« Miami Dolphins biggest need in NFL draft is a cornerback | Main | Miami Dolphins have talked to KC Chiefs about trading for a RB »

Miami Dolphins need at RB is acute but might not be filled until later in draft

So I think the Dolphins will draft a cornerback in the first round because that is their greatest need and players such as William Jackson III of Houston and Eli Apple of Ohio State have either met or will meet with the team and are more or less values in the vicinity where the Dolphins will draft in the first round.

(Hey, um, I'd like for the Dolphins to trade down maybe 8-10 spots from No. 13, maybe pick up another second-rounder, and still think they could be in position to pick either Jackson or Apple. Apple needs good coaching to keep his hands off receivers downfield, and picking him at No. 13 is too early, but he's my guy).

And having said that, the Dolphins have other needs...

Running back. Linebacker. Defensive end.

And I think running back is Miami's next greatest need because they let Lamar Miller walk, they couldn't get C.J. Anderson as a restricted free agent, they couldn't close with Chris Johnson, Arian Foster is still nowhere close to 100 percent, the trades the Dolphins have explored have so far not yielded fruit, and Jay Ajayi cannot carry the football every single time in 2016.

So the Dolphins need a RB1 or RB1a to share the load with Ajayi.

But here's the thing ...

Todd Gurley is not walking through that door. And Ezekiel Elliott will probably be gone when Miami picks at No. 13.

Wait. If Elliott is there at No. 13, and the Dolphins have not traded down, they might consider taking him, then trading up in the second round to land some other CB because, well, cornerback is a thing for the Dolphins in case you haven't been paying attention.

Anyway, the more likely scenario is Elliott is not there and the Dolphins pluck a corner and the running back spot still needs filling.

But just because the running back position needs a major contributor and perhaps even a starter doesn't mean the running back comes next on the to-do list. Simply, running backs in this draft can be had in the third, fourth, fifth rounds. Check that, running backs can be had in those rounds and even as undrafted free agents in practically every draft.

Anderson, who the Dolphins were willing to pay $18 million over four years, was not originally drafted. Miller, who got $6.5 million per season from the Houston Texans, was drafted in the fourth round.

What I'm saying is running backs don't have to be selected early for them to succeed. No, you're not getting Adrian Peterson or Gurley or LaDanian Tomlinson. But talent is out there. Arian Foster, by the way, was not drafted in 2009 and was even cut by the Texans before being signed to their practice squad in September of 2009.

So that tells you that if you see the Dolphins pick a corner in the first round, and maybe a linebacker such as Georgia's Jordan Jenkins (love him) or USC's Su'a Cravens in the second, that's fine. Indeed maybe back-to-back corners is the way to go. Or CB in the first and DE in the second.

There are myriad possibilities that do not include a running back until later. And I would be fine with that and so should you. You don't want to overdraft anyone but doing it with a running back stings more because there are so many of them.

So some running back possibilities after the first round?

I like Derrick Henry if he's there in the second round.

Go ahead, kill me.

With their 42nd overall pick, the Miami Dolphins select the Heisman Trophy winner!

Yes, I know I just got done telling you running backs can be found later. And running back is a need but defensive ends and even a linebacker or another cornerback might be greater importance to the Dolphins.

But I just like this player. I like the value for him at No. 42. I think he's going to be good. I don't care what past University of Alabama running backs have done or not done. I think he was great in pee wee, great in high school, great in college, and he's going to be great in the NFL if he gets with the right team.

I think he is a downhill guy who can put his foot in the dirt with decisiveness. I think at 242 pounds he can create some of his own yardage. I think he's fast enough, running the 40 in 4.58ish.

He reminds me of Steven Jackson, formerly of the St. Louis Rams.  

So, now the alarm clock sounds and my dream is over. And when the Dolphins don't pick Henry or any running back in the second round because they think a defensive end or cornerback or linebacker is more valuable, that means they still have to get one later on.

So Alex Collins of Arkansas (fumble problems), Devontae Booker of Utah (best of this group in my opinion), Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech (durability questions), C.J. Prosise of Notre Dame (raw and inexperienced) and Jordan Howard of Indiana University (not flashy, gets caught from behind some, meh) are considered by the "experts" to be the next wave of runners available in the third or fourth rounds.

Did I mention I like Derrick Henry in the second round?

GM Mando's first two rounds would look like ... Eli Apple in the first and Derrick Henry in the second. And both are starting immediately.

Stop laughing!