5 2014 NFL Draft Prospects Guaranteed to Interest the Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins may be without a general manager or offensive coordinator at this time, but they do have needs that have to be filled on their roster.
After flopping in free agency last season, odds are this season it will come down to the draft for the Dolphins to fortify their roster.
We may not know who will choose the players, but we can think of some players who might interest the Miami Dolphins for one reason or another this May during the draft.
Here's a list of five of them, with videos of their play in college.
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Since the Miami Dolphins are in obvious need of an offensive lineman, I looked heavily at that position.
In fact, three out of the five players on this list are linemen, which should tell you how badly they need help.
Here's the only tackle I would suggest the Dolphins draft if he is available to them in the first round. I say that because odds are Taylor Lewan, Antonio Richardson and La'el Collins will be available in Round 2 (only one of those players will be profiled here later on).
Auburn's Greg Robinson is the dominating left tackle that Miami will need to build its offensive line around for the next 10 years. In addition to his strength and size, he is very nimble and does a tremendous job blocking that second level.
Much of Robinson's success might be due to the blocking schemes put in place by Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, but this isn't just great scheming and play-calling on display—this is tremendous talent.
Talent that the Dolphins could use along the offensive line and will need in a bad way. If available at 19, Robinson would be my first pick, even ahead of another player I'd want as my first pick.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
If anyone has any questions as to why players leave college early, Lewan provides the answer.
Had he come out last season, Lewan is probably drafted in the first round somewhere in the teens and has a successful enough season that Dolphins fans will blast Jeff Ireland for trading up for the barely played Dion Jordan instead of staying at 12 and selecting Lewan.
This season, Miami's new general manager might have the chance to select him in the second round.
If that happens, Miami will have a pretty good left tackle who, like Robinson, can be a cornerstone for the offensive line.
At 6'7" and 315 pounds, Lewan towers over most other offensive linemen, and his moves are some of the smoothest I have seen.
Why has Lewan slipped so much? It's likely due to an assault investigation against him where he was accused of punching an Ohio State fan after the Michigan-Ohio State game back in November.
As of December 25, The Detroit Free-Press' Gina Damron reports that Lewan has been questioned but has not been charged.
This might scare off head coach Joe Philbin, and it definitely would've scared off former general manager Jeff Ireland; however, whomever the new general manager is hopefully will not be scared off of Lewan's potential by this, which seems like an isolated incident and not a full portrait of his character.
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Losing Paul Soliai or Randy Starks scares the living daylights out of me.
Odds are, Miami loses one of them. There's even the chance that the Dolphins lose both. If they do, then come Round 2 or 3 they will have to draft a player to replace them.
Projected second-round pick Will Sutton can fill that role well. For two consecutive seasons, he was the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year. He might not appear to be the biggest defensive lineman at 6'1" and 305 pounds, but he does make up for it in speed.
He's not only great at stopping the run, but he excels at stopping the pass. Look at this film and tell me this kid wouldn't look great rushing the quarterback from the interior with Dion Jordan, Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon coming in from the outside (assuming Kevin Coyle plays Jordan as a linebacker in 2014 and fully unleashes his full potential).
Sutton won't make it out of the second round, but if Miami is able to draft Robinson in the first round as the left tackle of the future, the pick in Round 2 should be Sutton to fill a potentially big hole that will be left in the defensive line.
Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
Take your pick, there will be plenty of guards available for the Dolphins in Rounds 2 and 3.
I decided to only choose one, and I had a difficult time choosing one for this five-man list (which in the future I will expand to 15-20 as we get closer to the draft).
For this list, I chose Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson over Baylor's Cyril Richardson in terms of who the Dolphins should draft.
The reason for this is Jackson appeared to have far more strength than Richardson, who slightly has more agility.
Jackson also had a tougher schedule to face by playing in the SEC, where he handled top-flight defenses such as LSU, Alabama and Auburn fairly well.
He is built like a tackle at 6'3" and 340 pounds as opposed to a guard, but his athleticism along with his strength and size would make him the type of guard who can make a bad line look decent and a decent line look great.
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
It's a good thing I'm not a candidate for Dolphins general manager, for if both Greg Robinson and Eric Ebron are available at No. 19, I might just faint.
Going by need, I'd take Robinson, but based off of talent and upside, Ebron is the choice.
Yes, Miami already has Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and Dion Sims at tight end (and could retain Dustin Keller), and we don't know what the team will eventually get from Egnew and Sims at the next level.
What do we get from Eric Ebron? From the looks of it, something better than we can expect from Egnew or Sims. He's a 6'4", 245-pound target who would be perfect for what the Dolphins need in the red zone and will be a priority to cover for other teams from day one, which would help out the likes of Clay, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Mike Wallace.
Ebron has size and athleticism that Clay doesn't have, which is why he'd be the perfect complement to Clay. Does the pick address a need? Not when you look at it strictly by position, but when you consider that it would greatly help Ryan Tannehill if he has a big guy who can catch anything, Ebron fits that need well.
Drafting Ebron would also excite the fanbase far more than any of these other picks. Unless Robinson is available, Ebron should be Miami's first-round pick if he is available.