Miami Dolphins' First Round Prospects Post NFL Combine
If you had any doubts about how serious Jeff Ireland is taking this offseason, then it's certainly clear now that this guy means business.
Ireland talked about finding the perfect marriage of talent and need in the draft, but also alluded that the Dolphins may look to the best player available when the clock starts to tick for the No. 12 pick.
Guys like Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are surefire Top 10 picks, but there is still a chance that some of the best talent in this year's draft slides down to the Dolphins at No. 12.
How has the big picture changed since the staff's field trip to Indianapolis?
Let’s take a look at the top prospects for Miami in the first round of this year’s draft.
*All combine statistics were taken from NFL.com.*
10. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Hypothetically, let’s say that the Dolphins have answered all of their major needs at cornerback, receiver and offensive line prior to this year’s draft.
That immediately opens the door for safety Kenny Vaccaro to hear his name called with the 12th overall pick.
He may not be as quick as teams had hoped, running a 4.63 40-yard-dash at the combine, but he has proven his abilities in both pass rushing and coverage during his time at Texas.
If the Dolphins fail to bring back Chris Clemons or Sean Smith to play alongside Reshad Jones at safety, then expect them to give Vaccaro some serious thought with their top pick.
9. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The 6'2", 216-pound Cordarrelle Patterson's impressive size and speed (4.42 second 40 time) make him a very intriguing option in this year's draft.
There isn't an elite receiver in the 2013 draft class like we've seen in recent years, but the potential that Patterson presents might be the closest thing to this year's Julio Jones or A. J. Green.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that he is worthy of a top-15 pick, but a strong showing at the combine certainly helped him make his case.
If the Dolphins fail to land one of the top wideouts available in free agency, then they may have no choice but to take a chance on Patterson with their first selection.
8. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The idea of taking Xavier Rhodes is a bit of a reach at this point, and is based off of pure need and potential.
If the Dolphins re-sign Sean Smith or add another talented corner in free agency, it’s unlikely that they will draft a cornerback other than Dee Milliner that high.
That being said, Rhodes looked very impressive at the combine, running a 4.43 40-yard-dash while leading all corners in both the vertical and broad jump workouts.
But who knows? With his size and recent display of pure physical talent, maybe he is just the guy the Dolphins are looking for to solidify their secondary.
7. Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC
Jonathan Cooper hasn't received as much hype as 'Bama's big man Chance Warmack, but he's certainly drawing more and more attention.
Cooper blew the competition out of the water in terms of speed and strength at the combine, posting a 40 time of 5.07 seconds while also putting up 35 reps in the bench press.
He has done enough to lock up the No. 2 spot within the depths of the guards, but has he done enough to lock up a top-15 spot in the NFL Draft?
With only 50 guards being drafted in the first round since 1967, and 10 of those breaking the Top 10, history tells us otherwise.
6. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
An extremely raw talent, recording just 10 total tackles until his senior season in 2012, Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah is a very complex prospect.
Despite initial attempts to play basketball and run track at BYU, it's evident that Ziggy has finally found his true calling on the gridiron.
He has the optimal size and skill set to be an effective pass rusher in a 4-3 defensive scheme, and who better for an inexperienced athlete to learn from than the Dolphins' own Cameron Wake.
5. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Long, strong and agile – just a few words that describe LSU’s Barkevious Mingo.
You can add him to the list of can’t miss talent coming out of the SEC, positioning himself amongst the top of his class in the 40-yard-dash, vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill at the combine.
Add that to his keen ability to break through the line and disrupt both the passing game and rushing attack, and you have yourself a top-10 talent.
As the Dolphins look to add another weapon opposite Cameron Wake, look for Mingo to be right at the heart of the conversation.
4. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
NFL.com grades Chance Warmack as the best prospect in this year's draft.
Although NFL teams would have liked to see him move a bit quicker, running the 40-yard-dash in a meager 5.49 seconds, that shouldn't hurt his value much on team's big boards.
If this trend continues, however, then it's possible that Warmack will find himself providing protection for Ryan Tannehill next season in South Beach.
3. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
He showed his versatility and athleticism during his time at Oregon and has the exact build you look for in a pass rushing linebacker or defensive end.
At 6'6" and 248-pounds, Jordan was able to solidify himself amongst the top choices in this year's draft with an excellent display of speed and mobility.
Will Chip Kelly let him fall past the Eagles at No. 4 overall, though?
The Miami Dolphins certainly hope so.
2. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson is another player whose experience is a major concern.
He still needs some work on his technique since converting from QB to TE to DE to OT, but he did put on one heck of a display at the NFL Combine.
Johnson led all tackles in the 40-yard-dash, broad jump and three-cone drill, while finishing Top 5 in the vertical jump and 20-yard-shuttle.
He is no where near as polished as Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher at this point in his career, but Johnson seems to be a quick learner and could potentially surpass the rest of his draft class in due time.
1. Dee Miliner, CB, Alabama
Undoubtedly the best cornerback and consensus top-five prospect in this year’s draft, the Dolphins staff is praying that Dee Milliner miraculously falls to them at No. 12.
Milliner, despite needing shoulder surgery early next month, still blew scouts away with a 40 time of 4.37 seconds and his well-documented skills in pass coverage.