The Miami Dolphins offensive line has improved this year but there is still room to grow.
The Miami Dolphins have a lot of new faces on the offensive line and next year could see one or two more but who is the best and worst on this unit?
The Dolphins offensive line has been a very pleasant surprise so far this year. Veterans and rookies alike are stepping up to make this a relative strength on the team. Here we will rank the offensive linemen from best/most important to least.
1. Jesse Davis (T)
Easily the best Dolphins lineman, Jesse Davis has been the ‘iron man’ of the unit. Since taking over as a rookie in week seven of 2017, Davis has played in 47 of the Dolphins 48 games. While most NFL analysts view his best position as right guard, Davis has filled in nicely at both right and left tackle when called upon. While under team control through 2022, if Davis continues to perform this well, he may be looking at a contract extension in 2021.
2. Ereck Flowers (G)
The fact that Flowers, a first year Dolphins player, is second on this list proves (a) just how important he has been to revitalizing the line and (b) shows just how young the rest of the unit is. After four years of mediocre play at tackle, Flowers found his niche when Washington moved him to left guard last season. He was invaluable in helping rookie Austin Jackson to start the year.
3. Ted Karras (C)
The Dolphins have been looking for a good center since they let Mike Pouncey go in 2018. (Although Daniel Kilgore is looking great in Kansas City right now.) Signing Karras to a one-year deal has turned out to be a good move by Dolphins management. Despite this only being his second year as a starter, Karras has done a great job at getting the Dolphins lined up presnap and protecting the quarterback. While he’s a much better pass blocker than against the run, overall, he’s solid and is helping more than he’s hurting.
4. Austin Jackson (T)
Putting Jackson this high may be controversial to some people. Having played less games (4) than other starters, it may seem wrong to have Jackson #4. So why do I have him so high? Even if it was just four games, Jackson showed he can handle the left tackle position in the NFL. Projecting his talent going forward, along with the importance of finding/having a good left tackle, makes him more valuable than other positions on the line.
5. Solomon Kindley (G)
Kindley grabbed the starting right guard position early and has given the coaches no reason to reconsider that decision. After the team only exceeded 100 yards rushing three times in 2019, the Dolphins have already tied that mark through six games and Kindley is a big reason for that. With Tua, a left-handed quarterback, now starting Kindley’s importance in the offense will only rise going forward.
6. Robert Hunt (T)
Hunt is the last of the Dolphins linemen to see meaningful snaps so far this season. After Jackson’s injury, Jesse Davis had to move to left tackle which meant Hunt is seeing starting snaps sooner than the Dolphins might have liked. With that said, Hunt has been starting at right tackle the past two weeks and the Dolphins offense has blown defenses away past in that span. Is it coincidental or was Hunt merely a victim of a deep set of Dolphins tackles? Beginning this week, with Aaron Donald coming to town, the level of difficulty will certainly increase. Let’s hope having him manning Tua’s “blind side” won’t result in a Tua ‘pancake’.
7. Michael Deiter (G/C)
While Deiter has yet to see the field in 2020, his role as the backup center potentially makes him the most valuable reserve on the line. He struggled last year but, in his defense, Deiter wasn’t really surrounded with much talent on the line. Dolphins coaches and fans hope that if Deiter’s number is called, he will be able to step up.
8. Julie’n Davenport (T)
Davenport was acquired by the Dolphins right before the season in 2019 as part of the Laremy Tunsil trade. He was asked to try and fill Tunsil’s shoes early but he just wasn’t up to the task; having been benched in week two. However, Davenport was able to work his way into the starting lineup for the final 7 games of the season. While the team would take a hit if Davenport is forced into the lineup, he’s currently the team’s fourth tackle and is probably a Jesse Davis injury away from being the starting left tackle.
9. Adam Pankey (G)
Honestly, I didn’t even know Pankey was on the roster but he’s actually been used the past two weeks in Dolphins blowout victories. Being a 4-year veteran, he provides some value as reserve interior lineman.