How good are the Miami Dolphins defensive line? More importantly who is the best defensive lineman on the roster so far this year?
The Miami Dolphins defensive front is playing better each week and several players are stepping up their game. Here is our mid-season rankings.
The Miami Dolphins defense, which struggled in some of the early games this season, has started to make a bit of a turn around in the last few weeks. There are a ton of factors as to why this is the case, but the play of the defensive line has definitely helped, proving disruptive against anything opposing offenses have shown them.
Let’s take this bye week as an opportunity to rank these lineman based on their performances so far. For this article, I plan to rank the players listed on the Miami Dolphins roster on their website as players on the defensive line (Defensive Ends, Nose Tackles) which will include a few players who have lined up as linebackers at various times.
2020 Stats: 19 tackles, 10 solo, 4 tackles for loss, 10 QB hits, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
One of Miami’s bigger offseason signing, Ogbah has been the most consistent defender so far for the Miami Dolphins this season. Coming in with a career built on stopping the run, Ogbah has done a great job of rushing the passer, evidenced by his 10 QB hits and 5 sacks. He took a few games to get into a rhythm, but he has been playing at a Pro-Bowl level in the last few games. He looks disruptive, consistent and athletic while looking like he may have been the hidden gem in free agency last offseason.
2020 Stats: 20 tackles, 11 solo, 2 tackles for loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery
Miami’s 2019 first round pick seems to have picked up where he left off at the end of last season. Wilkins has proven to be disruptive against the run and has seemed to constantly be around the ball, even his numbers don’t jump off the page.
Wilkins has definitely taken the next step as a quality lineman in the league. He could be a little more consistent rushing the passer, but that is a skill that could continue to develop for a guy who has definitely seen an improvement in 2020.
3. Zach Sieler
2020 Stats: 13 tackles, 6 solo, 2 tackles for loss, 4 QB hits, 1.5 sacks
Signed this offseason to a one-year deal, Sieler has played well in spurts and has worked his way into more and more defensive snaps as the year has progressed. He looks to be a great complimentary piece to this defense and has proven to be helpful both against the run and when rushing the quarterback.
Sieler should continue to see an increase in snap count with the injury to Davon Godchaux and should continue to play like the revelation he has been thus far this season.
4. Shaq Lawson
2020 Stats: 9 combined, 3 solo, 1 tackle for loss, 8 QB hits, 1.0 sack
The other major signing on the defensive side of the ball in 2019, Shaq Lawson has played well, but not as well as guys like Emmanuel Ogbah. Injury aside, Lawson has been a good complimentary piece in this defensive scheme and his numbers aren’t keeping up with his quality of play. He may not have the sack numbers of some other players on the team, but he is second on the team in quarterback hits with 8, and that’s with missing the game against the Jets.
Lawson will need to be able to overcome his shoulder injury and continue to show he can rush the passer as the season progresses. If he does, Miami’s defense is only going to continue to benefit from this year’s newcomer.
5. Davon Godchaux
2020 Stats: 16 tackles, 10 solo, 1 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits
Davon Godchaux was in line for another one of his typical seasons. Godchaux hasn’t been the type of player who’s numbers jump off the page during his young career. But, he has always proved to be a quality player who makes few mistakes and does his job admirably.
Unfortunately for Godchaux, his season is over with a bicep injury. This injury is unfortunate since Godchaux was playing well and was in line to start negotiating his next contract.
2020 Stats: 7 tackles, 3 solo.
One of Miami’s rookie defensive lineman, Davis has been inconsistent this season so far. He has played sparingly and hasn’t looked incredibly disruptive. He is a rookie, however, and his early play should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, he does need to show some growth in practice if he is going to see more of the field in the coming weeks.
7. Jason Strowbridge
Strowbridge hasn’t seen the field so far this season and this automatically cements him as the last player on this ranking. If he plays, that might change, but for now, he needs to see the field to overtake anyone on this list.