With some 20 million dollars in cap money it seems the Miami Dolphins are done bringing in players that could start right away.
If the Miami Dolphins are done at filling holes with starting players does that mean some trades might be coming? Possibly they feel there are no glaring holes and are just getting the supporting cast in place.
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Right now the trade chat is on CB Richard Sherman. Reports are a team would need to offer a very good player along with a high draft pick while taking on Sherman’s contract. While there was talk of the Miami Dolphins wanting a top CB earlier this off-season that talk died out and this move seems highly unlikely. But the smoke screen angle might be considered. Were they bluffing about wanting a top CB before or now?
List of needs in order, which is hard because this is my own order that is debatable just like everyone else. The last four are close in order of need and can be swapped out as I did while writing this moving FS from last to fourth.
That’s six needs with seven picks. Good luck with that. But some needs are more an effort to set things up later, like picking WR Leonte Carroo was last time.
OG – assessment is not so much by how the unit preformed last season but by the personnel presumed to be starting.
The sacks allowed were down for a change having 30 of them to their opponents 33 average on the season. This is going to sound weird but the running protection could be better. The reason it seemed better was the three 200 yard games. However on the season they were below their opponents average on the season. This is both for total running yards at 1824 to opponents 2247 and yards per game at 114 to opponents 140.
The saying goes it is a passing league but the war is won in the trenches and having break out running games is highly advantageous as was noted last season.
Presumed starters: Jermon Bushrod and Ted Larsen.
LB – assessment is mostly based on how the unit preformed last season but not so much by the personnel presumed to be starting.
Neville Hewitt may end up getting a shot with more playing time and starting more games. And he deserves it from his numbers last season. Having only started five games he falls in with the overall top performers that started double-digit games. Spencer Paysinger had similar standings starting just three games. Hewitt had 35 tackles and 22 assisted, Paysinger had 37 tackles and 15 assisted. By comparison Donald Butler and Jelani Jenkins having played somewhat more snaps on defense had 17 tackles and 11 assisted and 15 tackles and 14 assisted respectively.
One thing of note about Paysinger and Hewitt they both contribute vastly on special teams.
Presumed starters: Lawrence Timmons and Kiko Alonso.
DT – assessment is based both on performance last season and by the personnel presumed to be starting.
Stopping the run has to get better and doing so in the trenches makes sense. Jordan Phillips had only two more tackles and four more assisted while playing over twice the defensive snaps as Earl Mitchell last season.
Presumed starters: Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips.
FS – assessment is based both on performance last season and by the personnel presumed to be starting.
Nate Allen may be serviceable and be able to hold down this spot but beyond him the cupboard is very bare. T.J. McDonald will be playing starting the second half of the season but is more suited for the SS role as is Reshad Jones.
Presumed starters: Nate Allen and Michael Thomas.
DE – assessment is based not so much on performance last season but by the personnel presumed to be starting.
While it may seem that there should have been more sacks last season, the 32 they had was actually 2 more than that of their opponents average on the season. But wanting even more room for improvement with QB pressures and help stopping the run is understandable to go along with Andre Branch and pro bowler Cameron Wake. And newly acquired William Hayes should already help.
A trade for Sheldon Richardson is a long shot even as the asking price falls.
Presumed starters: Andre Branch and Cameron Wake.
CB – assessment is based both on performance last season and by the personnel presumed to be starting.
The stats that need the most improvement are from the front seven. As patchwork as the defensive backs were starting last season they became the strength of the defense by the end of the season. For passing stats on the season both total yards and yards per game allowed passing ranks 15th or slightly above average. Where as the running stats allowed are all near the very bottom of the league.
Presumed starters: Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett and Bobby McCain.