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    Smoke or fire? Dolphins reportedly leaning toward drafting 'Bama OT Kouandjio

    Source: Dolphins lean toward drafting Bama lineman Cyrus Kouandjio
    By Andrew Abramson
    Posted: 7:34 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014
    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Although Notre Dame offensive tackle/guard Zack Martin is a popular choice for the Dolphins among those projecting the NFL draft, a source with knowledge of the situation tells the Palm Beach Post that Miami GM Dennis Hickey prefers Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

    Hickey sees Martin as a guard and the Dolphins want to use the 19th overall pick for a right tackle, the source said.

    The Dolphins also would consider Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan. But he is likely to be off the board when the Dolphins pick, and they prefer Kouandjio to Virginia tackle Morgan Moses.

    Miami might take Kouandjio even if Lewan were available.

    “Dennis has got a love for Kouandjio and he should be sitting there for them,” the source said.

    Kouandjio, who is 6-foot-7, 322 pounds, was initially a top prospect. But he has slipped on mock draft boards because of concerns over his surgically repaired left knee and his mediocre times at the scouting combine.

    Kouandjio reportedly was down to 311 pounds at Alabama’s second Pro Day, and Dr. James Andrews — Alabama’s team doctor — said recently that the player’s knee is not a concern.

    The Dolphins are said to be concerned about Moses’ work ethic and off-the-field issues. His offensive coordinator for three seasons at Virginia was Bill Lazor, who now has that position with the Dolphins.

    While there has been speculation that the Dolphins might choose Alabama’s C.J. Mosley or another linebacker in the first round, the source said that is not the case.

    Instead, he said, Miami is planning to move Koa Misi from strong-side linebacker to middle linebacker. Dannell Ellerbe, who struggled last season, would move from the middle to the weak side. Philip Wheeler, who also had a sub-par year, would move from weak-side to strong-side linebacker.

    Misi signed a four-year, $17 million contract extension before last season and had a solid year. Pro Football Focus graded him No. 14 of 35 outside linebackers in a 4-3 defense. He was ninth against the run.

    Ellerbe counts for $7.4 million against the cap this season and Wheeler counts for $4.4 million. Either could be cut after the season with minimal cap consequences if they don’t perform well in 2014.

    In the second round of the draft, the Dolphins are eyeing an offensive guard, according to the source. The team wants to go heavy on offense in the draft and also are looking for a running back and wide receiver.

    The Dolphins would consider a receiver as high as the second round and like Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, although he is projected to go higher than No. 50 overall, when Miami will makes its second-round pick. The Dolphins also might look at FSU receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but he might go higher.

    If Miami gets a receiver as high as the second round, it would likely mean the departure of receiver Brian Hartline after the 2014 season, the source said. Miami would save $4 million by releasing Hartline after this season.

    Although the Dolphins are thinking offense, they would consider a cornerback and safety later in the draft, the source said. They also are high on Alabama defensive end Ed Stinson, a 6-foot-3, 287-pound tweener-type who is projected as a mid-round draft pick.


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    Re: Smoke or fire? Dolphins reportedly leaning toward drafting 'Bama OT Kouandjio

    I'd be fairly surprised if Kouandjio went in the 1st round with all his injury problems. I do agree though that Martin is only a guard in the NFL.

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