With the first overall selection in the 2008 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select … Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long?
According to several reports out of South Florida, the Dolphins, who own the first pick in the draft, have begun contract negotiations with Long.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is also reporting that the team is talking with Vernon Gholston about a contract. However, a source told ESPN that Miami was not negotiating with the Ohio State defensive end.
Long, a 6-foot-7, 313-pound senior who moved to left tackle in 2006 and started his final 26 games, was an All-America selection and Big Ten lineman of the year in each of his last two seasons.
Gholston, a 6-foot-3, 266-pound senior, set a single-season Ohio State record for sacks with 14 in 2007.
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The Dolphins would be delighted to prevent a holdout by reaching an agreement on a contract with their top pick before the draft begins April 26. Last year’s top pick, JaMarcus Russell, missed all of training camp before signing a $61 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Offensive line is considered the biggest need for the Dolphins, who went 1-15 last year. But Bill Parcells has been reluctant to use high picks on offensive linemen in the past.
Long and Gholston might be two of several players with whom the Dolphins negotiate before the draft.
Virginia defensive end Chris Long and LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey are other players who have been linked to the Dolphins as their potential selection at No. 1.
Chris Long had a sensational senior season for Virginia, registering 79 tackles (19 for losses), 14 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Dorsey started all 14 games as a senior last season (at left and right defensive tackle) for national champion LSU, finishing the season with 69 tackles (12.5 for losses), seven sacks, a forced fumble and four pass breakups.