Team Needs: Miami Dolphins
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. QB - 5.0
2. DE - 3.5
3. OT - 3.0
4. TE - 3.0
5. OG - 3.0
6. WR - 2.5
7. S - 2.5
8. DT - 2.0
9. LB - 2.0
10. RB - 1.5
Quarterback - The new coaching staff will try to do something that the past four coaching staffs have yet to do over the past decade which is to find a long-term solution at this position. This has been a problem area ever since Dan Marino hung up his cleats in 2000, and they will explore draft and free agent options. But given their owner, they may prefer a move that gets the fan base energized over what is the most prudent football decision. Chad Henne is a free agent and wil be given his walking papers, while Matt Moore is likely to return as the backup. NEED: 5.0
Running Back - Reggie Bush played better than most expected, and while Daniel Thomas did not have a great rookie season, they are content with him as their top backup going forward. But given they picked up the top back from the CFL (Jerome Messam) shows they know there is room for improvement. So it would not be surprising if they used another mid or late round pick to promote further depth. NEED: 1.5
Fullback - Mike Sherman's offense traditionally uses a fullback, but it remains to be seen if this team will seek an upgrade over Lex Hilliard. But given the presence of H-back Charles Clay, it probably won't be a big priority. NEED: 1.0
Wide Receiver - Brandon Marshall is prone to a lot of drops, but did show improvement this past year once Matt Moore became the starter. Davone Bess is solid in the slot, and Brian Hartline can provide some big plays down the field, but in truth this team needs a more stable No. 2 option on the outside. Someone that can be reliable given Marshall's inconsistency, but instill more fear than either Bess or Hartline do. NEED: 2.5
Tight End - Fasano is a solid tight end that can block, catch, and provide value in the redzone. But he's by no means dynamic and they've already indicated they are looking more for that player at this position. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Tackle - Both Carey and Colombo are free agents, and not expected to return, which means they will be in the market for a new starting right tackle. It's likely that Jake Long will get an extension in the very near future. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Guard - With Carey likely leaving, that means that the inconsitent Richie Incognito is their top guard, which is not a good place to be in if you're the Dolphins. John Jerry has been a disappointment thus far, and should only be slated as an emergency starter. The possibility of moving Mike Pouncey here could be broached, but only if the team lands a center that is as capable as him. NEED: 3.0
Center - Pouncey had a solid rookie season, but as previously mentioned, it's possible that they could seek a veteran here, and move him to guard which is a problem area. The chances that happens might increase if they land Peyton Manning as their next signal caller. But either way, it's not really a need currently. NEED: 1.0
Defensive Tackle - They are expected to employ more of a hybrid 3-4/4-3 look, and aren't expected to make a big push to keep Paul Soliai. That would leave Randy Starks as their best nose tackle when they go to a 3-man front, and he along with Jared Odrick and Tony McDaniel will likely form the brunt of their rotation. But since Starks and McDaniel are entering contract years, it's definitely an area where getting some young depth will help. NEED: 2.0
Defensive End - Kendall Langford is expected to walk in free agency, and while they plan on letting 250-pounder Cameron Wake get looks here in their hybrid scheme, it's definitely an area that will need to get an upgrade. They will target every down ends that can provide pressure off the edge. NEED: 3.5
Linebacker - If Wake plays more with his hand on the ground, it likely will leave their starting trio consisting of Dansby, Burnett, and Misi, which is a solid group. But they could use guys that are a bit more versed and geared towards a 4-3 scheme than those. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Despite their own self-promotion, Vontae Davis and Sean Smith are not the premier pair of corners in the league. But they are at least two promising young players. They could tinker with moving Smith to free safety, which would open a void here to find someone that can start across from Davis. NEED: 3.0
Safety - Smith could move here, which could potentially solidify the free safety position, something that Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons have yet to do. But they also have question marks at strong safety, with Yeremiah Bell as a potential cap casualty. Bell is a leader, but he'll be 34 and due over $6 million in salary this year. The team could tinker with moving Jones to that spot, which will be a better fit for his skills if Bell is cut. But it's doubtful that they would enter next year with Jones, Smith, and Clemons as their top three options and not try and pick up a veteran as insurance. NEED: 2.5
Kicker - Dan Carpenter has been solid and is one of the league's best under-30 kickers. NEED: 0.0
Punter - Brandon Field is even better than Carpenter, although he's entering a contract year. But he's been so good that it'll be an upset if he doesn't get an extension in the next 12 months. NEED: 0.5
Return Specialist - Bess is solid on punts, and the team likes the potential of Clyde Gates, making this position relatively secure. NEED: 1.0
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