• VETERAN QB: With the trade for Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins got their quarterback of the future before the draft even started. Culpepper has question marks though, most notably concerning his health. He tore three knee ligaments last October and is currently rehabbing and is making good progress according to all who are familiar with the situation. But, what remains to be seen is whether or not he will be ready to suit up once the season starts. It isn't out of the realm of possibility to think he could miss the first few games.
Because of that, it is likely Miami will attempt to sign a veteran quarterback to steady the ship until Culpepper is ready to go. The team was reportedly interested in Brian Griese, but he signed a five-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The widely known names still available are former Steelers QB Tommy Maddox, former Raiders QB Kerry Collins and former Saints QB Aaron Brooks. Each has his negatives, which of course is why he is unemployed at the moment, but from this vantage point Collins would be the most effective player if the price is right. Maddox had a visit with Miami and would be a logical fit since his former offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh (Mike Mularkey) is now the coordinator with the Dolphins.
• Offensive Line: The Dolphins have added former Browns tackle L.J. Shelton, a former first-round draft pick. Even with that, center Seth McKinney has yet to re-sign and former Dolphins tackles Damion McIntosh and Stockar McDougle have moved on. The line was much-improved at the end of last year and continued improvement is needed and will most likely come from the draft. Oklahoma's guard Davin Joseph or tackles Winston Justice of USC and Eric Winston of Miami (Fla.) could be possible additions through the draft.
• SAFETY: At the start of the offseason, it was clear that quarterback and secondary were two priority areas for the team. Quarterback has already been examined. The Dolphins have signed three free agents to help with the secondary — former Giants CB Will Allen, former Raiders CB/S Renaldo Hill and former Lions CB Andre Goodman. It is not known what position Hill will compete for, but with the lack of players at safety it would be logical to think he could fit in there. Remember, the Dolphins will have Will Poole healthy this season and his presence alone could be a huge boost to the cornerback spot.
Which leaves us with safety concerns. If Texas' Michael Huff is still available when the Dolphins pick at the No. 16 spot, look for the Dolphins to grab him. If not, they may wait until they can get one with better value later in the draft, possibly someone like South Carolina's Ko Simpson.
• LINEBACKER: Zach Thomas is still playing at an incredibly high level and Channing Crowder was impressive in his rookie season last year. But, there is little depth even after the signing of former Saints LB Sedrick Hoge.
• DEFENSIVE LINE: Like linebacker, the defensive line was productive last year, but the age of many players is a concern. To effectively rotate between a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive scheme, as the Dolphins do, the team must have a stable of reliable lineman and right now, it looks like the draft will be the place to achieve that.