By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - The perception in South Florida is that the Dolphins have gone all-in in an attempt to make things tough on the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
The Dolphins certainly made the biggest splash early on in free agency, signing two of the best players available in speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace and Super Bowl winning linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
They continued the spending spree from there bringing in wide receiver Brandon Gibson and tight end Dustin Keller of the offensive side of the ball, along with linebacker Phillip Wheeler and cornerback Brent Grimes to help the defense.
Here's the bad news, though. Miami had to release linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby and lost a solid tight end in Anthony Fasano. The 'Phins also have to replace their starting left tackle, Jake Long, as well as their best cover corner, Sean Smith, and a very versatile running back in Reggie Bush.
In other words there is still plenty of work to be done.
Offensive line could be the top priority now with the 12th overall pick and linebacker along with more depth at defensive end as well as cornerback will be key.
Speaking at his pre-draft press conference last Thursday, Miami general manager Jeff Ireland admitted that the Dolphins need to "add some talent on the offensive line."
Ireland called the addition of guard Lance Louis a depth move, and although he was comfortable with Nate Garner at right tackle he would not commit to the expected move of Jonathan Martin from the right side to Long's spot on the left.
"He needs to be more consistent with some of things that he's going to see going up against probably the best athlete per pound on the football field," Ireland said when talking about Martin, who will be entering his second season in 2013. "Right defensive end, right outside linebacker, you gotta be on your game playing left tackle in this league, so he just needs to improve his consistency."
Some league sources believe the Dolphins want Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson but they will likely have to trade up from No. 12 to get him. Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes would also be a nice fit in Miami. He could replace Smith and give Miami a terrific tandem if Grimes proves to be healthy.
2012 Record: 7-9
Top Needs: OLB, OT, CB
First Three Picks: No. 12, No. 42, No. 54
Number of Selections: 11 (1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M); 2011 - Mike Pouncey (C, Florida); 2010 - Jared Odrick (DE, Penn State); 2009 - Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois); 2008 - Jake Long (OT, Michigan); 2007 - Ted Ginn (WR, Ohio State); 2006 - Jason Allen (DB, Tennessee); 2005 - Ronnie Brown (RB, Auburn); 2004 - Vernon Carey (OT, Miami- Florida); 2003 - none.
04/16 10:30:09 ET