William Hayes brings quality depth to Dolphins defensive line

William Hayes, whose interesting beliefs on the subject of dinosaurs and mermaids made him a breakout star on "Hard Knocks" last summer, was traded to the Dolphins early Friday. Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Even after Andre Branch was re-signed, the Miami Dolphins still needed a solid third defensive end to add to the rotation of Branch and five-time Pro Bowl selection Cameron Wake.

Miami’s trade early Friday morning with the Los Angeles Rams to acquire William Hayes fills that need. According to ESPN Rams reporter Alden Gonzalez, Miami sent Los Angeles a sixth-round pick for Hayes and Los Angeles’ seventh-rounder.

Hayes, 31, is expected to come off the bench behind Wake and Branch, who just received a three-year, $27 million extension this week. But the third defensive end is almost considered a co-starter in Miami and should get plenty of reps.

There wasn’t a lot of depth at defensive end in free agency, which is one reason why Branch was re-signed. It is also interesting that Miami got Hayes in the trade market.

The Dolphins can now scratch defensive end of their list of needs entering next month's NFL draft after thoroughly addressing it with Hayes and Branch. The team's primary remaining needs include linebacker, guard and safety.