With the Miami Dolphins’ first scrimmage tonight against the Atlanta Falcons, we will get to see if the offensive line shows improvement this in 2017.
I will be the first to say it, I was upset that the Miami Dolphins did not select a player for the offensive line in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. I understand we needed another pass-rusher to help Cameron Wake, but the guard position is more important THIS year. There were several good defensive ends that were available in the second or third rounds.
Instead, Miami selected in the 5th round Isaac Asiata from the University of Utah. He played almost every position on the offensive line at Utah, spending most of his time at left guard. His strength is run-blocking, and his weakness is in pass-blocking. Jury is out until he performs and shows he can play with the big dogs. Also, the Dolphins missed out or didn’t pursue on a few free agency signings that could have upgraded the line tremendously.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Miami Dolphins offensive line ranked 30th last season. Jermon Bushrod played terrible last season. He allowed 5 sacks and 34 quarterback pressures, and graded as the worst guard in the NFL in the run game with a run-blocking grade of 34.9. Injuries from Mike Pouncey and Branden Albert caused the offensive line to never become cohesive, as the starting offensive line unit only played a total of four games together. In those four games running back Jay Ajayi ran for 608 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging over 6 yards per carry.
Laremy Tunsil will be playing the season at his natural left guard position, expected to take another step forward this year and grow into the star of the offensive line. Ja’Wuan James has slowly got better each season. However, he has been a liability in the passing game far too long.
A key part to any NFL team is their depth behind the starters. Injuries and other issues that pop up during a season are just a part of the game. Last year the backups that had a large amount of playing were Anthony Steen, Sam Young and Kraig Urbik. Although they did an alright job, this is the NFL. Alright isn’t good enough. In the off-season Miami signed 30-year old veteran guard, Ted Larsen. He is fighting for a starting spot, however that may take some time because he recently suffered a bicep injury that could have miss some games.
According to the Miami Dolphin’s website, the depth chart for the offensive line looks as follows:
LT: Laremy Tunsil – Sam Young
LG: Ted Larsen – Anthony Steen – Avery Young – Isame Faciane
C: Mike Pouncey – Kraig Urbik – Jake Brendel
RG: Jermon Bushrod – Isaac Asiata – Kwayde Miller
RT: Ja-Wuan James – Jesse Davis – Eric Smith
I just want to have a season where I don’t have that ‘first drop of a rollercoaster feel’ about the Miami Dolphins offensive line. How do you guys feel about the line this year? Let us know in the comments.