Sunday, April 22, 2012

On The Clock: Miami Dolphins

With the eighth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins will have to figure out how they can improve their team in order to compete with the rest of the AFC East. I know the off-season is not officially over, but the Dolphins are currently my pick to be the worst team in the NFL in 2012. I will officially create my 2012 NFL standings later in the summer, but before we get into that, let's look at how the Dolphins ended up 6-10 in 2011. 

The Dolphins certainly had a rough time passing the ball in 2011. They relied predominately on Matt Moore but Chad Henne started three games as well. Moore finished the season with 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 9 fumbles and a 60.5 completion percentage. The Dolphins brought in David Garrard to compete for the starting job in 2012. However, I do not think either quarterback is going to have an easy time, especially after Miami traded away their best receiver, Brandon Marshall, for two third round picks. Furthermore, Miami's offensive line struggled in 2011 allowing 52 sacks for 30th in the NFL. Miami was able to get a good year out of Reggie Bush as he finally topped 1,000 yards with 1,086 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 fumbles. Brandon Marshall was the only receiver to get over 1,000 yards with 1,214 yards but he was traded. 

Miami's defense was stellar in 2011 as they allowed 345.1 yards per game (15th) and 19.6 points per game (6th). They also had 41 sacks (10th) and 16 interceptions (16th). In order to beat Tom Brady, the Dolphins are going to have to get pressure on the quarterback and they could turn to the draft to find their pass rusher. However, I think their needs are elsewhere and they will look first at:

1. Ryan Tannehill - Quarterback - Texas A&M - I know Miami's general manager Jeff Ireland has discussed that they may not draft Tannehill but I think that is just a smoke screen. Miami needs a quarterback and they should turn to Tannehill as their answer. Whether or not he will be a franchise quarterback is something we will soon find out but the Dolphins need to take the chance. Instead of relying on Matt Moore or David Garrard they need to turn to Ryan Tannehill. 

2. Michael Floyd - Wide Receiver - Notre Dame - For some reason the Dolphins traded Brandon Marshall this off-season for two third round picks. Some believe Miami thinks Marshall is going to get severely punished for off the field incidents (Marshall allegedly punched a woman in a Manhattan night club). However, it seems strange to trade your best offensive weapon for a couple third round picks.  The Dolphins could try to replace Marshall with Floyd who is a speedy receiver who can go over the middle and catch nearly anything thrown his way. 

3. Quinton Coples - Defensive End - North Carolina - Miami could also look at defensive endsin hopes of getting more pressure on the quarterback. They were 10th in the NFL with 41 sacks but should look to generate more pressure if they are going to beat Tom Brady. Coples would give them a capable defensive end who could turn the Miami line into an elite unit. 

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