Since the offseason began, the Miami Dolphins have been cleaning house. Fans tuning into the NFL Draft tonight expecting the Fins to get the pieces they need to make a playoff run are in for a rude awakening, though. This will be a rebuilding year for Miami's pro-football franchise.
For starters, coach Adam Gase got rid of Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry. These moves came after the Dolphins traded Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi in the middle of last season. Ryan Tannehill, the Fins' no-bowl quarterback, is returning from a yearlong injury without a solid center to protect him or a clutch wide receiver to catch the ball.
It's obvious Miami is hitting the reset button just in time for today's 26 NFL Draft. There are so many holes in this team it's difficult to figure out how to plug them all. Although if any of the top five quarterback prospects — Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Rosen — are available at the 11th pick, the Dolphins should take one. Miami needs to have its quarterback of the future in place if Tannehill gets hurt again or fails to regain his form.
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In the second, third, and fourth rounds, the Dolphins must pick a defensive tackle, a center, and a wide receiver, respectively. Miami signed two veteran wide receivers, Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola, but neither player is a suitable replacement for Landry, who became Tannehill's go-to wide receiver and recorded 100 catches and 1,000 yards a season with ease. Aside from replacing Pro Bowl players, the Dolphins also need a tight end and a linebacker.
That's why the draft is important to the future of the franchise under Gase, who is a solid NFL coach. This is his opportunity to create the Dolphins' identity. To make his team like the New England Patriots, Gase needs players who will buy into his system from day one.
It all starts when the Dolphins are on the clock tonight.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.