It's been tough sledding for the Miami Dolphins over the last 12 seasons. Since 2002, Tom Brady's first full season as a starting quarterback, the Dolphins have made the playoffs one time -- in 2008, when Brady was out for the season with a torn ACL.
Much to his credit, Jeff Ireland has given Dolphins fans reason to hope in recent years. For the first time since Dan Marino was under center, it appears Miami has its franchise quarterback in Ryan Tannehill -- selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Ireland and Miami's front office have been the most active team in free agency this offseason, signing Mike Wallace, Danelle Ellerbe, Dustin Keller and Brent Grimes among others. Miami will need to use the draft address short and long-term team needs if they're going to challenge New England in the near future.
Top three needs
Defensive end - Cameron Wake has recorded 43 sacks over the last four seasons, and could be even more dangerous if paired with another strong defensive end.
Offensive tackle - Miami lost former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long in free agency to the St. Louis Rams. If Miami doesn't trade for Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert, the Dolphins will need to draft a tackle to replace Long.
Cornerback - In addition to Long, the Dolphins also lost top cornerback Sean Smith in free agency. Though Miami signed Grimes, the Dolphins need help at the cornerback position -- and could use a cornerback with size.
Ideal pick: Xavier Rhodes, DB, Florida State