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Dolphins address big weakness by drafting Pouncey

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 9:44 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Dolphins made the best choice with what they had, improving a position that was a huge weakness in 2010 by taking Mike Pouncey, who can play guard or center.

With no second-round pick, the Dolphins couldn’t move up to take one of the elite quarterbacks to challenge Chad Henne. There was a thought that they could trade down out of 15 to get a mid-tier QB.

The team’s other glaring need is at running back, but none of the backs, Mark Ingram included, are worthy of the 15th pick, and that’s a position that can easily be addressed later on in the draft.

It’s possible the team tried to trade out, because there are questions about whether or not Pouncey is an elite talent, but there’s little question that he’s the best interior lineman in the draft, and he will battle Joe Berger, last year’s third-round pick John Jerry and Nate Garner for playing time right away.

The Dolphins’ rushing attack plummeted in 2010, and Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams were healthy. That certainly wasn’t the fault of Jake Long or Vernon Carey. Chad Henne did not always have a lot of time to throw, another problem that cannot be blamed on the two veteran tackles. Now, the interior of the line is much improved.

With free agency possibly starting this week, the Dolphins could look into adding a veteran quarterback, not to mention one of the many running backs that will be available.

In an ideal world, the Dolphins would have traded down, but in the situation they were in, Pouncey fits perfectly, as the team decides to draft for need instead of taking the best player available in GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano’s first draft without Bill Parcells.

Sparano, whose experience lies on the offensive line, reportedly had more say in the draft room this year than he had in past seasons, and he knows how poor the interior line played in 2010. Pouncey has good bloodlines, as shown by the success of his twin brother Maurkice last year, and the versatility to play guard if Richie Incognito begins the season at center.

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