Miami Dolphins News: Lane Johnson, Xavier Rhodes


The Miami Dolphins two biggest needs heading into the 2013 NFL Draft are at offensive tackle and cornerback, and their position in the draft will likely dictate which position they will address this year. If the Dolphins decide to stand pat with the 12th pick in the draft, then they will pluck a cornerback- most likely Xavier Rhodes from the Florida State Seminoles. But if they really want to get a tackle, then they will trade up high enough to snap up Oklahoma Sooners standout Lane Johnson. It is almost certain that no tackle will make it out of the top ten, and Johnson is expected to go in the top six. If the Dolphins really want a tackle, then they will at least have to trade up into the top five. Reports state that the Dolphins are shooting for a tackle, and it could very well be their biggest need after losing Jake Long and signing Brent Grimes at cornerback to replace Sean Smith (I still think that wasn’t enough to shore up their situation at CB).

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

According to Armando Salguerro of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are huge fans of Luke Joeckel, who is the likely number one pick and the best prospect in this draft. Joeckel has a chance to be an elite tackle for years to come, and the Dolphins hold some influence on what the Kansas City Chiefs do there. Some people still believe that the Chiefs will pick a quarterback (most likely Geno Smith, if they go that direction) to be the guy for the future with Alex Smith as a glorified stopgap. The Chiefs are actively shopping Branden Albert, and the tackle-needy Miami Dolphins received permission from GM John Dorsey to negotiate with Albert. If the Dolphins take Albert, then the Chiefs will take Joeckel, and the Dolphins will take a CB.

Salguerro, however, adds that the Dolphins are only “lukewarm” on Lane Johnson; the third best tackle in the draft. I have a feeling they think he is too raw, a little overhyped, not worth a top ten pick, or not a good enough run blocker. Johnson looks like a very good tackle, but his draft stock may have risen too fast. If they want to trade up for a tackle, they will most likely go after the two big guns in Joeckel and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher (more likely that they take the latter). Salguerro adds that Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland has questions about Johnson’s game”.

Xavier Rhodes, according to Salguerro, is viewed by the Dolphins as a poor fit for their defense. It sounds like they don’t want a big, press corner like Rhodes, so this adds fuel to the fire that they will trade up for a tackle. I believe in ignoring scheme fit at CB (it’s not that big of a deal at CB as opposed to other positions) if the player is that talented, but Rhodes isn’t all that talented. He’s good, don’t get me wrong, but the Dolphins shouldn’t take him at 12 if they view him as a poor scheme fit.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.