2017 NFL Free Agents: Dolphins VP Mike Tannenbaum hints at building through veterans, not draft

Mike Tannenbaum (left) seems to prioritize proven veterans over draftees. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

Mike Tannenbaum (left) seems to prioritize proven veterans over draftees. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

MOBILE, Ala.—A 10-6 season was progress for the Dolphins, but they’ll need to shore up some shortfalls if they want to close the gap between them and elite teams like the Patriots.

The three routes the organization can take to address personnel needs over the next few months are trades, free agency and the draft. Based on what vice president Mike Tannenbaum said at the Senior Bowl this week, Miami isn’t counting on the draft to fill key spots.

“I think it’s really important that when you get to the draft that you can line up a play of game,” Tannenbaum said. “You’re not going to have a perfect roster going into the draft.

“We want to go into the draft and operate from a position of strength so when Laremy Tunsil falls unexpectedly (from near No. 1 down to 13), you can go ahead and take the best player and you’re not sitting there saying, ‘We have to get a star with our first pick.’ So we want to give ourselves as much flexibility as possible by the time we get to the draft.”

That approach makes even more sense considering the Dolphins don’t have a surplus of picks this year. They will select 22nd and 54th, then (currently) have three picks the rest of the draft. They have no third- or fourth-round picks, but could receive compensatory picks from past transactions in Rounds 3-7.

The clearest needs for Miami this offseason are tight end, linebacker and defensive end. Tight end might prove a difficult position to fill with a free agent acquisition or trade, and it’s a deep position in this year’s draft.

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