Nothing could be more obvious than the fact that the Miami Dolphins desperately need to boost their defense in both Free Agency and the Draft this off season. But, I would not be surprised to see offensive minded Adam Gase give Ryan Tannehill something he has never had at this point in his career: a talented young complete tight end. Dion Sims and MarQueis Gray both emerged last season, but they lack the overall athletic ability to be a true force at tight end like Antonio Gates or Martellus Bennett.
This draft has many talented tight ends. Let’s take a look at Alabama TE O.J. Howard. He is 6-foot-6 and 242 pounds, which is nearly identical to current Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been one of the most dominate tight ends over the past few seasons.
Howard averaged 15.875 yards per catch throughout his time in Alabama. That’s a guaranteed first down every time he catches the ball and could make the Dolphins 19th ranked offense soar into the Top 10.
Under the guidance of Adam Gase and if quarterback Ryan Tannehill can make a full recovery from his knee injury, this offense should only get better next year. Considering the job Gase did with the Denver Broncos and Julius Thomas and in Chicago with Bennett, I would not be surprised to see the Dolphins take Howard if he is there at 22 overall. The odds of him lasting that long are slim at this point, and will only get worse if he has the combine he is expected to have.
Many fans are opposed to the Dolphins going offense with their first round pick, considering the many holes on defense. However, a player of Howard´s caliber (he may be the best run-blocking TE to enter the draft in years as well) may be too good to pass up for Adam Gase.
For Howard´s full college stat line, click here.