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 ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins 
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Post ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
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Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
By James Walker | ESPN.com

Let’s be honest: Playoff chances are virtually over for three teams in the AFC East.

The New York Jets (3-6), Miami Dolphins (4-6) and Buffalo Bills (4-6) already have played their way out of contention in 2012. Unless one of these teams can run the table -- which is a very long shot -- this trio will be sitting at home again come playoff time.

So this is the first of many chances to begin talking about the offseason and NFL draft. We begin our early draft primer series with Miami.


Key free agents: LT Jake Long, CB Sean Smith, RB Reggie Bush, WR Brian Hartline, DT Randy Starks

2013 Draft picks: Nine

Biggest needs: WR, CB, TE, RB, S

Early forecast: The Dolphins will be one of the league’s most interesting teams in the offseason. Miami has plenty cap space and draft picks to be a major player. However, the Dolphins also have many tough decisions to make with their own players. Long was once the top left tackle in football, but his play has dropped the past two years. Should Miami break the bank to make Long the highest-paid lineman in the NFL? Smith plays the premium position of cornerback, but has been inconsistent. Some team will pay the unrestricted free agent. But is he worth $30-$40 million to Miami? Bush is a leader, but his season has gone downhill. Hartline and Starks seem like the only no-brainers to re-sign. General manager Jeff Ireland has a tough job ahead of him, but a lot of assets at his disposal. That includes cap space and five draft picks in the first three rounds. The Dolphins have clearly defined needs. But those priorities could change if Miami doesn’t re-sign its key, in-house free agents.

Early possible targets: WR Keenan Allen, Cal; CB Dee Milliner, Alabama; OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (if Jake Long bolts)


http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/ ... i-dolphins

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Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:46 am
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
Let Long go. Bush is gone, so Lamar Miller better start learning blocking assignments.

You have to keep Starks. He has been solid. Sean Smith is our only starter at CB. Makes sense to keep him. I think Hartline should be resigned as well. The cupboard is awfully bare at WR.

This team is multiple drafts away from contention. Tannehill is starting to look like another failed effort to get a starting QB in Miami. He has the arm. He had mobility and smarts. I think the injury took his mobility and the memory of the injury is impacting his game.

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Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:45 am
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
we could let Long and Bush go. Smith should not be our number 1 corner. I'd like to see us sign one big free agent. a corner. Use high draft picks on offensive tackle, wide receiver, guard and pass rusher.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:20 pm
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
we need Keenan Allen. He's the drafts lone elite receiver prospect and is perfect for the west coast since his strength is run after catch ability. He's worth a top 14 pick.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:22 pm
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
Like the article says, Starks and Hartline are no-brainers. Same goes for Fasano, lock him down for a couple more years, he shouldn't cost too much.

Bush can go, he's been inconsistent this season and we'd be better off drafting a kid or going after another free agent. Personally, I like the idea of going after Steven Jackson.

As for Long, it's a little more tricky. Long hasn't played well enough to deserve a long term contract, but you don't want to necessarily give up on the guy either. I'd love to see us lock him down for two to three years at around $8-$9M a season, but that isn't likely to happen. In all likelihood we'll have to franchise Long next year. If that is the case, I'd say put a non-exclusive franchise tag on him and see if he can work out some type of deal where he can be traded if he doesn't want to stay in Miami. Long is going to be a very expensive player, the best case scenario is one where we can trade him. While I like Long, no offensive lineman is worth $12M a season.

Smith has been inconsistent, I say offer him a contract that reflects his production. If he wants more money, we've got plenty of draft picks and $$$ to go after someone else.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:23 pm
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
I didnt think we were going to have a shot at this draft's elite top 10 players but with our new losing streak its lookin like we will. So instead of talkin about mid round prospects, Miami should be looking at these 5 guys when we're picking in the top 5 or 10 slots. These are all blue chip day 1 impact guys.

OT-Luke Joeckel (would make Jake expendable)
DE-Bjoern Werrner (intense pass rusher having a big season for FSU)
DE-Barkevious Mingo (greatathlete and a pure speed-rusher. Constantly making plays in the backfield.
DE-Damontre Moore (very young player having a monster breakout season)
CB-Dee Milliner (the best man-to-man cover corner prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft)

we could still land a playmaking receiver in round 2


Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:37 pm
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Post Re: ESPN Early draft primer: Miami Dolphins
To me, keeping Starks and Hartline are for sure no-brainers. I would also resign Bush. A lot of people would disagree with me, but we have seen him be a great RB and a great leader. His biggest problems right now are both fixable--injuries and o-line play, not talent or work-ethic. Do we really want to give up our biggest playmaker on a pretty bad offense lacking them? I like Lamar Miller, but we haven't seen enough of him to think he's a #1 RB. I seriously doubt Daniel Thomas is.

As for Sean Smith, I would let him go. I just think he's going to ask for too much money, and I think another team will pay it. He's just too inconsistent for us, and considering that this team needs too much help to overpay for an average player. I'd rather splash in FA than have a returning headache be our FA pickup/

Jake Long either needs to go or settling with top 10 money and not top 1. We cannot afford to pay him as the best OT in the league when he certainly isn't one. I have confidence that he'll bounce back, but as that's an uncertain there is absolutely no reason to pay him big dollars. However, I'd slightly overpay considering how bad our O-line is, and how much Martin scares the crap out of me.

I would draft Milliner, Allen, or Hunter with our first round pick. I would also probably give away much of our later picks to get another 1st or move up. It's time to draft big and stop moving down or stocking up on 2s and 3s, because those picks have proven to only be solid contributors and not play makers. I don't know about the FA class this offseason, but if we want to be competitive next season we're gonna have to hit on multiple draft picks and one or two FAs, not to mention Tanny's need for continued growth.

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:20 am
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