Dolphins draft primer: Offensive line needs to be addressed
The biggest area of need for the Miami Dolphins? Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line. And the NFL Draft offers the Dolphins plenty of options.
Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio is one of the offensive linemen that the Dolphins are evaluating in this week's NFL Draft.
Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports
By Charlie McCarthyFOX Sports Florida
The Miami Dolphins head into the 2014 NFL Draft with glaring holes on the offensive line and other slightly lesser needs.
The Dolphins own one pick in each round, highlighted by the 19th overall selection in Thursday night's first round. Miami also has picks Nos. 50 (second round), 81 (third), 116 (fourth), 155 (fifth), 190 (sixth) and 234 (seventh).
Last year, the Fins traded up to third overall from No. 12 and took edge rusher Dion Jordan from Oregon. That was under former general manager Jeff Ireland, who was let go after the season.
Miami very well could be involved in a first-round trade this year, too, for a couple of reasons.
First, consensus among draft experts says there are four stud offensive linemen -- Auburn's Greg Robinson, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Notre Dame's Zack Martin.
The Dolphins might try to move up to secure one of the elite linemen, or, if none of the four are available, trade back for additional picks.
Another reason Miami might be open to dealing is new GM Dennis Hickey's penchant for wanting as many draft picks as possible.
Other Dolphins needs likely include linebacker, safety and, perhaps tight end and running back.
''We want to get good players and the starting element, that plays itself out,'' Hickey said recently. ''We want to build a competitive environments, bring guys in, but again that plays itself out. We just want to get good players in here that fit the criteria that we are looking for.''
Assuming Miami keeps the No. 19 selection, here are a few possible first-round selections.
T JOEL BITONIO, NEVADA
Pros: The 6-foot-4, 302-pound Bitonio is versatile enough to play any line position. Plays with a mean streak.
Cons: Needs to work on his arm and hands use and staying in control.
T CYRUS KOUANDJIO, ALABAMA
Pros: The 6-7, 322-pounder was solid in pass protection. Has body mass with extremely long arms.
Cons: Had a slow 40 time at the combine. There's concern about a knee issue and ability to handle speed rushers.
T ZACK MARTIN, NOTRE DAME
Pros: Athletic and durable, the 6-4, 308-pound Martin can play guard or tackle. One of the few Irish players not overmatched by Alabama in the 2013 BCS title game.
Cons: Not a great NFL wingspan and there's concern he could be overpowered by bigger defensive tackles.
T MORGAN MOSES, VIRGINIA
Pros: The 6-6, 314-pound Moses has the strength and size to ward off big linemen. Avoided injury in college, where he played left and right tackle.
Cons: Sometimes stands too tall and at times plays smaller than his size.
LB C.J. MOSLEY, ALABAMA
Pros: The 6-2, 234-pound is an all-around player who works hard and has a great attitude. Starred against elite Southeastern Conference competition.
Cons: Hasn't been a strong pass rusher if on the outside. Endured elbow, hip and shoulder injuries in college. Will he be durable enough?
G XAVIER SU'A-FILO, UCLA
Pros: At 6-4, 307 pounds, Su'a-Filo has the size and versatility to play multiple spots on the offensive line. Good in pass protection.
Cons: Missed two years of strength training while on a Mormon mission. Looked overmatched when he played left tackle.