The PhinPhanatic staff is recapping the 2016 season for each Miami Dolphins player as the team prepares for the start of free agency. Here is the 2016 player recap for starting left guard Laremy Tunsil.
Laremy Tunsil has been on the Dolphins’ roster since joining the team as its first round draft pick heading into this season. After being selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the team signed Tunsil to a four-year, $12.4 million rookie contract, including a $7.3 million signing bonus, the entire contract guaranteed, and an average annual salary of just over $3.1 million. The team’s drafting of Tunsil was aimed at giving the team a starter on the left side of the offensive line for years to come. In fact, Tunsil served as the team’s starting left guard and left tackle in 2016.
Tunsil started all 14 of the games that he played in during the 2016 season. While making most of those starts at left guard, he did start a few games at left tackle when Branden Albert was sidelined with injuries. Tunsil missed the Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans with an ankle injury that occurred when he slipped in the shower at the team’s hotel the morning of the game. He also missed the Week 12 game against the San Francisco 49ers with a shoulder injury, before returning the following week wearing a band on his shoulder for added support and protection. Tunsil had started and played at left tackle in 6 games during the 2015 season at Ole Miss.
On the field, Tunsil’s performance was solid. Along with Albert, Tunsil did a good job protecting Ryan Tannehill’s blindside while also providing good run blocking to Jay Ajayi and the other Miami running backs. Tunsil was flagged for penalties 6 times during the regular season (3 holding penalties, 1 illegal formation, 1 face mask, and 1 false start). Just as importantly, other than his shower injury, Tunsil’s off-the-field performance was outstanding. He was hardworking, respectful, welcomed mentoring advice from Branden Albert, and steered clear of trouble. Presuming that Tunsil continues down that same path in 2017, it would not be surprising if Tunsil receives serious Pro Bowl consideration next season and beyond.
14 starts in 14 games played at left guard and tackle.
More from Dolphins News
- Tua Tagovailoa practicing with teammates is everything a leader does
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
Tunsil’s position on the roster is secure. While there is certainly room for improvement in both pass protection and the running game, Tunsil demonstrated the size, athleticism, strength, and technical skills that made him a highly rated NFL prospect. His biggest challenge heading into the season appeared to be off-field distractions, but he seemed to handle those well. Thus, Tunsil should be a building block upon which the remainder of the offensive line can be built. Heading into 2017, the biggest question might be where on the left side he starts – guard, or his natural position, tackle. The answer to that question might well depend upon the approach that the Dolphins take with Tunsil’s mentor, Branden Albert.
Tunsil was the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick (13th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.