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NFL Draft: Karlos Dansby's Addtion May Point Miami Dolphins Toward Dez Bryant

Michael PintoSenior Writer IMarch 7, 2010

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 11:  Dez Bryant #1 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys stiff-arms Castine Bridges #21 of the Missouri Tigers  on October 11, 2008 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

With the Miami Dolphins acquisition of free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, their plans for the 2010 Draft might now include a run at Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant. 

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN both have Miami selecting Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain with the 12th overall pick, but Dansby may have sealed the Dolphins' need at the position. 

Both McClain and Dansby are best suited as inside linebackers, and while the pair would potentially thrive together leading the Dolphins linebacker core, the need to address the position in the Draft isn't nearly as glaring now that Dansby is on board. 

Nose tackle and wide receiver are the two biggest needs to this franchise, and without bringing in new talent, Miami won't make much progress after a disappointing 2009 campaign. 

While McClain may still end up being the selection at No. 12, that doesn't seem as likely as it did last week. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland might not be able to justify passing up the chance to draft Bryant when receiver is such a greater need than linebacker. 

The good teams don't draft for need though, they draft the best talent available and move on. That strategy has been the formula of champions for decades. 

Bryant and McClain are both exceptional players though, so the Dolphins wouldn't necessarily be selecting need over talent if they bypassed McClain for Bryant. 

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Bryant by far meets the greater need though. So it begs the question, will Miami look to fix their offensive struggles or continue to bolster the defensive side of the ball?

Dolphins Czar Bill Parcells as a history of waiting to select receivers on Draft day though. His strategy throughout his career as a coach and general manager has been to target wideouts in the later rounds and have the coaching staff develop them.

In 1996 while Parcells was with the New England Patriots, he selected receiver Terry Glenn with the seventh overall pick in the draft. But that's the only occasion he's ever done so. 

In 2009, the Dolphins selected receivers Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline with their third- and fourth-round picks respectively. Turner failed to record an offensive stat and Hartline emerged as a reliable No. 2 wide receiver. 

But that's exactly the point. Receivers taken that late in the Draft may turn into solid contributing options, but its rare for them to become elite. There aren't too many stories of middle-round picks who emerged as No. 1 receivers. 

Talent like that usually comes in the first and second rounds. Talent like Dez Bryant. 

In 2008, Bryant recorded 87 catches for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was expected to be the top college receiver in 2009, but was suspended for the all but three games of the season for violating NCAA bylaws. In the three games he did play, Bryant has 323 yards and four touchdowns.

Though he's likely a bit rusty after going so long without seeing the field, Bryant is still regarded as the top wide receiver in this year's Draft and will may be available when the Dolphins are on the clock. 

McClain may still end up being Miami's selection, but don't be surprised if Parcells and Ireland go against history.

Bryant's worthy of the selection and he certainly meets the need. 

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