Our positional breakdowns continue with Raekwon McMillan. What is his role going to be with the new additions on defense?
Raekwon McMillan is an interesting player going into the 2020 season.
In his short time in Miami, McMillan has shown that he is a great player when it comes to stopping the run but struggles in pass coverage. Those struggles have limited his time on the field and, of course, impacted his overall numbers and play. That being said, is he going to see more of the field in the new campaign?
Last year, McMillan saw a drop in his overall production. He finished with only 72 tackles, a big dip from the 105 he had in 2018. He also saw a huge drop in his snap count, going from 72% to 46%.
I like McMillan. I was very high on him when he was drafted and thought that he could develop into a quality starting linebacker for the Dolphins. Over his few years in Miami, he has been good, not great, which is why I would be most concerned about his status going into this year.
Given the fluidity of this defense, there may be many times where the linebackers will be limited to traditional linebacker positions on the field. If Miami lined up with a 5-2 front, which is possible considering some of the schemes that we saw last year and with Brian Flores in New England, then McMillan is the odd man out. If they do lineup in the 3-4 as it’s listed, McMillan makes a ton of sense as one of the inside linebackers, especially on first and second down.
I think McMillan’s playing time depends on his growth over the offseason when it comes to defending the pass. If he can show coaches in training camp that he can keep up with receivers and tight ends going across the middle of the field, then his playing time should be on par with last year’s, even when you consider the new additions to the team.
Unfortunately, McMillan might see limited playing time in 2020, given the new additions to the team and his poor play in pass protection in a league that continues to throw the ball down the field, even on first and second down.