Ranking Miami Dolphins’ Needs Heading Into NFL Scouting Combine

As the NFL Scouting Combine opens in the nation's heartland, the many Miami Dolphins needs come into focus.

The Miami Dolphins are in talent acquisition mode here with the NFL Scouting Combine.

Beyond the face time, Miami will get with the best prospects in this year’s NFL Draft. Chris Grier and his top lieutenant Brandon Shore will surely take meetings with agents of their own and other teams’ top free agents.

For a team some $40 million over the cap, the Dolphins have a surprising number of needs seven months before the start of the regular season. We rank them.

Top 5 Miami Dolphins Needs

Offensive Line

Interior offensive linemen Robert Hunt, Connor Williams, and Isaiah Wynn are all set to hit free agency in two weeks.

And of the two starting offensive linemen whose rights the Dolphins control — Austin Jackson and Terron Armstead — only Jackson is a slam-dunk to be on the team.

Armstead’s $14 million cash owed might be too rich for a team looking to shed salary.

2023 Starters Under Contract: Austin Jackson, Terron Armstead

Free Agency Options: Mike Onwenu (New England Patriots), Jonah Williams (Cincinnati Bengals), Kevin Dotson (Los Angeles Rams), Lloyd Cushenberry (Denver Broncos), Jonah Jackson (Detroit Lions), Kevin Zeitler (Baltimore Ravens)

NFL Draft Options: JC Latham (Alabama), Amarius Mims (Georgia), Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma), Graham Barton (Duke), Troy Fautanu (Washington), Jordan Morgan (Arizona)

Cornerback

The Dolphins’ decision to move on from Xavien Howard after eight years was probably the right one, considering his salary.

But the move creates a massive need at one of the most important positions. And realistically, the Dolphins probably need to add two starting-caliber corners in the next two months. Slot corner Kader Kohou was not good in 2023.

2023 Starters Under Contract: Jalen Ramsey, Kader Kohou

Free Agency Options: Jaylon Johnson (Chicago Bears), L’Jarius Sneed (Kansas City Chiefs), Kendall Fuller (Washington Commanders), Chidobe Awuzie (Cincinnati Bengals), Stephon Gilmore (Dallas Cowboys), Kenny Moore (Indianapolis Colts)

NFL Draft Options: Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama), Nate Wiggins (Clemson), Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo), T.J. Tampa (Iowa State), Kamari Lassiter (Georgia)

EDGE

From purely an asset allocation standpoint, the Dolphins should feel good about their pass rush in 2024. But the start of the season could get dicey, with Bradley Chubb (knee) and Jaelan Phillips (Achilles) both rehabbing significant surgery.

That uncertainty makes it all the more important that they make a real effort to re-sign Andrew Van Ginkel before he even gets to free agency.

2023 Starters Under Contract: Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips

Free Agency Options: Jonathan Greenard (Houston Texans), Jadeveon Clowney (Baltimore Ravens), Denico Autry (Tennessee Titans), Josh Uche (New England Patriots), A.J. Epenesa (Buffalo Bills)

NFL Draft Options: Dallas Turner (Alabama), Chop Robinson (Penn State), Laiatu Latu (UCLA), Jared Verse (Florida State), Darius Robinson (Missouri), Adisa Isaac (Penn State)

Wide Receiver

Just because the Dolphins don’t need a wide receiver near the top of the market doesn’t mean they don’t need a wide receiver.

There’s not much of anything currently on the roster after Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, so the Dolphins will be in the market for a WR3 this spring.

2023 Starters Under Contract: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle

Free Agency Options: Darnell Mooney (Chicago Bears), Gabe Davis (Buffalo Bills), Curtis Samuel (Washington Commanders), Odell Beckham Jr. (Baltimore Ravens), Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals)

NFL Draft Options: Keon Coleman (Florida State), Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU), Ja’Lynn Polk (Washington), Xavier Worthy (Texas), Adonai Mitchell (Texas)

Defensive Tackle

This would become a far bigger need if the Dolphins somehow let Christian Wilkins leave South Florida. That seems unlikely.

KEEP READING: 5 Questions for Miami Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel at NFL Scouting Combine

But even if they do retain Wilkins, as most believe they will, Miami would have no depth behind him and Zach Sieler.

2023 Starters Under Contract: Zach Sieler

Free Agency Options: Leonard Williams (Seattle Seahawks), DJ Reader (Cincinnati Bengals), Fletcher Cox (Philadelphia Eagles), Grover Stewart (Indianapolis Colts), Sheldon Rankins (Houston Texans)

NFL Draft Options: Johnny Newton (Illinois), Byron Murphy II (Texas), Ruke Orhorhoro (Clemson), Leonard Taylor III (Miami, Fla,), Michael Hall Jr. (Ohio State)

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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