By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on March 25, 2014
With the 2014 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, it's time to begin composing the Miami Dolphins' big board. For those unaware, a big board is simply a way of ranking draft prospects. Considering it's the Dolphins' most pressing need at the moment, right tackle is a fitting position to begin the series with. Here are Miami's top 10 options to fill the void at right tackle during May's draft.
Ohio State tackle Jack Mewhort projects as a solid right tackle at the next level thanks to ideal size and strength for the position. He easily controls rushers once he's able to engage and can generate push as a run blocker. Mewhort slides a bit down these rankings because of mediocre athletic ability, though.
Perhaps Billy Turner is a better fit at guard in the NFL, but his film is awfully impressive at tackle. With a fluid shuffle in pass protection and a strong punch, Turner has the ability to protect the edge to accompany his high ceiling as a nasty run blocker. Turner would be a nice addition to Miami's offensive line in the second or third round.
Once considered a top 15 pick, Cyrus Kouandjio's draft stock has plummeted a bit after testing poorly and failing several physicals at the combine. Kouandijio could become a dominant run blocker at right tackle, but may struggle containing speed rushers. The Dolphins should consider him if he checks out medically, but he isn't a perfect fit schematically.
Tennessee left tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson also raised some medical red flags at the combine. He possesses an impressive combination of size and athleticism but gets caught overextending far too often. Technical and health issues aside, Richardson would be a high-upside selection on the draft's second day.
As the only full-time collegiate right tackle on this list, Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James could be one of the draft's most underrated prospects. James is more fundamentally sound than his aforementioned former teammate and may have just as much potential. There's no reason why he couldn't start from day one in Miami.
Notre Dame's Zack Martin, who has been tabbed as the favorite to land in Miami in round one, offers position versatility as a potential tackle or guard. But when evaluated as a pure tackle, he lacks ideal measurables to be higher on these rankings. He projects as a stud run blocker regardless of position but would potentially have trouble protecting the edge.
The biggest knock on Morgan Moses is he doesn't generate much push in the running game, but he can be effective in a zone blocking scheme similar to Miami's. Moses' true value comes in pass protection where he utilizes his long arms to keep pass rushers at bay. Don't be surprised if the Dolphins target Moses in the first round.
Michigan's Taylor Lewan was thought to be a shoo-in to land in the top-12 picks of the first round but could potentially slide out of the top 15 due to off-field trouble. Lewan has elite athletic ability, but he needs to clean up his fundamentals. Still, he would be a tempting selection for the Dolphins if he's available at pick No. 19.
Jake Matthews is a prototypical left tackle and won't be on the board when the Dolphins are on the clock baring a trade up into the top 10.
Like Matthews, Greg Robinson has the ceiling of an elite left tackle and will come off the board quickly in May. With Branden Albert in town, the Dolphins won't be trading up to nab Matthews or Robinson.
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