The Miami Dolphins still have this core of players under contract.
10. Shaq Lawson: 32 Tackles, 17 solo, 4 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
The other half of Miami’s defensive edge rusher signings, Shaq Lawson looked to be a solid complement to Emmanuel Ogbah, who we will get to later.
Lawson needs to do a better job setting the edge on run plays more consistently, even though he did a good job of it this season. He also generated a decent pass rush, resulting in 4 sacks on the year. Lawson was a good compliment to Ogbah coming off the edge and, in a rare occurrence, gave the Dolphins almost exactly what they could have expected out of him after his first few years in the NFL.
9. Eric Rowe: 91 Tackles, 66 solo, 11 PD, 1 FR, 2 INT
Miami was one of the better teams this season against the tight end position and this mostly in part to Rowe’s ability to shut them down.
With few exceptions, Eric Rowe single-handedly shut down opposing tight ends often throughout the year, which is a tall task given the athleticism found at that position. For two seasons in a row, Rowe was able to demonstrate that he is one of the better coverage safeties in the game, even if he doesn’t get enough attention on the national level.
Because of Rowe’s consistent play over the last two years, he might be the best signing from the Brian Flores era so far.
8. Andrew Van Ginkel: 48 Tackles, 30 solo, 5.5 sacks, 4 PDs, 3 FF, 1 FR
The second-year man out of Wisconsin stepped up in a big way this year.
After playing sporadically in 2019, Van Ginkel saw a massive uptick in his snaps in the 2020 season and delivered on his opportunities. Not only did Van Ginkel do an admirable job rushing the passer, but he also had a significant amount of pass knockdowns at the line of scrimmage over the course of the season which is huge for a pass rusher as it shows he can think on the fly and adjust to his play in the moment.
Van Ginkel may not be the top pass rusher on this team (yet), but having him on the roster is a huge benefit. If he continues to develop and he’s paired with a dominant edge rusher, Van Ginkel could end up being a long term cornerstone of Flores’ defense.
7. Myles Gaskin: 584 RuYds, 3 RuTDs, 41 REC, 388 RecYds, 2 RecTDs
There weren’t many bright spots on Miami’s offense this past season, but Myles Gaskin was definitely one of them.
Going from rotational, 7th round draft pick to perpetual starter and contributor was a huge jump. When on the field, Gaskin looked to be a serviceable back, who’s ability to catch balls out of the backfield could be relied on to generate offense when the unit stalled.
Although he missed some time with injuries and covid related issues, Gaskin still managed to put up respectable numbers in a poor offense. I can’t say for certain that he is the long term solution for the Dolphins at running back, but he is a formidable piece to be used by the incoming offensive coaching staff.
6. Mike Gesicki: 53 REC, 703 Yds, 6 TDs
Going into the season, Mike Gesicki was poised to be the next big name at tight end in the NFL. It didn’t quite pan out for him but he still put together a quality season given the lack of overall offensive production.
Over the course of his young career, Gesicki has proven to be an athletic pass-catcher who can stretch the field and effectively make contested catches. The biggest knock on Gesicki, from my perspective, is that he can sometimes disappear in games, going without any real involvement in various games throughout the year. If he can become a bit more consistent, he could easily develop into one of the better tight ends in the game and would be a game-changing piece for Tua Tagovailoa in the future.