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Miami Dolphins Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up


Paul Malamood
While the Dolphins did a good job of scratching some of their biggest needs off their list, there are a still a couple of positions that are lacking in talent. As we head towards mini camp, here are the positions that Miami Still needs to figure out. | Photo Credit: nfl.com

Last weekend the Dolphins did a great job of addressing their biggest positions of need heading into the draft. In order for them to do that, they had to be extremely aggressive in making draft day trades. Throughout the span of the three-day draft, the Dolphins made four trades, two of which were so that they could acquire a 2nd round pick and a second 3rd round pick.

With four picks in the first three rounds, the Dolphins were able to take highly valued prospects at their three biggest positions of need. The Dolphins pounced on the opportunity to take arguably the most talented player in the draft, when offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil slid to them at 13th overall because his twitter account was hacked to post a video of him smoking marijuana using a gas mask was posted. Next, they moved to complete an overhaul of their cornerbacks by taking Xavien Howard in the second round. Finally, they took Alabama running back Kenyan Drake hoping that he will be able to form a RB by committee with Jay Ajayi that will be able to replace Lamar Miller. With their second 3rd round pick the Dolphins drafted WR Leonte Carroo to add him to their already talented core of young receivers.

While the Dolphins did a good job of scratching some of their biggest needs off their list, there are a still a couple of positions that are lacking in talent. As we head towards mini camp, here are the positions that Miami Still needs to figure out.

 

1. Pass Rusher

The Dolphins did a good job of replacing Oliver Vernon when they brought in Mario Williams. However, before the offseason started there were going to be questions about their pass rush even if they brought back Vernon. Cameron Wake missed most of last season with a torn Achilles, which is not an easy injury to come back from. There is no guarantee that Wake will have been able to regain 100% of his capability to explode out of his stance, which would dramatically affect his ability to beat opposing offensive linemen and get to the quarterback. It would benefit the Dolphins greatly for them to keep an eye out for any free agent pass rushers still on the market, or once teams cut down their rosters in training camp.

 

2. Running Back

While the Dolphins did address their needs at running back in the third round with Kenyan Drake, that doesn’t mean that their problems at the position have been solved. Drake is best suited as a third down and change of pace back. Miami took Jay Ajayi last year in the 5th round. They had hoped that they had found a steal in the late round, but in the limited opportunities he got to show case his talent last year, Ajayi failed to impress.  

The Dolphins’ coaching staff has stated that Ajayi will be their starting back, but that doesn’t mean that they should gamble by not making sure they have several back up plans in place. Running back is a position that usually has a bunch of veterans become available during training camp, so the Dolphins should be keeping close tabs on the waiver wire this summer.

 

Paul Malamood is the AFC East Division Manager and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @therealmoody82, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram @moodysports.


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Ajayi slipped so far last year because of knee problems and they may be something he deals with for his whole career, but at the fifth round, a talent like him was definitely worth a shot. I don't see Drake as being more than rotational either and a bit a of reach. As for pass rusher, it's definitely something they'll have to address sooner rather than later. Williams and Wake are both in their 30s and of questionable health now, although the time they did spend on the field was productive. 

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The running back position has been so wishy washy in Miami but Lamar Miller gave them that stability and it showed.  Training camp will really tell the tale with the running backs they have now and who will emerge as a starter but for now, on paper, it doesn't look so good.

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I think it'll be an interesting RB competition with Drake and Ajayi. Probably will see Drake win, since Ajayi didn't do much last year. But whatever happens, they need support from that running game if they're finally going to have a winning record and contend for the playoffs. I just don't see them winning a ton of games on Tannehill's arm.

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How does the Dolphins defense as a whole look going into 2016? Once the offense establishes a run game I'm sure it'll be fine, but what's the defense going to be like?

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Could Ajayi be an everyday back in 2016? This will be one of the biggest storylines for this Miami team throughout the summer and will be worth watching whether he can progress and improve.

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I am not convinced the Dolphins will make a significant impact in the AFC East this year.  I have not seen enough to warrant support of a winning season for them.

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Foster just seems to be injured too frequently for Miami to put all their eggs in that basket. Ajayi seems like he's got the potential to be a high-impact guy for the Dolphins. With him being mostly unknown right now, RB is definitely one of their biggest needs.

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Even with the addition of Williams, I am still greatly worried about the pass rush. Both he and Wake are getting up there in age and I'm not sure either can last a full season. As a Jags fan, I'm also aware of how u productive Andre Branch is as a pass rusher. This is definitely still an area of concern

Sent from my iPhone using the Pro Football Spot App

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