Miami Dolphins Draft Forecast

Story posted April 11, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack Milewski

The Miami Dolphins will get the 13th pick in the 2016 NFL draft after a year in which underachievement was the name of the game for the Dolphins. The offseason acquisition of Ndamukong Suh did little to bolster the run defense as the Dolphins finished 28th in the league in terms of yards given up per game on the ground. The team also has problems in the secondary as Brent Grimes was cut and the offseason acquisition of Byron Maxwell was met with mixed reviews. Lamar Miller is no longer in the backfield, so it may be running back by committee for the Fins. Not to mention, looking at the amount of free agents they will have heading into the 2017 season, there are other positions that they need to fortify. The 13th pick will be important for the Dolphins no doubt, but the draft in its entirety will also be very important for the team from Miami.

Round 1: Ezekiel Elliot, Reggie Ragland, Vernon Hargreaves: Those are just a few of the names that have been tossed around for the Dolphins at number 13 on the draft board. The problem with these names is that two out of three probably won’t be there and one isn’t worth a top 15 pick. While Elliot and Hargreaves will most likely be gone, if they are there, you take one in a heart beat. Ragland is good, but not 13th overall good, so the Dolphins probably won’t take him. I could see the Fins taking Jack Conklin from Michigan State to bolster their less than stellar offensive line. It may not be a popular pick, but it will help the Dolphins more than someone like Ragland would.

Rounds 2-3: Defense, defense, defense needs to be the name of the game for the Dolphins after round one. The offense, minus the running back position, is fairly concrete. The defense is wet cement. Miami needs secondary help as well as help at the linebacker position. Looking at the CB’s, Artie Burns and Xavien Howard are two players that will be around in the second round, who would be solid pickups. If they choose to wait until the third round for a CB, they could still pick up Zack Sanchez out of Oklahoma, but he wont be as coveted as the previous two. The Dolphins also need help at LB and I think that Scooby Wright and Tyler Matakevich could both be suitable for this team.

Rounds 4-7: The Dolphins will still possibly look for linebacker help and depth in the secondary as well in these later couple rounds. Simply based off of the free agents leaving, I could see them taking another offensive lineman, another cornerback and another linebacker in rounds four, six and with one of their picks in the seventh. The fifth round is the round for them to get a running back. Even if they don’t make this guy the starter, which I don’t think they will, I see the Dolphins taking CJ Prosise or Kelvin Taylor. Both are guys who can add depth to the backfield and both have the potential to be decent to better than average running backs at the next level.

For the Dolphins it will be about adding depth and talent to a team that just needs a few more pieces to start competing with some of the top teams. Secondary issues, offensive line problems and the depth concern at linebacker are the three big issues that they need to address and I think that will be the game plan from the management heading in to this draft.

Jack Milewski is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email jbm250@psu.edu