The Miami Dolphins have been on a mission so far this offseason to put themselves in position to compete for a playoff spot in 2013. After an aggressive free agency period, the Dolphins emerged as a better team, with several more weapons in place. Over the last couple of weeks, speculation has run rampant on whether or not the team would select an offensive tackle early in the draft, but those questions were answered last Thursday night.
Miami kicked off the draft by trading up to the third spot, and taking linebacker Dion Jordan. Nearly everyone had him as a top-five talent, and the Dolphins made it clear right away, he was the man to help improve their defense.
The defensive help didn’t stop there, as Miami got tremendous value for cornerback Jamar Taylor in the second round at No. 54 overall. Then came the addition to the offensive line that everyone anticipated, with the selection of OT/G Dallas Thomas in round three.
Two more defensive picks followed with CB Will Davis and LB Jelani Jenkins. Two more complimentary offensive pieces were added in rounds four and five with TE Dion Sims, and RB Mike Gillislee. A kicker was taken in the form of Caleb Sturgis in round six, and safety Don Jones rounded things out in the seventh.
As you can see, the Dolphins prioritized defensive help, without ignoring positions that could use depth on offense. The team has a potential franchise linebacker with Jordan, and Taylor should provide a boost to the secondary right away. The steal of the class might have been Gillislee in the fifth round, as he really only played one year of college football, and comes in with a lot of upside.
Offense took center stage in free agency, while defensive help dominated the draft. I like the balanced focus demonstrated by the Dolphins this offseason, and you’d have to say both free agency and the draft, have been successes.
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