The Miami Dolphins once again were very competitive in 2010. But they couldn't capitalize on early success, and floundered down the stretch on the way to missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
A lot of that regression falls on the broad shoulders of quarterback Chad Henne, who Miami has been very inconsistent in backing since they drafted him. As Henne goes, it appears the Dolphins go, which could have the Miami brass finally jumping ship and grabbing a new quarterback.
Whether they do or not could completely shift the make-up of their 2011 draft, as well as the mind-set they have going into next season.
Outside of quarterback, everyone know the Dolphins need to think younger and multiple positions, while some areas just simply need some more depth.
Here's a breakdown of how the Dolphins' 2011 NFL Draft selections could end up, along with analysis:
Round 1 (Pick 15)—Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Ingram ran a pretty weak 40 time (4.62) at the 2011 NFL Combine, but considering Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown weren't exactly burners (both of whom could be departing), that shouldn't be a major problem. The truth is, Ingram is the most complete back in this draft class, and Miami could very realistically say good-bye to both of their top two backs from last season. Ingram adds a fresh talent to the back-field no matter what happens, and fixes a key offensive hole for the future.
Round 3 (Pick 79)—Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
We had Andy Dalton going to Miami at this pick early in February, but if Kaepernick is still hanging around, I think Miami bites. He's extremely athletic and has good arm strength. Henne is a major question mark, so at least adding some solid competition and a guy the franchise can look forward to if Henne falters again is important.
Round 4 (110)—Chris L. Rucker, CB, Michigan State
Miami had some trouble at corner last year and could use the depth and competition. Rucker is a physical corner who has the ability to step in and compete for a job right away, while making an excellent nickel back at the very worst.
Other possibilities: Christian Ponder, Johnny Patrick, Sione Fua
Overall, Miami still has a pretty decent defense that can continue to improve. While they could obviously still improve in some areas there, they also need to think about the future of their offense. They could stand to get upgrades at tight end and wide receiver, but with uncertainty at running back and inconsistency at quarterback, Miami should think long and hard about adding talent to those two positions with their first two picks.