The Dolphins have certainly had an interesting offseason. They traded away their most dynamic offensive player in Brandon Marshall, and whiffed on just about every big name coach/free agent they went after, including Peyton Manning.
The Dolphins have serious issues on the offensive side of the ball, particularly at tackle, quarterback, and wide receiver. Now that they are converting to a 4-3 defense, they will need to add some personnel to fit their new scheme.
If Jeff Ireland wants to survive the season, he is going to have to make this draft one of his best and find players that can contribute early on. Here is how I see the draft playing out for the Fins.
Round 1: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
There was a time when taking Tannehill with the eighth pick in the draft was considered to be a reach. Now, if the Dolphins want him, they may have to trade up.
Tannehill is going to take some time to develop, as he only has one year of experience as a starting quarterback at the college level. He has great natural arm talent and great athleticism to compliment his arm, but he does not anticipate and have the “feel” for the game that more experienced players do. If the Dolphins are patient, Tannehill could turn out to be something special.
Round 2: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
In a relatively weak safety class, Smith is widely considered to be the second best safety in the draft, behind Mark Barron. With Jeremiah Bell on his way out, the Dolphins will need a replacement. Harrison has the ideal skill set for a strong safety and should still be on the board when the Dolphins pick early in the second round.
Even if Bell was on the roster, the Phins would be looking for his replacement anyway.
Round 3: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Jones is a rather raw prospect that has dealt with his share of injuries, but he is explosive and has some upside. Jones could be a good fit as a supplement to Cameron Wake as a pass rusher.
Jones is a undersized, but his skill sets still translates to playing in a 4-3 system.
Round 3: Marvin Jones, WR, California
Jones has great speed and will be able to be an immediate downfield threat that the Dolphins have been lacking.
Round 4: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Toon is not the kind of receiver to take the top off defenses, but he can gain separation and has exceptional hands. He as all of the ability and measurables to develop into a solid #2 receiver.
Round 5: Nate Potter, OT, Boise State
Potter will have a chance to compete with Artis Hicks for the starting right tackle job. If nothing else, Potter will add depth to a depleted and aging offensive line.
Round 6: Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas
Franklin has ideal measurables and experience as a four year starter to eventually develop into a starter. At the very least, Franklin can contribute on special teams and provide depth immediately.
Round 7: Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech
Not a terribly explosive player, Boykin knows how to get open downfield and can make tough catches in traffic. The Fins need as much depth at the receiver position as they can.