The regular season has officially come to a close, and the Dolphins' 7-9 record alludes to yet another disappointing season for a once dominant franchise.
For the dedicated fan; however, this season brought glimmers of hope and a preview of what to expect for seasons to come.
Despite being left out of the postseason for 10 out of the past 11 seasons, fans have a reason to keep their heads up as the rebuilding process continues under their entirely new coaching staff.
With nine picks coming up in the 2013 NFL Draft and their position now locked in at No. 12 overall, the Dolphins couldn't ask for a better chance to add talent and depth to their roster.
Without further adieu, here's the final seven-round mock draft of 2012 for the Miami Dolphins.
As the draft gets closer and free agent signings develop, the big picture will become a bit clearer for both fans and the front office.
Despite Jake Long's consistent Pro Bowl level of play, his injuries over the past two seasons and his production in 2012 have certainly left some question marks surrounding his worth heading into free agency.
Rather than offering him a huge contract, I'd like to see the Dolphins acquire another young lineman in the draft and let him develop alongside Ryan Tannehill and Jonathan Martin as the team rebuilds.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The 6'8" 309-pound giant would be a solid addition to Jonathan Martin on the Dolphins' offensive line, with excellent blocking capability in both the pass and the run.
Not to mention, the last offensive tackle the Dolphins drafted out of Michigan worked out rather well for them thus far.
He happens to be the man they'll be looking to replace in 2013.
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The rock of the Alabama O-Line and the best offensive guard in the draft, this 6'3" 320-pound lineman has the potential to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
A great addition who instantly solidifies the line, especially if Jake Long is re-signed to a long-term deal or given the franchise tag.
Keenan Allen, WR, California
A lot of early projections have the Dolphins selecting a wide receiver with their top pick, which wouldn't be all that surprising.
Although Allen does have plenty of upside and would provide an immediate impact to the Dolphins offensive attack, I’d rather see the team look to free agency for a wideout rather than draft one this high.
Ideally, that would involve reuniting Joe Philbin and Greg Jennings.
Two of the Dolphins' biggest weaknesses this season were undoubtedly their secondary and receiving corps.
Reshad Jones has proven himself as a top safety in the league, meanwhile Sean Smith and Richard Marshall will suffice as the No. 2 and No. 3 corners (assuming Smith is brought back in 2013).
Outside of those three players, the secondary is crying for help.
Cornerback should be the team's first order of business in Round 2, with a sizeable yet athletic receiver or tight end as their third overall pick.
However, I think at this point it would be best for the Dolphins to evaluate the talent at both positions and select the best available player on their board first.
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
The Dolphins have lacked big plays all season, and Jordan Poyer has play-making ability.
He recorded seven interceptions in his senior year at Oregon State, and his 4.45 40-yard-dash is extremely impressive.
This 6'0" 190-pound cornerback is an instant upgrade in the Dolphins' secondary which ranked in the bottom half of the league with a -10 takeaway margin in 2012.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Patterson offers some size at the wideout position, coming in at 6'3" 200-pounds.
He also provides a burst of speed downfield and has performed well against top-tier corners such as David Amerson of NC State.
He entered the 2012 season as the third wideout on Tennessee's depth chart, but has emerged as a top five receiver in the draft after his stellar performance this season.
Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
A big-bodied tight end at 6'6" 249-pounds, this guy would instantly provide the Dolphins with the red zone target they desperately desire.
Anthony Fasano should be cast off in free agency, and with questions surrounding both Charles Clay and Michael Egnew, this would be an excellent pick.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Williams would be another stellar option at receiver who offers both length and speed.
He’s not ready to be the team’s No. 1 option, but he’d instantly emerge as one heck of a No. 2 with potential for growth.
Assuming that at this point the Dolphins have selected players to address their primary needs, they'll have the opportunity to accrue some depth with two picks.
At age 30, Cameron Wake has proven to be an elite pass rusher in the NFL.
However, he's only getting older and the 'Phins are going to need to start developing some younger players to take the reigns over the next few years.
Look for an athletic, yet somewhat raw defensive end at this point in the draft.
With their additional selection, look for another player to add depth to their secondary or someone who can add a spark to the offense, addressing whichever need is prevalent at this time.
Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
The 6'8" 280-pound defensive end was a one-man show against Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl.
He had two forced fumbles, a safety, two sacks and three tackles for a loss, in the first half.
Expect his stock to rise after he shows off his strength and speed in the combine, but hope that he'll still be around early in the third round.
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
He may not have had the season that he was hoping for in 2012, and his stock will certainly climb if he returns for his senior season at Oklahoma State.
However, it is still very possible that Gilbert enters the draft in 2013 and is likely waiting for his name to be called in the late second or early third round.
If this is the case, the Dolphins would be wise to view this as a great opportunity for Kevin Coyle to help develop a young cornerback with a ton of upside.
Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
This is one that Ryan Tannehill and Mike Sherman would both truly appreciate.
Being that he's already familiar with both Tannehill and Sherman's offense, he'd be able to instantly contribute to the Dolphins' spread offense.
Despite this, I'm not sure if I'd waste a third round pick on Swope with Davone Bess still in the mix.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
If Reggie Bush isn't brought back in 2013, then Eddie Lacy would be a great addition to the Dolphins young group of running backs.
I've never been too pleased with Daniel Thomas, but I really like what I've seen from Lamar Miller in his few touches this year.
Lacy would certainly offer some versatility in the backfield and could easily fill the shoes of Thomas with his power and added quickness.
Fellow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Scott Altman provided an excellent analysis of the NFL's top offensive guards just over a month ago in his Dolphins' mock draft.
He brought to light the fact that eight out of ten of the top guards in the NFL were drafted from the third round on – and one of them wasn't even drafted at all!
Whether Jake Long re-signs or not, I'd like to see the Dolphins pick up another offensive lineman with their fourth round pick, assuming they haven't already drafted two.
Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
With the Dolphins likely looking to restructure their entire offensive line over the next few seasons, Gabe Jackson is a great mid-round option.
Jackson has the build of a tackle at 6'4" 320-pounds, offering a bit of flexibility as the coaching staff tries to address the multiple holes on the line.
For a big man, he's extremely athletic and uses that to his advantage to move to the second level and lay down some blocks.
Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas
Bailey is another over-sized guard, coming in at 6'5" 315-pounds.
He's not as polished as Jackson right now, but his similar build and speed certainly provides just as much as upside.
Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
This one is a little bit of a stretch.
Faulk missed his entire junior season at LSU due to a knee injury in 2012.
However, he's a young man with first-round talent that could easily sneak his way into the later rounds if he decides to enter the 2013 draft.
If he happens to declare and is floating around late, then the 'Phins would be foolish not take a chance on him.
As we delve deeper into the draft, I expect the Dolphins to look for some picks to simply add depth and shy away from some of the riskier high-profile options.
Sorry 'Phinatics, but that means we won't see the likes of guys like Tyrann Mathieu joining the ranks any time soon.
Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
Alonso came into his own a bit his senior season, boasting 75 tackles and four interceptions on the season.
His ability to operate in pass coverage as well as make plays behind the line (12 tackles for a loss) makes him a player worthy of a look in the later rounds.
Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
I don't know if it's just me, but the Crimson Tide seems to pump out NFL ready talent season after season.
Johnson didn't have a huge senior season and does struggle a bit in pass protection, but has been a solid contributor for this talented Alabama defense.
He'd be a nice back-up in the Dolphins' run defense and could be a quality role player going forward if he continues to develop.
Another opportunity to fill out the roster and hopefully find a diamond in the rough.
Assuming they've already addressed their primary needs at cornerback and wide receiver, look for the Dolphins to make a move on speedier receiver or a young safety to compliment Reshad Jones.
Rashard Hall, FS, Clemson
Hall's numbers weren't all that impressive in his senior campaign, although he did have 71 tackles and four interceptions on the season.
It was 2009 where he truly looked impressive as a red-shirt freshman, recording 55 tackles and reeling in a career high six interceptions.
He's shown some flashes of promise over the past few years, despite being a bit inconsistent at times.
For a sixth round pick, he's certainly worth a look.
Tavarres King, WR, Georgia
King never quite lived up to the hype during his tenure with Georgia, but the young wideout offers a nice blend of size and speed at 6'1" 195-pounds with a sub 4.50 40-yard-dash.
The thing I really like about King is his ability to rise to the occasion on the big stage.
King recorded 142 yards and five receptions against Alabama in this year's SEC Championship game, and also caught six passes for 205 yards and a touchdown in last season's bowl game.
You can't teach clutch.
D.J. Swearinger, FS, South Carolina
Out of the late-round safeties that could potentially be left on the board, D.J. Swearinger is one guy you want to take a chance on.
His stat line wasn't anything to rave about with just 70 tackles and two interceptions on the year, but he has good size 6'0" 200-pounds and excellent instincts.
He's performed well against the competition in the SEC, which generally is a decent indication of NFL readiness.
The final round of the draft can go in any which direction, and at this point in the Dolphins' offseason it's tough to predict what they'll still be searching for.
Given the rest of the picks in the mock draft thus far, expect them to continue to look for depth or to possibly take a chance on a banged-up player with a ton of upside.
Kenny Tate, OLB, Maryland
The one thing that really stands out for Kenny Tate this late in the draft is his versatility.
In 2010, he was an All-ACC First Team selection at free safety, recording three interceptions and 100 tackles on the season.
Although he's likely too slow to play safety in the NFL, he's a solid option at linebacker in passing situations if he continues to develop.
At 6'4" 230-pounds, he has the size and potential to make an impact across the board further down the road.
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
The injury-prone Lattimore has more than proven his ability to play at an NFL level.
That is, of course, contingent upon his health.
He's a very talented young back, but his stock has plummeted after suffering knee injuries in two consecutive seasons.
You never know what you're in for with a seventh round pick, but Lattimore's upside significantly outweighs his risk at this point in the draft, if he's still on the board.