Miami Dolphins 2013 NFL Draft: Team needs and potential solutions

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) audibles against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

It is no secret that the Miami Dolphins are building towards respectability, but are still a few years away. Coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill both enter their second season on South Beach, and both are looking to add some legit offensive firepower through the draft. However, this franchise has holes on both sides of the football.

Here’s what they will be looking for with the 12th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

  • Left Tackle: Jake Long is a free agent. The Dolphins have plenty of cap room, so they have to make every effort to re-sign him. If they can’t, they’ll have to find a bookend for second-year Jonathan Martin, who struggled as a rookie. If Long leaves, Miami may have to draft Eric Fisher at No. 12 overall.
  • Wide Receiver: Make it two wideouts if Brian Hartline leaves via free agency. Ryan Tannehill desperately needs a legitimate No. 1 receiver to throw to. Expect Miami to use one of its picks in the first two rounds on this position. Signing Greg Jennings is also an option.
  • Two Cornerbacks: The Dolphins have a mess at cornerback. Sean Smith is a free agent. Richard Marshall, who isn’t very good, is coming off back surgery. Nolan Carroll struggled as well. The front office dealt Vontae Davis for a second-round pick, so that selection could be used on a replacement.
  • Defensive Tackle: Randy Starks is a free agent. If he leaves, Miami will have to find someone else to rush the passer in the interior. Fortunately for the front office, this upcoming draft class is deep at the position.
  • Tight End: The only reason rookie Michael Egnew wasn’t cut last year was because the front office spent a third-round pick on him. He’ll likely be gone this August at the very latest. Tannehill needs a solid intermediate pass-catcher.
We have broken down the 2013 draft needs for all 32 NFL teams.