2020 Miami Dolphins players previews: Sam Eguavoen

Sam Eguavoen was a fun addition to the 2019 Dolphins roster. Where does he fit in with the team going into the 2020 season?

As we continue to round out our discussion of Dolphins players going into 2020, we find ourselves looking at a lot of linebackers who played a lot of snaps last season, but may not have the same opportunities this go around. Sam Eguavoen is one of those guys.

Coming down from the CFL last season, Eguavoen played on 56% of defensive snaps last year, and 57% of special teams snaps. He finished the year with 42 tackles, 3.5 sacks (all stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference). His numbers don’t really jump off the page for a guy who, at least during the preseason, was an exciting player to watch. He also finished with a missed tackle percentage of 14.3, which is a bit too high for a player on the field for more than 50% of plays that involve tackling. By comparison, Jerome Baker finished with a missed tackle percentage of 4.5.

Eguavoen proved that he has potential, even though his first season in the NFL was good, not great. He will need to show that he has taken the next step in his growth to see quality playing time on the defensive side of the ball, as there are, more than likely, at least three players ahead of him for time on the depth chart defensively (Kyle Van Noy, Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan).

As I’ve said in a lot of these linebacker previews, playing time for this position really depends on what scheme the Dolphins put on the field during different games. In a 3-4, Eguavoen could compete with Vince Biegel for playing time as one of the outside linebackers. If they run something else, Eguavoen could be a substitute linebacker who comes on to give somebody a break.

Eguavoen will, at the bare minimum, make the team. Yet, I don’t see him getting as much playing time as he did last season, which could hurt him statistically. I do, however, expect to see number 49 on a lot of special teams plays.