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Miami Dolphins: A Look at Current Top 53 and Greatest Needs Before 2014 Draft

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Marcus Thigpen #34 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter with teammates  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins and  Lamar Miller #26 of the Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Richard SantamariaCorrespondent IIApril 4, 2014

The Miami Dolphins currently have 62 players on their roster, and while general manager Dennis Hickey still has plenty of moves left, the 2014 Dolphins are looking dangerous.  If we narrow the roster to 53 players, this is what the depth chart would look like:

 

 

The gaping holes are at right tackle and right guard.  Miami recently signed former University of Miami standout Jason Fox to be its swing tackle.  The oft-injured Fox has played in only 13 games during the last four seasons but was worth the risk at the bargain rate of $795,000 for one year, according to Spotrac.com.  Nate Garner and Sam Brenner provide good depth for the interior of Miami's offensive line.

The next greatest need is for a dominant middle linebacker.  Alabama's C.J. Mosley would look fantastic in a Miami uniform.  In this scenario, Dannell Ellerbe would be pushed to the strong side, and Philip Wheeler would remain on the weak side.

Ideally, the Dolphins could use another top-tier cornerback to push Cortland Finnegan into the slot, but his $11 million contract is evidence that Hickey expects him to play opposite Brent Grimes.  Therefore, the best we can expect is competition for Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.  While one would expect the second-year cornerbacks to contribute more, Miami needs insurance and depth.

The Dolphins could also use a speedy receiver in the slot.  Brandon Gibson and Rishard Matthews are solid, but an offense can never have too much speed.

Lastly, Miami needs a fullback as Emmanuel Ogbuehi will likely not make the final roster.  Charles Clay will continue to play his H-back role, but the Dolphins could use a punishing blocker, especially if they expect to run more under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

According to Overthecap.com, the Dolphins have $16,542,418 in cap space.  Subtracting what it would cost to sign their draft picks, they likely have enough money for two more free agents.  

The Dolphins' guard need could be filled by luring Travelle Wharton away from his potential retirement or signing South Florida native Davin Joseph.  The tackle market has dried up, and the thought of bringing back Bryant McKinnie to compete with Jason Fox will likely have an uninspiring result.  Unless Miami uses a top draft selection on an offensive tackle, this will be a realistic scenario.  Many top fullbacks are still available such as Le'Ron McClain, Greg Jones and Vonta Leach.  

Hickey could build a masterpiece if he hits on a tackle, inside linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver in the 2014 NFL draft.

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