The Miami Dolphins did well to sign solid guard Shelley Smith and bring in franchise left tackle Branden Albert as two massive upgrades to the offensive line, but their line was so anemic last season that they still need to make another big upgrade at the position. Their biggest need is still on the offensive line, and they are fully expected to prioritize the offensive tackle position with the 19th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Taylor Lewan is reportedly their dream choice in the first, as it seems like they love his top-notch talent more than they are put off by his character concerns.
It was also reported that the Dolphins are high on Kouandjio in the first and could even take him over Zack Martin due to new GM Dennis Hickey’s affinity for him, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. According to draft insider Tony Pauline, Hickey isn’t interested in taking Kouandjio in the first round, as the Dolphins have him off of their first round board (I’m sure other teams do, too) due to his significant medical concerns. Kouandjio is a first-round talent who can be a very good starting tackle in this league, but there is plenty of worry about his ability to hold up on this league.
Although Pauline doesn’t give us any note about the Dolphins feelings on Lewan, he writes that “it seems Zack Martin is the object of their desire”, and he is the player I usually mock to the Dolphins. It’s possible that the Notre Dame technician could go earlier, but I believe he is the most likely pick for the Dolphins. Not only is he a very good draft prospect, but his ability to succeed at guard or tackle is definitely appealing.
Another option for the Dolphins is trading down, as Pauline reports the ‘Fins could make a move to draft Nevada’s versatile sleeper Joel Bitonio, who has generated some late first-round buzz. He will most likely be taken in the early second, but Bitonio is a rising prospect worth keeping an eye on. Pauline reported yesterday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have significant interest in him as well.