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5 Perfect 2016 NFL Draft Fits for the Miami Dolphins

Darron Lee

Darron Lee

After a disappointing 6-10 showing in 2015 despite making several big moves, the Miami Dolphins could use a lot of help in a number of areas. That's one of the reasons new head coach Adam Gase decided to swap first-round draft picks with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell in a trade.

Now the Dolphins’ first pick will come at No. 13 overall instead of No. 8. Here's a look at potential fits for not only Miami’s first-round pick but also for the second and third day of the upcoming NFL Draft.

1. Darron Lee, linebacker, Ohio State

Yes, Miami did acquire Alonso, but the Dolphins still have concerns at outside linebacker. The team could use an upgrade from Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins and Lee would make a lot of sense at No. 13.

Lee offers speed and range and he has a ton of upside. Miami's linebackers struggled to make the impact players in crucial moments throughout games last season. Lee has the athleticism and hitting ability that would make an instant impact on the Dolphins defense.

While UCLA's Myles Jack is considered to be the best linebacker prospect in this year's draft, Lee isn't that far behind him when it comes to the overall talent he possesses.

2. Artie Burns, cornerback, Miami

Burns is a speedster who won three Florida state titles in the 110-meter hurdles in high school, but he is a not the typical track star making the transition to football. In 2015, Burns led the ACC in interceptions with six and he would be an excellent selection for the Dolphins if he is available in the second round.

Burns has great size (6-0, 193) to go along with his outstanding body control skills. He also is a solid tackler in the open field.

Burns has a ton of potential, but he needs to improve on his technique as he relied too much on his athletic ability at Miami. With the right coaching, Burns could be a long-time starter in the NFL.

3. Jonathan Bullard, defensive end, Florida

Miami did sign Mario Williams to a two-year deal in March, but he and veteran defensive end Cameron Wake are both in their 30s. The Dolphins need to inject some youth on their defensive line since Olivier Vernon signed with the New York Giants as a free agent last month.

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Bullard is a defensive end that would fit the Dolphins’ scheme. He does a great job exploding off the ball while getting into passing lanes to get to the quarterback.

Bullard also did a great job stopping the run while at Florida, something the Dolphins desperately needed a year ago. Miami ranked 28th in rushing defense in 2015, allowing an average of 126 yards per game.

4. Kenneth Dixon, running back, Louisiana Tech

Lamar Miller, Miami's leading rusher each of the past three seasons, signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent and his replacement doesn’t appear to be on the current roster. Jay Ajayi isn't proven and there are concerns about him being an every-down back. Don't be surprised if the Dolphins select Dixon in the second or third round.

As a senior at Louisiana Tech, Dixon rushed for 1,070 yards and 19 touchdowns. Dixon is a physical north-south runner who always keeps his feet moving until defenders bring him down. He also was reliable as a receiver out of the backfield, as his 467 yards receiving and seven touchdown passes indicate.

Dixon's skill set would appear to fit in well with Gase's offense.

5. Maurice Canady, cornerback, Miami

Even if Miami selects a cornerback early in the draft, the team still has a needs a player who can cover in the slot. The Dolphins elected to release Brice McCain, while Bobby McCain and Jamar Taylor aren't exactly players the team can depend on consistently.

Canady is a player Miami could select in the fourth round that has above-average size while having the athletic ability to cover receivers at any position, including in the nickel.

Miami also could use a returner on special teams and Canady could make an immediate impact in that department.

Canady lacks the ideal strength teams would like to see in a cornerback, but that is an area that he can improve on once he makes a roster.

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.