2011 Dolphins Draft: Defensive Line

With the draft fast approaching, we break down the Dolphins roster by position and examine the likelihood the team will spend a pick or more at that spot on the weekend of April 28-30. We continue this series by looking at the defensive line.

The Dolphins took care of a major offseason issue on the defensive line when they put the franchise tag on nose tackle Paul Soliai, who then signed the tender.

Coming off a breakthrough season, Soliai is the anchor of the run defense and the Dolphins wouldn't have an ideal replacement in place had he not been brought back.

Randy Starks began last season at nose tackle, but moved back to defensive end after 2010 first-round pick Jared Odrick was injured and Starks clearly looks like he belongs outside.

Starks leads a strong group of defensive ends. With Starks, Kendall Langford, Tony McDaniel (even though he'll be a free agent once the labor situation is resolved) and Phillip Merling, defensive end just might be the team's deepest position.

With the depth at defensive end, there's really no reason for the Dolphins to use a draft pick in any round at that position. They're also set at nose tackle for next season with Soliai, although they might be tempted to take a flyer on a big guy in the middle or late rounds as insurance in case Soliai gets injured or proves to be a one-year wonder.

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