2006 Draft Preview: Offensive Tackles

As the 2006 NFL draft gets closer, we present a complete preview, including the Dolphins' needs and possible picks, as well as the top prospects. We continue with a look at the offensive tackle position.

How the Dolphins stack up at the position

The Dolphins targeted this position in free agency and came away with former Arizona first-round pick L.J. Shelton, who has had an adequate career at best so far but still represents an upgrade over 200 starter Damion McIntosh. After being released in the offseason, McIntosh was re-signed for depth purposes, although it's not inconceivable he could challenge 2004 first-round pick Vernon Carey for the starting right tackle job. The other tackles on the roster are 2005 fifth-round Anthony Alabi and Tony Pape, who left the team last year because he was burned out after his NFL Europe season but is back this year. Alabi has some potential, but he was inactive for all 16 games last season. What this group lacks more than anything is a stud.

Dolphins' last pick at the position: Anthony Alabi, Round 5, 2005

Potential Dolphins pick(s) at the position

It would seem logical the Dolphins would love to get an anchor type of left tackle in the first round of the draft, but the problem is that there are only two prospects like that this year -- Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson and USC's Winston Justice -- and both likely will be gone by pick 16. If Justice should slide because of some off-the-field concerns, which Justice calls youthful indiscretions, the Dolphins probably would snatch him up at No. 16. The Dolphins won't pick another offensive tackle at 16, but one possibility is trading down in the first round and grabbing someone like Miami's Eric Winston or Auburn's Marcus McNeill late in the first round. If the Dolphins stay put and decide to go for an offensive tacke in Round 3 or 4, some candidates would include Texas' Jonathan Scott, LSU's Andrew Whitworth and Cal's Ryan O'Callaghan. At this point, we're still thinking the Dolphins will draft at least one offensive lineman this year and it very well could a tackle.

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