The Miami Dolphins could be hurting for some interior defensive line help next season depending on the status of one of the league’s top defensive tackle duos in Paul Soliai and Randy Starks, both of which are free agents.
Depending on which player is retained – it’s seeming that Soliai will be retained at this point due to his lower price tag, but that could change at any time especially with a new GM coming in – Miami could look to add different body types to their defensive front.
Hell, Miami even has the personnel to run a 3-4 defense, rather than the 4-3 defense the team has stuck with for the past two seasons.
Regardless of which player the team decides to retain, if they decide to even re-sign either player, Miami could look to add Notre Dame DT Stephon Tuitt, who was seen as a potential top 10 pick before the season began.
Name: Stephon Tuitt
Weight: 322 pounds
School: Notre Dame
Class: Junior (Declared)
Draft Stock: Moderate
Draft Range: First round, really anywhere at this point.
First off, Tuitt has a dominant size for a 3-4 DE and a 4-3 DT. At 6’7” 322 pounds, if he can show well during workouts and the NFL Combine in February, this kid could easily inch up draft boards similar to Dontari Poe just a few years back.
Tuitt is very strong and uses his strength to over-power blockers when a play comes through his lane. He is very good at clogging the running lane by using his strength and brute force to clog the lane.
Lastly, this kid is not a one dimensional defensive tackle by any means. At 6’7” 322 pounds one would believe he is purely a run defender, similar to Soliai. Not so fast. Tuitt is a force against the pass and gets up-field very well for a big man.
Let’s start out with the obvious, after being mentioned to begin the season as a potential top 3 selection this year, he put together a very poor season for the Fighting Irish. He was a shell of his former self this season and did not make many dominant plays.
I struggle to find consistency in this kid’s desire, effort, and pure want throughout an entire game. Similar to Jadeveon Clowney, Tuitt struggles to consistently put forth his best effort on EVERY SINGLE PLAY. An NFL coach is going to chew this kid a new one.
Lastly, sure he is a dominant pass rusher due to his strength and athleticism for a big man, but I don’t see those pass rushing moves. He tends to use his strength to over-power his man, and that may work in the NCAA, but the NFL is a league full of guys just as strong if not stronger. He will have to add some moves to his skill set to beat blockers.
Stephon Tuitt is definitely a guy Miami could end up targeting at 19; it just depends on how this guy performs in workouts and interviews. All of his weaknesses are certainly coachable, but it will take a good defensive staff to bring out the best in this kid. I have faith in a guy like Kacy Rodgers, but Kevin Coyle? I’m not sold on Coyle.
Tuitt would add a spark to this defensive front and could replace either one of Miami’s defensive tackles. But I think we can all agree, the offensive line must be fixed first and foremost.