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NFL Draft Needs: Dolphins

Josh Norris
It's NFL Draft week. Josh Norris updates his mock, including two trades for teams in need of offensive linemen.

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: DE QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TE Dwayne Allen, CB Eric Rowe, DT Tank Carradine, TE Clive Walford, OG Chris Reed.

Starting Offense

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Kenyan Drake
WR1: DeVante Parker
WR2: Albert Wilson
SLWR: Kenny Stills
TE: Mike Gesicki
LT: Laremy Tunsil
LG: Isaac Asiata
C: Daniel Kilgore
RG: Chris Reed
RT: Jesse Davis

Starting Defense

RE: Robert Quinn
LE: Charles Harris
NT: Akeem Spence
3T: Davon Godchaux
MLB: Raekwon McMillan
WLB: Jerome Baker
SLB: Kiko Alonso
LCB: Eric Rowe
RCB: Xavien Howard
SCB: Bobby McCain
FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick
SS: Reshad Jones

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Offensive Line: The Dolphins’ obvious No. 1 need is quarterback, but I’m not convinced management is prioritizing addressing it this year based on the front office’s seeming commitment to making short-term sacrifices intended to beget long-term gains. Instead of tapping into this year’s quarterback class, the Dolphins appear to be targeting the 2020 and 2021 draft-eligible QBs and stockpiling assets for at least the next year. In order to drop their future quarterback into a favorable environment, the Dolphins should lock up lone building-block LT Tunsil and use multiple draft picks on protection upgrades.

Secondary: Although pass rushers are flashier, analytical studies suggest coverage has a bigger impact on wins and losses. FS Minkah Fitzpatrick and RCB Xavien Howard are Miami’s only two potential back-end building blocks. As new coach Brian Flores ran a man-heavy defensive system in New England, the Dolphins are likely in the market for press corners.

Defensive Line: Teams with legitimate chances to contend tend not to tank, so the fact that Miami is planning to do so speaks to its lengthy needs list. The Fins could also use upgrades at running back, wide receiver and tight end. Still, punting 2019 gives them an opportunity to build up both lines, a tactic taken by the Browns in the two offseasons before they pulled the trigger on Baker Mayfield.

 

Dolphins 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (13). T Jawaan Taylor, Florida - Evan and I are totally on the same page. If the goal isn’t to improve at quarterback this year, the goal should be to set up that future player for success. The position that most helps the running and passing game is the offensive line. We know Tunsil locks down the left tackle spot, and Taylor has plenty of right tackle experience and positive tape in both running and passing situations.

2 (48). CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt - Xavien Howard is one of the more underrated corners in the league. The ex-Patriots staffer brought in ex-patriot Eric Rowe, but a long term outside corner could be a priority. At a ridiculous 6-foot-4 with over 32-inch arms, I would say Williams fits that projection.

3 (78). DL Trysten Hill, UCF - Hill’s name has flown under the radar a bit. That should change. He offers the perfect DT3 profile thanks to his ridiculous effort and great athletic profile (80th percentile). Miami’s interior is a bit of a mess, but I can envision Flores using Hill from a variety of alignments.

4 (116). G Dru Samia, Oklahoma - Samia could definitely go a round or so earlier than this as he definitely has NFL starter qualities. He’s a very fluid mover in his pass set, but in both the running and passing game he often finishes and ends his blocks with aggression.

5 (151). EDGE/LB Justin Hollins, Oregon - Maybe I’m reading too much into the Patriots background, but Flores might be on the lookout for a player who can play some off ball but also rush the passer. Christian Miller is one, D’Andre Walker is one, but if Miami waits until later on, Justin Hollins might project in the same role.

7 (233). WR Greg Dortch, Wake Forest - Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant are outstanding after the catch, so some might feel Dortch is repetitive. But remember, the first two mentioned are likely on the final year of their deals. Dortch flashes electricity from the slot.

7 (234). DL Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech - More effort on the interior in a backup spot.