kind of held up their free agency shopping for him.

If they had any convictions on Martin, they would have low-balled the heck out of Long and told him to take it or leave it. Ireland would have been quick too play the Genius roll by proclaiming to have a cheaper, younger, Starting Left Tackle and all for only a 2nd round pick.

The second thing is that they didn't sign anybody else to play Right Tackle. I know they could plan on getting one in a later round of the draft. But that Guy would still be a raw rookie. So I would think they would've signed someone like Winston to count on in a worst case scenario. An insurance policy.

In the Martin at Left Tackle scenario, the signing of someone like Winston again would free us up to SERIOUSLY go BPA. I could be wrong(LOL), but it just doesn't add up for me.

Midas,

Reuniting Tannehill with Joeckel is just way too scary for me.

I think I'm going to have nightmares about Chad Henne and Jake Long just from reading your post!

Seriously though, giving up TWO No. 1's is too much for me. I don't think I would give up two 1st's for ANYONE in this entire draft.

(OMG! The Henne/Long Flashbacks are already starting ;)

Never understood the Long/Martin situation, odin. If they had signed Long, what was Martin going to do, sit on the bench to learn? Too valuable for that. Play RT where he obviously doesn't belong? Nope. Then? I hate to say this, but I think Ireland really played the Rams to the hilt, with his intention always being never to re-sign Jake Long. Uff

Woodshed,

I've read a couple of different times where you mention Yeatman.

As intriquing as it is, I'm just curious if you've read or found any interviews or anything indicating how much progress he's made?

I have to admit, it would be pretty awesome to finally have an Acorn turn into a mighty Oak! But still, it seems like such a long shot.

If he were really turning any heads it seems we would've been hearing some reports or something. You got any news or updates?

Just curious.......

Oscar,

That's a pretty interesting hypothesis.

Before I could comment though, I'd have to know one more detail.

Assuming it was never his intent to resign Long, what would the Plan be for Martin? Are you saying he wasn't going to resign Long because Martin was his replacement?

Or because he planned on drafting Long's replacement?

Having said that, I believe they are pretty happy with Martin handling the LT position. All they need now it's a RT either via the Draft or in FA, probably Winston.

Martin is Long's replacement, odin, IMO.

Everytime I read where someone thinks we'll go DE in the first round, I think of this Coyle interview from last year. It was right after the game in which he rested Wake and Odrick at a particularly questionable moment late in the 4th quarter of a game.

From Jackson's Column:

### Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said there is no justification for questioning his decision to rest Cam Wake and Jared Odrick on eight key fourth-quarter snaps, insisting that Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby filled in splendidly.

“Shelby’s done a hell of a job," Coyle said. "I don’t know if you guys are privy of watching the film as opposed to trying to see what you can see at the game or maybe some highlights on TV, but Derrick Shelby and Olivier Vernon on the last drive were plusses in every snap that they had. I’ve heard the speculation and things like that, but it’s not warranted. Those guys went in there and they really did what we needed them to do. There were other break downs throughout the drive. I’ll admit to that, but it wasn’t because of those guys being in the game.”
==============================

I'm SURE Coyle wouldn't mind us using a 1st round pick on a DE. But it also sounds like he's pretty high on our Two Second Year DE's as well.

Personally, I love Shelby and Vernon. I think they'll both have great careers.

Of course, there are diff ways Ireland would have handled that situation.
- Jake, I can't pay you what you want. I'm going to let you shop around and I will help you to get the best deal.
Or,
Say nothing to anybody and play them around.
In either case, Long is gone and Martin is here.

Eiffert at #12 i wouldn't mind i guess i don't think we can really go wrong with the pick ...there should be a lot of good players still left on the board. I still think we need to build up this young O-Line and just make it our calling card for the next 10 years like back in the old days...Plus rushed/sacked/possibly hurt QB in the pocket olny hinders us in the long run. Watch all the D.Keller doubters eat some crow pie when we offer him along term contract he killed us and made Sanchez look viable this mans got something to prove prepare for Keller Beast Mode...plus Clay is not a bad player either, they might just be holding him back some devolping him so they don't have to pay him much when his contract is up, keeping his value low then re-signing and unleashing him. No body is talking about Jeff Fuller either he played with Tannhill for a few seasons in College under Sherman, he's 6'4" caught 70 passes the last 2 years he played with Tannehill at Texas A&M. We got him for 2 more years so it will be intresting if we get Swope also a little Aggie pride in South Beach...Uzoma Nwachukwu another Aggie is ranked as the #26 WR according to B/R so we may draft him with a 5th - 7th rd pick. Heck would could have 3 WR's from A&M on the roster start of next year haha that would be funny if they all beat out Wallace, Hartline and Bess.... ah the imagination is priceless.

Oscar,

I hope you're right and I hope Martin becomes a Pro Bowl Left Tackle.

Can you imagine Ireland's stock as a GM if Martin works out at Left Tackle? He would look like quite the genius replacing Long with a younger, cheaper, **2nd Round Pick**

That and freeing up our options so we can concentrate on the BEST PLAYMAKERS AVAILABLE!

Having said all that Oscar, in my own personal opinion, I just haven't seen anything that makes me think he's ready.

I'll trust in the Staff though, because we all know that they know.........RIGHT?

These are just assumptions we make, odin, but based on solid inductive reasoning(going forward from a single fact to a generalized Truth). btw, I still can't understand why JMart fell to the 2nd Rd and Lamar Miller to the 4th. Uff

Oscar,

I think Ireland simply goofed on Long.

He got busy and was riding High reading all of his own press clippings in regards to signing Wallace, Ellerbe and Wheeler.

Ireland was expecting some kind of sweetheart/home team discount. I think Ireland at the very least expected to come close to matching the Rams(because of the Florida tax laws)and figured Jake was in the bag.

Long on the other hand was steadily building up resentment. He heard how much Wallace got, he saw how much Ellerbe got, then Wheeler too?

It was too much for him. The resentment, the cash, then his gigantic ego came crashing down and blew it!

Ireland didn't have a chance then and Jake left him with his Pecker Swinging In The Wind!

Alpo this coming from dog food GTFOH u prick. If only I knew this was a spelling B and not a football blog.

You're right, odin, I believe this Coaching Staff KNOWS; they certainly have the pedigree for it. I believe we are going to be pleasantly surprised with the development of some Players, at least.

That's another possible scenario, odin. You know when we will definitely know? In the first day of the Draft. If Ireland picks up a LT with our first pick, then you're right. If he goes in another direction, then I'm probably right. We'll see.


If Ireland picks up a LT with our first pick, then you're right. If he goes in another direction, then I'm probably right. We'll see.

Posted by: oscar canosa | April 11, 2013 at 07:12 AM
====================================================

Oh it's ON now Oscar.

It is Soooooooo On!

Ok.........SERIOUSLY, why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we hang on every report, every rumor, every Mock Draft?

These months leading up to the draft are like some kind of self induced torture!

Your the Doctor Oscar! Tell me.........WHY?

Why do I do this to myself?

(I think my eyes are actually bleeding from watching Prospects on Youtube all night!)

SOMEBODY STOP ME!!!!

Well, it's time for Single Dad to get the Kids on the Bus and get some sleep!

I HATE working nights(LOL). I miss out on all the Day-Timers!!!!

Good Morning Vietnam!!!!

2 more long weeks to go and I'm about completely burnt out on the draft. After looking over the depth chart we already look close to having a complete roster. It's hard to imagine how much better we'll be in a couple weeks. We can easily plug in a guy at RB, OT and corner but after that guys that have seen significant playing time are in trouble. Memo...To the Out of shape guys, often injured guys, projects...better come to camp ready to compete to earn a roster spot.

Dashi, are you concerned at all that Lacy might be affected by that bs helmet rule they put in? He's a violent runner, so I could see it being a problem.

--------------------------------------------

I have Stated Many Times E.Lacy Is The Reason They Are Implementing The Helmet Rule.

People Are Afraid To Tackle The Guy Because E.Lacy Puts His Shoulder Down.

I Will Take The 15 TD Penalty, Just To Show The Defense The Offense Is More Physical.
I Want Somebody To Run Over B.Spikes And J.Mayo.

It's Worst Having A RB DWTS Behind The Line.

And E.Lacy Can Pass Protect!! E.Lacy Is A Great Short Yardage Guy.

E.Lacy Doesn't Get Concussions, He Gives Them.

4 Wide And E.Lacy In The Backfield. DB's Don't Tackle E.Lacy. LB's Think About It Before They Try.

The Guy Averaged 6.8yds In The SEC.

15 yd Penalty

FLUKER = BUST


1st Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
2nd Terron Armstead LT Ark Pine-bluff
2nd Corey Lemonier OLB Auburn
3rd Shamarko Thomas SS Syracuse
3rd Chris Harper WR Kansas State
4th Jon Bostic ILB Florida
5th Brandon McGee CB The University of Miami
5th Tommy Bohanon FB Wake Forest
6th Knile Davis RB Arkansas
7th Rex Burkhead RB Nebraska
7th Travis Bond RG UNC
7th Ray Polk FS Colorado

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