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What to expect from the Miami Dolphins at 2024 NFL Draft: CBS News Miami's Steve Goldstein

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CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI GARDENS - The 2024 NFL draft is coming up in Detroit and the Miami Dolphins have a first-round draft pick for the first time since 2021. They select 21st and then again in the 2nd round at pick number 55. General manager Chris Grier and his staff, barring trades, will then have to wait until the 5th round to get involved again. The Dolphins have one 5th-round selection, two 6th-rounders, and a 7th for a total of six draft picks. Grier has a history of wheeling and dealing, so it would not be a surprise at all if there were trades before the draft to move up or down to get more picks.

Grier Hits
Before the last two drafts where the Dolphins did not have a first-round draft pick, Chris Grier had a solid first round run. Going back to 2019 with a selection of Christian Wilkins and continuing over the next two years, the Dolphins picked Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Jaylen Waddle, and Jaelan Phillips. The one 'miss' was Noah Igbinoghene, but the Dolphins knew he would be a project at the 30th overall selection.

Cap Crunch
The salary cap makes it imperative that the Dolphins hit on that 21st pick and their second-round pick at number 55. After not having those first-rounders the last couple of years, it is important for the team and its salary structure to have productive players on their first professional contracts.

Need or Best Player
It is the age-old debate in professional sports drafts. Do you draft for a position of need or simply take the most talented player? Luckily for the Dolphins, this year it appears some of the best players are also at the positions they need to fill. The first-round pick being used on an offensive lineman would make sense. Standout guard Rob Hunt left in free agency and left tackle Terron Armstead may not play beyond this season. Getting an offensive lineman who could perhaps play guard this year and then slide out to left tackle at times during this season or permanently down the road would be a great fit.

Wilkins Void
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins had a career year and got paid that way by Las Vegas. The Dolphins moved quickly to sign a handful of veteran defensive tackles in free agency, but there is a good possibility of selecting an interior defensive lineman early in the draft. It would make sense for them to bring in a young player who can eventually slide in as the starter next to Zach Seiler.

Chubb and Phillips Question
Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips are both rehabbing from season-ending injuries. When they will be available this season is a question mark. Add in Andrew Van Ginkel leaving for Minnesota in free agency, and it is very possible the Dolphins use one of their first two draft picks on an edge rusher.

Receiver Depth
Tyreek Hill and Waddle form one of the best wide receiver duos in the league. The Dolphins have looked into veteran free agents to slide into the third receiver spot. Braxton Barrios returns, and the hope is that Erik Ezukanma will be back from injury. The strong thought is that Waddle will get a long-term deal, and it is unknown how many more years Hill will play at his high level. At some point in this year's draft, you would think the Dolphins would select a receiver. And you know the head coach loves the speed of his offense so a receiver and/or other offensive playmakers are a distinct possibility.

What to Expect
When the Dolphins go to the podium to make their early selections, adding a defensive tackle, outside pass rusher, or an offensive lineman is likely. But it's the NFL draft and the Dolphins, so always expect the unexpected.

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