By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Miami is coming off a controversy-filled campaign which ultimately resulted in offensive tackle Jonathan Martin leaving the team after being bullied by linemate Richie Incognito and others.
Head coach Joe Philbin survived the embarrassing scandal but is likely on a short leash considering owner Stephen Ross 86ed embattled general manger Jeff Ireland in favor of Dennis Hickey and gave Hickey full autonomy over all personnel matters.
One thing that is certain is the Fish need help on the O-line. Miami allowed a league-high 58 sacks and couldn't protect Ryan Tannehill with Martin and Incognito or without them. Miami started the rebuild up front by giving ex- Kansas City left tackle Branden Albert a monster deal, but more needs to be done.
Hickey could be bluffing but seems to love Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and his aggressive nature. Plenty of organizations have red-flagged Kouandjio (at least in the first round) for potential knee problems, but others have compared his skill set favorably to his former linemate with the Crimson Tide, D.J. Fluker, who the Chargers eventually took 11th overall in 2013.
Other potential targets at No. 19 could include Notre Dame left tackle Zack Martin, although he seems to be rising as draft day approaches, as well as athletic North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron or another Alabama stalwart, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley.
"I'm a big fan of Zack Martin as a player. If you look at any mock draft that's ever been constructed, it's mandatory that Zack Martin goes to Miami," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "When you start putting these things together, you just kind of go, okay, he's there, they take him. I don't see how Miami could pass on him. He's too clean."
2013 Record: 8-8
Top Needs: OL, RB, TE, DT
First Three Picks: No. 19, No. 50, No. 81
Number of Selections: 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
CALLING THE SHOTS: Hickey spent 18 years with the Tampa Bay organization before making the short trek down to south Florida.
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon); 2012 - Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M); 2011 - Mike Pouncey (C, Florida); 2010 - Jared Odrick (DE, Penn State); 2009 - Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois); 2008 - Jake Long (OT, Michigan); 2007 - Ted Ginn (WR, Ohio State); 2006 - Jason Allen (DB, Tennessee); 2005 - Ronnie Brown (RB, Auburn); 2004 - Vernon Carey (OT, Miami- Florida); 2003 - none.
05/02 12:36:57 ET