The Miami Dolphins made defensive end a priority this off-season up to and including the draft when they made Charles Harris their first round pick.
Miami entered the off-season knowing that they could not continue to ignore planning for the future of their defensive end’s. Cameron Wake will soon be 34 and the team was set to lose Andre Branch to free agency after losing Olivier Vernon a year previously.
At 34 Wake is still playing at a Pro-Bowl level. Miami’s intentions to limit him to 3rd down play in 2016 didn’t work out as injuries moved Wake back into the prime three down role. He should have been NFL Comeback Player of the Year, a year removed from an Achille’s tear.
Wake doesn’t have many years left in him but he at least has 2017.
The Dolphins didn’t want to let Branch go so they made him an offer to keep him in Miami. Some say they overpaid but Branch played well down the stretch and fits in with what the Dolphins are trying to accomplish. While not solid against the run, Branch will see more options in pass rushing than in 2016 and will likely give way to another on running downs.
William Hayes: Actually heralded as a stellar trade for the Dolphins, Miami added the former Rams standout run stopping DE shortly after the NFL new year opened. Hayes, who has made more waves this off-season by his belief in mermaids and lack of belief in dinosaurs will soon turn the conversation to his ability to contain the edge and stop the run.
Harris is not known for his run stopping ability but the Dolphins drafted him to be the future replacement for Cameron Wake and thus far Harris isn’t disappointing at practice. Still raw, Harris has a lot of growth potential and the Dolphins had him so high on their board that they turned down multiple trades to draft him in April.
Time is running out for Fede to make the impact that Miami had hoped. 2017 will mark his 4th season in the NFL which isn’t bad for a small school college kid drafted in the 7th round. Fede still has time to make the next step but he has been relegated to situational roles.
Warmsley has a very solid 2016 training camp that opened eyes. He is looking to leap to the 53 man roster from day one in 2017 and could make an impact as well. Solid practice could see him beating out Fede.
Arthur Milley, Cameron Malvenus, Praise Martin-Oguika, and Joby Saint Fleur:
All four have a long road to making not only the roster but the practice squad.