The Miami Dolphins were once again busy in the offseason, adding big-name players left and right in free agency. Their sorest spot, the offensive line, was addressed with the signing of left tackle Branden Albert, but Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider believes the team has more work to do up front -- even if they're forced to pass on better prospects to do so.
|50. Dolphins||Joel Bitonio, Nevada||OT||6'4||302||SR|
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"At this point, I had to make a very difficult choice, and one I may regret later. Either stick to the plan that was established with the pick of C.J. Mosley in the first round, or blow it all up because inexplicably, Louis Nix is still on the board at pick 50. I so badly wanted to make that selection, knowing Jared Odrick’s contract runs out after this season and Randy Starks’ new deal was just for two years, meaning he will be a free agent again after the 2015 season. Adding Nix at 50 would be a steal and make sure the Dolphins have a man in the middle for years to come.
A pick of Nix would be incredible value, but it would have left the Dolphins with no offensive line help through the first two rounds of the draft. That just cannot happen for this team at this time, and I had to stick to the plan. Mosley in the first gives the Dolphins a playmaker to take over the center of the defense, but it locks in offensive line as the second-round selection. In this case, Miami lands a player who could wind up playing either tackle or guard if needed. Most likely destined to move inside, Bitonio is ranked as the fifth-best offensive tackle by NFL.com’s Mike Mayock while CBS Sports has Bitonio as the third-ranked guard -- SB Nation is a little harder on Bitonio than some of the other sites, ranking him as the sixth guard and 79th overall player. Wherever he is ranked on the big board, Bitonio is a player with a mean streak, and he could be exactly the type of run-blocking, nasty lineman the Dolphins need."
NFL Mock Draft
Dan Kadar, SB Nation's NFL Draft analyst, has some thoughts and opinions to share on the Dolphins' mock draft pick of Bitonio:
This pick is a consequence of Miami's offensive line needing such a large rebuild. It's true, Nix would be the better choice obviously because of value. Bitonio is maybe the smarter choice because of need. He's more than capable of holding down the right tackle spot opposite free agent signing Branden Albert. More likely, though, Bitonio is a better fit at guard. He's a unique player in that he could play four spots on the offensive line. In other words, he would give Miami the freedom of drafting a best lineman available later in the draft and figuring out where they all fit best.
Our next pick, courtesy of Kev H at Windy City Gridiron, is the second-round pick of the Chicago Bears. Stay tuned.
Top 5 players remaining
|12||Louis Nix III||DT||Notre Dame||6'2||326|
|35||Demarcus Lawrence||DE||Boise State||6'3||251|
|41||Scott Crichton||DE||Oregon State||6'3||273|
|43||Lamarcus Joyner||S||Florida State||5'8||184|
2014 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results
|1||19||Miami Dolphins||C.J. Mosley||LB||Alabama|
|2||50||Miami Dolphins||Joel Bitonio||OT||Nevada|