- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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A closer look at the areas the Dolphins could address in the draft. On Tuesday we look at the defensive tackle position, which is scheduled to work out Sunday in Indianapolis.
Position of need: The Dolphins were pushed around too easily up the middle last season, especially in the final six games. Miami’s allowed 32.5 points per game over that span and finished 24th in run defense. Much of the blame can be pinned on defensive tackles Randy Starks, Jared Odrick and Earl Mitchell simply running out of gas late in the season. The Dolphins had a constant rotation at defensive tackle because they didn't have a stud run stopper in the middle who could be counted on every week to dominate. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, these players are not easy to find.
Three players the Dolphins could target in the draft:
Danny Shelton (DT), Washington: Shelton is one of my favorite players in this entire draft. He was the most dominant player at the Senior Bowl and has the size (342 pounds) NFL teams covet at defensive tackle. Shelton also has surprisingly nimble feet and is a very impressive athlete for his size. Shelton projects to go in the top 10-12 picks. But if he falls to No. 14, the Dolphins shouldn't hesitate to turn in their card with Shelton's name on it.
Carl Davis (DT), Iowa: Davis was another impressive player at the Senior Bowl. Some scouts project Davis in the second round because of his inconsistent motor. He has the tendency to disappear in games despite his talent. At the Senior Bowl, Davis' motor stayed on and he showed flashes of dominance. This combine will be important for Davis to keep the momentum going and improve his draft stock. He could be a Day 2 target for Miami.
Eddie Goldman (DT), Florida State: Goldman was a star for the Seminoles during their stellar run the past two seasons. He is best at stuffing the run, which is what Miami needs. But Goldman also can pressure quarterbacks up the middle at times due to good effort and pushing the pocket. Shelton is a better prospect in my book, but Miami may have a better shot at Goldman at No. 14. Goldman is projected to be a top-20 pick, which is contingent upon how the combine and rest of the pre-draft process goes for him.
485dMichael C. Wright