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Miami Dolphins – Quality Picks Made for Positional Competition and Depth

Written by: Barry Lewis on April 23, 2011

If there was one team in the AFC who should have been wholly disappointed in their season last year, it was the Miami Dolphins. They had the personnel it took to make it to the playoffs. They acquired a #1 wideout in Brandon Marshall and had a quarterback in Chad Henne who seemed prepared to take his game to the next level. They had a dual running back threat in Ronnie Brown and the re-borne Ricky Williams.

Their offensive line? It features former #1 pick OT Jake Long, as well as former 1st round pick OT Vernon Carey and former 3rd round picks OG Richie Incognito and OG John Jerry.

The pieces were in place for this offense to take off. It didn’t. And now, the question that needs to be asked – Is Chad Henne going to get a second chance at getting the job done and are the Dolphins going to retain Brown and/or Williams? From a personnel point of view, the Dolphins could use a center and depth on the offensive line.

On defense, the Dolphins looks strong as well from a personnel point of view. Their most glaring weakness is at free safety and another potential lockdown cornerback. Up and down this roster, the Fish are loaded. They did not execute last year. Plain and simple. Need evidence? They were 1-7 at home and 6-2 on the road in 2010.

The Twitter draft for the Dolphins revealed that they are planning on addressing their depth issues in case free agency bites them. They drafted OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin, a solid 1st round grade and solid lineman who will compete with Carey for a starting role. They drafted WR Jerrel Jernigan in round 2 who could quickly help on special teams and become the teams’ slot receiver while WR Davone Bess officially becomes the #2 possession wideout that he is so good at.

They also added TE Jordan Cameron, USC, as a potential replacement for Anthony Fasano and represented fantastic value at pick 146.

Finally, the Dolphins, if they do not re-sign Brown and/or Williams, added Cal RB Shane Vareen and Da’Rel Scott, Maryland. Both came at very good values with Vareen having a 2nd/3rd round grade being drafted in the 4th round and Scott had a 5th round grade and was drafted in the 7th round. Vareen, as long as he stays healthy, is a prototypical 3-down back and is capable of starting in year one. Scott is a burner who underachieved in college but can be an instant fix to any kickoff return game and did have over 200 yards of rushing in his final collegiate game in the Military Bowl against East Carolina.

The Dolphins finished the draft by selecting DT Ian Williams, Notre Dame. Williams, selected in the 7th round, grades out as a 3rd/4th round grade and could provide insurance at nose tackle or help as a left end and become a 5-technique.

In the end, there is no one that can complain about this draft. All of their picks were quality, addressed team depth or provide a quality and competitive option at a starting slot. The draft grade is an A and represents one of the best drafts completed. All the Dolphins need now is for Chad Henne to be the quarterback that they expected him to be in 2010 and get it done in 2011.