2012 NFL Draft: Top 8 Prospects for Miami Dolphins

Clay DefayetteCorrespondent IIIOctober 10, 2011

2012 NFL Draft: Top 8 Prospects for Miami Dolphins

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    Miami's season appears to be in the tank at an 0-4 record, while the rest of the division is ahead by at least two games.

    Chad Henne hurting his shoulder blew his chances of proving to fans, and the new front office that will come in, that he can be the future starter for Miami. It's not like Henne was phenomenal in his short playing time, anyway.

    There are more flaws than many realize when it comes to the Dolphins, but quarterback is the most important position, and that's where the team needs the most help at.

    Regardless if it's time for the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes to begin for the Dolphins, the new management that will be brought in needs to be aware of these college players to fill the holes that exist.

8. Dre Kirkpatrick (DB, Alabama)

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    Another cornerback on a top defensive team in the nation, Dre Kirkpatrick is a junior in defensive guru Nick Saban's defense. Kirkpatrick has two inches on the other corner on this list, while being just as good in press coverage.

    In overall coverage, Morris Claiborne is much better than Kirkpatrick. The only way the Dolphins use their first round pick on Kirkpatrick is if Miami plays better in their remaining 13 games or Kirkpatrick steps up his game in the remaining college season.

    It wouldn't hurt if Alabama's defensive back shreds up the combine in February either.

7. Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)

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    Who knows what the new management will do with Miami's current top receiver, Brandon Marshall, but the Dolphins would still need another target alongside Marshall on the roster.

    Justin Blackmon is a better prospect than South Carolina's Alshon Jeffrey, but the two are viewed close enough to where the NFL combine will likely be the deciding factor of who gets selected first.

    Those who do believe Jeffrey to be better will cite SEC competition as a reason, but they'd be mistaken. Miami could get a stop gap quarterback for a season if all of the big name QBs are gone before their pick; the situation in South Beach isn't a one-year fix.

6. Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma)

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    Oklahoma's quarterback has shown consistent improvement in his completion percentage year after year. Landry Jones isn working with the best core of receivers in college football today, but he still dominated rival Texas.

    Jones is viewed by many as potentially the second best quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't slate him ahead of the others listed. Regardless, he's accurate while being the tallest quarterback on the list.

    It's not hard to upgrade from Matt Moore or Chad Henne.

5. Matt Kalil (LT, Southern California)

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    Matt Barkley's left tackle at USC could easily be moved to the right side seeing how Jake Long currently mans the position in Miami.

    Matt Kalil is regarded as the best tackle for 2012 right now and his play so far backs that up. The inside of the Dolphins' offensive line needs some work as well, but why pass up on the chance to have two franchise tackles for the next eight years or more?

    Miami will want a quarterback first and foremost, but the organization shouldn't reach for one if the top guys at the position are not available.

4. Matt Barkley (QB, Southern California)

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    Matt Barkley has seen his completion percentage jump from 59.9 percent completion his freshman year to just over 70 in his still young junior campaign. The Trojans' quarterback has improved his yards per completion from each season as well.

    Barkley doesn't have to come out if he opts to finish his four years of eligibility, but USC isn't in a great position to compete at the highest level.

    The one downside to Barkley is that he stands at 6'2", which isn't very short but it's not extremely tall either.

    Being in Lane Kiffin's offense for two seasons has helped Barkley's game improve dramatically, even if those who are anti-Kiffin cannot realize that. Barkley would work well in Miami with another former Trojan, Reggie Bush.

3. Morris Claiborne (CB, Louisiana State)

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    The Dolphins could use a top flight corner even if Vontae Davis regards his unit so highly.

    Morris Claiborne is the best player on the best team in college right now, and Les Miles tends to put good pros in the NFL.

    Claiborne, at 185 pounds, isn't built like the LSU's last top corner, Patrick Peterson, but he doesn't need to be. Corners are supposed to be closer to 185 rather than 220 anyway.

    Sean Smith's up and down play needs to be gone when Miami management has a chance to pounce on this Tiger.

2. Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)

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    Baylor's quarterback is much more of a passer than a scrambler. Both his 18-1 touchdown to interception ratio shows and his 82.3 completion percentage suggest that.

    Miami needs a quarterback more than any other NFL team, and Robert Griffin III could find a home in Miami if he keeps up his great play going into games against the defenses of Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas.

    Griffin is a smart individual, earning his degree in just three years, while also being a track star in high school. That's a nice blend to put on a resume for potential NFL suitors.

1. Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)

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    It's no surprise when saying the Dolphins need a franchise quarterback. The team has needed one since Dan Marino's 1999 retirement.

    Andrew Luck is by far the best NFL prospect that will be in the 2012 NFL Draft. He's even more polished than Peyton Manning was coming out of Tennessee. Chad Henne hasn't shown enough to continue starting next season, and don't expect Matt Moore to do anything phenominal with the remaining 11 games.

    Luck would give Miami great quarterback play for the next 15 seasons and he likely wouldn't request a trade if the Dolphins get the first overall pick. Who doesn't want to take their talents to South Beach?