The Miami Dolphins didn’t feel as though a future existed with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell so they released him a week ago. It leaves a hole.
In 2016 the Dolphins defense ranked near the bottom in stopping the run. In fact it was one of the most embarrasing parts of the Dolphins team. The Dolphins gave up rushing totals of 235 yards and only in three games did they hold the opposition under 100 yards.
The Dolphins need to fix this problem. With Earl Mitchell gone and now signed by the 49’ers, Miami can’t simply rely on Jordan Phillips to fill the vacancy. Phillips is improving but is still too inconsistent.
Miami must stop the rushing attack of opposing teams and until they do that, they will be playing close games. 2017’s schedule is especially tough. Miami must fix the problems with the front seven.
The Dolphins are as thin at defensive tackle as they are at guard. Ndamukong Suh is the anchor to the defensive interior and Phillps is the defacto starter next to him. Nick Williams is the only other defensive tackle on the roster.
As stated above, a couple of times, giving up yardage totals in excess of 100 per game is not acceptable and puts too much pressure on the secondary and on the offense. Success rushing against the Dolphins also takes time off the clock and the Dolphins will only be able to hold on for so long.
1: Brandon Williams – The former 3rd round pick by the Ravens is set to cash in this off-season and the Dolphins would immediately improve their defense by spending the money to land him. It won’t be easy as several teams will likely be in the hunt.
2: Dontari Poe – A nose tackle, Poe can slide out to the center guard gap and be extremely disruptive. Pair him with Suh and the Dolphins defensive line is upgraded allowing the Dolphins to focus their draft plans on defensive end.
3: Dominque Easley – The 25 year old has some issues off-field but nothing too serious that a risk wouldn’t be warranted. Cut by the Patriots last off-season the Easley found success with the Rams and could give the Dolphins a rotational player to swap with Phillips.
4: Alan Branch – It’s tough to gauge how well New England players will perform when they are out of the Patriot system but the Dolphins need to stop the run and Branch did that very well for the Patriots in 2016.
5: Bennie Logan – The Dolphins don’t need interior pass rushers they are more than equipped with Cameron Wake on the outside and will add a DE in either free agency or the draft so landing Logan could be a good alternative on first and second downs. Logan is very good against the run but doesn’t get much penetration to the quarterback.