Needs: WR, DL, LB
The Dolphins were one the surprise teams of 2008, winning 11 games and the AFC East division. The Dolphins are solid at every position on offense EXCEPT wide receiver. The starting receivers? Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Camarillo. Uh-uh, ain’t gonna cut it. On defense, the Dolphins could use help at defensive line. Matt Roth led all Dolphins defensive lineman with 5.0 sacks last year. Someone other than the linebackers need to put pressure on the QB.
Choice #1: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Nicks could be the big time receiver the Dolphins hoped Ted Ginn Jr. was two years ago. In 2008, Nicks grabbed 68 balls for a whopping 1,222 yards. That’s an 18.0 yards per catch average. Nicks also added 12 receiving touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in 2008. One slight against Nicks could be his size. At 6 foot 1, Nicks is an average receiver as it goes for height. Which could steer the Dolphins away, seeing as they already have Ginn. Be that as it may, Nicks is a big time player and a chains-mover.
Choice #2: Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
Not a whole lot has been said of English, perhaps because of him coming out of Northern Illinois. However, English is a DE/OLB tweener that would be a great fit for a 3-4 defense. English is quick, 4.78 forty time, which will play to his advantage in the NFL. Questions about his size may hurt his draft value though. At 6 foot 2, English only weighs 245 pounds. However, this 2008 MAC Defensive Player of the year can disrupt the backfield, with 14.5 tackles for a loss and 8 sacks. English is another player from a smaller school with great upside.
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
How about these teams?! Both the Ravens and Dolphins finished in the bottom of their divisions last year and now are making some noise. I’m a bit of a bandwagon fan of the Dolphins and their wildcat offense. Fins QB Chad Pennington is breathing new life in Miami and their dual running back threat Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams is exciting. However, it’s the Ravens who I think will win this game. Joe Flacco, for the Ravens, is the second best rookie quarterback (behind Matt Ryan) and is playing with intelligence and a cannon for an arm. The Ravens are built from their defense up. Future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis leads the talented and experience team with names like Ed Reed, Samari Rolle, and Haloti Ngata on their roster. It’s going to be very hard for these young Dolphins to score on this team. Ravens will rattle Pennington early and get to their backs often. Expect the Ravens to win this relatively easily.
Baltimore: 31 Miami: 13
Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers
The red hot Indianapolis Colts go to San Diego to play the underachieving Chargers. While I’m notbuying the Colts just yet to make another Super Bowl run, I think that the Chargers haven’t proven they can beat a team like the Colts. The best quarterback in the NFL, Peyton Manning, will pick apart the Chargers defense that was ranked 25th in overall defense in the league. The Chargers have the talent to beat the Colts, but I don’t think they have the confidence to beat a team that is on a 9 game win streak. One of those teams they beat on that 9 game win streak was in week 12 against the Chargers in San Diego.
Indianapolis: 31 San Diego: 14