An optimist would tell you the Miami Dolphins are a tackle and a cornerback away from a complete team.
If you don't believe Dimitri Patterson or Richard Marshall can be a starter, then Miami is down two cornerbacks. If you feel naked with Chris Clemons or Kelcie McCray as your free safety, the Dolphins have another need. Could Cameron Wake use more help on the right side of the defensive line? Is Lamar Miller ready to carry the rushing load?
You get the picture.
I happen to be an optimist and I love what Jeff Ireland has done so far in free agency. The job is not finished but neither is Miami's cap space. The Dolphins also have 11 draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft.
Here are Miami's greatest needs:
1) Offensive Tackle
2) No.1 Cornerback
3) No.2 Cornerback
The Dolphins' secondary needs are:
4) Pass-Rushing Right End
5) Free Safety
As of today, that's it. Everything else is depth and fine-tuning.
This is why the Miami Dolphins are in a position to take the best player available in the first round. Reaching to fill a need would be a mistake.
On the positive side, Xavier Rhodes is big (6'1", 210), physical and fast (4.43). He also has a tremendous vertical leap of 40.5 inches.
Why would the Dolphins reach for him?
In mock drafts conducted on March 25, 2013, Dane Brugler, Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco, all of CBSSports, have Miami selecting Rhodes in the 12th slot.
Brugler has the Dolphins passing on Star Lotulelei and Shariff Floyd with no other cornerback being selected until the New England Patriots take Desmond Trufant, 29th overall. Prisco does not have another corner drafted until Trufant at No. 25 to the Minnesota Vikings.
Again, why would Miami reach for Rhodes?
Rhodes is worthy of the first round's second half. The Dolphins should only select him if they trade down.
The younger brother of the Seattle Seahawks' Marcus Trufant has seen his stock rise dramatically in the last month.
As of March 29, 2013, Scouts Inc. has Desmond Trufant rated the 22nd-best draft prospect and the second-best cornerback behind only Alabama's Dee Milliner.
The truth is Rhodes and Trufant are interchangeable cornerbacks with flaws. They provide too much risk to be considered at No. 12.
Miami could realistically draft both Rhodes and Trufant by trading down.
Tyler Eifert secured a position in the first round with a good showing in the NFL combine.
With the signing of Dustin Keller, does Miami still need a tight end? How about Charles Clay and Michael Egnew?
The truth is Eifert is not a good blocker and because of his speed, he is a poor man's Anthony Fasano. Fasano is an excellent blocker and runs the 40 in 4.72 seconds.
A poor man's Fasano at No. 12? No thank you.
For those that don't know, Keller (6'2", 250) can seriously move (4.53).
Miami fans would revolt.
Realistically, Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson may be off the board when it's the Dolphins turn to select. We also know how much Jeff Ireland loves offensive linemen in the first round.
Fluker is a monster (6'5", 339) but is not athletic and is relatively weak (21 reps of 225 lbs.).
He is a right tackle, through and through.
Miami cannot spend its 12th selection on a right tackle.
"Was your imaginary girlfriend a prostitute?"
He is small for his position (6'1", 240) and has average speed (4.75). These factors didn't keep Zach Thomas from being a Dolphin great but then again, Thomas was drafted in the fifth round.
According to NFL Network's Mike Mayock, Te'o is once again in the first-round discussion.
Is Dannell Ellerbe a true middle linebacker?
Even if he's not, Te'o should not be considered at No. 12.