Dolphins draft preview: LB

With the 2005 NFL draft fast approaching, we take a look at the Dolphins' situation at each position along with a prediction as to what the team might do during the draft. This story looks at the linebacker position.

For years, the Dolphins employed a defensive scheme that needed fast and quick linebackers and they didn't necessarily need to be big guys.

But new coach Nick Saban is said to be looking for bigger linebackers, which is why you might see the Dolphins draft a player at that position this weekend.

Of the 11 linebackers currently on the roster, only four weigh more than 230 pounds -- Junior Seau, Winston Taylor, Derrick Pope and newcomer Donnie Spragan.

There already has been talk that second-year player Tony Bua will be moved to safety, and that's because he lacks ideal size for linebacker.

It's also going to be interesting to see where Zach Thomas fits in when the Dolphins run a 3-4 defense, which is something Saban is looking to incorporate -- to what degree and when isn't really known yet. Thomas was an ideal fit for Jim Bates' defense, but he's awfully small (5-11, 230) for the 3-4.

The same goes for guys like Eddie Moore, Corey Jenkins and Pope. That means there could be an overhaul at linebacker at some point in the future.

The Dolphins also don't have a lot of proven depth behind current projected starters Thomas, Seau and Spragan, although they do have backups who are very good on special teams, such as Brendon Ayanbadejo.

This hasn't been a position that has garnered a lot of attention in the offseason, but don't be surprised if the Dolphins make some moves at linebacker during draft weekend.


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