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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Dolphins need wide receiver, cornerback, and maybe offensive tackle

The Dolphins found their quarterback of the future last year - so what are they looking for in the 2013 Draft?

Mike Ehrmann

Ryan Tannehill was certainly one of the best surprises of the 2012 NFL Draft - the rookie from Texas A&M had an excellent season, but was overshadowed by other rookie quarterbacks.

With the 2013 draft approaching, the Dolphins will be looking to protect their investment in Tannehill by finding him a few new playmakers on offense - and maybe some more protectors in front of him.

The Dolphins hold the 12th overall pick in the draft, and luckily for Miami, their biggest needs could be filled quite easily.

Miami needs a new big-play receiver, a top-flight cornerback and perhaps a new tackle to replace former first pick Jake Long - and the 2013 NFL draft class of wide receivers, defensive backs and offensive linemen is extremely deep.

At wideout, the Dolphins could grab Cal's Keenan Allen with the 12th pick, an elite and speedy pass-catcher who grabbed 61 balls for 737 yards and six touchdowns this season. The Dolphins could also look at a pair of Tennessee wideouts: Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, two big-play studs that may slip into the second round if the Dolphins choose to wait until later to pick a pass-catcher.

The top tackle prospects - Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Michigan's Taylor Lewan - are likely to be off the board before the Dolphins pick, so they might turn to Texas A&M's Jake Matthews or Central Michigan's Eric Fisher instead. Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame tackle Bruce Matthews, has powered Johnny Manziel and the destructive Aggie offense this season, which Fisher is a 6-foot-8, 305 pound beast that could step in at tackle right away.

If the Dolphins decided to turn their attention to the other side of the ball, they'll likely look at cornerbacks from big southeastern schools - Alabama's Dee Millner, Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks or Florida State's Xavier Rhodes. All three have garnered high praise this season, but Millner is probably the most attractive target thanks to Nick Saban's ability to pump out first-round cornerbacks.

Running back Reggie Bush will also be a free agent this year, so the Dolphins will certainly look to find a new runner if Bush takes his talents out of South Beach - perhaps they'll target Stanford's Stepfan Taylor or Wisconsin's Montee Ball in the later rounds of the draft.

Whichever way they decide to go, this April will be critical to the future success - or failure - of the Dolphins.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.