Friday, April 12, 2013
Todd McShay: Dolphins need a left tackle
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins could go in several directions with the No. 12 overall pick. Miami also has 11 selections total, which affords the team the flexibility to move up if necessary. That makes the Dolphins one of the most unpredictable teams in this month's NFL draft.
Miami has needs at cornerback, offensive tackle and defensive end. That is why ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay pegged Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes for the Dolphins at No. 12.
But on a conference call with ESPN.com's Blog Network on Friday, I asked McShay about the prospects of Miami moving up to get a higher-rated player. McShay felt strongly about one position for the Dolphins.
Here was McShay's response:
"If I’m moving up, I’m moving up for a left tackle. That’s just me. Cornerbacks are one of the four key positions. But left tackle is one of the two or three in terms of positional value, in my opinion. If I just invested the No. 8 pick last year in [Ryan] Tannehill and saw the promise I saw from him this past year and lose a Jake Long. ... I don't know. I would be sick to my stomach going into a season with Jonathan Martin as my left tackle if I'm trying to build around [Tannehill]. How many years have we've been looking for a quarterback for Miami? How many years? I feel like it's Groundhogs Day every single year in the draft, saying 'Well, they haven't had a quarterback since Dan Marino.' Now you've got one, so don't screw it up. To me, this is a no-brainer if you're the Dolphins. Give up the pick, move up and go get Lane Johnson, if not Eric Fisher, and lock down that spot."
I agree with McShay. Offensive tackle is the second-most important position on the field. Barring significant improvement from Martin, the Dolphins currently do not have one. This is a draft deep with quality offensive tackles, and Miami would do itself and Tannehill a huge favor by securing his blind side.