Why Isaac Asiata could be the Dolphins top 2017 rookie
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins’ 2017 draft was defense heavy but in round four they took an offensive guard and he could be a major impact in 2017.
Miami’s offensive line is a big question mark heading into training camp. Specifically due to depth issues and uncertainty at the left guard position. Throw in the lingering injury history to Mike Pouncey and the 2017 season could hinge on that 4th round rookie.
Asiata brings something to the Dolphins’ offensive line that is clearly lacking, attitude and aggression. While the Dolphins are becoming more physical than finesse, there is no mean interior lineman. Dare I say the Dolphins are lacking a Richie Incognito.
The Dolphins don’t want to hear that name and understandably so but Incognito brought a different level of play to the Dolphins line. He was brash and backed up his on-field talk. Asiata has many of those same qualities and not as many of the off-field concerns that Incognito brough into the national spotlight.
Questions remain on where exactly Asiata will compete to play at. Right guard will be manned again by Jermon Bushrod and Asiata could spend a year behind him learning the ropes of the NFL. There is however a big problem on the left side where the Dolphins are hoping that Ted Larsen or Kraig Urbik can answer. This is where Asiata could become a factor.
Asiata’s learning curve is going to come into play and if he picks up the system quickly he could blossom as an interior lineman. He will be facing players like Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips in training camp on a daily basis and he will need to learn quickly against Suh. This could help him grow through camp and provide an opportunity to take over the left spot.
There is a lot of potential in Asiata and he is joining the Dolphins at a perfect time to take over at guard either by the end of training camp or early in the season. Asiata has good foot work and uses his balance well of the snap but he will need to work on his technique and hands. He is coachable and loves the game but he loves beating defenders more.
With Laremy Tunsil moving outside to left tackle, Asiata could form a very formidable left side that could develop into one of the best left guard/tackle combinations in football but that will be a year or two down the road at best. For now, Asiata could be this draft classes biggest surprise if he can become the answer to left guard problem.