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 »This Week in History
Miami Dolphins
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  The Miami Dolphins' crowning achievement during the offseason was signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (five years, $114 million, $59.995 million guaranteed). He's a game-changer.

But the Dolphins also shored up their special teams by re-signing safety Michael Thomas and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, and signing cornerbacks Brice McCain (Pittsburgh) and Zack Bowman (New York Giants), and linebacker Spencer Paysinger (New York Giants). And while they re-signed backup quarterback Matt Moore, they also added quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota), a Tampa Bay draft choice when Miami general manager Dennis Hickey was in the Buccaneers' front office.

They also added wide receiver Kenny Stills (New Orleans) and tight end Jordan Cameron (Cleveland), and re-signed safety Louis Delmas.

Still, the Dolphins have lots of holes to fill as they enter the draft.

Guard is a need. Wide receiver is a need. Power running back is a need. Cornerback and linebacker are a bit uncertain.

The Dolphins jettisoned more talent than they acquired in the offseason. So far.

Among key players from last year's 8-8 team, the Dolphins won't bring back tight end Charles Clay (departed via free agency), wide receivers Mike Wallace (traded to Minnesota), Brian Hartline (released) and Brandon Gibson (released), linebackers Dannell Ellerbe (traded to New Orleans) and Philip Wheeler (released), defensive tackles Jared Odrick (free agency) and Randy Starks (released), safety Jimmy Wilson (free agency), left guard Daryn Colledge (free agency), and cornerback Cortland Finnegan (released).

That's a lot of veteran talent walking out the door.

On the other hand, it was talent that contributed to a 23-25 record the last three seasons.

The Dolphins could go a lot of directions with their first-round pick.

Conventional wisdom suggests wide receiver DeVante Parker (Louisville). But there's also cornerback Trae Waynes (Michigan State), running back Todd Gurley (Georgia), offensive tackle/guard La'el Collins (LSU), or, in what would be a surprise on a couple of levels, guard Brandon Scherff (Iowa).

Whatever the Dolphins do in the first round, expect them to select a guard, wide receiver and linebacker.


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