At this time last year, it was seemingly no question who the Miami Dolphins would take with the 8th overall pick in the draft. After a 7-9 season, a successful rookie season for Ryan Tannehill, and a highly needed intense off season, the Dolphins are searching for a candidate for their 12th pick this season.
After headlining free-agency with the signing of proven young playmakers MIke Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, and numerous other players, its time to break down possible candidates for the upcoming draft.
Topping off the list of potential candidates, lies Florida State safety Xavier Rhodes. If you’re looking into the Dolphins secondary at this point, it is not so promising, at this point the top 3 cornerbacks include Richard Marshall, newly acquired Brent Grimes, and Dimitri Patterson. With Brent Grimes coming off an injured achilles, and safety Chris Clemons only resigning for 1 year, it could be smart to add some much needed depth in a heavy passing division. At Florida State Rhodes played both man, and zone coverage proving he can fit into almost any scheme in the NFL, and can do it effectively. It seems Alabama’s cornerback Dee Milliner will be off the board by pick 12, so Xavier Rhodes could be an underlying prospect for the Phins at this point.
Secondly I believe Ezekial Ansah, the strong defensive end from BYU, or Barkevious Mingo, a strong yet prototypical defensive end/linebacker would be a great fit for the Dolphins here. Watching a highlight film by either of these athletic ends could get anyone excited for a pass rushing game. The Dolphins already have a proven pass rusher in Cameron Wake on the left end, however the right end lacked productivity last season. With two young defensive ends on the right side in Oliver Vernon and Jared Odrick, a physical yet agile defensive end would be a great fit. The Dolphins are seemingly very focused on getting pressure on quarterbacks, especially inner division rival Tom Brady. Don’t be surprised if a defensive end is taken in this pick.
Lately the Dolphins have been accompanied by a few rumors about being interested in another offensive lineman after the release of veteran left tackle Jake Long. This makes sense with such a young offensive line. Someone who may fall to the 12th pick in the draft is OL Chance Warmack from Alabama. After falling on many mock drafts in a heavy OL draft, it is more applicable to have Warmack fall to the Dolphins at pick #12, however many analysts have him going earlier. If Warmack doesn’t reach the Dolphins here, and are in need of another offensive lineman, they could be interested in another offensive tackle from Alabama, D.J. Fluker. The certainty of whether or not the Dolphins O-line can protect the Dolphins backfield is very problematic, which shows the Dolphins could be interested in protecting their young quarterback with this pick.
Lastly, someone i believe could be on the Dolphin’s watch list is TE out of Notre Dame, Tyler Eifert. There are many positives to the value of Tyler Eifert, including physical ability, ability to score in the red zone, he’s a vertical threat, and many more proves he has the intangibles to prove worthy in the NFL. However Eifert’s sizeable match-ups may not prove as successful in the NFL. Eifert initially was projected to be the second tight end to be taken in the draft behind Zach Ertz, Eifert’s draft stock rose after his pro-day, and his NFL combine. The Dolphins lost veteran TE Anthony Fasano after a unproductive year, and brought in Dustin Keller from the New York Jets, however Keller was only signed to a one year contract. The Dolphins could be planning for the future with this gutsy pick, since Eifert is naturally projected to be picked in the latter first round.
With a young, talented team in mind for 2013, the Dolphins are loaded heavily in the draft. It is most apparent the Dolphins have some holes to fill in the secondary, and lines, so it should not be much surprise to see one of these players go in the twelfth pick. The Dolphins are creeping up in the potential impact teams in the AFC this year, the draft could shape the future of the AFC East.