The Miami Dolphins traded a solid run stuffing LB in Raekwon McMillan.
This past August, the Miami Dolphins made a decision to trade fourth year linebacker, Raekwon McMillan, and a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders, in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round pick.
The decision to trade McMillan was a bold one. Among Linebackers, McMillan ranked 11th against the run in 2019. An area where Miami already needed help, as they gave up the 6th most rushing yards among teams in 2019.
Through the first four games of the season, the Dolphin’s run defense has only slightly improved compared to last year, giving up 124 yards per game, compared to 2019’s 135.
When the trade was announced on August 29th, head coach Brian Flores stated that McMillan was “someone who I think will have a long career, but there’s a lot of depth in that room.”
That depth, coach Flores referred to has been hard to see this year as linebacker Jerome Baker has been putting in most of the work. Baker is a versatile player who is quick enough to make a difference in pass coverage, yet still stuff the run when needed.
Roberts and Grugier-Hill have been solid players, but not the run stuffing leader that McMillan was on defense.
Miami’s defense has improved, though not very much, after the trade of McMillan. A third-day draft swap for a defensive leader who is one of the better run stoppers in the league is a compelling move.
Looking at this long-term, it’s tough to predict whether this was a good move for the Dolphins or not. McMillan was set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and might have left Miami anyway.
If the pair of linebackers, Roberts and Grugier-Hill, turn into the players that Brian Flores believes they can be, this move could pan out as a great one. As far as Miami is concerned, the goal in 2020 is to improve.
Giving two 26 year-old linebackers the opportunity to play alongside other young teammates could be monumental step for a Miami defense that could become elite with some experience.