MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Dolphins fans looking for something to hope for going into the 2011 NFL season, assuming there is one, can take solace in the fact the Dolphins will be drafting in the top half of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Of course on the other hand, this also means the Dolphins season ended with a losing record which may cloud your view if you’re a glass half-empty type.
But back to the draft, the Fins will have the 15th pick in the NFL Draft in April. The Dolphins had better make the pick count too because they won’t pick again until they are on the board with the 79th pick in the draft. The Fins lost their second-round pick to Denver in the Brandon Marshall trade.
In the first round, the Dolphins have several needs to address. The team needs an impact tight end, a dependable running back, and a franchise quarterback. The last on that list is the most important, but the Fins could be dedicated to Chad Henne, which would eliminate that need.
However, if the Fins do go the quarterback route, there are several quality quarterbacks to choose from that might be available when the Fins pick. The top three names that could be available are: Cam Newton of Auburn, Jake Locker of Washington, and Blaine Gabbert of Missouri, if he declares for the draft.
All three of those quarterbacks share similar traits. Newton and Gabbert are both over 6’5” tall and can move with the football. Gabbert might have the strongest arm of any of them, but Locker has the best wheels. Newton has perhaps the biggest upside, but he’s still raw and will need some coaching up in the pro game.
If the Dolphins choose to go with a running back, the name at the top of draft board should be Alabama’s Mark Ingram. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been in a pro-style offense at Alabama and has demonstrated workhorse ability while with the Tide.
The tight end position doesn’t have any talent good enough to go in the first round, but if the Dolphins wanted a little more beef on the offensive line to help the running game, they could target Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin or Anthony Castanzo of Boston College.