Likelihood of the Dolphins using a pick at the position: The issue at linebacker is finding an impact player on the outside opposite Joey Porter, but that's not to say the Dolphins couldn't use an upgrade inside as well. Crowder and Ayodele were solid last season, but neither made a lot of impact plays. Because the Dolphins have more pressing needs at OLB, WR and CB, the inside linebacker position probably won't be addressed until the second day, but if the right guy is available, don't be shocked to see an inside linebacker (say, James Laurinaitis from Ohio State) become the Dolphins' first-round pick.
The top prospects: 1. Rey Maualuga, USC; 2. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State; 3. Darry Beckwith, LSU; 4. Gerald McRath, Southern Miss; 5. Jasper Brinkley, South Carolina; 6. Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh; 7. Jason Phillips, TCU; 8. Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia; 9. Josh Mauga, Nevada; 10. Frantz Joseph, Florida Atlantic
Summary: While there is an abundance of top-notch outside linebacker prospects in this year's draft, the same can't be said for the inside linebacker position. Maualuga, who has drawn comparisons to Junior Seau, clearly is the best prospect at the position. Keep an eye on McKillop, an undersized prospect with limited physical tools who's got a lot of Zach Thomas in him.
Sleepers: Andy Schantz, Portland State