The NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, yet it seems to have sneaked up on Dolphins fans. Maybe because the Miami Heat are back in the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left. Maybe the Florida Panthers' run at the Stanley Cup and the Marlins' new season distracted us. Or maybe, just maybe, no one one has paid that much attention because it sometimes feels like nothing will change all the L's the Dolphins keep taking.
Well, like it or not, the NFL Draft is next weekend, and the Miami Dolphins have numerous selections. It's being reported they will indeed use those selections on actual football players in hopes of sucking less. New Times has not confirmed this report.
What we can confirm is that the Miami Dolphins need stuff, and these are a few of the things they definitely need.
A running back to pair with Jay Ajayi.
Last season, the Dolphins picked Ajayi in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft as a Lamar Miller insurance policy in case crap happened. Well guess what? Crap happened. Lamar Miller is a Houston Texan now, making Ajayi and his 187 career rushing yards just about all the Dolphins have to hand the ball off to. Things are so bad that the Fins re-signed Daniel Thomas, their 2011 second-round pick. He's terrible! Like, SO BAD!
So the Dolphins will be picking a running back, and the man above might be that pick. Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy for Alabama and is a mountain man that people will have to tackle. Let's choose him! Henry is likely to go in the second or third round, making him a steal for whoever drafts him. Or a bust, since he might be too big to play running back in the NFL. That's not our job to figure out. Do your homework for once, Dolphins.
Guards, probably. Or not. The Dolphins don't seem to care, so why should you?
Every year, the Dolphins need an offensive guard, and every year, they end the season with the fattest guy they could find at BurgerFi playing guard. It's infuriating. Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas aren't going to cut it anymore. The Dolphins need to make some changes.
To fix the problem this year, the Dolphins have signed in the off-season a guy named Jermon Bushrod, who has never actually played guard ever in his entire life, and Kraig Urbik, a guard Buffalo didn't feel the need to keep. No big whoop, Dolphins! I'm sure one of two guards will pop up eventually.
The draft is one of those places one of those guards might pop up once or twice, so it would be a good idea to whack-a-mole a few of their asses and bring them to Miami.
The Dolphins need a cornerback, because they don't have many of those.
The Dolphins decided they had had enough of Brent Grimes and his wife, so they chose to ask him to take a pay cut, which he graciously declined. Their obvious next move was to trade for Byron Maxwell, a player the Eagles desperately wanted to unload, even after having just signed him to a six-year, $63 million pact that contained $25 million in guarantees with the year prior. No red flags there!
The player made little sense, but trading for him made even less. The Dolphins actually gave us things for the right to take Maxwell off the Eagles hands (they now pick 13th in the draft, not eighth). It's puzzling. Maxwell is an experienced cornerback, so there is that, but beyond him, the Dolphins are completely screwed when the other team passes the ball. Let's hope they just never pass the ball.
The Dolphins should definitely look at picking one or six cornerbacks in this draft, because this is some 911 crap right here.
Name a Dolphins linebacker. You thought way too hard about that, see?
Once upon a time, the Dolphins had the "No Name Defense," but now they have the "No Name Linebackers." The nickname doesn't exactly have the same ring to it. The Miami Dolphins most definitely have an issue at linebacker — it's just not as glaring as some of the other holes on the team.
The issue isn't that the Dolphins have subpar talent at linebacker; it's that they don't have difference-makers there either. Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins are solid, dependable... and average. The Dolphins used Kelvin Sheppard as their starter in 2015, which worked but wasn't exactly superawesome. Outside of those three guys, it's a mix-and-match of younger players and low-paid journeymen.
Zack Thomas is not walking through that door. The Dolphins need to get more athletic and tougher at linebacker, preferably through the draft where doing that is a lot cheaper than it is in free agency.
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The Dolphins could use a tight end that scares people and isn't vastly overpaid
After a subpar debut season with the Dolphins, Jordan Cameron agreed to make just $6 million this season, down from the $7.5 million he was scheduled to make. You don't just do that unless someone threatened to cut you for being bad. Cameron had just 35 receptions for 386 yards and three touchdowns in 2015 — not exactly Rob Gronkowski type of help for Ryan Tannehill.
Outside of Cameron, the Dolphins only really have Dion Sims and Jake Stoneburner, neither of whom is scaring opposing teams in the film room. NFL teams have gone to vertical offenses that heavily involve a tight end who can be a threat to their opponents' defenses. Unfortunately, the Dolphins have none of that. Cameron had a good season-plus in Cleveland but was stuck in quicksand in much of 2015.
Whether he was misused or just flat-out not the same player he had been with the Browns is unclear, but the Dolphins surely need to add some competition that makes a fraction of what he makes through the draft.