The Dolphins have 11 picks, including five in the first three rounds, in April's big event.
That's 11 opportunities to round out the roster and fill the final needs headed into the 2013 season.
This is a make-or-break draft, and offseason as a whole, for general manager Jeff Ireland.
Who does he, and the Dolphins brass as a whole, have their eyes on?
Keep it locked here for a tracker, including all the updates on reported visits, private workouts and all the news and rumors related to the Dolphins' draft strategy headed up to April 25.
April 15: According to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, the Dolphins will not meet with Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson prior to the draft.
April 12: According to TheFinsiders.com, the Dolphins hosted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Florida tight end Jordan Reed for pre-draft visits.
April 11: According to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, the Dolphins will host Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a pre-draft visit.
April 23: According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Dolphins are among several teams that have inquired about trading down in the first round.
April 20: According to Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910, the Dolphins and Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert are negotiating a contract, and the Dolphins would send one of their two second-round picks to the Chiefs for Albert.
With left tackle Jake Long out the door and through the Gateway Arch to St. Louis, the Dolphins are again in the market for an offensive tackle.
The question is: Are they looking for one to play on the left side or on the right side? That depends on where they project last year's second-round pick Jonathan Martin.
He played both spots last year, filling in at left tackle after Long went down, but according to ProFootballFocus.com, Martin was actually better on a per-snap basis at right tackle. He faced 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and gave up four hurries and a sack, and allowed 10 hurries and a sack in two games against the Patriots while lining up primarily against defensive end Chandler Jones.
Clearly, his competition on the left side was much stiffer than it was on the right, but that will be the case week-in and week-out.
The Dolphins would probably be best off to find the most versatile tackle available depending on where they elect to draft one. This way, if things don't work out with Martin at left tackle, they can swing him back to the right and try to make things work that way instead.
There has been major flux at cornerback recently, and it could be a sign of changes coming in the defensive scheme.
What kind of cornerbacks will they be targeting: those who excel in man coverage, zone coverage or are scheme versatile? That will do a great deal in revealing the Dolphins' plans on the back end in 2013.
Are there any trends that can give us an idea of what direction they'll go? The Dolphins haven't shown any true pattern in either size or style of cornerback when it comes to the draft.
Here's a rundown of the cornerbacks drafted in the Jeff Ireland era.
- First round, 2009—Vontae Davis: 5'11", 205 pounds
- Third round, 2009—Sean Smith: 6'2", 215 pounds
- Fifth round, 2010—Nolan Carroll: 6'1", 202 pounds
- Seventh round, 2011—Jimmy Wilson: 5'10", 193 pounds
Smith and Carroll are on the bigger side, with Wilson and Davis both slightly under six feet tall. Davis and Smith are more prototype man-cover corners, while Carroll and Wilson are a bit more versatile.
In quickly reviewing the combine stats put up by each (using pro day numbers where combine information was unavailable), the only notable common threads are that all four ran a 40 of 4.51 seconds or faster, and all had a vertical jump of at least 34 inches and a broad jump of 119 inches.
The fact that the Dolphins moved on from Davis and Smith over the past 10 months strongly suggests they are looking to move away from straight man coverage in the secondary and toward a more versatile coverage scheme. That would also seem to eliminate a corner such as Florida State's Xavier Rhodes.
One name to consider in the first round is Washington State's Desmond Trufant. He's right in the middle of the size range at 5'11" and 190 pounds, and can line up both outside and in the slot. The No. 12 pick may be considered a bit rich for Trufant, who is projected at the end of the first round, but he is capable in both man and zone coverage and was called "one of the most versatile corners [in this year's draft]" by NEPatriotsDraft.com.
If it's versatility they want, Trufant could be the one to deliver it.
With 10 selections in this year's draft, the Dolphins have the opportunity to be one of the biggest movers and shakers. Will they stand pat with their picks? Will they trade their picks to stockpile more picks, this year and next year? Will they trade several picks to move up for a particular prospect of interest?
So many picks, so many options.
The way the Dolphins have handled this offseason, it seems like they're ready to go all-in to win this year. Jeff Ireland's job security could be wearing thin with many of his picks not panning out as expected, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him move up to land a sure thing—or at least, what he and the coaching staff have determined to be a sure thing.
These thoughts will be updated as news of potential targets and rumored trades becomes available.