With the NFL Combine coming up, it’s important to know before the “main event” which prospects the Dolphins could be targeting. An updated, “Dolphins Only” Big Board is exactly what that shows, especially focusing on OT, DE, CB, S, and of course, WR.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
1. OT Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M*
Easily a top three choice and a college teammate of QB Ryan Tannehill. If Miami does not re-sign Jake Long, Joeckel would be able to step in on day one to protect Tannehill.
2. OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
Another possible replacement for Long and could be within range of the twelfth selection. Very large man with tremendous upside.
3. CB DeMarcus Miliner – Alabama*
Tough, physical corner from the Alabama stable, Miliner could either replace Vontae Davis, or replace Sean Smith if he leaves via free agency.
4. DE Bjoern Werner – Florida St*
An elite pass rusher to line up on the opposite side of Cameron Wake, Werner is the best in a deep DE class. Would also allow Miami to tap into the Florida pipeline of schools putting tons of talent into the NFL every year.
5. OG Chance Warmack – Alabama
Whether or not Long comes back, the Dolphins could use a guard upgrade on each side and Warmack is the best in this draft. Fans may not be too thrilled with another high draft pick on the OLine, but Tannehill would be.
6. DE Damontre Moore – Texas A&M
Another possible connection with A&M whom the Dolphins loaded up on last offseason. Similar to Werner in that Miami needs to find a second pass rusher to help out Cam Wake.
7. DT Star Lotulelei – Utah
If Randy Starks leaves as a free agent, the middle of the defensive line would need someone to come in and fill the position. Star is just that, a star and would pair nicely with Paul Soliai.
8. WR Keenan Allen – Cal*
The position most Dolphin fans want addressed the most. Allen has the size and tools to be a great weapon for Tannehill on the outside and give Miami an added weapon on offense.
9. OG Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
If Warmack is off the board and Miami really wants a guard to bolster the line, Cooper is next up and would be an upgrade over either John Jerry or Richie Incognito.
10. DE Dion Jordan – Oregon
Could remind Dolphin fans of former Dolphin great Jason Taylor with his size and unique ability, Jordan would be at worst a favorable rotational player in pass rush situations.
11. WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee*
Still very raw at the position, Patterson has excellent feet and skills after the catch, he only needs to refine his route running ability and become consistent at his craft.
12. S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas
Lower on the list of needs for Miami is a Safety to pair opposite the emerging Reshad Jones, Vaccaro is the best of his class, and would be an immediate upgrade to the Miami secondary.
13. WR Robert Woods – USC*
Possibly the biggest name receiver of the draft, Woods is explosive in the West Coast offense and put up huge numbers but lacks truly elite speed or size to command double team attention at the next level. Still would be a big upgrade to the receiver corps in Miami.
14. CB Desmond Trufant – Washington
CB bloodline runs in the family and Desmond will add to the name with his size and technique, he could be available for Miami in round 2 if they’re lucky.
15. S Jonathan Cyprien – Florida International
Not quite as good as Vacarro, but still a solid fit within the Dolphin defense next to Jones as well as being a local player out of FIU.
16. TE Zach Ertz – Stanford*
Either 1A or 1B in terms of where he slots in this class at TE, Ertz is a big, physical TE with solid hands and a huge upgrade for Miami at the position.
17. WR Quinton Patton – Louisiana Tech
Patton has been compared to Greg Jennings and coach Joe Philbin may take notice of that himself having worked with Jennings in Green Bay.
18. WR Terrance Williams – Baylor
RGIII’s favorite target in college, Williams has the speed, hands, and route running ability to upgrade Miami’s receiver position from the first day of camp.
19. CB Jordan Poyer – Oregon State
Solid corner who faced a lot of top end receiving talent in the Pac 12, Poyer has all the tools you’re looking for at the position and would fit in well next to the bigger Smith if Miami re-signs him.
20. TE Tyler Eifert – Notre Dame*
Elite red zone target that goes up and snatches the ball with his hands either alone or in traffic, Eifert is right there with Ertz for top TE in this draft.
21. WR DeAndre Hopkins – Clemson
Explosive wide receiver with solid speed and good hands lacking only the ideal size needed to be a true #1, he would still represent a solid upgrade to the receiving core.
22. S DJ Swearinger – South Carolina
Someone that will absolutely put fear into the hearts of opposing receivers that even think of coming over the middle, Swearinger would bring toughness to the back half of the defense immediately.
23. WR Aaron Dobson – Marshall
Solid possession receiver in the Rishard Mathews mold. Probably not suited as a #1 receiver but does have very good hands, tough, and a solid route runner.
24. TE Jordan Reed – Florida*
Aaron Hernandez clone, right down to the school he played at, Reed is a versatile weapon that can line up anywhere on the field and catch the ball and make a play afterwards.
25. DE Ezekiel Ansah – BYU
Raw pass rush potential and a guy that moved up draft boards fairly quickly last season. May not be suited for the 4-3 however which knocks him down a few slots.
26. S Matt Elam – Florida*
A bruising safety in the same class as Swearinger, Elam looks to put the big hits on your and intimidate players from crossing his path. Solid player, but would slot more as a replacement for Jones than a player to play alongside him.
27. S Phillip Thomas – Fresno State
Ballhawking Safety that would fit in well next to Jones and help Miami start to create some turnovers to give the ball back to the offense.
28. CB Leon McFadden – San Diego State
McFadden wowed at the Senior Bowl and moved up many draft boards with his play. Creates
big plays and blankets his man, a solid combine could move him up even further and create quite the demand for himself.
30. S Eric Reid – LSU*
Once considered the best safety of this class who’s played alongside some elite NFL talent at LSU. Reid is another that is similar to Jones and may not fit in beside him.
31. WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia
Possibly the most explosive player in the draft even though he may also be the smallest. Austin is a faster version of Wes Welker and will cause absolute panic in opposing defenses when he touches the ball.
32. CB Brandon McGee – Miami
McGee would be yet another local guy from the Dolphins own backyard but still fill a need as depth at corner with elite speed and raw ability. McGee would be a solid mid round find.
33. DE Cornellius Tank Carradine – Florida St
“Tank” was on his way to being a first round pick with his play last season before injuring his knee. He could drop a bit in the draft, but when healthy he has the talent to upgrade Miami’s end opposite of Wake, a role he’s familiar with having played opposite of Werner in college.