With the 2013 NFL Draft almost exactly a week away, it’s time for me to take a real stab at predicting how the Miami Dolphins will attack the draft. With five picks in the first three rounds and 11 total selections, they really have a lot of room to build the roster.
Here’s a full draft prediction for the Dolphins, with the round followed by the overall pick number in parentheses and a breakdown of each pick following the player’s name.
MDD Assistant Editor: Garrett Baker
1 (12) Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Trufant gives the Dolphins a well-rounded corner who can start instantly opposite new free agent acquisition Brent Grimes. Trufant has the adequate size, speed, and experience to play in both man and zone coverages, and would be a perfect fit in Miami. He could also potentially step in as the No. 1 corner in 2014 if things don’t work out with Grimes.
2 (54) Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
If Trufant isn’t taken in the first round, then a cornerback would be the primary option here. But Carradine would be a phenomenal pickup at a position of need for the Dolphins. He took over for the injured Brandon Jenkins in the first game of 2012 and dominated until tearing his ACL late in the year. He is a well-built, athletic, hard working pass rusher who would be a lock first-round pick if not for the injury.
2 (54) Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Even with rumors swirling about a trade for Branden Albert, I feel like it is mostly smoke and little fire from the Dolphins side of things. Jeff Ireland knows he needs a tackle, and he’s just trying to get as much leverage as he can. If he doesn’t trade up in the first round for one of the top three left tackles, settling for Armstead wouldn’t be so bad. He played in 37 collegiate games and started every one as a senior, so he isn’t as raw as some may believe. His technique is solid, and he dominated competition in college before impressing at the Senior Bowl and putting up some freakish numbers at the combine.
3 (77) Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Miami adds some needed depth to the cornerback position here. Alford is perfectly suited for all of the zone coverage that Kevin Coyle likes his secondary to play. The biggest knock on Alford is his size, but with his outstanding fluidity, quick feet, and smooth backpedal, he will fit in perfectly. This would also allow the Dolphins to cut Dimitri Patterson, who is owed a lot more money than he’s worth. Going into the season with Grimes, Trufant, Alford, and Richard Marshall would give Miami a strong cornerback corps.
3 (82) Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
This pick makes sense for a few reasons. Miami lost Reggie Bush, and will essentially ask Lamar Miller to replace him. While that leaves Daniel Thomas mostly still in his same position, I don’t think the Dolphins should be counting on him as a long-term No. 2 back. He has been injured a lot and mostly ineffective when on the field, and Taylor is a really strong, powerful runner who would compliment Miller perfectly.
4 (111) Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
While Tyler Eifert could be a great pick for Miami’s tight end need, many people think that he isn’t worth the 12th overall selection. If Miami chooses to wait, they’d be smart to grab Sims. He’s a strong kid who blocks extremely well and is underrated as a pass catcher. He would help protect Tannehill and be a good compliment to Dustin Keller.
5 (146) Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State
Anyone who thinks the Dolphins could get a good kicker in the last round is dreaming. The first kicker went in the 5th round of last year’s draft, and the next three were all taken in the 6th. Miami should target a kicker, because they’re overpaying Dan Carpenter, but they’re going to have to do it with their fifth round selection if they want Hopkins or Caleb Sturgis, who are two of the better kicker prospects in the last few years.
5 (166) Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State
Hodges is a converted safety who really came into his own last season. He has continued to bulk up and add to his athletic frame, and could potentially play all three linebacker positions for Miami in a pinch. They desperately need a solid guy on the bench who can come in if needed, because their depth is currently awful. Hodges would be perfect in that role.
7 (217) Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Wilson would be at least a mid-round pick if it wasn’t for some character concerns after he quit Washington State’s football team last season. There were issues with coach Mike Leach, which can’t be ignored, but Wilson’s stock has shot straight down since then. He still has a high ceiling as a player though, and is worth taking a shot on.
7 (224) John Boyett, S, Oregon
Boyett is one of the best kept secrets in the draft. He was an extremely productive safety for Oregon before getting surgery to replace partial tears in the patella tendons of both of his knees at the start of his senior year. The knee problems are obviously a huge concern, but the hard-hitting safety could be the steal of the draft if he’s healthy.
7 (250) Cooper Taylor, S/OLB, Richmond
Taylor had to transfer from Richmond from Georgia Tech because of a medical condition, and has stayed under the radar ever since. But he’s an instinctual, 6’4″ safety who lacks great speed but tackles well and plays hard every snap. He could be a great special teams player and fill in at both safety and linebacker when needed.