2012 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins' Post-Free Agency Potential First-Round Picks

John MoorheadContributor IIIMarch 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Mike Pouncey, #15 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

So far this Miami Dolphins offseason has been colored with failure.  From Jeff Fisher to Peyton Manning to Matt Flynn to Brandon Marshall to David Garrard to Yeremiah Bell, the front office has not made many popular moves.  Just ask these fans, who protested the franchise.

Despite these tremendously unsatisfying moves, it is still possible for the front office to pull off a solid draft.  Miami has many holes to fill and come Thursday, April 26, new head coach Joe Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland will have to begin to fill those holes.

Lets take a brief look at Miami's options when pick No. 8 rolls around (assuming the Dolphins do not trade).



QB Ryan Tannehill

A team is only as good as its QB.  It's no secret Miami could use an upgrade at quarterback.  Sure, Matt Moore showed promise by winning six of his last nine starts, but the fact is, over the past 10 Super Bowls, eight were won by quarterbacks who were drafted by the team they won with (six of 10 losing quarterbacks were drafted by their respective team).  

Teaming up Tannehill with his former head coach Mike Sherman could be the best scenario for the young QB.  Drafting Tannehill may give Miami its quarterback of the future and solve the problem Dan Marino left more than a decade ago. 

Then again, Tannehill may not have top-10 worthy talent.  His lack of experience at the position may lead Miami away from drafting him.  Luckily, Sherman will give the team an inside look on how good he really can be.


T Riley Reiff

Big Ten lineman, what's not to love.

Reiff is the No. 2 tackle in the draft, and the Dolphins could definitely use an upgrade at the right tackle position.  Frankly, just about any noun in the English language would be an improvement over Mark "The Human Turnstyle" Colombo.

Drafting Reiff would add another young star to Miami's line and help solidify it for years to come.  With solid tackles in Jake Long and Reiff, and Mike Pouncey in the center, any Miami QB would have to feel safe from the opposing pass rush.


G David DeCastro

Taking a guard in the top 10 is unheard of, but DeCastro is a special player.  He is one of the best guard prospects in years and a team with lackluster guard play should at least have a look.

He is more of an option if Miami trades down but deserves some consideration, no matter how little.  Having a strong line is the start to any great offense and DeCastro would definitely help there.


WR Michael Floyd

After trading away Brandon Marshall for a pair of third-rounders, Miami is in need of a No. 1 wideout.  Most mocks have Justin Blackmon falling off the board before No. 8, which leaves Floyd as the No. 2 WR in the draft.

Floyd is not a top-10 talent, but he would fill a very large hole for Miami.  If the Dolphins go with the strategy of drafting the most talented player available, Floyd will not be the pick.  A WR is not the most pressing need, but if the front office feels otherwise, Floyd will be the pick.



OLB Melvin Ingram

Another interesting option that should be available at No. 8 is the Gamecocks' Melvin Ingram.

Ingram is the definition of versatile.  He has the ability to rush the passer, drop into coverage and protect against the run.  Heck, the guy was even on the hands team at South Carolina, which is really saying something (see video).

Experts have only have one problem with Ingram, and it's his size.  Standing at only 6'1" he is rather undersized for a pass-rushing OLB.  His coaches and teammates would tell you his work ethic and leadership more than make up for his size, but that decision will be left to Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin.


DE Quinton Coples

After the retirement of Jason Taylor, Miami needs a pass-rusher to start opposite Cameron Wake.  The success of a defense starts with a stout pass rush—just ask the New York Giants.

Miami should have several options at pick No. 8, the most enticing of which being North Carolina's Quinton Coples.  At a height of 6'6" and weighing in at 284 pounds, Coples has drawn comparison to the Chicago Bears' Julius Peppers.

The knock against Coples is that during his senior year he seemed to take some plays off.  In addition to that a rather dull showing at the combine has Coples falling down some draft boards.  Nevertheless, Coples is an intriguing option for Miami although it may lean towards Nick Perry or Whitney Mercilus.

The only question left to ask is, who do you think the right pick is?