2013 NFL Draft: How Picks Affect the Rest of the Miami Dolphins' Offseason

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2013 NFL Draft: How Picks Affect the Rest of the Miami Dolphins' Offseason
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is officially behind us and the Miami Dolphins came out with a relatively solid crop of young talent who could make some immediate impact in 2013.

So now that the picks are all finalized, undrafted free agents have been signed and grades have (pointlessly) been given out by draft "experts" everywhere, it's time to look ahead and see how the rest of the Dolphins' offseason could be affected by the draft.

I predict that a few significant cuts will be made due to this draft. The first is Dan Carpenter, who will save the Dolphins roughly $2.5 million. Caleb Sturgis is an upgrade over him already and you don't draft a kicker in the fifth round just for the heck of it. 

The next to go is Dimitri Patterson, who was claimed off waivers during the 2012 season when Miami was in need of cornerback help. By drafting Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, Patterson's services at about $4.6 million are definitely not needed.

Don Jones, drafted as a safety out of Arkansas State, will apparently be moved to cornerback by the Dolphins, meaning that if Miami likes what they see out of him and Davis, Richard Marshall could get cut as well.

Next, the Dolphins' selection of Dallas Thomas could mean a number of things, because with him and free-agent signing Lance Louis both rehabbing injuries, 2013 is still up in the air.

Thomas played tackle and guard at Tennessee, but looked better at guard and would be well-suited there for Miami's zone-blocking scheme. If both he and Louis look fully recovered by the middle of the summer, don't be surprised if Richie Incognito became a cap casualty.

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Richie Incognito's starting job could be in jeopardy

Thomas and Louis are both very good pulling guards with solid movement ability while Incognito is much more expensive than both of them and is a slower guard remaining from the previous offensive system. It's also the last year of the 29-year-old's contract

The big reason Thomas would be able to play guard instead of possibly having to start at tackle is that I think Miami's decision not to draft a true tackle means they will end up signing veteran right tackle Eric Winston.

That was one of my first thoughts after day two of the draft and still no pure tackle was selected, then on Sunday, rumors surfaced that Miami was indeed in talks with Winston.

Count on that deal to get done in the next few days. It makes lots of sense for both Winston and Miami.

Update 1:35 PM: Bryant McKinnie is visiting Miami.

Selecting Dion Sims in the fourth round was a great get by Jeff Ireland and company, meaning that Charles Clay will see even more of a reduced role while Michael Egnew will likely find himself on the practice squad again.

The player taken two picks before Sims, outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, could be Miami's starter in 2014. He may not have a huge role as a rookie, but expect him to play in coverage in nickel packages and used to blanket tight ends. 

Koa Misi is entering a contract year, and unless he has a monster season (don't hold your breath), Jenkins could easily join Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe as a starter in 2014.

Mike Gillislee was one of my favorite picks in the draft as a fifth-rounder. The talented running back from Florida will push Daniel Thomas behind Lamar Miller.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Daniel Thomas will lose carries to Mike Gillislee

I could easily see Gillislee supplanting Thomas early on in the season or possibly even in training camp. With Thomas' injury history, even if Gillislee doesn't beat him out right away, there is a very good chance the rookie will get his shot at some point.

Thomas is still on a rookie contract, so he won't get released, but his future with Miami looks pretty bleak. If the Dolphins could flip him for even a fifth- or sixth-round pick, that could be a fine deal.

Trading Davone Bess while not drafting a receiver seems like a bit of a questionable decision, but I think it means that the coaching staff likes Rishard Matthews as the No. 4 wideout. While this wasn't an immediate impact from an actual draft pick, it will still cause Matthews' role to increase.

Basically, a few of the middle-aged, over-expensive role players who Miami had to rely on are now expendable because of some shrewd drafting by Ireland.

After a big free-agent haul, the Dolphins need to trim their roster salary a little bit. This draft will allow them to actually get more talented while saving money.

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