AFC East Draft Profile: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins started off the season as one of the favorites to land Andrew Luck, but halfway through the season, the 'Fins picked it up and won six of their last nine games. One bright spot in Miami's season was Reggie Bush, who finally rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season. Still, there are many things the Dolphins need to address this season, if they want to compete with the Jets and Patriots.
2011 Record: 6-10, 4th in AFC East
Strengths: Running Back, Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Middle Linebacker, Right Outside Linebacker, Safety
The Dolphins have a ton of potential on their team. Reggie Bush had a career year, and backup Daniel Thomas is also a great running back. At wide receiver, Brandon Marshall didn't have an amazing year, but he's always a threat downfield. As for their offensive line, Mike Pouncey had a great rookie year at center, and the veterans around him also played well. On defense, the Dolphins have an incredible linebacker core led by Cameron Wake and Karlos Dansby. The secondary wasn't good this season, but Yeremiah Bell was one bright spot at safety.
Weaknesses: Quarterback, Wide Receiver depth, Defensive End, Nose Tackle, Cornerbacks
The Dolphins won't be making the playoffs with Matt Moore at quarterback. He had a solid season, but isn't the answer at quarterback. Also, the Dolphins need to add depth at wide receiver so defenses don't double up Brandon Marshall. On defense, the Dolphins have a great linebacker core, but their front line is weak. Drafting a nose tackle or defense end would be a smart move for the 'Fins. The Dolphins also got torched this season by wide receivers. The cornerbacks need to step up, considering the fact that they face the Patriots twice a year. The coaching change was the right move for the Dolphins, and I think Joe Philbin can turn this offense into a serious threat to all defenses.
Possible Options with 1st round pick (9th overall): Robert Griffin III, Riley Reiff, Quinton Coples
Griffin III- Obviously Griffin won't be available by the ninth pick, so the Dolphins would have to trade up for RGIII. It's a move worth considering though, due to Miami's quarterback situation, their offensive minded new head coach, and Griffin's explosiveness. Griffin would be a great fit with the Dolphins. The combination of him and Reggie Bush in the backfield would be a lethal duo to defenses. Give Griffin another target besides Marshall, and they'll have a very productive offense.
Reiff- The Dolphins don't really have a true weakness besides the quarterback position, so if they decide to trade for one, Reiff would be a logical pick for Miami. Upgrading and adding youth to an offensive line is always a smart move. I don't think Reiff is a need for the Dolphins, but he'd be a good fit.
Coples- With coach Philbin announcing that the Dolphins will switch to a 4-3, Coples would be a great pick for them. The Dolphins front line struggled this season, so adding an explosive linemen like Coples is a smart move. Coples had a great year at UNC, and seems to be one of the most NFL ready prospects in the draft.
What the Bills need in later picks (assuming they take Coples): Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle, Cornerback, Defensive Tackle
Recap: The Dolphins have a lot of upside, and can become a serious threat in a few seasons if they pick the right guys. Even if they don't draft a quarterback in the first round, they'll be fine because they could always trade for one, or draft one later on and have him backup Matt Moore. Two positions the Dolphins need to address though are cornerback and defensive end.