2014 DRAFT GUIDE
11 picks give Dolphins flexibility in draft

By STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-23 12:21

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Dolphins go into the draft with enough picks to field a team. Now the goal is to field a winning team.

After many months of patient maneuvering, the Dolphins accumulated 11 picks, beginning with the 12th overall selection Thursday. They have five of the first 82 selections, the most in the NFL.

So they should come out of the weekend with a bounty of new talent, a foundation for the future, and a new direction after four consecutive losing seasons - the franchise's longest such stretch since the 1960s.

General manager Jeff Ireland, much-maligned for decisions in previous drafts, swung several deals to put Miami in such a favorable position. He knows the Dolphins can't botch it.

``A lot of thinking and a lot of planning went into this,'' Ireland said. ``The fact that we do have 11 draft picks, and five in the top three rounds, that's important. It doesn't come around very often that you have that kind of clout in the draft. We need to take advantage of it.''

The abundance of early picks affords the Dolphins considerable leverage in trade talks. There has been speculation they'll move up in the first round, but with myriad needs, it's also possible they'll trade the No. 12 selection for multiple lower choices.

``Obviously you have options - I like to use the word `ammunition' - to go up if you wanted to,'' Ireland said. ``Certainly there are opportunities to do that, and there are also opportunities to move back and move around.

``I've got enough ammunition to get to the first pick if I wanted to,'' Ireland said, smiling slightly. ``But I don't see myself doing that.''

Whatever the moves, they could prove pivotal for the Dolphins' GM, a Bill Parcells protege preparing for his 15th draft and his sixth in Miami. Fans mindful of so-so draft results in recent years have clamored for Ireland's firing.

Not one player remains with the team from Ireland's first season with Miami in 2008, and the 2011 draft netted only one starter - center Mike Pouncey. Second- and third-round picks have been especially disappointing.

``I am aware of it,'' Ireland recently told reporters. ``You guys keep me aware of it quite often.''

Now that second-year coach Joe Philbin and his staff have settled into their jobs, they'll likely have more input in the Dolphins' draft room this time around. But Ireland said his approach remains the same.

``Obviously you are trying to upgrade the room and the dynamics of the room,'' he said. ``Certainly I haven't changed too much in regard to picking players. I have been doing it a long time now.''

The biggest need is a replacement for left tackle Jake Long, who departed to the Rams in free agency. Miami would likely need to trade up to select Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M, Eric Fisher of Central Michigan or Lane Johnson of Oklahoma, but D.J. Fluker of Alabama is expected to be available at No. 12.

Fluker is a right tackle, which would mean moving Jonathan Martin - a second-round pick last year - from the right side to left tackle.

``It would be a great bet at right tackle if Jonathan Martin can get it done at left tackle,'' draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. ``It will help your running game as the best running blocking right tackle to come out in years."

But will Ireland use such a high choice on a player perceived as the fourth-best tackle available? And will he devote yet another first-round pick to an offensive lineman?

Miami took Long as the first overall pick in 2008 and Pouncey as the 15th overall choice last year.

``If I get another Pouncey and another Jake Long, I would do it every draft,'' Ireland said. ``Those kinds of guys are pretty darn good. I wish I had a whole team full of Mike Pounceys and Jake Longs.''

But in the next breath he added, ``I'm not going to pigeonhole myself just to take an offensive lineman. I think we have a couple other positions that we might go after.''

A defensive back or defensive lineman are other possibilities with the first pick. Less pressing needs include guard, running back, outside linebacker and tight end.

Whatever the position, the Dolphins seek playmakers who can change the course of a game in one snap. Miami ranked 27th in yards in 2012, when the wideouts caught only three touchdown passes, and the defense tied for fourth-worst in takeaways - statistics that underscore the lack of a big-play capability.

With the team in the market for so many upgrades, perhaps Miami will keep all 11 picks. Quantity is important to Philbin.

``Ideally we'd add 11 excellent football players to the roster, and create an even more competitive atmosphere than we have right now,'' the coach said. ``We all know the draft, and free agency for that matter, are not necessarily exact sciences. But I'd rather have 11 than five. So I'm excited about it.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group