National Football Authority
Published: 16-03-2011 13:33

If you look at mock drafts across the web for Miami, one name has been constantly selected for the Dolphins with the No. 15 pick in the first round: Mark Ingram, running back from Alabama.

Don’t get me wrong, Mark Ingram would be a great addition to the Miami backfield. Especially since Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are both free agents, and the Dolphins do not know if they are coming back next season.

With that said, I couldn’t pull the trigger on Ingram because the Dolphins have a bigger need. This need is for speed and athleticism at the outside linebacker position. This is why I have the Dolphins selecting Aldon Smith from Missouri with the No. 15 pick.

This pick wasn’t a very hard one to make. Current starting right outside linebacker Tim Dobbins is 28 years old and has 2 sacks in his NFL career. Not to mention starting inside linebacker Cameron Wake is coming off a 14 sack outburst in 2010, which means that teams will start to game plan specifically to stop him in 2011.

And that is where you insert Smith. He has great athleticism, speed, and explosion from either the defensive end position in the 4-3 defense, or outside linebacker in the 3-4. He is 6’4” tall, weighs 258 pounds, and is entering the NFL after his redshirt sophomore season of college football.

His claim to fame in college football was his 2009 season. He dominated Missouri as a redshirt freshman, amassing 11.5 sacks, 64 tackles, and 19 tackles for a loss during his first full-time season as a starter. He followed that up with a 48 tackle and 5.5 sack performance in 2010. His 2010 season was slowed up by a leg injury which only allowed him to play in 10 games during his sophomore season.

If Smith were healthy during the entire 2010 season he wouldn’t be available for the Dolphins at No. 15. I can say with certainty that he would have been a top ten pick. His rare blend of speed and athleticism gives the Dolphins a threat to sack the likes of Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez on any given down in the future. And with a talent like that on their roster, the Dolphins defense will be ready to go in 2011.