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Going Deep: Predicting Miami Dolphins eight picks in 2018 draft
| 2 weeks ago

The Miami Dolphins have eight picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 11 in the first round April 26 in Arlington, Tex.

Here is a look at the Dolphins' five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2017 season. Below that are the team's current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2018 picks.

DOLPHINS' FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

TOTAL PICKS 9 8 7 8 7

STARTERS 0 2 3 3 1

BACKUPS 0 2 1 5 6

OTHER TEAMS 9 3 2 0 0

OUT OF LEAGUE 0 1 1 0 0

TOP 3 NEEDS IN 2018 DRAFT

1. Linebacker: Miami had trouble among its linebackers last year being aggressive against the run and playing effective pass defense. As for the running game the problems began when rookie middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan sustained a season-ending knee injury in preseason. Miami used undrafted rookie Chase Allen until signing veteran Rey Maualuga. But Maualuga reported out of shape and then was cut after an early-morning incident at a Miami nightclub. Lawrence Timmons went AWOL before the opener and didn't make many impact plays. Kiko Alonso was lacking in pass protection. Miami needs an aggressive, athletic linebacker who can be sturdy against the run and adept defending tight ends and running backs against the pass.

2. Tight end: Julius Thomas didn't work out nearly as well as head coach Adam Gase hoped, so Miami is back to the drawing board. This has been a years-long search that has included players such as Charles Clay, Dustin Keller, Dion Sims and Jordan Cameron. Right now, either MarQueis Gray or A.J. Derby stands as the starting tight end. Miami didn't address this concern in free agency although there remains a chance veteran Anthony Fasano, known more for his blocking than receiving, could return. It's likely the Dolphins draft a tight end although it's unclear where that draft pick might come.

3. Defensive tackle: The loss of Ndamukong Suh was a big one. Miami understood that when they released him but said among players such as returning starter Jordan Phillips and rookies Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor, they feel they have a good start. Still, everyone knows that's not nearly enough. Miami could opt for a defensive tackle in the first round of the draft (Washington's Vita Vea should be available) to pair with Phillips, a 2015 second-round selection. Or the Dolphins could pick up one or two defensive tackles later in the draft. Whatever happens, Miami realizes it will take more than one player to replace Suh.

Below is a list of all eight of the Dolphins' picks, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com.

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