It’s been a major turnaround from the Miami Dolphins offensive line this season. A large part of that is due to rookie Laremy Tunsil.
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Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has spent much of his NFL tenure on his back. There’s been no consistent group of lineman in front of him – aside from Mike Pouncey – in his five professional season.
2016 has been a lot different. Tannehill’s blind side has been protected by both Branden Albert and Tunsil this season. Aside from games in which both missed (Albert broke his wrist, Tunsil slipped in the shower pre-game, etc…), both Albert and Tunsil have only allowed two sacks.
Alberts sack came against the San Diego Chargers after injuring his wrist and Tunsil gave up his sack while filling in for Albert at left tackle.
Not only has Tunsil given up just one sack this season but he’s only allowed five quarterback hits, three of which while at left tackle. It’s safe to say Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner both gave that up against Tennessee in week five. Well maybe not quite; Turner only gave up three sacks, two QB hits and five QB hurries against the Titans.
With either Thomas or Turner at left guard Miami could be on the outside looking in. Tunsil is a large improvement and has been given a Pro Football Focus grade of 70.6. Their analysis below:
"“Laremy Tunsil has started at left guard for Miami, but has moonlighted at left tackle when injuries called for changes. He has still allowed just one sack all season (and that came at left tackle), and has been the reason his quarterback hit the ground just five times (three of which came at left tackle). Has been solid, if unspectacular.” – Pro Football Focus"
Regardless, Tunsil falling to Miami this last April was a blessing in disguise. I wasn’t thrilled with the selection but it’s proven me wrong. Tunsil along with the rest of the offensive line is a main reason the Dolphins will be playing in the postseason.