Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/1/13
The Oakland Raiders had their list of players they wanted to pick, both Fisher and Joeckel were gone, but Sharrif Floyd and Dion Jordan were available for selection. Instead, the Raiders traded the 3rd overall pick to the Miami Dolphins for the 12th and 42nd picks in the draft. Miami needed an offensive tackle but decided to give their defense a boost, since they tied for fourth-worst in the league last year in takeaways.Dion Jordan is a fast pass rusher off the corners, but he can also be lined up inside, and his ability to disrupt opposing passers makes him a very dangerous player for opposing teams to defend. Early-on comparisons to Jason Taylor were made, but honestly this kid hasn't peaked and possesses more skills than Taylor did when he was drafted.In the 2nd round they further enhanced the defense by selecting CB Jamar Taylor out of Boise State. Taylor is a ball-hawk plain and simple. He's fast and has what it takes to be a shutdown corner for the Dolphins. These two additions elevated the Dolphins from division pretenders to potential AFC East contenders.In the 3rd round Miami got their offensive tackle, and a good one to by selecting Dallas Thomas out of Tennessee. He easily can slide into the role abandoned by Jake Long's departure. The great part about drafting Thomas, is he can play any position within the offensive line. They then traded their 2nd pick in the round to the New Orleans Saints for two low 4th round selections.In the 4th round the Dolphins drafted a stud in Jelani Jenkins out of Florida. He's a hard hitter that will be mainly used on special teams, but will also get a chance to battle for minutes opposite of Jordan. However, unseating Ellerbe or Wheeler will be no easy exercise. The Dolphins used their second 4th-rounder on TE Dion Sims. Sims will be the backup tight end to Dustin Keller.The rest are developmental players that may not make the team. But, the picks above certainly have shifted the Dolphins to potential contenders in the AFC East. Their defense is faster and possess an improved pass rush that will be tough for opposing teams to prepare for, due to the speed and created ability to force an increased amount of turnovers.The offense should do well with Tannehill being able to rely on a good offensive line. They did trade one of their better receivers over the past few seasons, Davone Bess, but their offense should do fine this season. The only concern will be the running game after losing Reggie Bush, but they do have talented backs, so one should step into the starting role and give the Dolphins the production they need from the backfield.Prior to the draft I wasn't liking the direction the Dolphins were taking, but following the draft, there's no denying the team is on the right track, and will put up a fight for the AFC East title. Following this solid draft, Dolphin fans everywhere have every reason to be excited about next season!
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