After a rough season for most all Miami Dolphins fans, there appeared to be light of a potential future come the offseason. Chris Grier and co. took out their wallets and spent big to add an infusion of high level talent to a roster starved of it. By no means should we conclude that they spent poorly, rather, the Phins brass spread the money around and helped multiple position groups across the board. From the secondary with the signing of Byron Jones, to the overall pass rush with Van Noy, Lawson, and Ogbah. However, not every spot was addressed and other spots on the depth chart need to be supplemented.
Positions of Strength
Positions of Need
Strength: Undoubtedly the Dolphins strongest unit is that of the receiving corps. Dolphins fans owe Karl Dorrell, now Head Coach of the Colorado Buffalo, for the development of some key players. Namely, DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Although Parker was trending up, the translation of Preston Williams’ raw talent to on field production was a thing of beauty. Moreover, the Dolphins have immense depth at the position with the likes of Albert Wilson who returned strong towards the end of the year following his brutal achilles injury, as well as proven commodities in Jakeem Grant and Allen Hurns. The fact that they will have to make a decision on the bottom end which also includes Isaiah Ford and former Eagles 4th rounder Mack Hollins. Do not expect the team to invest in this position prior to the later rounds, or unless a premiere talent has a wild fall in the second or third round.
The Dolphins improvement in the secondary is apparent with the splash signing of Byron Jones. Jones is dynamic, athletic, and versatile. Paired with the physicality of Xavien Howard and coverage skills of Bobby McCain and an emerging Nik Needham, the unit can match up with most receiving corps in the league.
Lastly, the Dolphins have a lot of good young talent in their linebacking corps. Led by the new kid in class Kyle Van Noy, the rest of the unit has Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan, Vince Biegel, Grugier-Hill, Van Ginkel, Eguaveon, and even Trent Harris who was the last Dolphins to sack Tom Brady while he was still in a Patriots uniform.
What the Phins Need: This one is easy. Miami needs a tackle like we need this virus to go away.
Not often spoken about is the Dolphins lack of depth at safety. Although Flores will likely insist that McCain can be transitioned into the free spot, there is a clear need for talented depth. Former corner Eric Rowe has transitioned into the safety role quite nicely, and the team looks comfortable moving forward with him there. Adrian Colbert was also brought back after playing admirably in the final quarter of the season. However, there is just no pizzazz. Expect the team to target a young Reshad Jones type, someone who not only ranges over the field and protects the back end but also comes up violent in the run game. They will likely nab a safety in the first two rounds if their guy is available, thankfully, this is a loaded class at the position.
Bad teams have something in common, they cannot run the ball. The Dolphins did this to a historically bad degree in 2019 and it all starts with the push up the middle. The Dolphins did bring in Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras, but neither is a consistent top tier talent. Flowers can be worked with but Karras is not a road grader, solid, but his 1-year contract shows what this regime thinks of him. Michael Deiter struggled mightily and needs more upper body strength in order to move NFL defensive tackles at the point of attack. Look for the team to address this with a potential guard or center/guard hybrid early in the draft.
These needs are not sexy, but if the Phins can wake up on April 26th with these issues resolved, they will be a much improved force in the AFC East.