2013 NFL Draft Prospects Who Were Born to Play for the Dolphins
Before Joe Philbin arrived in South Florida, the Miami Dolphins didn't have an identity. Tony Sparano had lost his team's confidence, eventually leading to his firing. With Philbin, Miami has turned into a no-nonsense team that will only employ players with no off-field issues and who are committed to the team first.
By trading Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis, and releasing Chad Ochocinco, Philbin quickly proved his point. Any player that is willing to put his ego ahead of his team will quickly be out of Miami.
In this draft there are some players that exemplify what it means to put the team first and would be great additions to the culture Philbin is creating in Miami.
We will take a look at some of these players, but we will also look at positions of need for Miami.
DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
Miami has a big need at cornerback after trading Vontae Davis and not getting what they expected from Sean Smith. If they are unable to pick up a player in free agency, or re-sign Sean Smith, they will be going into the draft with the need to draft one, or even two cornerbacks.
DeMarcus Milliner is the best cornerback prospect in this year's draft and would be a great pick. However, it is doubtful he will fall to No. 12 with multiple teams in the top 10 needing cornerback help.
By adding Milliner, Smith (if re-signed) would be able to move to the No. 2 cornerback spot, allowing him to stay away from the opposition's top receiver.
Milliner comes from one of the best programs in college football. Nick Saban runs a strict schedule in Tuscaloosa and has his players ready to play in the NFL. Milliner doesn't have any baggage coming out of college and should be a great addition to the locker room. He seems to fit the culture the Dolphins are trying to build.
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi St.
If the Dolphins are unable to draft Milliner, the next best choice is Johnthan Banks. He will most likely be available when the Dolphins are on the clock. He doesn't bring the same instant impact as Milliner, but Banks can also be a No. 1 cornerback in the NFL.
Blessed with good size and athleticism, Banks would be a good addition to the Dolphins' roster, shoring up a depleted secondary while bringing in a playmaker.
He would also be a great fit for the culture in Miami. He has stayed out of trouble at Mississippi State and is one of the leaders not only of the secondary, but the team. Adding leadership in the secondary is also something Miami should consider.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
With Cameron Wake becoming one of the best defensive ends in the league, one can only imagine how much better he could be if he had some pass-rushing help on the opposite side.
Ezekiel Ansah is as raw as they come. The BYU defensive end has only been playing football for four years and will need some development at the next level. What has Ansah as a projected first-round pick is his incredible upside.
Ansah has great speed off the edge and has enough power to beat offensive linemen. If he can develop some pass-rushing moves, he can become a great pass-rusher that would form a deadly combination with Wake.
He is another player that fits the bill for Miami. He won't bring the leadership as far as motivating players by what he says, but he is one of those players that will arrive early and leave late. He will motivate those around him by the way he works and prepares.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
With a big need at tight end, it won't be surprising if Miami targets the position early in the draft. Anthony Fasano is a free agent and it is still unclear if Miami is willing to re-sign him. They also have the option of going after players like Jared Cook, Dustin Keller and Fred Davis.
Even if they sign one of these players in free agency, it would be smart for Miami to add another player through the draft.
This year, there are two outstanding players at the position. Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz are the two best tight ends and should be getting a long, hard look by almost every team.
Eifert has great size and leaping ability that helps Miami in the red zone. Miami has lacked a red-zone threat for some time, which has cost them to leave a lot of points on the field. Eifert instantly changes that and also gives Ryan Tannehill a big target down the middle of the field.
He is also another player that would not bring any off-the-field issues to the locker room. He is one of those guys that just works hard and leaves it all on the field. He is exactly what Joe Philbin is looking for.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Miami's biggest position of need may be wide receiver. They lacked playmakers at the position last year, forcing Ryan Tannehill to limit his throws to shorter, safer throws.
It is very likely Miami will try to sign one of the top wide receivers during free agency. The Dolphins have been linked with Greg Jennings for some time and it wouldn't be a surprise if he did decide to play in South Florida.
Even if they sign (or re-sign) someone in free agency, Miami will still need to add some young talent to the roster. This year's draft doesn't have any can't-miss prospects, but the position has a lot of depth.
Terrance Williams is a player that brings a lot of speed and playmaking ability. He has a great combination of speed and size, giving Miami the weapon it has been looking for. If he is available when the Dolphins are on the clock with their first pick of the second round, Miami needs to pull the trigger.
Williams is also a high character guy that would fit right away in Miami. Wide receivers tend to be the divas of the team, but Williams doesn't appear to have that personality.