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The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is coming up on Thursday and the Miami Dolphins are currently holding the 14th overall pick.  There has been plenty of speculation regarding what direction the Dolphins will go with their pick as the team has several areas of need that will likely be addressed at some point during the draft.

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While there are multiple players at several positions that Miami has been linked to, it’s still anyone’s guess what name the commissioner will call out when the Dolphins turn comes.  To help sort things out, let’s take a look at the defensive players that Miami could target on Thursday night. For a list of the offensive players that the Dolphins could select, click here.

CORNERBACK

Trae Waynes 6’0” 186lbs, Michigan State: Waynes is a very hands-on corner which will get the attention of NFL officials, so he’ll need to work on his technique.  He’s a bump-and-run kinda guy with long arms and very good speed and would be a solid compliment to Miami’s Pro Bowl cornerback, Brent Grimes.

Jalen Collins 6’1” 203lbs, LSU: Based on raw talent, Collins may be the best corner in the draft.  He still has some technique issues but has the size and speed to compensate until he fully develops into an NFL cornerback. While some may seem him as a bit of a project, his ceiling is about as high as it can get.

LINEBACKER

Shaq Thompson 6’0” 228lbs, Washington: Thompson is perhaps the most versatile defensive player in the draft.  He played likebacker, safety and even running back during his time with the University of Washington.  A playmaker in every sense of the word, Thompson’s ability to strive in multiple positions will certainly help his draft status.

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Benardrick McKinney 6’4” 246lbs, Mississippi State: A very big and powerful guy that can bang around on the inside as well as step back and make plays in coverage.  McKinney is very quick and athletic for a guy his size and could be a great fit in Miami as an inside linebacker, allowing them to move Koa Misi back to the outside.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Eddie Goldman 6’4” 336lbs, Florida State: Goldman is exactly what you’d want from a top-tier defensive tackle. He takes up a lot of space and clogs the middle but has the athletic ability to shed blockers and make plays on the ball. He can also get after the quarterback and collapse the pocket from the inside.  Goldman would be a great fit with what Miami already has on their defensive line.

Danny Shelton 6’2” 339lbs, Washington: If Shelton is still on the board when the Dolphins pick at 14 it’s hard to imagine them passing him up.  A natural run stopper with surprisingly quick feet, Shelton dominated at the Senior Bowl and has a great combination of athleticism and size that NFL teams drool over in a potential top-10 pick.

Malcom Brown 6’2” 319lbs, Texas:  Brown took a huge step forward in 2014 to propel himself into first round status.  He has great instincts that get him into the backfield quickly but what NFL scouts have noticed the most is how well he uses his hands.  Versatile enough to play multiple positions on either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, Brown could make an immediate impact for whoever snags him.

Don’t miss CBS Miami’s NFL Draft special Fins On The Clock this Saturday at 7 p.m. on CBS4. 

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