Looking ahead to the 2021 off-season, the Miami Dolphins have work to do.
In 2020, the Miami Dolphins have shown that they are much-improved over 2019, but what are the next steps to take this team to the next level?
In 2019 the Dolphins showed that Brian Flores had brought a change of culture to Miami. In 2020 that culture switch is already beginning to show.
7-4 is a good start for Miami and nearly the best you can hope for coming off of a season where after Week 3, it seemed as if the team was heading for an 0-16 season.
Here is Miami’s three-step plan to keep the ball rolling and improve even more in 2021
1: Bolster the offensive line.
Tua Tagovailoa has looked as you would expect a rookie to look, just fine, but not tremendous. Part of that reason is the offensive line that he is dealing with. With the Texan’s first-round pick this spring, Miami will most likely be looking for a playmaking receiver or a run-stuffing linebacker. The goal here needs to be to acquire a veteran or two in free agency while developing Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley into the lineman that they have shown glimpses of this season.
2. Draft a receiver with a big upside to play across from Devante Parker.
Preston Williams has seemed to have loads of potential for a while now, but can’t get past injuries. It’s possible that Williams comes back next year and shows that he can compete for the WR2 spot, but it’s definitely a prayer. Drafting a receiver with potential through the roof could make the passing game dangerous when Tua is fully developed. You may hear more about Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith as we get closer to the draft. Both being Alabama products could help Tua get comfortable in his second year.
3. Find a run-stopping linebacker.
This is something that must be done if Miami wants their defense to become elite. Xavien Howard has been playing out of his mind and has been deemed the best cornerback in the league by some analysts. Emmanuel Ogbah is putting pressure on the Quarterback, as he is near the top of the league in sacks. The one thing that this defense is missing, is an elite linebacker. Miami still ranks near the bottom of the league in run defense and if Micah Parsons is still available with the Texans pick, drafting Parsons could help solve the problem.
Flores needs to make a decision soon whether he wants a playoff run, or whether he wants to prepare Tua for next year. It’s most definitely possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick gives the team the best opportunity to win down the stretch this year. The offense has been stagnant since Tua took over, which shouldn’t worry fans yet, however, if Flores wants a deep playoff run now, Fitzpatrick may be the quarterback the team needs. Nonetheless, Miami is in a good situation, and fans should trust Flores. Flores hasn’t given us fans anything to worry about so far, so don’t stress about it.