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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Grade A draft: Dolphins

By James Walker

It has been a busy offseason for the Miami Dolphins. Coming off a disappointing 8-8 season, the Dolphins made several changes in the front office, by hiring new general manager Dennis Hickey, and within the coaching staff, by hiring new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

Now that alterations in the coaching staff and front office are in place, it’s time to pick the right players for Miami’s roster. The Dolphins entered this offseason with well-defined needs in several areas, such as the offensive line, cornerback and safety. Nailing the No. 19 overall pick will be important for the Dolphins, and ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s pick for his Grade A mockInsider may surprise you.

According to Kiper, Miami should select Louisville safety Calvin Pryor in the first round. This is the player Kiper feels is the best fit to match Miami’s top need.

Although Pryor is a solid prospect, I don't think he's the best fit for the Dolphins at No. 19. Kiper’s projection overlooks need, because Miami already has two starting safeties, Reshad Jones and free-agent pickup Louis Delmas. The Dolphins do not need to draft a backup in the first round. Maybe they can take a safety in the middle rounds to provide insurance if Delmas cannot stay healthy.

But offensive line is a much bigger need. This is a Dolphins team that set a franchise record in quarterback sacks allowed (58) last season. There should be some strong prospects available at both offensive tackle and guard in the first round.

Kiper does have Miami taking a pair of offensive linemen -- Joel Bitonio of Nevada and Jack Mewhort of Ohio State -- in the second and third rounds. That’s also a possibility. But it’s hard to envision Miami taking a first-round safety who probably wouldn’t start in Week 1.