New general manager Dennis Hickey can banish all of the demons left behind by his predecessor Jeff Ireland in a single draft. Miami has the 19th selection in the first round and the 18th selection (50th overall) in the second round.
Which collegiate stars will the Dolphins add to their roster with these key picks?
The gaping hole in Miami's roster is on the right side of the offensive line, and an offensive tackle in the first round makes sense. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the Dolphins and their owner, Stephen Ross, who is a Michigan man, are enamored with Wolverine tackle Taylor Lewan. Miami would be fortunate if the 6'7", 309-pound Lewan is still available when their 19th selection is due.
There would be no shame in moving up a few slots to reach Lewan but he may be too expensive as NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah projects him as a top-10 selection.
Lewan has the size and length to find success as an NFL tackle and CBS Sports' draft-analyst group of Dane Brugler, Rob Rang and Derek Stephens, compare him to former-Dolphin Jake Long.
Lewan may be a pipe dream, but Notre Dame's Zack Martin is another solid offensive lineman who will likely be available for Miami's 19th pick. As a member of the Fighting Irish, Martin played a school-record 52 games, starting 50 as a left tackle. Not only was Martin dependable, his leadership was evident as a two-time captain in South Bend.
The big drawback for Martin is his lack of length and lateral range, possibly pushing him to the interior at the professional level. CBS Sports' Rob Rang and Derek Stephens compare Martin to Patriot guard Logan Mankins. If Miami makes Martin their first-round choice, it is because the Dolphins feel he can be their starter at right tackle.
If the Dolphins select either Lewan or Martin in the first round, a worthy inside linebacker will not be available in the second round. Alabama's C.J. Mosley will be long gone and the next man up, Wisconsin's Chris Borland, should not be considered until the third round.
A cornerback may be considered in Round 2 if Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller, Texas Christian's Jason Verrett or Ohio State's Bradley Roby slide and are available at the 50th selection. Miami allowed Dimitri Patterson and Nolan Carroll to walk, so they need another cornerback, one who could push Jamar Taylor would be ideal. Since it is unlikely that Fuller, Verrett or Roby will be available for Miami's second pick, the Dolphins may need to turn to another offensive lineman.
While he may not be the sexiest choice, Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson is a realistic option, someone who would finalize the makeover of Miami's offensive line.
Jackson is 6'3" and weighs 336 pounds and has "surprisingly nimble feet and balance," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang and Derek Stephens. Rang and Stephens also compare Jackson to Detroit's Larry Warford: "Jackson's rare and surprising combination of size, quickness and power should remind a lot of scouts of the 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year."
The best option for Miami may be to draft C.J. Mosley in the first round, giving the Dolphins' run defense a shot in the arm.
Mosley is a truly exciting option who could immediately become one of Miami's defensive leaders, starting as its middle linebacker. According to CBS Sports' Rob Rang, Mosley offers a "combination of toughness, elite instincts and superb athleticism.
An injury history is the only thing preventing the Alabama star from being drafted well above Miami's 19th pick. Mosley dislocated his elbow in 2011 and has had issues with his shoulder and hip issues, according to NFL.com.
If Miami takes Mosley in the first round, they have a multitude of options to fill their right tackle need in the second. A combination of Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, Virginia's Morgan Moses and Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James should be available for the Dolphins when the 50th overall spot rolls around. All three possess the size and ability to make an immediate impact as Miami's starting right tackle.
Which combination do you think is the best for the Miami Dolphins?
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