How To Fill The Holes Left For the Miami Dolphins


Time to play a little Miami Dolphins general manager. Or in the case of the Miami Dolphins football czar who really doesn’t oversee the general manager but probably does. The Dolphins still have some holes to fill and you can see what I thought those holes were by going here.  Or you could just continue reading this as I will list them for you.

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  • Free agency has entered that 3rd tier and beyond phase. The top guys are gone and what is left are the players that many teams have questions about. Some of these players will still be available after next months draft and teams will look back at them at that point to fill what they couldn’t draft. It’s no different for the Dolphins.

    With J.D. Walton now signed to back-up Mike Pouncey the Dolphins have a little flexibility along the offensive line. Walton plays both center and guard and could start day one at either guard positions. While there is still a need for a guard Miami has the luxury of waiting to see what fall their way.

    There are a lot of guards still on the market as of today including Justin Blaylock of Atlanta and Dan Connolly of New England. Connolly is the better fit but would likely cost more money. Miami would be smart to get him locked up to start at one guard position and let Walton, Dallas Thomas, and Billy Turner compete for the other. The team could enter the draft not needing to use a high draft pick on a lineman.

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    It’s impossible to know what the Dolphins intend to do at wide-receiver. Kenny Stills is a very solid addition with the youth to grow under the Dolphins system but he can’t be it and Miami can’t afford to rely on Rishard Matthews and Matt Hazel to pick up the slack. The Dolphins didn’t lose one wide-out they lost three including both their number one, Mike Wallace, and number two, Brian Hartline.

    The team hosted former 49’er wide receiver Michael Crabtree who entered the NFL as one of the best WR prospects but he hasn’t lived up entirely to the level that was expected. He still has something to prove and the Dolphins could use him on the unit but they will still need to consider making WR a priority in the draft. Likely early. Davante Parker is projected to be at 14 when the Dolphins select and there has been some mutterings about the Dolphins moving up to perhaps grab Amari Cooper or Kevin White. Any of those three immediately help the offense.

    Charles Clay is gone and the Dolphins replaced him with Jordan Cameron, the Dolphins got a better “pure” tight-end but they still may need to look at another. Dion Sims will get plenty of time this season to show he is capable but Cameron’s concussion history should be a red flag. Wether through the draft or through free agency, Rob Housler is still available, they need one more tight end.

    Lamar Miller did a great job last year for the Dolphins and eclipsed the 1,000 k mark for the first time in his career. That being said the Dolphins are still interested and need to add another runner. Mike Gillislee and Damien Williams are the only back-up options right now and neither appear ready to assume a more important role. Melvin Gordon has been linked to Miami in some mock drafts and the Dolphins have been looking at some free agents internally. Steven Jackson and Knowshon Morena are both still on the market but each come with issues of their own.

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    Matt Moore is a free agent and while some have said he wants to come back to Miami the truth is he would rather get a guarantee to play somewhere else. The Dolphins hosted Tarvaris Jackson but did not make an offer. Whether through the remaining veterans or through the draft, Miami will be adding one more quarterback.  Matt Flynn who has a history with Joe Philbin, Matt Schaub…who does not have a history with Philbin, and Tyler Thigpen who has a history with the Dolphins are all still on the open market.

    Miami will likely add a defensive lineman in April’s draft but they won’t be adding anyone during free agency as they landed Ndamukong Suh to kick off the new year. The Dolphins, despite losing Jared Odrick and releasing Randy Starks are still deep at the position.

    Linebacker is going to be an issue for the Dolphins. Jelani Jenkins played great last season and Koa Misi will return to his outside position but the team still needs to figure out what to do with Dion Jordan as well who will replace Phillip Wheeler, which shouldn’t be that hard. The Dolphins will look to the draft to fill their need either in round two or three. It would be surprising to see the team use a first round pick on a linebacker given their needs at other positions. Still the Dolphins have put themselves in a good position to draft BPA in 2015 so ruling out a linebacker prospect here isn’t out of the question.

    Cornerback is still a concern despite the addition of Brice McCain. The Dolphins do not have a sure starter opposite Brent Grimes and at some point Grimes is going to be replaced as he inches into NFL old age. He is 31. As of today the CB market in free agency is very dried up. The Dolphins will likely go that route in the draft and could take a player in rounds 1, 2, or 3. I would guess round one or two. Trae Wayne, Alex Carter, and Marcus Peters are names to watch heading towards the draft.

    Finally safety is a concern as well. The Dolphins need to get someone to compliment Reshad Jones and the loss of Jimmy Wilson didn’t really hurt the team outside of depth. Michael Thomas is still another year away from really having a shot to take the spot over but Miami needs to make a move this year. Like the cornerbacks, safeties available to start have dwindled to players who have starting experience but are not answers. The draft is another option for Miami or signing a veteran to a one year deal like they did with Louis Delmas. Delmas is also still available.

    The Dolphins are in a good position as they have most of their starters penciled in for 2015 but there are still areas that need addressed and the team needs to keep their focus on getting those filled. If I am the GM or the person making these decision I am going to add another guard in free agency and maybe another for depth. I am going to add a wide-receiver from both the free agency market and the draft in round one or two depending on how things fall.

    I am also going to add a safety and cornerback in the draft and possibly add a safety from free agency too. Linebacker is a real concern for me because it’s thin with proven players. I would look at free agency and get a cheap veteran and then go into the draft looking for early value in round two or three.