Three and out: Miami Dolphins' 2018 NFL draft needs, prospect fits
In the build-up to the 2018 draft, USA TODAY Sports will take a look at each NFL team's situation and needs.
1. The Dolphins traded for defensive end Robert Quinn, but the release of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh leaves a massive void in the middle of the line. For all of his inconsistencies, Suh was still a wrecker and someone for whom opposing offensive coordinators needed to plan. Expect the Dolphins to use an early-round selection to find a replacement.
Advice: If Miami wants to use its first-round pick (No. 11) to fill Suh’s shoes, Washington’s Vita Vea and Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne are the clear choices, though the Dolphins could even potentially trade down to acquire more assets. Later-round prospects Miami might be targeting include Georgia’s Trenton Thompson, Florida State’s Derrick Nnadi, and Miami’s R.J. McIntosh.
2. Deficiencies at outside linebacker have long been a sore spot. Miami needs to address this issue early in the draft.
Advice: Georgia’s Roquan Smith and Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds are potential first-round options, though both could be gone by the time Miami is on the clock. Jerome Baker from Ohio State could be a solid option in the second or third round, as could Smith's teammate Lorenzo Carter.
3. Having not played since December 2016 due to knee injuries, Ryan Tannehill has given the Dolphins cause to re-evaluate their future at quarterback. The only passer Miami has selected since taking Tannehill No. 8 overall in 2012 was 2016 seventh-round pick Brandon Doughty.
Advice: In an ideal scenario, the Dolphins could pounce on a quarterback should one of their top options fall past the top 10. Given the unlikelihood of that scenario, however, Miami needs a backup plan. Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Washington State’s Luke Falk and Western Kentucky’s Mike White will all be available later.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.