The Miami Dolphins are fully expected to draft an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and most of the talk has centered around Notre Dame product Zack Martin, who is regarded as a sure-fire first-round pick and the fourth-best tackle in the class behind Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, and Taylor Lewan. Robinson and Matthews are impossible for the Dolphins to get and Lewan is also a pipe dream of a pick, so the Dolphins most logical option at No. 19 is Martin, who has the added benefit of being able to play guard and tackle. The Dolphins need a starting right tackle to bookend big offseason signing Branden Albert, but versatility always helps, especially since the Dolphins could use another guard.
Per sources close to Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, Zack Martin is indeed the Dolphins top target in the first round of the draft, though they unsurprisingly love Lewan. Most of the information in this report from the Herald matches what we learned from Tony Pauline and the draft rumor mill, as Beasley also reports that the team isn’t interested in drafting Cyrus Kouandjio (it was previously reported that Dennis Hickey had high interest in him) due to his medical red flags.
None of this information is surprising even as it is noteworthy, but the surprising info comes late in the piece. Beasley reports that the Dolphins have first-round grades on five offensive tackles, with Robinson, Matthews, Martin, and Lewan obviously being on that shortlist. But the fifth? It isn’t Kouandjio or Morgan Moses, who doesn’t seem to be high on the Dolphins list at all. No, the fifth tackle with a first-round grade is Tennessee Volunteers product Ja’Wuan James, who is seen as an ideal right tackle but has no pre-draft buzz and is viewed as a mid-round prospect. I wouldn’t rule out the Dolphins drafting Martin in the first and James later on, so their interest in the Vols second-most touted tackle (Antonio Richardson is generally ranked higher) is worth watching.