The Miami Dolphins only used two draft picks on the offense in 2017. Will the 2018 NFL Draft land the Dolphins another offensive lineman?
The jury is still out on most of the draft class of 2016, other than Laremy Tunsil. Kenyan Drake had a few exciting moments at running back and as a kick returner. Jakeem Grant had a kick return for TD last year, and most of the season he battled issues handling punts. We still have yet to see what the Dolphins saw in the trade for Leonte Carroo, who only had three receptions on the year. Brandon Doughty spent most of the season on the Miami’s practice squad, and Thomas Duarte only played in one game, while being on the practice squad the first half of the season.
The only two offensive players left from the 2015 NFL Draft are DeVante Parker and Jay Ajayi. Ajayi had a breakout 2016 season, with plans to double up in 2017. Parker, when healthy, contributed in stretching the field and using his big frame abusing cornerbacks in the slant routes. Miami’s offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen, believes Parker’s lifestyle and routine change will attribute to him have a gigantic year for the Dolphins.
Below is a list compiled of Miami’s defensive players who have contracts expiring in 2018 or 2019 (Players that are underlined – denotes starter in 2016).
C – Jake Brendel; C/G – Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik; G/T – Jermon Bushrod; T – Sam Young; QB – Matt Moore, David Fales; RB – Damien Williams; WR – Jarvis Landry, Rashawn Scott; TE – Thomas Duarte.
T – Ja’Wuan James, Terry Poole, Jesse Davis, Avery Young; QB – Brandon Doughty; RB – Jay Ajayi, Storm Johnson, Senorise Perry; TE – Julius Thomas, MarQuies Gray, Chris Pantale.
Miami Dolphin’s top 5 areas of need on offense for 2018:
- Mason Cole – Michigan – HT.6-5. WT.305.
- Will Clapp – LSU – HT.6-5. WT.309.
- Scott Quessenberry – UCLA – HT.6-4. WT.314.
- Nick Linder – Miami – HT.6-3. WT.302.
- Quenton Nelson – Notre Dame – HT.6-5. WT.325.
- Billy Price – Ohio State – HT.6-4. WT.315.
- Maea Teuhema – LSU – HT.6-5. WT.315.
- Ross Pierschbacher – Alabama – HT.6-4. WT.304.
- Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame – HT.6-7. WT.310.
- Martez Ivey – Florida – HT.6-5. WT.312.
- Martinas Rankin – Mississippi State – HT.6-5. WT.307.
- Casey Tucker – Stanford – HT.6-6. WT.300.
- Sam Darnold – USC – HT.6-4. WT.225.
- Luke Falk – Washington State – HT.6-4. WT.205.
- Josh Allen – Wyoming – HT.6-5. WT.222.
- Josh Rosen – UCLA – HT.6-4. WT.210.
- Mason Randolph – Oklahoma State – HT.6-5. WT.235.
- Troy Fumagalli – Wisconsin – Height: 6-6. Weight: 248.
- Cam Serigne – Wake Forest – Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
- DeAndre Goolsby – Florida – Height: 6-4. Weight: 240.
- Mike Gesicki – Penn State – Height: 6-6. Weight: 253.
C/G are the two dire needs on offense. Mike Pouncey missed 11 games last season. He also had hip surgery in 2014, and hasn’t stayed healthy in the last three seasons. Most won’t say it, so I will. He has become a liability for the offensive line. If the leader of the line can’t do the most important task in the NFL, be durable, then he’s not helping the cohesiveness of the unit.
Jermon Bushrod allowed five sacks last and a total of 34 QB pressures at RG in 2016. Pro Football Focus gave him 34.9 run-blocking grade, making him the lowest-graded guard for the run game. I believe Isaac Asiata will fill the need for one of the G positions, but Anthony Steen or Jermon Bushrod will be replaced after the 2017 season. Branden Albert declined a bit last year, but they may have been due to his injuries.
Miami played the season with a bunch of left tackles all across the offensive line. Tackle isn’t that big of a need to fill right away.
With Ryan Tannehill coming back from injury, I’m excited to watch his game elevate to the next level. He has progressed in different areas every year, but this year I’m looking for the ‘the clutch-gene’. With Matt Moore aging, soon the Dolphins will be looking for another trustworthy backup QB. There are still some who believe Tannehill isn’t the answer for Miami, and that a few QBs in the 2018 NFL Draft who could show promise.
Julius Thomas’ contract is set to expire in 2019. Other than Anthony Fasano, no other TE on Miami’s roster is a passing threat. Depending on the year he has in Adam Gase’s system, we will see if TE is a need for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Since the 2004 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins have drafted an offensive player nine times. Of those nine, four were on the offensive line, three still remain (Pouncey, James, Tunsil).
Looks like we will be drafting another offensive lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft, and I’m okay with that. Ryan Tannehill needs young and healthy blockers to protect him, and Jay Ajayi needs athletic lane openers who can reach the second-level.