With the 2014 NFL Draft just hours away, the direction the Miami Dolphins will take in the first round is still a mystery.
The Dolphins has obvious needs at offensive line, linebacker, tight end, and cornerback. The Fins are picking 19th in the first round and that’s likely too far down to get a top offensive tackle, too far down to get the top tight end, and too low to get one of the top cornerbacks.
The Dolphins know all these scenarios and have planned accordingly. The most glaring need is the offensive line with three starters still needed along the line to go with Pro Bowlers Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey.
Taylor Lewan, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, and Zach Martin are all tackles that will likely be gone within the first 10-12 picks of the first round. The Dolphins could trade up to get one of the tackles if they start to fall a bit, but getting up into the top 10 to ensure you get a tackle could be quite costly in picks.
If the Dolphins stay put at 19, the offensive linemen that will be available will likely be Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, UCLA guard Xavier Su’-Filo, and Tennessee right tackle Ja’Wuan James. The Fins need a right tackle and of that group, only James has spent significant time manning the right side.
Moses and Sua’-Filo are both expected to be picked either late in the first round or early in the second round. So, picking them with the 19th selection would likely be too high. James has not been talked about much, but has been high on the Dolphins’ draft board according to some reports.
Miami could throw a curveball at people and try to trade down to gain more picks and still get the player they wanted at 19. It’s a dangerous proposition, but if a quarterback needy team like Cleveland wants to make sure they get a quarterback who is falling, getting ahead of Arizona, where the Dolphins are, will be key.
The Fins could also address the linebacker or cornerback position with the 19th pick. Miami has made no secret of wanting to improve the middle linebacker position and gaining more youth at cornerback would also be beneficial to the Fins.
Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley may be on the board when the Dolphins go on the clock, but while the Fins would like to improve the linebacker position, it’s not a glaring need like the offensive line.
The direction the Dolphins choose to go on Thursday night is still a mystery, at least for just a few more hours. The NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m.