Personnel needsOT, CB, DE, TE depth
After losing Jake Long
in free agency, the Dolphins need to fill a hole at offensive tackle. They have some flexibility because 2012 second-round pick Jonathan Martin
can swing to either side of the line; if the Dolphins add a right tackle, he'd anchor the left side, and vice versa. He needs to improve his strength and pass-set anchor, but Martin has substantial long-term value.
The Dolphins will get more out of Dustin Keller
in the passing game than they did Anthony Fasano
, but Keller is a far inferior blocker. The Dolphins now lack an above-average blocker at the tight end position, but should be able to find one in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. Protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill
is essential to this offense taking the next step.
Not a need:
Credit GM Jeff Ireland for building the receiving core through free agency, as it has quickly shifted from an area of focus to an area of depth. New additions Mike Wallace
and Brandon Gibson
should team with Brian Hartline
and Davone Bess
to give Tannehill a diverse and explosive arsenal of targets. Wallace didn't come cheap, but few players possess his quick-strike scoring ability, something Miami desperately needed.
Depth chartJobs in jeopardy:
Guard Lance Louis
will spend much of his offseason rehabbing from a knee injury that ended his 2012 season while he was with the Bears, but he's a strong contender to start at right guard when he returns, which puts the pressure on incumbent starter John Jerry
. While neither was a regular starter in 2012, look for second-year back Lamar Miller
to leapfrog Daniel Thomas
and open the season as a first-stringer.
Don't mess with it:
While the Dolphins have expressed interest in adding a veteran pass-rusher this offseason (John Abraham
visited the team), the defensive line is a strength of this team. Cameron Wake
is an imposing rusher from the left side, and look for Olivier Vernon
to progress as a second-year player in 2013. Jared Odrick
has elite run defense traits, and Randy Starks
and Paul Soliai
are a load to push on the interior.