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Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland spoke about his strategy headed into the NFL Draft Thursday, and while not revealing too much, he prioritized the Dolphins' needs.
"We don’t draft vertically," he said, "we draft more horizontally."
The Dolphins are more likely to draft based on need rather than the best player available.
"So if you're in a position where you have a guy at guard and you have a need at guard, he's up there, but you have maybe two other players at the same value then you might take the guard because it's a player of need," he said.
The Dolphins have a better idea of their needs, thanks to a flurry of signings at the beginning of free agency, which "helped us from just having a little bit more idea of just being able to do what we do in the draft."
However, with RB Reggie Bush, LT Jake Long, and CB Sean Smith leaving via free agency, the Dolphins do need depth at all three of their positions.
Ireland said he may not use an early pick on a cornerback, though. "You can find them in the fourth, fifth, sixth rounds," he said. "I don't think that's particularly a position you have to have to take high."
However, trading up for a higher pick in the first round is a possibility, if Ireland really wants to. "I’ve got enough ammunition to get to the first pick if I wanted to," he said, "but I don’t see myself doing that personally."
He added, "there's also opportunities to move back and move around," suggesting a trade could leave the Dolphins drafting later, and with more picks.
The NFL Draft takes place April 25-27 in New York.