Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Guard
The Dolphins are hoping for a second-year leap from promising RG Billy Turner, but left guard is a major problem area. OC Bill Lazor's run game is similar to Chip Kelly's, prioritizing athletic linemen who can win on the move.
No. 2 Team Need: Cornerback
Linebacker and safety are also areas Miami must address, but cornerback is the most pressing need after guard. 2013 draft picks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis have been disappointments, while free-agent pickup Brice McCain is a slot corner only, and not a particularly good one. Dolphins DC Kevin Coyle has primarily leaned on zone coverage, but probably because he hasn't had a No. 2 cornerback effective enough to be consistently left in man. Because Brent Grimes is a stationary left corner, the Fins need a right cornerback capable of matching up with "X" receivers on isolation routes.
No. 3 Team Need: Wide Receiver
Lazor would prefer his offense to be "multiple," keeping defenses off balance with an ability to effectively use both 11 and 12 personnel packages. The Fins have two solid tight ends in Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims, but are thin at wide receiver behind Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. As Landry is almost strictly a slot receiver, Stills is Miami's only real threat on the perimeter. The Dolphins need a big wide receiver who can beat man coverage and turn short-to-intermediate catches into longer gains.
Norris' Mock Draft
Round 1 (14): LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA - Jelani Jenkins is a good player even if some teams had medical questions. Kendricks is one of my favorite prospects in this class, because he makes an impact moving forward and back. His comfort in coverage is uncommon. This might not be the team's top need (according to Evan), but true every down linebackers are difficult to find. The two would be a nice combination, especially adding Misi on the strong side.
Round 2 (47): G Ali Marpet, Hobart - This projection would have been crazy prior to the Senior Bowl. However, Marpet more than handled himself against top competition and put together one of the best combined workouts at the position. He is a perfect fit for what the Dolphins and Eagles seemingly look for along the offensive line.
Round 4 (114): CB Craig Mager, Texas State - A personal favorite, Mager will likely stay on the outside in the NFL thanks to his aggressiveness to stick with receivers and disrupt the catch point. Despite being nearly 6-feet tall Mager does have short arms (less than 30-inches), which could limit his destinations due to minimums some teams use for the position.
Round 5 (149): WR DeAndre Smelter, Georgia Tech - Yes, back to back receivers. Smelter dealt with a late season ACL tear, or else he likely would be off the board earlier. He is limited from a separation and breaks perspective, but Smelter offers a lot of run after catch potential.
Round 5 (150): WR Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas - Another personal favorite. This might not make total sense, but Lewis flashes many advanced skills but perhaps without intent. Specifically, Lewis has natural timing and high pointing ability to win in contested situations. If I was asked which third day receiver would be this class' Brandon Lloyd (4th) or Stevie Johnson (7th), I would pick Lewis.
Round 6 (190): DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA - Adding size in the later rounds is never a bad idea. McCarthy certainly did not enter early due to on-field skill, and teams are looking at him along the offensive and defensive lines.
Dolphins Current First-Team Offense
QB: Ryan Tannehill
RB: Lamar Miller
WR: Jarvis Landry
WR: Kenny Stills
TE: Jordan Cameron
TE: Dion Sims
LT: Branden Albert
LG: Dallas Thomas
C: Mike Pouncey
RG: Billy Turner
RT: Ja'Wuan James
Dolphins Current First-Team Defense
LE: Cameron Wake
RE: Olivier Vernon
DT: Ndamukong Suh
NT: Earl Mitchell
MLB: Jordan Tripp
WLB: Jelani Jenkins
SLB: Koa Misi
CB: Brent Grimes
CB: Jamar Taylor
FS: Louis Delmas
SS: Reshad Jones