My column in Friday's Miami Herald explains why much of what we saw (and didn't see behind the scenes) with the Miami Dolphins in the first round was mostly about quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Please check it out.
And please, Miami Dolphins, don't stop. Keep going. Finish the job.
You see, as the first round closed on Thursday, it offered a move by the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots that matched a move in the top half of the draft by the New York Jets.
The Patriots improved their defensive front by drafting Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. It was a good pick at No. 32. Brown is a run-stuffer extraordinaire but also can provide some pass rush from the interior of the line and he does fill the sizeable void left by the departure of Vince Wilfork.
The Patriots also have Dominique Easley up front and he's expected to make a jump in his second season. And, of course, their pass rushers include Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones and free agent acquisition Jabaal Sheard. Yes, they have issues in the secondary. But their front seven is good.
The New York Jets on Thursday also improved a very good defensive front by adding USC defensive end Leonard Williams to a group that already included Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples. Yes, coach Todd Bowles is going to bring pressure.
Buffalo GM Doug Whaley said of Williams today: "We thought he was the best defensive and probably the best player in the draft."
The Bills didn't pick anyone but they added Rex Ryan this offseason to coach a defensive front that has featured three players with 10 sacks or more the past two seasons. Until somebody surpasses that, the Bills have the best defensive front in the division and perhaps the NFL.
So quarterbacks in the AFC East, including those facing the Dolphins by the way, had better find a way to get these monsters up front blocked.
That leads me to the continuation of the current draft.
Answering that onslaught of defensive line talent with Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner at guard is not exactly a great plan. Wait. Wrong. Turner gets a pass. He is allowed to prove himself in his first real shot to win a job at right guard.
Thomas gets no such pass. He is currently penciled in as the starting left guard. And as plans go, that's right up there with the Napoleon's strategy at Waterloo. Bad. Terrible idea. It is a prescription for disaster. (Nothing personal against Thomas, just basing this on what my eyes have seen).
And so the Dolphins, which helped Tannehill by getting him DeVante Parker in the first round, had better be thinking of adding a guard here in the next round or two that is able to rewrite the depth chart at left guard.
It must happen, in my opinion, or the Dolphins are going to be searching the free agent scrap heap for help at that spot the rest of the offseason and going into training camp. And unlike past seasons when bridge guards were acceptable (not really, but they weren't horrible) the fact the AFC East is loaded with defensive line talent demands an answer that is more than mere afterthought.
Look, I'm no draft expert. Yeah, keep your snide remarks to yourself.
But among the guards that are still available that are upgrades over Dallas Thomas, I would include:
South Carolina's A.J. Cann.
FSU's Tre Jackson.
Maybe (eventually) Hobart's Ali Marpet.
There are probably others. And the Dolphins personnel department likely knows all the candidates, of which there may be a handful more. The point is guard is absolutely a need for Miami. It was a need going into this draft. It is moreso following a day in which two of its three AFC East rivals made their good defensive fronts even better.
NOTE: Check back throughout the day again today for updates.