This year has been one of the most exciting offseasons for Dolphin fans in a long time. Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, along with the resigning of Brian Hartline, upgraded our receiver corps from mediocre to solid (with the potential for greatness). Dustin Keller is a major upgrade over Egnew (I will get to Fasano later), giving Tannehill a quarterback friendly tightend who can stretch a defense. But the Fins have plenty of holes. They lost Jake Long at LT and they need an upgrade at guard over John Jerry. Reggie Bush is also gone and while Lamar Smith may be able to supplant him without missing a beat, I don’t have trust that Daniel Thomas is a reliable number 2 option at running back. Dustin Keller catches balls but stinks at blocking. And I haven’t even touched the defense and kicker position.
So many options, but what to do? I like Branden Albert, LT with the Chiefs. I understand it may take a second rounder to get him. I would love to have him for a 3rd rounder. Yes, he is expensive. But he is 28, durable, and a solid LT. It plugs up that spot for a few years. He may not play as good as Jake Long in his prime, but Jake Long doesn’t play as good as Jake Long did in his prime. Jake Long is also not very durable. I take my 1st round, pick 12, and I trade down in the first. I pick up an additional late round second pick and I trade that for Branden Albert.
That late round first pick? I use that on Eddie Lacy. Why? He is an all-purpose bruiser. He is someone I can rely on in goal line stances and short yardage situations. He is a guy I can pound the ball with to wear down defenses. He is a solid blocker and would be a perfect compliment to the speed and agility of Lamar Smith. It would effectively give the Fins a great 1-2 punch at the running back position.
My first second round pick? Yea, I spend that on Tyler Eifert, the tightend from Norte Dame. Why? Because is an upgrade over Fasano. He’s younger, stronger, and more athletic. He can block and catch. Honestly, I can see him as becoming a significant redzone threat. He would give the Fins a great 1-2 at tightend which is important in today’s NFL.
That last 2nd rounder? If Manti Te’o is there, obviously I snag him. But he likely will not be. Therefore, I look to upgrade the guard position over John Jerry. I want my mediocre line to be solid for years to come. I need Tannehill to be protected. I need room for my running backs to move. Therefore, I spend the majority of my 2nd round energy ensuring my offensive line is anything but offensive. They are a young, talented group of very angry men. 5 angry men. I like that.
The 3rd round forces me to look at both the corner back and defensive end position. I have two picks so I take one of each. The best available, hands down. I use the fourth on a receiver. Why receiver? Because I want my receiver group to be that good. Two fifth rounders? One on a linebacker and one on a safety, for depth. Sixth round and I’m looking for a defensive tackle. 7th rounders and I’m looking to add a journeyman quarterback and a kick returner. And I hope to enter training camp with a new kicker to compete with Carpenter.
What about the secondary? Yes, there are questions at free safety and corner back. The Fins also need pass rush help. But what I believe the Fins have done and will do is get better in their run defense and playmaking ability. They will create more turnovers. And I think they will be better in redzone defense. Also, with the major overhaul that the offense has gone through and will hopefully continue to get, you can only fix so many holes in a single year. Next year’s free agency and draft will shore up that secondary. Make this year about turning that Ford Pinto offense into a Ferrari and hand the keys to Tannehill.