Raekwon McMillan was supposed to enter camp and challenge for a starting job. A job that would likely not come to fruition until later in the season. With news that Koa Misi will miss the entire year, McMillan now shoulders the burden of stepping into a huge role on the Dolphins defense.
Miami’s linebackers struggled in 2016. Kiko Alonso was clearly the bright spot on an otherwise horrible unit. Jelani Jenkins’ injury battles and inconsistency led him to free agency and despite improved play from Neville Hewitt the Dolphins simply couldn’t improve over the season.
Miami added Lawrence Timmons to the defense this year and it’s still unclear if he will play in the middle or move outside to allow Alonso to stay in the middle. Regardless of who plays where between the two of them, it’s on the strong outside that McMillan will have to prove his 2nd round value.
McMillan is very good against the run and Miami needs that improvement from the unit but they also need a linebacker that can cover tight-ends and McMillan is not that kind of linebacker. In that regard he needs a lot of coaching. How quickly McMillan adjusts to the NFL will be interesting given the fact that he will now take most of the reps with little competition, if any at all.