Monday, May 5, 2014
Updating Dolphins draft needs: Right tackle
By James Walker
The 2014 NFL draft is finally upon us. After weeks of speculation, smokescreens and reports, the moment of truth has arrived for all 32 teams to make their final decisions that could impact their presents and futures.
The Miami Dolphins hold the No. 19 overall pick and still have several needs to fill. First up, we have perhaps the team’s biggest need on the offensive line.
Updating need: Right tackle
Analysis: The Dolphins’ complete makeover of their offensive line this offseason is not complete. After signing left tackle Branden Albert and guard Shelley Smith in free agency and extending Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey for a fifth year in 2015, Miami still has a gaping hole at right tackle. In-house candidates include veteran backup Nate Garner, 2013 third-round pick Dallas Thomas and free-agent pickup Jason Fox. All three have question marks for various reasons. Garner is a career backup who is versatile but isn’t special at one position. Thomas remains a raw prospect still trying to learn the NFL game and Fox had injury issues with the Detroit Lions and is out to prove he can be durable in Miami. The Dolphins will be looking to add a right tackle to the mix with this group – and it could come as high as the first or second round. Candidates such as Notre Dame’s Zack Martin, Virginia’s Morgan Moses, Nevada's Joel Bitonio and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio are all possibilities with the first two picks. That way, a top-rated offensive tackle can compete with the players currently on the roster to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s front side.
Need-O-Meter (Scale of 1-to-10): 9