2012 NFL Draft: 10 Prospects the Miami Dolphins Should Target After the Combine

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 10 Prospects the Miami Dolphins Should Target After the Combine

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    There's a list of players we know the Miami Dolphins will consider in this year's draft.

    Prospects like Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples, Jonathan Martin, Robert Griffin III and Brandon Boykin are sure to draw Miami's interest. However, after last week's combine, that list of players has expanded. 

    Disclaimer: We shouldn't get carried away with great combine workouts. There are endless tales about "workout warriors" flopping in the NFL. Still, it's worth noting when under-the-radar players post amazing workout numbers.  

Nick Perry, Defensive End, Southern Cal

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    By now, everybody knows the Dolphins will seriously consider drafting defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples in the first round. However, there's another pass-rusher that warrants attention: Nick Perry.

    Miami favors big players—that's no secret, just look at its roster—and Perry fits the bill. He measured in at 6'3", 271 pounds last week, and further impressed during workouts. Amongst defensive ends, Perry posted the best long and vertical jump, and posted the third best 40-yard dash time. 

    It's important not to get carried away with workout numbers, but Perry isn't just a "workout warrior." He racked up 9.5 sacks for USC last season. 

Jake Bequette, Defensive End/Linebacker, Arkansas

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    The Dolphins have such little pass-rush depth that they could draft two pass-rushers in April. 

    One later-round option that shined at the combine is Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette. He meets Miami's size criteria with a 6'5", 271-pound build and registered 10 sacks last season. 

    At the combine, Bequette was a top performer in the three-cone drill (6.90) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.07) amongst defensive ends. Martin could be around in the fourth round, and the Dolphins could take a flier on him there. 

Trumaine Johnson, Cornerback, Montana

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    Sean Smith is entering the final year of his contract and Vontae Davis will be a free agent in 2014. Also, the Dolphins desperately need to bolster the back end of their secondary. So drafting a cornerback in the middle rounds of this year's draft makes a ton of sense, and Montana's Trumaine Johnson is a player the Dolphins should consider. 

    He boasts a thick 6'2", 204-pound build and pumped out 19 reps on the bench press. Johnson's 4.6 400yard dash time was disappointing, but perhaps he could transition to safety—another one of Miami's most pressing needs. 

Ladarius Green, Tight End, Louisiana-Lafayette

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    Whether via the draft or via free agency, the Dolphins are going to add a tight end this offseason. 

    If Miami chooses to add one through the draft, Ladarius Green will be on the team's draft board. Green, a Florida native, enjoyed a productive career at Louisiana-Lafayette, reeling in 95 receptions for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons. 

    At the combine, Green measured in at 6'6", 238 pounds. He will definitely need to bulk up, but his 4.53 40 time makes him one of the draft's most intriguing tight end prospects. 

James Hanna, Tight End, Oklahoma

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    Another tight end to monitor is Oklahoma's James Hanna. 

    Hanna wasn't wildly productive at OU, but he has the anatomy of a NFL tight end at 6'4", 252 pounds. More impressively, though, Hanna is extremely athletic.

    He ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and posted some of the best times in the three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle amongst tight ends. Hanna is definitely a workout warrior, but he's a late-round pick with huge upside. 

Chris Rainey, Running Back/Wide Receiver, Florida

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    Last year, the Dolphins set out to "increase team speed." The team added Reggie Bush and Clyde Gates, but Jeff Ireland still isn't content.

    One player Ireland might want to target is former University of Florida star Chris Rainey. 

    Rainey showcased his speed and agility at the combine, recording a 4.45 40-yard dash, 6.50 three-cone drill, 3.93 20-yard shuttle and 11.06 60-yard shuttle. All of those times were amongst the combine's fastest. 

    Rainey only weighs 180 pounds, so he's going to have to bulk up. However, he has extensive experience at wide receiver and running back and could become the dynamic, Randall Cobb-esque playmaker Miami wants. 

Ronnie Hillman, Running Back, San Diego State

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    Reggie Bush is a free agent next year and Daniel Thomas looked really disappointing in his rookie season. Even though Bush will still be around next year and Thomas could break out with a clean bill of health and a bolstered offensive line, it'd be wise for the 'Fins to pickup a running back. 

    Ronnie Hillman could be a great mid- to late-round running back to target, especially after his performance at the combine. 

    Hillman has a solid, 5'9", 200-pound frame, and he ran a blazing 4.45 40. He also ran for 1,711 yards and 19 touchdowns at San Diego State last season. 

Tommy Streeter, Wide Receiver, Miami

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    Tommy Streeter is 6'5" and tips the scales at 219 pounds. And he ran a 4.40 40-yard dash. 

    That's flat-out ridiculous. 

    The Dolphins are definitely in the market for a wide receiver right now. Brian Hartline, though underrated, is only a borderline No. 2 wideout. Meanwhile, Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace haven't shown much in the limited playing time they've received. 

    Streeter is such a physical freak that Miami might not be able to pass on if he's available in the third or fourth round. 

Keshawn Martin, Wide Receiver, Michigan State

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    Streeter could easily rise into the second or early third round, and the Dolphins probably won't draft a wideout until after that. 

    Michigan State's Keshawn Martin is an interesting later-round wide receiver who killed it at the combine. He's a slender 6'0", 180 pounds, but ran a 4.45 40 and an impressive 11.16 in the 60-yard shuttle. Martin also caught 66 passes on Michigan State's run-heavy offense.

    Martin would also add speed to Miami's offense, which makes him a natural target for Jeff Ireland.  

Mike Martin, Defensive Tackle, Michigan

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    So much for the Dolphins switching to a 4-3. 

    The team appears to be sticking with its 3-4 hybrid, which means the Dolphins might want to add a big-bodied defensive lineman. Kendall Langford will probably leave as a free agent, so Miami can fill his roster spot through the draft. And, it's a plus if that player can slide inside and play defensive tackle in a 4-3.

    Mike Martin can do both, and he was a standout at the combine. He measured in at 6'5", 274 pounds, recorded a 6.90 in the three-cone drill, and a 4.07 20-yard shuttle. Martin has an intriguing combination of size and athleticism, and he fits a need for the Dolphins.