2011 NFL Draft | Miami Dolphins Team Needs
The Miami Dolphins have some serious problems. They extended head coach Tony Sparano, but only after hanging him out to dry while they enticed former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. When there is question at the top, its difficult for a team to move forward with no ill effects.
Adding to the mix is an undecided quarterback situation. Chad Henne hasn’t proven he can be a consistent starter at the highest level, while there’s still no one else on the team that is clearly better. Miami could also be losing their top two running backs to free agency, which all combined, could mean a complete change in identity on offense.
The worst news? Offense isn’t there only problem area. Read on for what Miami needs to do to right the ship heading into the 2011 season:
Biggest Needs: RB, QB, TE
Quarterback may be thought of as the top issue, but with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both set to be free agents, Miami needs to replace at least one of them, if not both. They can grab a serious talent like Mark Ingram in the first round if he falls to their 15th spot. If he doesn’t, they can hope the speedy Kendall Hunter falls to them in the third round, or they can grab a bigger back in John Clay in the third or fourth.
After they get their running back, Miami has a slew of candidates to groom behind Henne as the new franchise passer. Delaware’s Pat Devlin is one of the hotter names lately, while the athletic Colin Kaepernick should also be of interest. Miami could go for Jake Locker, Cam Newton, or Ryan Mallet with their first pick, but our vote there is Ingram, which means they’ll have to get the best passing talent available in the third round. Andy Dalton is another passer that could be a nice fit.
Miami has a pretty solid defense overall, so working on their offense will likely be their main objective. With no second round pick, they’ll grab a running back in the first and probably a franchise passer in the third. If they don’t grab a quarterback there, they could opt to give themselves an upgrade at tight end with Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph, while tight ends Luke Stocker and D.J. Williams both have solid talent and could possibly drop to the fourth round.
While the positions above are the biggest offensive concerns, Miami could also stand to add depth to their offensive line.
Biggest Needs: FS, OLB, CB
Miami is lacking many big names on their defense, but its actually in pretty good shape. However, they could use some added depth in their secondary, and could use a complete upgrade at the free safety position.
Chris Clemons just isn’t the answer at free safety, which could beg the Dolphins to act fast and use their first round pick on Rahim Moore. Moore has the athleticism and versatility to help out at corner or step in right away at free safety. This is a bit of a reach, but if Miami is as concerned as they probably should be, it’ll be worthy selection.
Outside of the normal depth additions on the defensive line and at cornerback, Miami could really use a new man in the middle of their defense. Channing Crowder was still decent in the middle, but the Dolphins have to be able to do better than Tim Robbins next to him. Casey Matthews is a hot name for any team in need of a fiery middle linebacker, but if he’s there in the third round, the Dolphins have to bite.
Overall, Miami is still in pretty good shape. They need to make sure Tony Sparano is happy and fully back him, but other than that, they just need to fill a few holes, and they could actually contend for their division. They looked pretty close to putting it all together last year before they fell apart and finished 7-9, so a few new pieces could help turn things around.