A look at the Miami Dolphins roster after free agency
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins are in full draft mode right now but a quick look at the roster easily shows the holes that need to be filled.
Miami has a lot of young players that are filling depth roles on the team. Some have the potential to grow into future starters while others are likely to maintain an NFL career that is made for being a back-up. There is nothing wrong with that.
The Dolphins need to find players however that will start or become starters. The draft is tricky and more often than not a player is out of the league sooner rather than later. As of today the Dolphins have a few holes that need to be addressed but you have to look at the whole roster to see exactly what holes are priorities over the other.
Quarterback – good needs more
This is Ryan Tannehill and then…Brock Osweiler, David Fales, and Brandon Doughty. Two of those players will not be on the active roster come September. The Dolphins are confident that Tannehill will recover but does Osweiler provide adequate veteran depth? That is highly debatable. So much so that the potential drafting of a first round quarterback remains a discussion.
Running back – good not great
Less of a need now, the Dolphins have Kenyan Drake and veteran to help him in Frank Gore. They also have a couple of depth guys that can help but the Dolphins are not going to go into the season with Gore and Drake and a couple of camp guys. This is why the Dolphins are still in play for a runner in next months draft. Miami has had success at finding RB’s in the mid-rounds and should find one this year in a deep class.
Wide-Receiver – good shape
The WR spot is in pretty good shape where Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker will line up outside with Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola lining up in the slots. Miami also has Leonte Carroo who they continue to wait for and Isaiah Ford who missed last year with an injury. Overall the receivers, despite the loss of Jarvis Landry shouldn’t be bad.
Tight-End – big need
The Dolphins desperately need to find a tight-end and honestly a rookie may not solve their problems. The Dolphins lack depth and they lack a starter at the position. A.J. Derby probably holds the first TE spot down but he is a year away from being someone the team can rely on consistently. Behind him is MarQuies Gray and Thomas Duarte and this is where the list ends. Miami will need to make a move for a tight-end either through trade, free agency, or the draft and possibly through two of those routes.
Offensive tackle – good shape
Despite some questions at depth the Dolphins are in pretty good shape with Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James on the two ends. Zach Sterup and Sean Hickey are promising prospects and Jess Davis is a likely guard starter who can play tackle as well. Add Eric Smith and Sam Young to the depth and the Dolphins are stronger than they have been in a few years.
Guard – good shape
Josh Sitton fixes a lot of the problems the Dolphins had, especially on the left side. He can mentor and help Tunsil as well as the other guards like Isaac Asiata who did nothing last year. Jess Davis will likely start at right guard but he will have to beat out Sam Young who played well towards the end of the season.
Center – good shape
Mike Pouncey is gone and Daniel Kilgore is the penciled in starter. The depth at center if solid as well with Ted Larsen having experience and Jake Brendel the likely back-up.
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Defensive ends – great shape
The Dolphins have Cameron Wake returning and he will swing rotations with Robert Quinn or one of the other DE’s. Miami has William Hayes back as well as Andre Branch and Charles Harris. The Dolphins are deep in depth as well with Cameron Malveaux. Still the Dolphins could entertain adding more to the unit later in the draft.
Defensive line – good shape needs more
The loss of Ndamukong Suh won’t be easy to replace but the Dolphins have young talent in Jordan Phillips and Vincent Taylor and Davon Godchaux should improve this year as well. Add Gabe Wright for depth and the Dolphins are in good shape but will likely address the position in the draft as well perhaps even from available street free agents.
Linebacker – major need
Miami’s linebackers are not in good shape. Raekwon McMillan has not been on an NFL field yet and is coming off a knee injury. Kiko Alonso is inconsistent and the hole on the other side is glaring. Depth is a concern as well. Mike Hull returns and can start in a spot but he too is inconsistent. Miami hopes that Stephone Anthony can become the player that many thought he would be out of college but the former Saints first round draft pick wasn’t impressive last year and had a hard time getting on the field. The most promising depth player is Chase Allen but there is a lot of improvement needed before he can be a full time contributor.
Corner-back – good shape need depth
Cordrea Tankersly should be better in his second year and Xavien Howard may have finally turned a corner but behind them it is a mosh-pit of potential and special teams players. Tony Lippett will provide some of that as he comes back from a sidelining injury in 2017 and Bobby McCain is still developing as well. The Dolphins really like Tory McTyer but he isn’t ready yet. Miami could use some veteran depth at the position.
Safety – good shape
Walt Aikens provides a solid depth player behind starters Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald who missed eight games last season and underperformed in the eight games he was active for. The Dolphins will need to add some competition for camp but the starters should be set. It would not be a surprise if the Dolphins drafted a corner sometime in the first two rounds.
Special teams – needed
Miami can no longer rely on Jarvis Landry to return punts so Jakeem Grant will need to step up. The Punter position is fine with Matt Haack but they do not have a kicker on their roster and will need to add at least two for training camp and off-season workouts and mini-camps.